COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Wedding season is here and according to local financial expert Craig McDaniel with the McDaniel Corporation, newlyweds should focus on four things to start their financial relationship on the right foot:
1. Create a Partnership: Most often, partners bring different incomes to the table. It's easy to think the "breadwinner" has veto power. But, it's important to rule that out right from the start. Both people should share equally in the decision-making. A great way to make sure this happens is to schedule monthly or quarterly meetings with your spouse. Sit down and talk about where your money is going and the financial responsibilities you will both take on.
2. Agree on Goals: When you have your financial meetings, a big part should be to determine your financial goals as a couple. You should address both long-term goals like funding a 529 plan for your kids' college education and short-term goals like saving for vacation. You'll make more progress if you are both on the same page.
3. Have Fun Funds: While I do recommend couples pool the majority of their money, I think it is a good idea for each to have a fun fund. This way, both partners will feel a sense of financial independence, which can alleviate many disagreements. This will eliminate the need to "ask permission" and create a level financial playing field.
4. Ensure Equal Access: Make sure you both have access to all of your online accounts. Neither person should ever feel locked out or in the dark. This is one of the best ways to maintain a financial balance in your relationship. Plus, if there is an emergency, it is important that either person is able to pay bills, access funds and understand the budget. I have a great financial inventory worksheet on my website mcdanielcorp.com to help you get organized.