Having spent your pre-marriage days in an individual mindset, you may find yourself neglecting some key practices when you and your spouse consolidate into one financial entity. Here are the five biggest budget mistakes commonly made by newlyweds as they begin doubling down on their shared financial future:
1. Planning for the short- or long-term, but not both
Planning your wedding is a short-term objective, whereas arranging the details of your family estate is more of a long-term project. Both ends of the timeline are important, but it's better to start planning for your future now. Too many couples make the mistake of having a single, short-term financial strategy, or setting unattainable goals and then struggling month-to-month.
Discuss everything, from your immediate budget and expenses to your retirement strategy. Be proactive and organize your current finances, while setting a foundation for your future. If you want some help understanding how to make today’s money set the course for tomorrow, speak to a financial professional about setting the right goals and starting to work toward them.
2. Not budgeting with your spouse
Embrace your new life as a two-person unit as soon as you're married, if not before. If you've been comfortable controlling your finances as an individual, you need to shift gears and start thinking of you and your spouse as financial partners.
Consider opening a shared bank account exclusively for your combined daily spending to help meet your budgeting goals. Communicate openly to see if there are areas where one of you can manage a responsibility for both. This approach will save time, improve your budgeting, and help maximize your earnings. Your goal is to work together to save more—and spend together to pay less.