“It's no secret that people can become blinded by love, but if you stick to a plan, your financial situation doesn't have to be impaired,” said Katherine Jaeger, Americana Community Bank Senior Retail Banking Officer.
An important component of any romantic relationship is a solid financial footing. Americana Community Bank suggests couples use the following tips to achieve financial intimacy:
1. Be mine, or yours? Will you and your spouse-to-be keep finances separated or combine them? Consider individual money styles, will you have one joint savings account and/or separate accounts that you can use how you’d like. Making these financial decisions together will help you find a system that works for you.
2. Love’s Cost. Couples that tackle money problems together, and take mutual responsibility for solving them, will inevitably find that their overall relationships are better for it, so calculate your monthly costs and discuss how bills will be paid. Both may contribute to the bill payment, but who will physically write the check to pay the bills, monitor the investments and take care of the taxes? Consider setting a date every month to review and discuss finances.
3. Sharing Credit. It’s important that spouses are aware of the other’s credit situation. Marrying a person with bad credit will not drag down your stellar record. However, your other half’s credit will be factored in when applying for joint financing. Knowing ahead of time will help you to plan more strategically.
4. Cupid's Arrow. Couples should develop a plan to shoot down existing debt, starting with the balances that carry the highest interest rates. Whether or not the pair works as a team or alone, debt must be tackled. Think twice before every purchase and ask yourself if it’s worth not putting that money in your savings. You’ll be able to eliminate frivolous spending this way, while keeping your priorities top of mind.
5. Sweet Savings. Saving as a couple fosters teamwork and is essential in times of financial hardship. Decide how much you want to save as a couple and do it automatically from your paychecks. It’s important to be realistic when budgeting your monthly savings goal. Try using your Americana Community Bank online banking website or other free online tools that segment your spending into different categories.