There always seems to be a new wedding season entering the fore. While it is no longer the April through September hot season for love in the Northeast, people are still getting married every day. With these new newlyweds comes new newlywed mistakes to be made with money. It can happen to you in any which way and at any stage in the game. Here are five things to be wary of when you are entering the newlywed game for the first time or the 10th.
Honesty With Your Bills: Honesty is always the best policy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. One of the biggest mistakes newlyweds make is not being fully honest about their situation. Do you have a whole lot of old school debt that you haven’t come clean about? Or some crazy credit card that your uncle with your social security number opened up in your name? Being married should be all about love, but before you fall too hard in love you need to know what you’re working with. Get a credit report for the two of you, put on a pot of chamomile tea, and hash it out. After you’re engaged, before you’re married. If you loved each other you’d do it.
Honesty With Your Income: If you’re some hot shot freelance writer with an online program which gives you decent paying, but not very consistent work, and you can’t hold down a regular job, your 40 hour a week, regular salary partner may want to know about that. As the hot shot you may think this is a great pairing. Make sure that you and 40 hours are speaking the same language though.
Honesty With Your Ambition: If you are a hard working, ladder climber in retail makeup but your real ambitions are to be a clay sculptor or to go back to college to teach Shakespeare or to go to Hollywood for a third time to try and make a career for yourself, you should make sure that your family-centric beau who has scarcely ventured from his perch in Sherman, Connecticut knows this. You could make enemies with not just your new husband but also his loving family.
Separate But Equal: Okay, so now that all the cards are out on the table you need to decide how things will go. If one of you is a part time, bottom scraper who is trying to cure cancer in your spare time and the other of you is a successful investment banker who only makes their money on the Jersey City side of Wall Street and does so very well, then obviously your incomes are going to be different. Unless you are both working the same jobs and use the same amount of everything, you need to divide the work/money/expenses up. Even if you’re making a ton of money when you get married, as these last four years have taught us that may not always be the case. Divide, keep things even, and maybe even combine bank accounts if one of you is better with the accounting software and receipt tracking than the other.
Don’t Let Money Drive You Apart: Lastly, money isn’t everything. If you have money when you’re married and all of the sudden you don’t (which will happen) you can’t let that be the test of your relationship. Because it will happen, we all experience ups and downs. It’s weathering these storms and coming out stronger which are the true test of love and fidelity. Splitting up over just money is one of the worst and most common mistakes that newlyweds can make.