Tips to Managing Money Once You're Married
Congratulations, you’ve tied the knot! Now, what? Well, for your finances, getting married can pose many questions and provide several benefits. Here are some financial tips to get you and your spouse started.
Find out where you stand now and where you want to be
You are part of a team now, so it’s very important for you and your spouse to get on the same page when it comes to your finances and go over all of your finances together, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. If you know your spouse’s income, assets and debt, and they know yours, you’ll be better prepared and ready to plan your next steps. It’s a good idea to sit down and talk about your future, your financial goals and dreams. Getting a sense of your current finances will help you set financial goals that you can work on together to achieve.
Create a budget
Both of you may have had budgets before, but your budget changes as a couple. And if you’re combining your income, it’s most likely different than your personal income, and your expenses will probably, change, too. Perhaps you were living separately and now you live together, or maybe you need a bigger place or are moving to a different neighborhood, which alters your housing costs.
Now that there are two of you, you have to budget for both partners’ priorities, needs and wants. You may not have planned for certain things that your significant other places a high value on, such as eating out or a premium cable TV package. Create a joint budget based on your combined income and expenses to fit both of your needs and wants.
Decide how you will organize your finances
Just like your budget, you need to discuss how and where you will keep your income. Do you want to keep your credit union accounts separate, change everything into joint accounts and credit cards or have a combination of both? And if you’re changing accounts, what financial institution will you use to do your banking?
Many couples find it helpful to have a joint account for necessary common expenses like loan payments and individual accounts for discretionary spending on items that don’t necessarily need their spouse’s input, like a lunch with coworkers or anniversary present.
And if you choose to merge your finances&hellip
You can open a joint Checking Account and Savings Account with your spouse at any of Mission Fed’s 30 convenient branches. If you are an existing Mission Fed member, you can add your spouse to your account so that both of you can contribute to it and access it.
Within your joint Mission Fed Savings Account, you can name up to seven different savings categories to help you keep track of various financial goals. You can also use these Savings Account categories to put money aside for your individual wants or shared objectives.
Combine your credit cards
You can open a Mission Fed Credit Card with both of your names on it so that all of the transactions go onto one register, and you earn free Mission Rewards points all in one place where you can easily redeem them for cash back, local event tickets or even a family vacation. If you have an existing Credit Card with Mission Fed, you can apply to add your spouse to your account.
If you combine your accounts, then you can both manage the full scope of your shared finances together with Online Banking and Mobile Banking so it’s easier for you both to be informed of your finances and continue to build toward your financial goals.
Possible tax incentives
Once you’re married, you may qualify for higher tax deductions, so consider filing joint tax returns. Even if you get married on December 31, you can file as married for that tax year and you may be able to benefit from more deductions. Consult with a qualified tax professional to learn more.
You can also donate items from your wedding that you won’t use afterward, such as wardrobe or decorations. Wearing your wedding dress to work might be fun, but it probably wouldn’t go over well. You may be able to claim a tax deduction for donating these items and help someone else create their special day, too!
Retirement may seem like a long way away, but starting to save for retirement at an early age gives you the best return on your investment. Now that there are two of you, speak to a financial advisor to help determine how much you will need once you both retire, and how much you should be saving now to live your desired lifestyle. Mission Fed offers accounts that will help you save for your future. Check out our Retirement Accounts and pick the ones best for you.
Combine a robust savings plan with your joint budget, and you’ll be well on your way to a long and healthy financial future with your spouse.
The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.
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