Weddings and honeymoons are always filled with excitement and happiness. However, after the excitement of being newlyweds, things slowly return to normal. Along with getting back to work and facing the challenge of a new relationship, credit management is now a shared responsibility. Both of you are responsible for each other’s debt management. Financial issues can easily put stress on any relationship, but with some good strategies, you can effectively manage your credit as husband and wife, so credit doesn’t become a source of discord.
Be Honest about Your Debt
If there are any skeletons in your credit closet, it’s best to be upfront with your spouse. Better yet, it’s ideal to discuss your credit even before you get married. Poor credit not only hurts you, it hurts your partner. Having a credit check done together is a good way to get started with a relationship based on honesty. Attempting to keep debts and secret bank accounts hidden from a spouse will eventually surface and cause dissent in a relationship.
Maintain Financial Individually
Marriage is a partnership, but it doesn’t mean giving up your individuality. While you may have joint accounts with your spouse, it’s wise to keep an account of your own. Having a separate account will give you a sense of control and freedom. It can also be a lifesaver in the event of a financial emergency.
Create a Doable Budget
Make sure to sit down together to establish a budget that you and your spouse can work within. Once you make a budget, stick with it. Being mindful of your financial expenses will help you better save and pay your bills on time. Reviewing your budget together on a regular basis will not only bring you closer together but keep you on the right financial track.
Don’t Rush into Big-Ticket Purchases
While preparing for your future growing family, it’s easy to get swept away with big-ticket items, like the purchase of a new home, automobile or other items. If you’re not financially ready for these purchases, it’s best to put off any grand plans. With proper financial planning, you’ll be able to purchase these items without adding stress to your new relationship.
Credit Counseling Services
If you and your spouse are having difficulty saving for those big-ticket items or paying the bills on time, a debt management program from a company like CreditGuard of America can assist you, along with credit counseling services. There are many non-profit credit counseling services that charge low fees and can provide you with the assistance of a certified financial adviser. Your financial adviser will review your current income, outstanding debts and future goals to help you customize an effective financial plan. If needed, a financial adviser can also help you enroll in a debt consolidation plan if you’re struggling to make ends meet.