Building a nest egg is ideally done before you get married, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you to start now, either. Having your own money apart from the communal fund you might share with your husband is just as important now as it was when you were still single for several reasons.

One: While your husband might be the generous sort, nothing beats having your own cash to spend guiltlessly on whatever you want. Two: You'll never know what might happen in the future. If you could no longer depend on your husband’s income for one reason or another, you will need to support yourself and your children. Three: You would always want to have a choice.

That said, how does a married woman start her own nest egg? Here are a few tips to get you on your feet.
1. Clear your debts.

Having just returned from your honeymoon, you and your husband may or may not have a few mutual debts to pay off. Wedding suppliers, friends, or family—focus on paying these people first. Once you’re in the clear, that’s when you can concentrate on starting your own nest egg.

2. Create a separate bank account.

Just because your names are now joined together doesn’t mean all your funds have to be so as well. Take your time choosing which bank to put your money in. Base your decision on what would benefit you or your kids the most. Whether you wish to let your husband know of this account or not is up to you.

3. Save slowly but steadily.

Unless your husband’s income is enough to sustain both your lifestyles, don’t push yourself to set aside more than you can handle. You don’t want your nest egg to become a sore topic in the relationship. Save what you can but save consistently so that it becomes a habit. You’d be surprised at how much small but regular deposits can accumulate to in the future.

4. Strive for a precise amount.

How much money do you want your nest egg to contain? Write yourself a check, and keep the check in your wallet. This way, the idea of saving up for a nest egg becomes more real.

5. Remember your goals.

The main purpose of a nest egg is so that you don’t have to worry about money in times of emergency. Whenever you feel like withdrawing from your account to buy something you don’t really need, think about what would happen if you or your husband suddenly became unemployed. Who will pay for the groceries, the electricity bill, the water bill, and the rent?

(Illustration by Jennifer Chan)

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