This financial to-do list for newlyweds is sponsored by Ameritas, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.
Now that you are married, one of the biggest changes in your life will be your finances. This is probably why money is one of the most common reasons that couples get divorced. It is very important that you make sure to start off on the right foot with your newlywed finances so that you can avoid possible disagreements in the future. Here is a financial to-do list that will help you and your spouse navigate some of the tough financial decisions you now need to make as a couple.
◻︎Set financial goals.
Sit down with your spouse and list everything you want in life. Okay, that may be a bit broad, but make a list of the things you would like to afford as a couple. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Purchase a home in 5 years.
- Accumulate an emergency fund.
- Travel every other year.
- Purchase a new car every 8 years.
- Retire at age 60.
- Have assisted care or live in a nursing home in the later stage of life.
Try to be as specific as possible with the timing and even estimate the cost. Once you have done this, you may realize that you aren’t sure you will be able to do all of these things. That is how Dan and I felt when we made our list. That is why we decided to get a financial professional to help us out.
Ameritas is a great place to start your newlywed financial journey. An Ameritas professional will be able to take your list and help you figure out what you will need to do to be able to afford each item.
◻︎Start an emergency fund.
Deciding how much you need to save in an emergency fund can be difficult. We did some research and found that some people say to save 3-6 months of your current pay and others recommend that you save as much as 1 year of your salary. Determining the amount that is appropriate for you and your spouse is a personal decision. I suggest reading up and discussing with your financial professional to determine the amount that will give both you and your spouse peace of mind.
The easiest way to build your emergency fund is to determine how much you want to save each month and have it directly deposited into a savings account. If it is automatically taken from your paycheck, you won’t be tempted to spend it or forget to transfer it on your own.
◻︎Create a budget.
Now that you have an idea of your future financial needs, you will need to create a budget. As newlyweds, you have to deal with another person’s spending habits. If your spouse has debt, loves to go on shopping sprees, or is a tightwad, this can be a difficult adjustment to make. That is why a budget is so important in a marriage. It can be weekly or monthly, you just both have to agree on the budget and stick to it.
To get started, you will need to list all sources of income and gather all of your monthly expenses. Here is more information about getting started on a budget.
◻︎Update/create a will.
With another person depending on you, you will want to make sure that they would be taken care of when you are gone. Nobody likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but creating a will together now will make it so you don’t have to worry in the future.
You can find basic will templates online or at an office supply store. If you have children or numerous investments and properties, you should definitely sit down with a lawyer to make sure that you have covered everything necessary.
◻︎Review insurance needs.
Now that you have thought about a will, you will need to think about life insurance. Again, you want to make sure that your spouse will be okay financially when you are gone. Don’t forget to take a look at your health, car, and disability income insurances as well. Read more about our experience with disability income insurance and see why you should consider getting it for yourself.
Ameritas can help you with your insurance needs as well. It is nice that you can have both your insurance and financial issues dealt with using one company. So much easier!
When dealing with your will and life insurance, you will want to make sure that they are updated to reflect the fact that you are married. Contact the companies to not only have your spouse included but to update the beneficiaries. It could be your spouse or other people that you have agreed on as a couple.
◻︎Set a schedule for future financial discussions.
Decide how often you think you should sit down and review your finances together. At first, this may be once a month or even once a week until you get used to dealing with money as a couple. Set a firm date and time for each meeting and put it on your calendar. Although financial discussions aren’t always the most fun, having them on a regular basis will help you stay on the same page and ward off any misunderstandings that could lead to disagreements.Start off on the right foot with your newlywed finances. Use this to-do list!Click To Tweet
- Ameritas website
- Find a Financial Professional
- More About Ameritas
- Creating a Budget
- 8 Tips for Starting an Emergency Fund
- Why I Wish We Had Thought About Disability Income Insurance Sooner
Have you and your spouse dealt with all of these financial issues? How did it go? Do you have anything to add to the financial to-do list for newlyweds? Let me know in the comments below.