According to a survey conducted by The American Institute of CPAs, financial matters are among one of the largest issues creating conflict among young American couples. Financial values need to be addressed between young couples, before and after they say their vows. So, when discussing a dream vacation and envisioning the perfect home, why not include a life of financial harmony to the plan?
“Good financial habits can take root early on in a relationship and become a part of everyday life,” said Kevin Sellers, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank in Arizona. “Financial choices need to be a team effort. Monetary decisions affect current and long-term goals, so it’s important that young couples begin their financial journey in the right direction.”
First Fidelity Bank is offering financial first steps for new Arizona couples as they begin their walk of life together.
Consider establishing a joint checking account. Merging two bank accounts into one can be a savvy decision for married couples. Having a joint bank account allows for transparency and equal access to the account. Joint checking provides a simplistic way to handle shared funds.
Make a budget. Often times there is a more natural “spender” and a “saver” in a relationship. Before these roles are determined in your own relationship, create and follow a spending plan. Tools, like FFB’s Home Budget Analysis help you set realistic budgets for common home maintenance needs and assess where your money is being spent.
Save and invest. Saving is a crucial piece of the financial puzzle for couples. Together, prioritize your future goals or establish a “wish-list” and keep a separate savings account to achieve these goals. Investing as a new couple now can pay off in the future. Low-risk savings vehicles like mutual funds and IRAs offer great ways to get started on long-term investing and help to build a habit of putting away money for the future.
Pay off debt and loans quickly. Working toward a new home or automobile are common priorities for young couples. But, before signing on the dotted line, make sure to investigate which loan and mortgage options work best for you both. In the current economic climate and with student loan debts increasing, it is common for young people commonly enter a relationship with debt. However, this does not mean a new couple must stay in debt or refrain from enjoying leisure activities. New couples should work on paying off debt together, focusing primarily on payments with the highest interest rates to start.
Talk about finances. New couples should be open and honest when discussing their finances. Just like other values and opinions, thoughts and concerns about finance are an important factor to communicate with your partner.