6 Money Decisions to Make After You Get Married

Published by Everyone's Talkin' Money podcast
[] Read more

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(11112) )}

There are a million in one decision to make once you decide to get married. And with wedding season upon us, it's a great time to start thinking about money decisions to make once you tie the knot. Welcome to everyone's. Talkin money. Podcast. I'm your host. Shauna games. There's no judgment, no dumb questions, just smart conversations about you and your money. So come on in and grab a seat. Everyone is welcome here. Hey, guys. I want to tell you about Cachava, my daily super blend. If you're like me trying to stay on top of your health and get all your nutrients, then listen up, because cachava has you covered. Cachava puts everything your body needs in one glass. All the superfoods, all the proteins, all the greens, all the vitamins, all the omegas, all the benefits for your brain, your gut, your skin, your muscles, your heart, your whole health. No more compromise, no more guilt. No other nutrition shake does all of this. They travel to the end of the year to source all the most powerful superfoods and then crush them up. It's so simple. It's just two scoops of powder. Add water, blend it up, and enjoy. I was surprised how seriously delicious it actually tastes. I drink cachava for breakfast every single day, and I feel so energized throughout the day. It is seriously the creamiest. Yummiest and just tastiest. Way to get my mornings going. You've got to go try ketchava for yourself. Kachava is offering 10% off for a limited time. Go to kachava.com MyMoney. That is spelled kachava and get 10% off your first order. That's Kachava k a chava.com my. Welcome back to the show, ETM. Listeners. It is so good to have you here. It feels like no matter how many episodes I do with couples and relationships and money, you always want more. So this episode was actually inspired by a listener who wanted to know more about some of the money decisions that you should make after you get married. And it's really true that when you get married, you want to start your shared life together on the right financial foot. It's hard to do sometimes because the excitement about the wedding and the honeymoon and the presents and all of the things to come kind of can I don't know, they make it a little bit difficult, even more difficult to talk about the reality of money in a relationship. And besides that, we already know that this is a topic that most of us don't want to talk about. We don't want to think about you're here listening to the show. So my guess is you're trying to maybe better your relationship with money and change some patterns and some ways of thinking and figure out how to grow wealth. And one of the ways to do that is to have these proactive conversations, even though they might be tough and they might be difficult and you might have your own way of doing things. Most people are so involved with the wedding planning that these conversations just kind of fall by the wayside and then that could lead to fights and relationship breakdowns because you just start assuming certain things about the other person and whether they're true or not, it doesn't matter. But we all come to our relationship with our own lens, our own way of doing money, our own relationship with money and we expect that the other person is just going to do it the exact same way. Newsflash if you haven't figured this out already, it doesn't work that way. And there's never going to be somebody who comes into your life who manages their money, spends their money, invests their money, does whatever with their money that you're going to agree 100% with. Even as a certified financial planner, when I was practicing I still had so many money fears. After getting married, I came into my second marriage. I've been married twice. Obviously I got divorced the first time. If you don't know my story, go back and listen to many, many episodes where I've talked about my very expensive divorce and how I was really left in a place of actually having a lot more debt. I had to give up a lot of assets just to get out of that relationship and it really put me behind. And so I was in my very early thirty s and got into a new relationship, ultimately got married. But I was very afraid because I came into that marriage with some debt. I came into it with some baggage, some beers around money. And I learned that that's just it's part of the process. None of us want to talk about the things that haven't gone right with our money. We don't want to just sit down like on a Saturday afternoon, having a casual glass of wine and talk about the shitstorm of things that have happened with our money. But sometimes that actually is a really good thing to do, right? Just to get it out into the open. But based on all those years that I worked as a financial planner, working with couples and individuals, I really was more like a marriage financial therapist because relationships just inherently have so many complexities when it comes to money. So I walked away with these six major money decisions that I think you need to make in order to set you and your spouse up for ultimately financial success. So you can avoid some of those pitfalls, avoid some of those arguments as best as possible. They're still going to happen. So the first thing is this idea of when two people become one. It sounds really romantic, right? And I'm not talking about you and your spouse. What I am talking about is your bank accounts. The question always is do you or don't you merge your bank accounts? I have a very strong opinion. My opinion is yes. But I know that everybody has their idea of how they want to do this. When you get married this is my opinion when you get married, you are fusing together two different personalities and styles of managing money. And I have found working with couples that utilizing one bank account actually helps reinforce the partnership element that's really critical in marriage. Right? You don't want to get married and still be yes. You were always two individuals, so I'm not assuming that you, like, morph into one person, but there is a partnership aspect that is very important. You make joint decisions. You evaluate pros and cons of spending and saving together, and you have these open money conversations that you just are not forced to enter into when you have separate bank accounts. If you want to go with separate bank accounts, I always say, think about having this big joint account for all your major bills, and then maybe you operate to separate accounts for individual play money. And another thing I always suggest is that couples create what I call a don't ask, don't tell amount of money that each spouse can spend every month with no questions. So set something that feels really reasonable to you. If it's $50, if it's $100, if it's $500, whatever feels like the right amount of money for your relationship, and let that be amount of money that the other partner can spend without having to bring in the bags and hide them or hide the Amazon packages, whatever it might be, right? There are no questions. There are no judgment. But if you want to purchase something over that amount, then you need to at least have a conversation with your partner. So this method, it allows for some level of freedom without running into what I call financial infidelity territory, which is where you are hiding things. You're keeping secrets. When that happens, that's just not a great place to be in. Nothing really good comes from that. And if you are in a position where there is financial infidelity, I highly suggest talking to a therapist, finding somebody really good who can help you kind of work through whatever is going on. Another thing is budgeting times two. So I was working with a couple once. They had just gotten married. They were already having tension about money, and I started to ask a few questions to figure out what might be the issue. And when I got to the do you have a budget question, their reply was, Why do we need one of those if now we have more money with two salaries? Like they looked at me very dumbfounded. And I hate it to be the bearer of bad news, but having a strong budget and tracking your spending that's really what I like to call it is, in my opinion, even more important as a married couple than when you were single, because you're adding this other layer of complexity to your finances. You got two people, you got two ideas of what you want to do. You got two people out, having happy hour and being with friends and doing all sorts of things. So it just gets more complex than just you and you making your own money decisions. So one of the first decisions you should make after you tie the knot is who is going to manage the budget, the cash, whatever you want to call it, and how do you plan on tracking it. So this point person will actively be involved in the day to day cash management of the money, tracking daily expenses, staying top of debt payments, staying on top of your goals. How are you progressing? Just kind of the overall point person and your budget, it reflects so many money decisions that you make each month. How much should you be saving? How much income should be applied to your debt? What are your goals and your life goals that you're saving for? How much do you spend on the gym membership? So many questions come up, and it's just more difficult because there are two people there and two people's opinions. So a budget, or I like to call it a spending plan, it really holds you both accountable for not flying off the handle with spending or really slacking on your important savings goals. I find that it's so easy to get so busy and bogged down with life that managing your money, tracking your spending, figuring out where money is going, it really falls to the bottom of the todo list. And then, I know this has happened to me, I'll say, okay, I'm going to get to that next week. And then next week turns into next month. And before I know it, it's been like three or four months. And I'm like, wait a minute, I haven't actively been involved in my money tracking. I need to actually take some time and do that. So your first order of business is just to figure out what system you're going to use for your budget. Do you DIY it? Do you use a mobile app? DIY is perfectly acceptable if you both agree on the format. And I always say that it shouldn't take more than about 20 minutes per month to manage your budget. What you're doing is you're looking at what did we think we were going to spend each month versus what did we actually spend and where are the differences there? And then it's asking yourself a couple of questions, am I okay with it? So let's say we all spend more money than we think eating out. That is just the reality. Even during the last couple of years, we all spent more money on food delivery. And now we're at a point in time where we just want to go out, we just want to go out, we want to do things, we want to spend money. So it's very easy to think that you're going to spend a certain amount of money every month on eating out. And then the reality is that you end up spending double or triple. And you're trying to figure out at the end of the month, like, what exactly happened, because I was supposed to have more money left, but it feels like my money just vaporized. If this is you, if this is resonating with you, please know you are so not alone. This is pretty much everyone listening here. I think we're all shaking our head yes. So you are in complete solidarity with the millions of people that are listening to this episode. But if we're not tracking our cash, like, if we don't actually know where we're spending our money, it's really hard to see where these little leaks are. And a leak, if we overspend money a month or two months, it's not that big of a deal. It's going to happen. This whole process is not meant to be rigid and firm and set stone. It's meant to be flexible. But if we keep over spending, more and more months turns into years. And then we're trying to figure out why do we not have money to pay off our debt? Or why do we not have money to invest or why do we not have money to go travel? Whatever it might be, it's trying to figure that all out after the fact. So if we go proactively, just spend a few minutes every month and just kind of see where we're spending our cash and then ask ourselves two questions. One, are we okay with it? If you're okay with it. Great. Fine. Fantastic. The second one is no, I'm not okay with it. And I need to make a few little changes just in order to make sure that we as individuals and as a couple, that we can actually have money to do all the things that we want to do. So when there's two of us, this process gets a little bit more complicated. And that's why it's even more important to stay on top of this. If you're an app fan, you could use an app. Like you need a budget mit.com. There's a new one called Monarch, which is one of my favorites. There are a lot of ways that you can utilize technology to just automatically categorize all of your spending. So then all you need to do is just open the app and look at it and make a decision. Alright, the next thing I want you to think about is how do you feel about sharing debt burdens? This is a difficult conversation to have and there's not a right way to think about this. So whether you officially inherit your spouse's debt, it actually depends on what state you live in. There are nine. They're called community property states. It's arizona, california, idaho, louisiana, nevada, new mexico, texas, washington and wisconsin. So in these states, whatever debt you bring into the marriage is your debt only and any new debt that you or your spouse incurs is jointly owned. For example, let's say that your spouse opens a credit card and you don't know about it, you're also on the hook for that debt. However, if your spouse comes with a lot of student loan debt that was incurred before you got married, it's not yours legally. So common law states, which are different community property states, they're all of the 41 states that are left, they work a bit differently. So, like community property states, the debt you bring into the marriage remains your debt only. However, in these common law states, any debt that your spouse incurs without your name on it becomes their debt only. There are only a few small exceptions when the debt would be considered joint, like if your debt was for basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, childcare, additional education. If you have any questions about this, it's a really good idea to find a good estate planning attorney that is in your state, that knows those state laws that can help you with that. The moral of the story is that you get a carfax report before you buy a car, right? You want to figure out, is this car a lemon? Has it been in any accidents before? Like what's going on with this car? So, with your spouse, you should also fully understand what their money history is, what debt they have, and if it would become yours when you get married. Now, it's not a make it or break it, but you need to at least have this conversation. So from I guess what we call a nonofficial standpoint, if you're really working as a team to budget, track your cash and be financially successful together, then you need to help each other reach financial goals, right? It's only fair. This marriage is a partnership. Sometimes that means making sacrifices with your money. So, for example, say your spouse has significant student loan debt and they're making that a financial priority to pay off. While it's not your debt, you may decide maybe you pick up a larger portion of rent or the mortgage to help them achieve their goal of paying off their student loan debt faster. There isn't a right way to do this again, but you both need to be happy and feel like you are fulfilling your financial goals as a couple and individually. And I get this is really, really hard to do, but no one ever said that marriage would be easy. It is a complete ride. There are highs, there are lows, and there is everything in between. Listen, friends, there is no better sound that I love than the sound of a sale you make on Shopify. The all in one commerce platform to start, run and grow your business. Shopify makes it so simple to sell to anyone, anywhere, whether your thing is vintage teas or recipes for ghee start selling with Shopify and join the platform simplifying commerce for millions of your favorite businesses worldwide. With Shopify, you'll create an online store in your own vibe, discover new customers and grow the following that keeps them coming back. And Shopify has all the sales channels sorted so you can keep your business growing from an inperson POS system to an all in one ecommerce platform, even across social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. And thanks to 24/7 support and free libraries full of educational content, shopify has got you every step of the way. It's how every minute new sellers around the world make their first sale with Shopify. And you will too. I had this dream of creating my first book, the Money Mindset Journal, in 2019. And pandemic or no Pandemic, I launched it in 2020. And I am so thrilled that over 50 people are changing their relationship with Money, thanks to The Money Mindset Journal and Shopify. So when you're ready to launch your thing into the spotlight, do it with Shopify, the commerce platform backing millions of businesses down the street and around the globe. Go on. Try Shopify for free and start selling anywhere. This is possibility powered by Shopify. Sign up for a free trial@shopify.com. My money that's Shopify.com MyMoney to start selling online today. Shopify.com MyMoney life is too short to be building someone else's. Dream on. Don't keep your day job. Each week top podcaster, business and spiritual coach and bestselling author Kathy Heller helps you get unstuck from your fears and self doubt, build confidence, find freedom from your own self sabotage, and create abundant dream life where you can make impact and get paid to be authentically you. This podcast features coaching calls and heart to heart conversations with incredible minds, like author Deepak Chopra, actor Matthew McConaughey, Shark Tanks, Barbara Corcoran, Chelsea Clinton and many more about what led them to the biggest moments in their lives and how you two can create a life that you can't wait to wake up for every single day. You've got so much to contribute and Kathy is here to help you do it. Listen to don't keep your day job wherever you get your podcasts. What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Is it checking on your credit score? I didn't think so. At Chime. That's exactly what they do with their secured Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit card. You can start to build credit with your own money. Chime reports your payments to the credit bureaus to help you build credit over time, and their members see an increase of 30 points on average. All of this with no annual fees, large security deposits or credit checks to apply. So start your credit journey with Chime. Sign up takes only two minutes and doesn't affect your credit score. Go to chime.com slash my money that's Chime.com slash my money. The Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit card is issued by Stride Bank and a pursuant to a license from Visa USA chime Checking account and $200 qualified direct deposit required to apply for the secured Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card. Regular ontime payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Impact to score may vary and some user scores may not improve. Outofnetwork ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Money Pass ATMs in a 711 or any allpoint or Visa plus Alliance ATM. I am a big believer in always setting yourself up for success and being ready for growth when the opportunity strikes. That's why I love ShipStation. They set you up for growth by directly integrating every shopping cart and storefront so your products are easier to find, manage and get in the hands of your customers. With the holidays coming up and a busy shipping season right around the corner, it's a lot less stressful to get all your shipping situated so you aren't stressed out and you aren't having to try to play catch up. I am definitely not a friend of stress, so I love using ShipStation to literally make Ship happen. No more limiting your business to just one store. ShipStation integrates with every platform like Amazon, etsy ebay, Shopify, et cetera. They make it really easy to manage all your shipping from one easy dashboard. You easily can compare carriers rates and delivery times to get the most out of every send, and you get the same discounted shipping rates as Fortune 500 companies. Whether you're sending a stack or a truck full, join over 1300 companies who have grown their ecommerce businesses with ship station like Ceti Foods. I love their tortilla chips and the Sock club. Okay, I can always have another pair of socks. Ship more and grow more with ShipStation. Go to ShipStation.com today and sign up with promo code My Money for a free 60 day trial. Start today and get set up before the biggest shipping season of the year. That's two months free. Visit ShipStation.com, click the microphone at the top and type in the code My Money. Then I want you to think about when should you have money dates? As I mentioned, you should name one person that is, quote, unquote. I hate using this a word, but we're just going to use it here for principal in charge of your budget tracking your cash from just a day to day standpoint. And once you designate this point person, you need to get regular money dates on the calendar, like pronto. I know it may seem like a silly idea, but I want you to trust me. It saves a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of frustration when it comes to managing your money as two people together. And it just keeps you both in the loop of what's going on with your money. When I started to institute the weekly money date with my husband, everything changed because we were both on the same page. We both understood what was happening with our money. We both could make decisions about certain things that we wanted to buy, and then we could both kind of see where we were tracking towards our goal. So it was just like, I don't know, a warm hug, right? Like a kumbaya moment. And they weren't stressful. They almost completely cut out all of the money fights and arguments because there wasn't anything for us to argue about anymore. It was we were both on the same page. The best suggestion is once a week dates, and it's really just to regroup about money decisions you need to make during the upcoming week. Such as, I don't know, maybe tracking where you are in debt repayments, setting up your weekly budget for things like groceries and eating out, and just checking in again on those goals. How are we tracking towards our goals? It's so easy to get off track each week and just lose focus of what you're trying to achieve as a couple. And with everything that is so digitized now, we don't even have decisions to make anymore. We just put something in our cart and like, we've automatically paid for it. And we've taken that emotion out of money. You know, when we used to many, many, many years ago, when you used to write a check or pay for things with cash, it was like you had a mental decision to make. Do I really want to let go of this cash for this item? And so because 90% of money success is mental, that decision point was really important for you to decide what you wanted to do. Well, with technology and everything, we've taken out that decision point. So it's really easy to spend money without feeling the emotion of spending that money until you look at your bank account at the end of the month and you're just really, really frustrated that your money isn't where you want it to be. So the money dates, they can be as formal or as informal as you like. A lot of couples say, I'm just going to keep it to five minutes flat, but it's whatever it feels right for you. If you want to go to a park, go to your favorite restaurant, just do something chill in your house, maybe you have a great backyard, just create a mood that is inviting, that makes you want to talk about money. And if you need to set a timer and say, okay, we're going to run through this list of things we want to talk about, I'm going to set the timer for 510, 1520 minutes, whatever that time is for you as a couple, then just keep it to that, right? Like, put some structure around it so you don't feel like you're walking into this doom and gloom environment. Another thing I would say about the money dates, it's anything having to do as a couple is try to keep the judgment out of it. Try to keep the you spent money on this. Why did you spend money on this when you knew we were trying to do this? That is not a good line of conversation. Instead, ask them, hey, I noticed that you spent money on X, Y and T. Was this something that was really important to you? Do we need to talk about that or incorporate that into our spending plan going forward? Come to it all from more of a heart center and I guarantee you it's going to change your relationship. So what do you talk about in these money dates? Make sure that you cover topics like this. Maybe you need to set a grocery spending amount for the week. Maybe you decide how much to spend on eating out and entertainment for the week. Maybe you create a plan for any extra income. Maybe one of you are getting a bonus or you're getting a raise and you're trying to decide how are we going to break that up? You want to ensure that you're on track with your debt repayment. You want to discuss any large expenses that might be coming up, like maybe a car, repair your property taxes, anything that just feels big and weighty. And then touch upon anything that has caused tension in the past week. Again, example. Maybe one person spent more money than the other thought was necessary. Just talk it out without the blame game. Really understand what was behind it. If we're coming back again to money, success is 90% mental. That means that so many of our spending decisions, whether it's intentional or it's impulsive, comes from our emotions. Maybe we were upset that day. Maybe we got in a fight with someone. Maybe we didn't like the way our boss talked to us. Maybe we just woke up and felt crappy and we wanted to spend money. All of these emotions come into what we do with our money. So as a couple, to be a good partner, the best thing you can do is just chat it out with your partner, right, and come to some sort of place of understanding. OK, next, I want you to think about life. Everyone's favorite topic, right? Life insurance. Nobody wants to talk about this, but one important decision, long term money decision to make after you tell the knot is whether you do or do not need life insurance. So simply put, life insurance just helps ensure financial security if you or your spouse were to pass away. Of course we don't want that to happen, but right. We live in the world and this shit happens. While it's hard to consider the possibility when you're starting out a new life, the reality is if something were to happen, it could be financially devastated if you aren't prepared. One of my very good friends, when she was in her late 20s, she was married. There was absolutely no reason to think that anything would. Happen to her spouse. She woke up one day and unfortunately he had passed away in the sleep. He had a heart condition that they didn't know about. He didn't have life insurance because they thought they were young. They actually thought they didn't need it. And so it put this like, huge money burden on my friend because they had built a lifestyle around two incomes and he actually made more money than she did. So then she had to figure out like, what am I going to do? How am I going to pay my bills? And it wasn't a fun place to operate from. So I think life insurance really becomes relevant once you get married and I'd argue even more important, probably once you have kids. So as a team, as partners, it's really likely that your income has increased, but also your debt might have increased as well. Maybe you bought a house, maybe you both have student loan debt. I don't know what the scenario is for you, but with a life insurance policy, you can make sure that your partner stays financially stable if a portion of the income isn't around anymore to pay for the bills. So if you work for a company, it's likely that you have some sort of life insurance already that is some sort of multiple of your income. Some companies give you a free $50,000 and then give you an option to buy more. I find this often isn't enough to COVID your expenses and provide really a stable flow of extra income if something were to happen. Most people need a policy that is about eight to ten times your income just to give you a ballpark range. But life insurance isn't one size fits all and it's something that maybe might not make sense for you right now, but maybe you put it on your radar list. So take some time, do some research. There are so many great companies out there that are online companies where you can get a quote you can apply really easily. And the good news is that purchasing a term policy, it's term policy is just like we're going to rent the insurance for a specific period of time. It's super inexpensive when you're young and you're healthy. Moving from life insurance, another really sticky conversation is this idea of who gets what. Now I know this is especially not a fun conversation to have when you get married, but who gets what may sound like a really simple question to answer, but it actually is, I find, really far from it. So a will is one of those not so popular money decisions, but I really encourage couples to do this after you get married, like, just take care of it and then you don't have to think about it for a while. You don't need to wait until you have a family or maybe you've accumulated a lot of stuff to create your will as a married couple. So a will, it simply becomes your voice. If something was going to happen to you, you'll name what's called an executor of your will, aka, this is the person who is in charge of carrying out your will if something was to happen to you. And I love that, right? Because I get to pick a person that I know will do the best to honor me if something were to happen to me. So what the executor does is they carefully read through all of the assets and debts that you have and then disperse those assets to whomever you designated. And anything that is considered an asset may be like your prized record collection, jewelry, or maybe you inherited some china, I don't know. Even things, even things like maybe you're a plant lover and you have this, like, immaculate plant collection. All of these things have value to you, and they should go to the person that you want them to go to. This wasn't one of my favorite money decisions to make, but honestly, I just I felt so much better once my husband and I had created our will, because I felt like it's just one of those things that you have to check off the list. It isn't fun to do, but then you can kind of sleep a little bit better at night, there's a little bit more peace. So you can create one with an attorney. You can go online. There are sites like Legal zoom. There are all sorts of ways now that you can create a will fairly easily, but you need to create one for each of you, right, because it's individual. And make sure that you just do, like, an inventory in your house. You look around at all the stuff you have and you really think about what has value and meaning to you and where do you want that stuff to go. So I really think maybe I'm crazy. Call me crazy, but I really think that talking about money, it does equal a happy marriage. It's a portion of the marriage. There are so many other components that go into it. But we know, statistically speaking, that money and sex are the two things that most couples fight about, and they fight hard about those two things. So if we can take care of the money one, then we've just got the sex one left. And I can't help you with that. I'm sure there are lots of other podcasts that can help you with the sex part, but I'm not that person. I got you on the money side. So, yeah, you should talk about these decisions, maybe even loosely, before you get married. However, it's just a whole other ball games when you're faced with making these decisions for real and you are legally married. Like, this is when these conversations need to happen. And yes, they are uncomfortable and they can feel very fear inducing, but I promise you, from my personal and professional experience. They really reduce the amount of just ridiculous arguments, and they help create the idea of partnership. Even if you decide we want to split our money up, we want to have different accounts, that still doesn't mean that you avoid talking about these important topics about money because you are still legally married, even if you have your money separate. So you can't just avoid these conversations altogether. I've seen many couples who have tried to do that, and trust me, it just doesn't and just doesn't work out well. So I just don't want you to waste time finding about money. I want you to really enjoy your partnership, your marriage, and have money be something that isn't a pain point, but really something that you're moving towards, right? You're moving towards this vision of this life that you want to have. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with a friend or a family member, someone who you know might be getting married soon, or even somebody that's married, because we all need a refresher on this stuff. And if you could do me a favor, I'd so appreciate it if you could leave an honest review for the show and any podcast player you're listening to right now. I'll see you back here in a few days for a brand new episode. You.