You’ve no doubt just spent a large amount of money on your wedding and spending more money is definitely not on the agenda! Setting up and sticking to a budget, just like you did with your wedding (hopefully!) is the way to go for the future.
A budget is an essential tool for newlyweds for knowing how much money you have coming in and how much money you have going out, and is a really powerful tool that will allow you to take control of your money and set you up for your future. We’ve provided a free budget spreadsheet that will help you to track your finances and set up a plan for reaching your financial goals.
Download the budget spreadsheet here (once it has opened you can save it to your computer).
I personally find money and finance related things boring, but that kind of attitude isn’t going to help me in the long run. After your wedding, set aside a specific time to go over your finances together.
Who is responsible for managing the budget? Who is responsible for paying the bills? How often do you go over your finances together?
You both need to be on the same page before you go making decisions about money.Do you only have joint accounts, or should you have a joint account and your own personal accounts? everyone has an opinion on this, but the only right answer is going to be one that you and your husband agree upon.
As a girl who likes to shop, I sometimes find it hard to own up to how much I spend. Once again, this doesn’t help. It doesn’t mean you have to cut down in any particular area, just be honest about how much is spent or the debt you might have so you have an accurate picture of the money you have and where it goes.
Not every newly married couple is in this situation, but a lot are saving for a new car or a new home. Cutting back slightly on spending can have big long term positive effects. If you don’t know how much you spend, now is the time to track it. There are lots of free apps available that you can pop onto your phone and then just enter an amount and a category when you’re out and about and spending. The first place to start when creating a budget is assessing what you already spend.
Knowing how much you are going to have in the bank in one, two or five years is an important step. The budget spreadsheet (above) can help you with this. Of course no one can predict the future, so be conservative and assume everything stays the same (e.g. same job, same pay, same spending habits etc).
Lots of couples these days go into debt to have a nice wedding. If this is you, pay it off as quickly as you can. We all know that the dollar figure of the loan isn’t what you end up paying back. You pay back a lot more when you take interest into account.
Moving into a bigger home for example creates more costs (more electricity for example). And buying your own home not only means a mortgage to pay, but also maintenance that you have to pay for yourself. And if you’re planning on starting a family, there’s everything associated with having a baby (medical), living with a baby (food, clothing, furniture) and the drop in income or increase in childcare costs. These things should be factored into your long term budget.
Murphay’s Law always strikes and putting money away for a rainy day is the sensible thing to do. How much goes in your emergency fund is something you will both need to agree on (see point 2).