Many couples will agree that money is one of the biggest reasons they argue. Since summer is a busy wedding season, we asked several employees who recently said “I Do” to tell us the advice they wished someone had given them.
Check out what these newlyweds shared:
Two heads are better than one.
The best advice I received is don’t let one person handle all of the finances. Both people need to work together to create a monthly budget so that they can be in-tune with what’s being spent and how to adjust the budget. Two heads are always better than one.
A budget (and communicating about it) works.
Have a working budget and when it doesn’t work, adjust it. I know it sounds cliché, but couples should review the budget at least monthly. Remember what you’re ultimately saving for – a new home, a better car or retirement – so that you can remind each other that the sacrifice will be worth it. Discuss large purchases with your spouse because no one likes surprises when it comes to money. And don’t forget the emergencies that will (yes, they will) come up.
Be open about money.
No one gave us advice on managing money before we got married, so we had to learn it on our own. The most important thing is to be completely open about expenses and making sure that your payments (for anything) are small enough to keep your account balanced. It’s difficult for us because my husband works for the school district and is on summer break for 2 ½ months. We have to save a lot and pre-plan bills. When you share your life with someone, your sharing the assets AND the liabilities with them.
Try new things when it comes to checking accounts. I think the best advice I got was to be 100% realistic about where you both stand and to try different things until you find what works best for the both of you! We tried having two separate accounts, having two separate accounts and one joint. Now, we just have one account and it helps us budget better. It’s all about being realistic about your financial habits and the new ones you want to build together.
Have hard conversations (but be nice).
Sometimes it’s hard to discuss what you can (and cannot) afford. We love taking an annual trip to Disney World because that’s where we met and where I proposed. It’s a big trip. We had the “Where can we cut back?” conversation. It was hard, but we decided to eat out less, and stop going to mall. It’s an awesome feeling when you finally accomplish the goal that you set together. You feel like you’re really a team and you’ve succeeded at one of the most crazy, complex, and difficult things, MONEY! Communicating about your goals will allow your marriage to blossom… and maybe even your savings account.
Use your resources when planning the big day.
When planning the wedding, stick to your budget. Shop local – Small businesses are much more willing to work with you. For example, I wanted to preserve my flowers so I chose to have my florist do everything with silk flowers. It saved me about $500, and my bridal party will have their bouquets forever! If you have friends that recently got married borrow items they used. Most importantly have FUN!