Five common budgeting mistakes made by newlywed couples

You’ve planned the perfect wedding, but it doesn't end after your wedding day. Avoid these mistakes when budgeting and planning your finances to have a stronger start as a newly married couple. 

A newly married couple embracing each other.

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.

A young couple looking over paperwork at the kitchen table.

3. Contrasting opinions on investing

You may think it's a great idea to finance a second car, while your spouse may think that real estate is a better purchase. Try to meet in the middle and agree on investments that will benefit your future together. Look beyond physical purchases to investments (like mutual funds) and financial products that may offer long-term growth and value.

Before deciding on a financial strategy, discuss the possible cost, fees, opportunities, and risks. No matter how things play out in the long-term, it's crucial to stand together and make sure you have an investment strategy that makes sense to both of you.

4. Purchasing before getting multiple quotes

Your new life as a married couple requires new joint assets. Whether you're deciding on homeowner's insurance, working with a real estate agent to find an apartment, or signing a contract for a new cable package, you should always shop around and find the best offer that fits your needs.

You and your spouse may have far different credit scores, so look at the numbers and work together to pay down debt in order to move your joint finances forward.

5. Paying for services separately when you could be paying together

Now that you're a financial duo, working together to consolidate your combined overhead could give you a great opportunity to save money. You only need one Netflix account for both of you, and it's often cheaper to switch to a family phone plan with a shared provider. Make a list with your spouse of all your combined monthly costs and see where you can cut some excess spending.

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