Wedding Tips

6 Financial Tips Every Newlywed Couple Needs

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Congratulations on your marriage! Now, let’s get down to business — maybe after the honeymoon.

No matter how extravagant or modest your wedding, you and your new spouse likely face your fair share of financial woes — or, at the very least, concerns. Having your whole life ahead of you has a way of concentrating the mind, after all. But where do you start?

First off, find yourself an impartial purveyor of sensible financial advice — perhaps a licensed financial advisor or trusted family associated. Then, follow these six simple tips that every newlywed couple needs to know.

  1. Open a Tax-Advantaged Retirement Account, Yesterday

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the tremendous tax benefits of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), do so at your earliest convenience. As one of the most sensible and cost-effective retirement investing solutions available to working Canadians, an RRSP can dramatically reduce the long-term financial strain on your household without negatively affecting your lifestyle in the here and now.

  1. Speak Frankly and Openly About Money

Ah, the old “money talk.” No one wants to have it. Most don’t even know how to start it. But it’s absolutely essential to have — and not just once. Ongoing financial conversations are crucial to a healthy, happy marriage, as differing opinions about money (not to mention priorities for spending or saving it) can be downright corrosive. Read up on how to talk to your spouse about money, and then dive in.

  1. Set Up an Emergency Savings Fund

How much have you saved? For most households, the rule of thumb is three to six months at full income. If you and your spouse pull down $10,000 per month together, that’s up to $60,000 you’ll need in the bank. That doesn’t include retirement savings, home equity, or goal-oriented funds — just liquid cash that you can access at a moment’s notice should misfortune strike.

  1. Budget for Childcare Expenses

If you’re planning a family, you need to begin thinking about child care expenses before your first baby is born. This is especially important for dual-earner households in which both spouses have promising careers. You shouldn’t have to give up your shot at the corner office because you want to start a family — so make sure you don’t have to stop working or cut back your hours to take care of the kids.

  1. Squirrel Away Funds for Your Future Home (And Home Improvement)

Growing families need more space. Your one-bedroom apartment might be perfectly serviceable (and affordable!) for the time being, but that’s not likely to last once you have a couple of rugrats running around. If you know you’ll need a larger house, begin planning and saving for it at least three years in advance. When it comes time to make that down payment, you’ll be able to do so without batting an eye.

  1. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Being an adult isn’t all depressing. Every month, set some money aside for life’s little pleasures: romantic dinners, movie nights, outings into the city, you name it. Save up for bigger-ticket diversions too, like weekend getaways or (if you can spare the time) weeklong vacations. Enjoy your youth — responsibly, of course!

How are you and your new spouse stretching your post-nuptial dollars further?

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