For richer or poorer: Financial planning for newlyweds

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The summer wedding season is fast approaching. While this is a time of bliss and new beginnings, many couples forget to adequately plan for their financial future. Money Management International (MMI) offers many great resources to help couples successfully handle their finances. The latest eBook, Love and Money: Your Guide to the Coupling of Finance and Romance, addresses both the fun and serious sides of marrying two financial situations.

According to a recent national survey by Crosswalk.com, in conjunction with Synovate – a market research firm – nearly 40 percent of respondents said they have financial disagreements with their spouse either often or sometimes. The financial experts at MMI offers some helpful financial tips each couple should discuss before walking down the aisle.

Lay all your cards on the table. Clear, open communication is essential to the success of your marriage, especially when talking about finances. Couples should disclose all their debts and assets before the wedding.

Create financial goals together. Uniting in pursuit of a common financial goal can make marital bonds stronger because both partners are making sacrifices to achieve a greater goal. Real-life loves Kim and Matt created a system called MBO, or Marriage by Objective, to align their actions to achieve desired results.

Delegate responsibility. Typically, the physical act of paying the monthly bills falls to one partner, but both partners should know how to pay the bills if they need to. Some couples suggest giving one person responsibility over short term finances, like bill paying, and the other person responsibility over long term investments, such as saving for retirement.

Pay debts ASAP. For many newlyweds, especially those in their early twenties and thirties, student loan and credit card debt could be a major financial factor. If both partners have student loans (the average graduating senior has $19,237 in loan debt), then debt is creating quite a burden in the beginning of the marriage. Make paying back debts a priority early on.

One final piece of advice for newlyweds is to discuss values and set priorities. Before marriage, sit down with your partner and create realistic, achievable financial goals for your future. Learn to budget together and create a manageable cash flow system.