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Financial Tips for Newlyweds

Two gold wedding bands sit on a stack of $100 bills.

A toast to the newlyweds! Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone, as joyous and exciting as it can be, is a big commitment, and saying “I do” is the first in a series of decisions you’ll need to make. Before you ride off to your honeymoon, it’s vital to have a solid understanding of what true partnership constitutes, especially when managing money.

Our team at Landmark National Bank has compiled some essential money-saving tips for newlyweds–because tying the knot shouldn’t tangle up your long-term finances. Here is your guide on discussing the often taboo topic of money with your spouse so you can set a solid financial foundation early in your marriage.

A closeup of a woman's hand as she purchases a bouquet with a yellow credit card.

Planning Your Finances Before Marriage

Creating a joint financial plan needs to happen well before you write your vows. Along with deciding on a wedding playlist and dream honeymoon spot, you’ll need to put pen to paper regarding finances so your life together starts on the right track once you return home. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the trap of having too much financial freedom after your wedding. Read on for some essential points you’ll need to hit on before the big day.

Clarify Your Financial Situation

While marriage makes some aspects of finances easier, you’ll still want to sit at the dinner table to discuss your financial situation. Knowing how much money you’ll have to work with shouldn’t be a surprise for after the altar, so make the responsible decision to talk with your partner about how everything will be organized. Below are some vital questions you should answer throughout this conversation:

  • Who will handle which financial tasks?
  • How will you pay bills?
  • Where will things be filed?
  • What cadence can be set to discuss finances and budgeting regularly?
  • Where will important documents be kept?

Set Mutual Financial Goals

With the future top of mind for you and your spouse, it’s never too early to set short- and long-term financial goals. From paying off student loans to saving for a European vacation, create a plan of action so you two are on the same page from the get-go. 

Planning should start with short-term objectives before looking at the bigger picture of your lives together. Decide what you want to prioritize and how much money will need to be set aside to meet your mutually agreed-upon benchmarks, like preparing for a small-scale renovation or tackling a mortgage. Write down what is important to each of you and plan how to satisfy these desires.

Create a Shared Budget

Financial experts recommend following the 50-30-20 rule when deciding your budget. You commit to putting 50% of your after-tax earnings toward necessities, 30% toward disposable income, and 20% toward savings.

Remember that even the best-laid plans can go awry, and unexpected expenses may arise when you least expect them to. An organized budget can help you be prepared for any surprises, good or bad, that can come up throughout your life together. 

A smiling couple holds a small piggy bank together while sitting in front of a laptop.

Saving Money After Marriage 

Once you return to reality after your honeymoon, your daily life together begins, and your spending habits will become clear. You’ve hopefully already discussed a plan of action for how your financial situation will pan out, so there should be little room for surprises. Nonetheless, you may still need some newlywed tips for spending as you settle into your day-to-day routine.

Setting Up Joint Accounts

If you haven’t already, consider setting up a joint bank account. Research from the University of California—Berkeley suggests that married couples who merge their earnings are happier than those who keep their money separate, as this fosters financial transparency and trust in each other. However, Americans are delaying marriage for longer than ever before, and the desire to keep assets separate is, therefore, increasing. Have a conversation with your spouse to decide the right move for your relationship.

To set up a joint bank account, you can either open a new account or add one of you to the other’s existing account. You may have your reasoning for wanting to keep separate checking accounts from one another while still sharing a savings account. Decide on expectations for deposits and withdrawals from whatever accounts you use.

Update Your Tax Information

Among the stack of forms to sign in your life together will be new W-4 tax forms, where you will need to update the allowance section to reflect your current withholdings. Additionally, you will have the option to file jointly with your spouse or separately as individuals. While most couples benefit from joint filing, your individual jobs may warrant separate filing to be a better decision. Your choice is never set in stone, and if you later decide to file jointly or claim any dependents, you are free to do so.

Remember—You’re in This Together

Now that you have your rings, you’re a team. You’ll want to make room for financial conversations for your marriage to stay happy. Transparency about finances can seem challenging at first, but it is essential to having a healthy relationship. If you’re not sure where to start, seek a financial planner. Ultimately, your love and respect for one another are most important, so don’t let dollar signs get in the way of what matters.

Start Your Life Together With Landmark National Bank

Kicking off life with your partner involves organized financial planning efforts, and navigating this on your own can be a challenge. Landmark National Bank provides personalized financial advice and tools to effectively save money after your wedding and for years to come.

In addition to money-saving tips for newlyweds, whether you need help setting up a joint bank account, want a personal credit card, or need assistance creating a financial plan, our associates are here to help.

Contact Landmark National Bank today to get started, or find a bank branch location near you to discover an ideal banking solution close to home.

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