6. Track Your Budget
It’s not enough to just make a budget. You need to make sure you stay within your spending allotment and adjust accordingly as your situation, expenses, or income changes. One very effective way to stick to your budget is to use the envelope budgeting system. This is perfect for young couples who typically have lower incomes and must be careful not to overspend.
Another approach is to design a spreadsheet that tracks all your spending and totals it up at the end of the month. You can also make use of certain debit and credit card tools that will breakdown your expenses per category. Just make sure you’re paying off your credit card charges each month. Try out a few different methods and do whatever works best for you and your spouse.
7. Have Weekly Money Meetings
One thing that has really helped me and my husband stay on track is our weekly money meetings. During meetings, we discuss how our budget looks for the month, if we have any upcoming bills to pay, how we are doing with our financial goals, and anything else that is related to money. These meetings are great because they strengthen the communication in our marriage as well as our level of trust. We always know where we stand financially and that we’re both doing our best to keep that on solid ground. Setting aside time to talk also helps us to stop worrying about money because we know that money matters will be dealt with.
8. Save for Retirement
Whether you’re married or not, you need to make sure you are set financially for the long haul. This means you need to save for retirement now. If you work for a company that offers a 401k plan, put in the maximum amount allowed to take advantage of any company matching, or at least contribute as much as you can afford. If you have a Roth IRA, put in the maximum amount every year if at all possible.
But even if you can’t max out these accounts, even putting $50 in a month will help you over the long term. Because of compounding interest, time is just as important as money when it comes to growing your retirement fund, so don’t delay.
9. Get Out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt
Debt can be damaging to any one person, but it is a double threat when you’re married because two people are responsible for paying the money back. Start your marriage out right by eradicating debt and not racking it up again. Work out a plan with your spouse on how to get out and stay out of debt. I suggest reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Living a debt-free life is not only healthy for you financially, but it is also healthy for your marriage.
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