By Tokie L. Brown
Once the wedding vows have been said, your
reception cake eaten, guests gone and honeymoon pictures have been adored and
stashed in an album, you and your new other half can start on planning the
future whilst merging your lives together. The joys of being newlyweds, the
feelings of perfection between you both!
Then slowly the bliss begins to wear off and challenges
suddenly appear, it becomes apparent that building a foundation that becomes
part and parcel of a solid marriage will require more than just emotional bliss.
It will require getting to understand more about yourselves, including
understanding budgeting knowledge, a picture of what debt and spending habits
each of you have. Whose strength will be required to take charge of financial
issues and of course money secrets.
It is important to understand each other’s finances before
tying the knot as this prepares the couple for planning their new future
together. The process should not be rushed as it needs time to tweak and adjust
according to the new plans that the couple have set for themselves.
The first step will be to talk about finances honestly,
discuss what incomes are coming, debts incurred, bills to be paid, whose
responsibilities for what bills, what you can afford as a couple which will
Make a list of goals, work out financial statuses and how it
affects you as a couple, discuss long term goals, like business start ups, debt
clearing etc. Work out saving goals, work with a financial adviser to help plan
retirement goals and assets acquisition etc.
Discuss joint accounts, individual accounts, what happens if
a partner decides to stay at home to look after kids or run the home, what
happens if one partner losses an income. Safety nests and what they will be
for. Down payments on homes or child education.
Look at emergency funds, how it will be implemented and what
types of emergency funds, like maybe 6 months worth household expenses in case
of any issues. Life policies or financial security funds, paying down debts
like college loans. If relatives that will need to be looked after, any medical
issues within the family that will need to be taken into consideration.
Budgeting as newlyweds, it can be hard to imagine that there
will be anything left for just both of you to have fun with. But once
everything has been decided, all necessities taken care of, you can plan money
for vacations, night outs without straining monthly or weekly budgets and
responsibilities. Set realistic goals and plan major spending.
Work as team and trim expenses as needed, review when
required and plan according to means. Preparing together in love can bring
newlyweds closer and grow your finances, understand what money and finances
mean to your financial goals and commitments. Remember to write down every
financial detail and track every financial detail. This will work hand in hand
with marriage plans to build a strong and lasting relationship and remember
communication is key no matter the financial status.
Laotan-Brown is the author of the book “10 Steps to Managing your household
budget” which provides readers with useful financial management tools to assess
how their household expenditure is utilised. She writes regularly at
www.tokielaotanbrown.com and tweets at