Tips for Merging Finances as Newlyweds

Newlyweds usually think of everything else but finances, and this is understandable. If you haven’t been together for ages, however, it is important to go over financial matters to avoid problems in the future.

Merging Your Finances as a Couple

Debt

Debt is the major cause of problems and stress when merging finances. Be honest about your financial situation, especially if you have multiple outstanding balances. Go over all accounts, including car loans, mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards, and so on. List all of your debts and look at interest rates, finance charges, terms, and other details. Then compare your household income with your monthly expenses, including basics, debt servicing, and others to assess your financial situation. If any of you has multiple, excessive debts, look at different options to improve your financial situation. There are different solutions, including debt settlement and consolidation and more.

Joint Accounts

It may be a bit difficult for newlyweds to merge their finances right away but it doesn’t hurt to open a joint account and use it for daily purchases. You may want to develop a monthly budget and then decide on the expenses to meet using the joint account. This can be child care, car maintenance, mortgage payments, gas, electricity, phone, internet, and other utilities, and so on. It is important to discuss whether you will contribute equally or based on your income level and other responsibilities.

Some expenses are fairly constant on a monthly basis – personal money, utilities, insurance coverage, energy, grocery shopping, car payments, and rent. The only exception is unplanned expenses and emergencies. Aim for a balanced budget that allows you to save toward long- and short-term goals. To this, all expenses and purchases, especially big-ticket items, should be planned ahead of time and as best as possible. Discuss your financial goals within a period of 6 months, 1 year, and 10 years, whether it is paying student loans, buying a new car, or saving toward your child’s college education. This way you will be on the same page when you need to make joint decisions and solve problems together.

An Emergency Fund

Emergencies do happen and it pays to have an emergency fund for a rainy day. You may want to open a savings account to meet urgent expenses such as medical bills, utilities, credit card payments, and others. Having an emergency fund can help in between jobs and in other difficult situations. This is especially important if you have small children.

Discussing Finances

Separate finances work just fine if you are still dating but looking down the road, it is best to discuss and merge your finances at least to some extent. Be transparent and learn to communicate on a regular basis. This can be weekly or monthly, depending on the issues to be discussed. If you find it difficult to work out your finances, then it pays to discuss your situation with a financial advisor to make sure you are on the right track.

Finding the Best Wedding Dress for Less

dress

If you plan a budget wedding, there are ways to cut down on major expenses and find a beautiful gown for your special day. The good news is that you can get a great wedding dress for less. From sample sales to trunk shops, retailers offer special discounts on formal wear, and you will find dazzling wedding gowns for up to 50 percent off.

Shopping for a Wedding Dress

Trunk shows are a good place to shop for designer dresses, and you can get a discount of about 10 percent. If you are lucky, they will mark down alteration changes for you. Another option is to buy a used version for less, and there are websites and networks where past brides post listings. Ask whether alterations have been done before you buy a gown. If you choose to hit sample sales, you will find that they offer sample sizes only. Check with traditional retailers as well and ask whether they are willing to sell you a sample size (if it fits). Some retailers are happy to sell and make room for new collections and inventory. The best part is that many retailers offer sample sizes for 20 – 50 percent off. Ask whether dry cleaning is included in the price. If not, dry cleaning is a major expense. Expect to pay between $180 and $350, especially if you choose to use the services of an experienced cleaner. And if you are on a tight budget, then you may want to buy a simple dress and add accessories such as sashes, brooches, and belts to make it look more expensive. Finally, you may want to check with a professional dress maker. This may come as a surprise, but you are likely to pay less than the cost of a designer wedding dress.

dressFunding Your Wedding: Financial Tips

If you have money in your savings account, this is the perfect timing to go wild and shop around. Don’t fret even if you are running low on money. There is plenty of financial advice here. One way to finance your wedding and find a great dress is to buy on credit. If you have a low-rate credit card, you can use it to buy a dress for your special day. And if you don’t have a credit card yet, this is a good time to get one and put it to good use. Major banks offer specialty cards with affordable rates and low fees to customers with good and stellar credit. Another option is to apply for an unsecured consumer loan to cover your wedding expenses. The cheapest option is to get a secured loan but banks usually require collateral, and you risk losing a valuable asset in case of default.

Borrowing Solutions and Financial Advice for Newlyweds

wedding

Throwing a memorable wedding can cost tons of money, from marriage license and meals to accessories, beauty treatments, welcome bags, transportation for guests, and a lot more. Many couples look for ways to finance their wedding, and this can be a challenge if you are already indebted or working a minimum wage job. Borrowing for […]

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