5 Ways to Manage Your Money after Marriage

You cannot manage money after marriage the way you did when you were single. When you took your marriage vows, you committed to become one. You did not exclude your finances in your vows, and you must work together with your spouse to improve your family estate. Here are 5 ways to effectively manage your money together:

1. Have One Bank Account

Marriage requires two people to come together as one, and that includes your bank accounts. Get rid of extra bank accounts and consolidate them into one account with you and your spouse's name on it. This includes bank cards as well. It's easier to manage money this way, because you'll have one bank statement to keep track of online. You'll know immediately where you stand when you have one and not multiple bank accounts to deal with. You'll also avoid mismanaging multiple accounts, which can result in overdraft charges and additional monthly fees.

2. Assign Bookkeeping to One Spouse

Bookkeeping is important when you want to manage your money well. A software program can simplify this task, but one of you should be responsible for keeping the books. Assess your talents and skills and determine which spouse should take care of bookkeeping and how often. Some households work well by entering data and running reports bi-weekly, and some can do it once every month. It's important to keep accurate books, and to learn how to generate and analyze reports. For example, run a budget comparison report once a month to see whether you're adhering to your budget, and where you may need to make changes.

3. Make a Budget Together

Even though one of you is responsible for bookkeeping, you should create your household budget together. It's important to establish monetary goals for each budget category together, keeping the overall vision for the future of your family in mind. Any money software program you purchase will include a budget to create with suggested categories. Review each one, selecting the categories that are relevant to your family. Add new categories that may not be included, such as savings for a home business or savings for an addition to your home to care for aging parents.

4. Get out and Stay out of Debt

There is a ball and chain in most marriages, and that's debt. Using debt to manage money is one of the worst monetary decisions you can make in your marriage. However, few individuals have avoided it in their lifetime and bring a lot of it into a marriage. Don't further the mistake by adding to it. Instead, allocate extra money each month to pay down the debt. It may take several years for large debts, but you can overcome them.  

5. Frugal Living

Any budget you create should be based on the premise that you will live as frugal as you can. This will allow you opportunities to further your estate, eliminate debt, transfer wealth to your children and give. Live below your means, so that you're not living paycheck to paycheck, or if you're in business, from one month's worth of sales to the next. Learn to be resourceful, creative and make cuts in your lifestyle to save money.

Follow these ways to manage money, and you'll reap the rewards in your marriage. Don't let mismanaging finances come between you and your spouse.

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