John Fawaz, a certified Financial Planner, shared these steps to making sure your marriage is off to a great financial start.
Know each other financial situation. Money is by far the biggest cause of problems in marriages and one of top causes of divorces. Step one then is to list all your debts and come up with a strategy to address them. You want to focus on paying off bad debt like credit cards and high interest loans. Addressing student loans is very important as well.
Start saving early: It is never too early to start saving. Goal in mind should be to save 10%-15% of joint income. Make sure you are taking advantage of employer match and if you can’t quite save 10% of pay start by saving half of pay raises. Time and compound interest is your best friend.
Building an emergency fund: You should set aside 6 month of living expenses in a money market account. Once you have that then start working on saving for a down payment for a home when you are ready to buy one. Ideally 20% of home purchase but first time homeowners you would only need 5%.
Insurance planning in order, disability insurance is very important. You income will pay for everything you will have in the future, retirement, college planning, home. Term Life insurance is a good idea and very inexpensive.