Money can either bring couples together or tear them apart. It has often been cited as the No. 1 reason for divorce. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here are a few tips for newlyweds to launch a healthy financial future:
- Get a financial snapshot - Talk to each other about your past financial history. Show your partner your pay stubs and financial accounts. Pull each of your credit scores. It's important to know about each person's past so you know what you will be dealing with as a couple.
- One, two or three accounts - Deciding whether to combine all of your accounts into one or each maintaining your own personal finances is a big decision. Many financial experts advocate for the three-account system. Each partner maintains their own savings and checking account and they both contribute to a joint third account. There is no right or wrong way to handle this, the important thing is to talk about it and make a decision as a couple.
- Create a budget and talk about it regularly - Understanding how your money is spent and talking about it frequently is the first great step to building a financially sound life together.
- Have an emergency fund - Whether it's three or six months' worth of daily living expenses, start saving as soon as possible. Make sure the funds are in a liquid account (like a savings account, not a 401(k) account) so you can access them in case of an emergency.
- Share your goals - Do you want to buy a house? Retire early? Have a large family? Sharing financial goals and deciding on how to achieve them can bring you together more as a couple.
Remember, communication is the key to a healthy marriage. Talking about your finances early on in your relationship will save you from heartbreaking discussions later. For more financial tips for newlyweds, visit The Real Deal.