Skip to main content
Routing # 307075259

The Newlywed’s Guide to Managing Money

Congrats on tying the knot! While planning the wedding may be over, planning your financial future is just getting started. Without a plan, money can sometimes be a source of conflict in a marriage. With the help of Credit Union of Denver’s financial guide, you can begin the important conversation of money matters with your spouse and build a strong and secure financial foundation together.

Discuss Money Motivations

Open communication helps couples compromise and avoid disputes over time. Be transparent about habits with your spouse and explore the root of your money-management philosophies.

Some good questions to get the ball rolling:

  • How was money handled in your household, growing up?
  • Are you a spender or a saver? How much do you save each month?
  • How did you manage or budget money up until now? An app, spreadsheet, or other?
  • What’s your credit score, and how important is it to you?
  • Do you pay off your credit card balance every month, or only the minimum amount?

List Assets and Liabilitiescouple sits in back of SUV with large dog

Both partners probably already have some assets they’re bringing into the marriage (cars, houses, savings accounts, and investment accounts) and potentially some debt (student loans, mortgages, or credit card bills). Both spouses should know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. 

How to Manage Your Finances Together

1.  Separate Accounts

Keeping separate accounts may be a comfortable starting point for many couples but you need to decide who will be responsible for paying what. Some couples decide to split expenses down the middle, while others pay proportionately according to what they earn. A shared spreadsheet may be the easiest way to track expenditures.

Pros: You are each responsible for your own spending habits and paying off any debts you brought into the marriage. May decrease arguments over spouse’s spending habits.

Cons: It can be more difficult if children enter into the mix. If you are both saving for retirement or goals based on your own incomes, you may not be optimizing your investments.

2. A Joint Account

couple pays bills together on laptopTraditionally newlywed couples have pooled their money together in joint accounts. This can include a checking to pay for expenditures and debt, as well as a savings for future goals. Any money matters are handled jointly with combined incomes. This can simplify how money is managed since you won’t have to determine who pays what and all children’s costs are covered together.

Pros: Easier to track budgeting and spending, plus there is no monthly division of resources, and no financial changes are needed as the family grows.

Cons: Judging your partner’s spending habits can lead to resentment, especially if one partner earns more than the other.

3. Both Separate and Joint Accounts

This method pools both incomes into a joint account(s) and all household expenses, savings, debt, and retirement are managed jointly. However in addition, each partner has a private checking account into which a set amount is transferred each month. This “personal fund” can be spent on the individual’s wants or needs that aren’t a joint expense. The amount that goes into the personal accounts each month needs to be discussed and agreed upon to avoid conflict.

Pros: Ease of paying and tracking expenses, and don’t have to highlight income disparities. Freedom to buy what you want without having to discuss it, while working together toward joint goals and retirement.

Cons: This method requires managing multiple accounts. Having a set amount deposited into a personal account each month could feel like an allowance.

Set Financial Goals

Outlining and prioritizing joint financial goals provides a framework for spending and saving. These could include things such as:couple celebrates buying a house together

  • Home purchase or renovation
  • Children and childcare
  • Advanced education
  • Retirement and emergency savings
  • Large purchase or vacation

Create a Monthly Budget

Determine the type of monthly budget you'll use and agree on spending limits. Decide who handles which financial management responsibilities and bill payments. Track expenses and measure budget’s success. As your marriage continues, your budget and goals will inevitably change, and it’s important to reflect and adapt your finances to these changes. This will also help prevent any potential misunderstandings and surprises.

Keep in mind that communication is the cornerstone of a successful financial partnership in marriage. There is no right way to manage your money as a new couple, but with trust, understanding, and a bit of planning, you and your spouse can enjoy a financially strong marriage.

Whatever money management style you choose, Credit Union of Denver has checking and savings accounts to fit your joint and individual needs. Compare our Interest and Cashback Rewards Checking to get started and begin earning while paying your expenses. Check out our savings options to begin saving for your financial goals.


Sources & enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

View All Blog Posts