How finances will work is often the last thing on the mind of newly-weds, so surrounded by the blush of early love. However, making sure that you have a sound sense of your personal finances can ensure that the joy you first feel about tying the knot isn’t blighted by the financial decisions to make, or more importantly fail to make.
Money can be embarrassing, even for those you are supposedly closest to. Now is the time, I would suggest, to come clean. If you have a continually full credit card, a thing for store card, or you can’t resist that pair of shoes, or newest gadget in the shop, if your partner wasn’t aware of it before it is now time to talk to about how to deal with expendable income.
Strange isn’t it? To start with expendable income? Frankly though, this the part that you have the most control over. Your mortgage or rent, your bills are largely outside your control. Yes, you can shop around and find good deals on mortgages, car insurance and all sorts of other necessities. However, unless you both know and understand your spending habits and any foibles either of you might have then your newly wed bliss may be short lived.
Up until you have children, any differences of opinion about buying that new flat-screen, super duper 90 inch TV, or that must have Gucci hand-bag can be swept up in your own personal bank accounts and your right to spend what you want. As soon as belts have to be tightened for any reason, but a new house, lost job or a new family all qualify then you both have to be a lot more honest and responsible about what you spend and how.
This is not to say that you should deny yourself all treats. What I am advocating is talking about it. The chances are that you may have different priorities when it comes to expendable income, but as long as both are indulged within a budget then no-one feels taken advantage of or put upon, and you can turn these things to your advantage, but treating each other to those little things that you know the other really values.
This is equally true of a couple who have known each other for years, as ones who are newer in acquaintance. Take for example a couple who have known each other from college and marry soon after. They have probably lived the life of students together, surviving on little, having few outgoings and spending almost everything on themselves and their social life.
As time moves on, both of them need to see where things are changing and one cannot remain a student and have the same spending priorities as previously otherwise resentments and troubles will arise. The key then I think is transparency, admit your weaknesses and discuss them with your partner openly and decide how you continue to express your personality through your spending without breaking the budget and find that happy medium.