So you’ve managed to find the One, get hitched and execute a wedding. Hats off to you.
Chances are you’ve spent a fair chunk of savings on your big day, or maybe you’re in the negative and have some debt hanging over your head.
Either way, it’s time to bin the bridal magazines, get out of that post-wedding depression and focus on the future. Your new financial future for two, that is.
Talk to the One about money
You’ve just committed your life to someone else. It makes sense to plan your finances together, for both the short and long term. After all, do you really want to end up living with your Mum, Dad and new partner?
After the tan from the honeymoon has faded, sit down and have a chat about how you’re going to handle money… together.
Are you focusing on saving for a house deposit? An investment property? Paying off debt? Buying a new car? Putting more into super? Whatever it is, it’s crucial you’re both on the same page.
Once you are (like all good things this might take a bit of compromise), make a budget that will help you achieve those goals, and encourage each other to stick to it. Keep these conservations going, even just for 15 minutes once a month.
Be honest with each other
Your wedding vows may not have mentioned ‘be honest about your money with each other’, but it’s implicit.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to make sure everything is on the table and disclose any secret debts, money lies or hidden stash of millions.
Financial infidelity is a real thing, so don’t be uncomfortable when it comes to talking or asking about money with your partner.
And this is why both partners need to be involved in finances and budgeting. This doesn’t mean all (or any) accounts need to be joint – everyone needs a bit guilt-free indulgent spending now and then – it’s being open and honest with each other.
Save for later
With women living longer and generally retiring with less super, it’s important to think about a long term plan for both partners.
Review each of your superannuation accounts and think about how to maximise your retirement benefits. Whether that’s through consolidating multiple accounts, reducing the fees you pay, or benefiting from salary sacrificing or government co-contributions for low income earners.
If in doubt, make an appointment to see a financial adviser together, and start your financial journey with a plan.