4 Mistakes Newlyweds Make That Bring Them Into Unmanageable Debt
Getting married is one of the best moments of many people’s lives. After the wedding that you’ve spent so much time planning, you finally get to sit, relax, and enjoy your time together as you merge many facets of your lives. After you’ve said “I do”, though, you should put aside some time to sit down and talk about that dreaded subject you’ve happily avoided throughout most of your relationship: Money. If you’re a newlywed, make sure you and your spouse don’t fall into one of these four debt traps.
You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes: Being Dishonest About Your Finances
Your days of financial secrets are long gone now that you’re legally joined in holy matrimony. Much like everything else in your marriage, from where to vacation to how to raise your future children, financial management is a subject that you should not only talk about at length, but also learn to agree on. Talk about your past and current debts, your salaries, and your financial obligations, and be realistic about what you can afford. Coming into a marriage with financial secrets will not only keep debts from being resolved, but will put strain on your marriage when one partner finds out.
Mergers and Acquisitions of Debt: Letting Your Partner Pay Their Debts Alone
If you’re bringing a debt into the marriage and your spouse has a habit of trading bad stocks, it’s ideal that you both know about it and figure out a plan for how to deal with it. Now that your accounts will merge, decisions over how to pay off your debts together come into play as much as your decisions of what kind of new entertainment system you can splurge on. Your priority should be to dig yourselves out of debt, and yes, the saying “what’s mine is yours” applies. If you leave your spouse to settle their own debt, and they struggle to pay it off, it hurts you both in the long run, especially if your finances are merged.
Not to mention it probably won;t be good for your relationship in general.
Let’s Splurge Together: Spending Over Budget Without Prior Discussion
This is where humility comes into play in a relationship. Where one partner may be a spender and the other frugal, or both partners are spenders, consider coming up with a budget plan to keep you on track with your spending habits, and be realistic about what you can afford. Never go over your budget or tell yourselves that you can “pay it off later”, and if you must go over budget, cut something else out of the budget at the same time. Continuing to spend as you wish without consulting your partner over big purchases will accumulate debt faster than you can attempt to pay it off.
In Case of Emergency: Failing to Establish a Rainy Day Fund
Many newlywed couples underestimate the amount of money the will need to get through times of unemployment or illness. Failing to plan for the future can result in stressful situations or compromise your finances. Always put money away for a rainy day, and leave it there until that rainy day comes – and as Murphy’s Law will have it, someday it will. Keeping a stash of savings for three to six months’ worth of living expenses will not only be useful when you need it, but will also give you peace of mind about your finances. Learning to save like this is also an opportunity for you and your partner to tuck away money you would otherwise spend on things you might not need, and help you to prepare for your future together.
Communication is the key to success in every relationship. This rule is especially true of finances. As long as you both know what your financial goals are and stay on track with your hard earned money, you can enjoy a fulfilling married life that also keeps you out of crushing debt.