4 minute read

Financial Wellness Tips for Newlyweds

Change is inevitable in a new marriage, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn how to maximize your financial well-being as a married couple with these tips!

Getting married is a big step. It’s the start of a lifelong journey together. It means sharing responsibilities and goals, ups and downs, and caring for one another. And for many couples, getting married also means combining finances and making important financial decisions together. Financial wellness can be integral to the health and happiness of a marriage – and it’s something all couples should work towards. Keep reading to learn more about financial wellness tips you can use at the start of your marriage. 

The Newlywed Stage

The newlywed stage of a marriage, sometimes also known as the honeymoon period, is traditionally said to last for the first six months to two years of a couple’s marriage. In the past, it was more common for couples to live apart until they were married, so the newlywed stage meant moving in together, setting up house, and learning to cohabitate for the first time. 

These days, however, it’s increasingly common for couples of all ages to live together before getting married, often sharing bills and other expenses before they say “I do.” Divorce and remarriage are also more common nowadays, so some newlyweds may find themselves blending households and families during the early months of their marriage. 

Whether it’s a first marriage or a remarriage, and whether a couple has lived together for years or not, though, marriage does bring definite legal changes to a relationship – and some of those changes are financial. 

Financial Stability and Marriage

According to a Pew Research survey in the last decade, about a third of the Americans surveyed cited financial stability as a very important reason for getting married. And while love surpassed all other reasons for marrying among those polled, there is no doubt that finances factor into a marriage with just over 70% of those polled saying that the ability to financially support a family is a very important in being a good husband/partner (with 32% of those polled saying the same is true for a wife/partner.)

Newlyweds and Financial Wellness

Being there for your partner, being supportive of one another and working together within a marriage is important in all respects, including how you handle finances. Every person – and every couple – will have a different financial style and unique financial goals. Communicating about what your finances mean to you individually and as a couple is a good start, and whether it’s before or after you’re married, you might want to go over financial topics for newlyweds, including: 

Yours, mine, and ours

What have each of you come into the marriage with? Do one or both of you own homes, cars, or a business? Do you have bank accounts, investments and retirement accounts already set up? Will your spouse now be added to the deed, title, or account? Is yours a community property state? 

For some people, getting married means combining everything or building everything together from scratch. Other partners prefer to keep some things separate. Generally, a spouse has some ownership claim to marital assets. And often that is what couples prefer – buying a house means buying it together, income is combined, expenses are shared. But sometimes in the case of remarriage or when an inherited asset is intended to be protected from one spouse, keeping some things separate may be the goal. Knowing what this means in your state can be done through proper Estate Planning measures. 

Til debt?

When you get married, not only do you get a husband or a wife – you can get their debt too. OK, not so romantic, but true. While only the debt a couple takes on during their marriage belongs to both, sometimes a spouse has accrued debt before the marriage, and that debt will still have to be repaid, often out of the household income. Will you expect your spouse to contribute to your loan repayment, or will you tackle that yourself? Will you split payments on the new loan you’re taking out? 

The topic of finances can cause a great deal of conflict in a marriage if communication is lacking. Knowing how you feel about taking on debt, being upfront and honest about anything you do owe, discussing what shared debt will mean for future goals, how much you are willing to borrow for a big purchase, and coming up with a financial plan to pay down any debt can be a good idea for couples. 

Budgeting for two

Creating a practical budget early in your marriage, and adjusting it as necessary, can help you stay on track financially. Take your income or joint incomes, monthly expenses, debts, and other financial obligations owed, and savings and investment goals into account. Determine what each of you feel is a necessary expense and make concessions where possible. 

Spenders and Savers

Everyone has a different relationship with money – and thus everyone treats it differently. Some people love to spend as much as possible – and then some, while others take comfort in saving all they can. Some people are unbothered by an extra charge or two on a bill, while for others it can set off anxiety or insecurity. Understanding what financial security means to your partner, and to you, can help minimize financial stress in your relationship. 

Learn together

Maybe you learned the basics at school or home, but not everyone goes into marriage as a financial wiz. See your new marriage as a time to start learning about financial wellness alongside your partner. Learning the ins-and-outs of earning potential, investment options, retirement funds, and Estate Planning together. Being informed about all things financial can help you better reach your goals along with your spouse. 

Planning for the future

It’s never too soon to start thinking about the future. Financial security is a goal for many couples, and how you plan now can affect the health and wealth of your marriage and your family for years to come. Creating a comprehensive Estate Plan can be a part of responsible financial planning for newlyweds. 

Here at Trust & Will, we’re here to help you as you start your life as a married couple. You can get your Will, Trust, and the other state-specific Estate Planning documents online. Take a quiz to see which document is right for you, or get started now on accessing your customized and affordable online Estate Planning documents from Trust & Will. 

Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Reach out to us today or Chat with a live member support representative!