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December 18, 2009
Smart Money Tips
 

You just got married, but you may not have realized that your money did as well. One of you is a spender and one is a saver! How in the world will you make it work. Here are 7 tips from about.com on money strategies for your new marriage.

1) Create Separate Accounts and One Joint Account:

To mingle or not to mingle your money is one of the most important decisions the two of you need to make regarding your finances. Having your own money that you can spend however you want can lessen arguments about money. We disagree that having separate joint accounts lessens the sense of unity in marriage and shows a lack of trust in one another.

2) Track How You Are Spending Money:

Tracking your spending is not a way to point fingers at one another as to who is spending what. Tracking your spending is not having someone looking over your shoulder every time you buy something. Tracking your spending is critical to being financially secure. Unless you know where your money is going, it is impossible to set up a budget and set financial goals you are both comfortable with.

3) Discuss Finances Together on a Regular Basis:

Sure, talking about money isn't easy because money can symbolize different things to each partner. One may view money as security and the other as power. If the topic of debt, bills, savings, and goals makes one or both of you uncomfortable or defensive, seek the help of a financial counselor or planner. It is important that both of you know where you stand financially and have common financial goals.

 

4) Save 10% of Your Income:

Couples living month-to-month often rationalize that they just don't have enough money to save. Make the decision to save at least 10% of your income. After saving enough cash as an emergency fund, invest in a retirement account. The earlier the two of you start saving money for your retirement years, the easier it will be have a retirement lifestyle that you both hope for.

5) Handle Debt as a Couple:

Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse's debt isn't your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.

6) Live Debt Free:

Couples often don't want to wait to have a new television, new car, and other new gadgets. They rationalize that people just don't live without credit cards and debt. Although it may be true that many people are heavily in debt, that doesn't mean it is a healthy way to handle your finances.

7) Don't Keep Big Financial Secrets:

Not being honest about the cost of large financial purchases or keeping debts hidden is considered financial infidelity by many people. Such secrets can destroy your marriage.


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Ted Jenkin CFP®, CMFC®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CRPS® is the founder of oXYGen Financial located in Atlanta, GA. He has done numerous radio shows, and has been featured before in Smart Money and Atlanta Magazine. See his blog at www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com, and breathe easier® with his daily financial advice.

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