Just married: How to merge your finances
After you’ve tied the knot, managing your joint finances should be your number one priority to ensure a long, happy marriage and ongoing financial security.
With money being one of the biggest sources of conflict within marriages, it’s in your best interests to ensure you are on the same page and working together as a team when it comes to your finances. Here are some ways to ensure you and your significant other excel at managing your finances and avoid fighting over who didn’t pay that bill on time.
Become recordkeeping pros
Keeping a record of your financial affairs makes life much easier. By storing all your bills in a safe place online with the Digital Mailbox, you’ll be able to access your records easily come tax time or if you’re moving house or dealing with a discrepancy. The days of keeping all your paper bills in a shoebox or pinned to the fridge are over. This haphazard method of record storage usually results in bills being lost or accidently thrown out. With the Digital Mailbox, all your bills are kept in a safe place for easy retrieval.
Top tip: Most utilities offer the option of receiving digital bills if you’ll find that easier to keep track of.
Build a budget (and stick to it)
Many couples argue about money and setting a budget is one of the best ways to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your spending. After all, how can you manage your finances if you’re aren’t even sure where your money is going? Whether you seek advice from a budget expert or use an online budget planner, it’s wise to set boundaries and manage expectations around spending.
Top tip: Be sure to include fun in your budget. Whether it’s regular meals out or weekends away, make sure you plan to enjoy some of your hard earned money.
Make bill paying a priority
Late payment of bills can result in extra charges being added to your bill or can even end up impacting on your credit rating, so be sure to pay your bills on time, every time. Allocating one person to take responsibility for bill payments ensures that there are no communications breakdowns and ‘I thought you were paying that one’ heated conversations. If you want to share the load, then choose one person to pay utilities like gas and electricity and the other to pay mobile phone and internet bills.
Top tip: Can’t find a bank to pay your bills? Many bills can be paid at Post Offices too.
Master your mortgage
A house purchase is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, yet many couples end up with the wrong mortgage. Finding a mortgage that is right for you can result in thousands of dollars of savings each year. Be sure to do your homework and review your mortgage on a regular basis to maximise your savings.
Top tip: Find a recommended mortgage broker to help you navigate through your choices if you’re time poor or not confident to go it alone.
Overseas travel is often cause of financial stress if you’re not careful with your budget. One good way to stay on budget while you’re overseas is to pick up a Load&Go Travel card before you leave. Simply load it with the amount of money you intend to spend overseas and stick to that amount. It’s a good way to ensure you don’t have budget blowouts while shopping overseas as you’ll need to curb your spending to stick to your agreed budget.
Top tip: Don’t leave home without travel insurance. Being stranded overseas with no insurance protection is a relationship testing moment you can do without!
Life can be unpredictable and being adequately insured means you will have a safety net in case things go wrong. Income protection insurance, home and contents insurance, car insurance and health insurance are all good ideas.
Top tip: As a couple, you may be able to save money by sharing an insurance policy, so plan to review your individual policies to see if cost savings could be made by sharing a policy.