Getting Married? Prepare Your Home for Dual Incomes
Planning a wedding has definitely taught me one thing: getting married can be stressful enough simply trying to survive the big day. But then, wait… you will be MARRIED. That’s a whole new set of stressors. Wait, there’s more that comes after that even? I have to change my name? Get a new license? Decide when to have kids? Share my money with someone else?!
Decisions on finances can be a huge point of contention in any marriage, whether it’s brand new or you’ve spent 30 years together. What’s important is to talk with your soon-to-be spouse about money and what will change, and those are conversations you will do best to have early on.
- Take a marriage prep course. I’ll be honest to say at first I thought this was a silly idea, but it’s incredible the things you learn about each other that you did not know. A lot of the topics center around money, effective money communication and saving, and when it’s lead by someone you trust and respect it’s even more powerful. We are taking ours through our church, look online and see if you feel like it’s right for you!
- Talk about money preferences. It’s important to understand where the other person is coming from so that you can be sure you are meeting in the middle and being fair to each other. For example, each pay day I prefer to put a certain amount right into savings and take out a certain amount of money in cash. That cash is my spending money for the things I set it aside for, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Scott on the other hand prefers to do everything with his debit card and stays close to his bank account and balances that in his checkbook and online. It’s important that as long as we agree on what we want to set aside as a couple for our family and future, we do not impede on what works best for the other person.
- Make a plan, and stick to the plan. Have something special you want to save for? Passionate about paying off your student loans before you start a family? Make a list of your top goals for the future and you’ll be amazed at how much of a role money plays in those goals. When you are both saving to achieve the same things, you can start to eliminate added tensions around money.
- Admit your areas for improvement. Scott and I are admittedly obsessed with HGTV. We watch all our favorite home improvement shows and have things that we want to do to our home, so those are the exciting goals we share and save for. On the flip side, we each have a “weak spot” that we spend on and know where we need to improve. Being open and honest about it helps us hold each other accountable in a positive way, and allows us to work towards the goals we set together.
- Meet with a tax professional if you have questions. Not sure how your dual income status will affect your tax filing or more importantly, your tax return? (Am I right?!) Meet with a licensed tax professional and ask your questions so you know what to expect prior to tax season. If you’re anything like me, there is nothing more terrifying than the unknown around money, so do what’s best for you as you start this exciting next chapter in your life!
Written by Stacy Dannenberg
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).
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