As newlyweds, getting your new combined financial life in order may not seem like the most romantic thing. However, it plays a major role in securing your financial future. By making specific decisions now and creating a plan to hit the related targets, you set yourself up for long-term success. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s some financial advice for newlyweds that can help you secure your future.
Treat Saving Like a Bill
Having money set aside for emergencies or various goals is a critical part of the success equation. However, it’s easy to treat saving for the future like it’s optional, which can hinder your progress. Fortunately, by seeing those deposits into your savings account as a bill, you can adjust your mindset and encourage yourself to set that cash aside.
When you treat saving like a bill, you’re more likely to move the designated amount to a savings account as soon as it hits your checking account. As a result, it’s harder to view it as potential spending money since it doesn’t remain immediately accessible for long. In turn, that cash is less likely to end up out the door, allowing you to create a nice cushion or reach various financial goals.
Think About Retirement Now
Whether retirement is several decades away or is definitively on the horizon, doing everything you can to prepare for it now works in your favor. The sooner you start, the more money you’ll have set aside. Plus, by beginning today, you’re giving your retirement account as much time as possible to grow.
Precisely how you approach saving for retirement may vary depending on your current financial situation and your goals as a couple. However, remember, every little bit helps. Just make sure to diversify and select investments that align with your risk tolerance, as those give you the best odds of success while ensuring you remain comfortable with your choices.
Tackle Your Debt
When you get married, it’s common for both spouses to bring some debt into the mix. While those obligations may be associated with wise or unwise choices, what matters now is working to pay them off. That’s particularly true of high-interest debt, as it ends up costing a lot in the long run. However, every account represents a financial obligation, so it’s worth targeting them all.
Every bill you have puts a varying amount of strain on your budget. By eliminating debts, you have more wiggle room, making it easier to save and live comfortably. Plus, you reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the debt, letting you keep more cash in your pocket or giving you additional money to direct toward other goals.
Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
In many cases, getting married creates an opportunity for lifestyle inflation. For example, you may be paring down from two separately run households to one. When that happens, you’re eliminating a rent or mortgage payment, getting rid of duplicate utility bills, and reducing some other costs you may both have had separately but can now split. That leaves you each with additional money, and you may be tempted to use that cash to elevate your lifestyle.
However, by avoiding lifestyle inflation, you’re ensuring you have the money available to hit savings goals and set aside for retirement. As a result, keeping the way you live closely aligned with what you were doing previously is potentially wise.
While correcting genuine discomforts caused by low incomes – such as food insecurity – is, of course, reasonable, be cautious of splurges and other unnecessary spending. By controlling what you do now, it’s far easier to set yourself up for a comfortable future, ensuring you don’t get stuck in a long-term cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck and not being able to achieve your goals.
Invest in Yourselves
In most cases, investing in yourselves reaps dividends. The skills and knowledge you’ll need to make progress in your career aren’t always acquirable on the job. As a result, you may need to dedicate some money to seizing learning opportunities that can spur professional growth. By doing so, you can keep your skillset up to date (or ahead of the curve), making it easier to advance in your career. Since career advancement commonly comes with higher pay, those educational investments typically pay off, leading to higher earnings and an easier time securing your financial future.
When you choose to invest in yourself, make sure you’re using a data-driven approach. Spend time researching which capabilities provide the most value today and will provide value tomorrow, allowing you to choose the right targets when selecting educational opportunities. Also, ensure you know how you’ll leverage the new skills to grow your career, ensuring you have a plan that lets you make the most of the investment.
Diversify Your Income
When most people think about diversification, they focus on their retirement accounts or other investments. While that’s wise, diversifying your income is a similarly intelligent move. Demand for specific skillsets, products, and services changes over time. As a result, a once viable career may not perform as well as time passes. By having another income source on the side, you’re creating financial security by not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
If possible, explore passive income sources as your secondary options. For example, investing in real estate that can become a rental property can generate more income long-term and doesn’t require much day-to-day effort, particularly if you use a property management company while you’re focused on your other career. However, active options can also work well if you have the time, energy, and resources available, so figure out what is best for you and your spouse and work together to grow that new income stream.
Do you have any other financial advice for newlyweds that you want to share with other couples? Have you used any of the tips above and want to tell others about your results? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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