Hey everyone, thank you or your well wishes and sweet notes. I’m married!
But guess what? Once you’re married and starting your happily ever after, you must still discuss finances. Now our conversations are changing. Initially, it was about budgeting for the wedding and now it’s all about what are we going to do with the gifts and cash from our wedding and the way we plan to manage our finances long term. Finances and plans for your future are always changing, and you should be having discussions about money regularly.
Even if you have a primary person in the relationship who deals almost entirely with the money and the bills, you still need open communication between the two of you so that both are aware of where you are with savings goals, retirement funds, investments, and more. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you should be ignorant of your finances! It should be a joint conversation, one you have every time something changes, or you get a raise, or when anything effects it.
You can track all of your accounts and purchases through Mint, which is a great way for Michael and I to stay on top of our spending and saving! You can even track special accounts like money markets and investment accounts through the Mint app.
When you plan to buy a house, money is at the root of it. Do you have enough saved for a down payment, how much do you even need? These questions will need answers!
A great way to start saving for a house or other large purchase as a married couple is to open a money market account. A money market account is an interest-bearing account that typically pays a higher interest rate than a savings account, so you can save money faster and get a higher interest rate based on the market as a whole.
Money market accounts are insured by the FDIC and the portfolios typically invest in short-term, liquid securities. They are able to offer a higher interest rate by requiring a higher minimum balance, and by placing restrictions on the number of withdrawals the account holder may take over a given period of time. This all makes them fantastic savings accounts, especially when you and your partner are saving for a big purchase!
There are also annual vacations, possible future children, and other things to plan for that require money. You will also want to start thinking about investing if you have the money to do so. A joint investment account is a great way to start working towards your long-term goals.
Many married couples choose to invest together. You can invest in stocks, bonds, bitcoin, mutual funds, anything you want! Investing can be fun, but you are also using real money and should make sure that you agree about the goals of your investments!
You can open a joint account through a brokerage firm such as TD Ameritrade and Merrill Edge, both of whom do not have an account minimum that you have to meet. This means you don’t have to always have $1000 in the account (like Charles Schwab) or $2500 (looking at you, Scottrade).
A brokerage account is one between an investor and a licensed brokerage firm that allows the investor to deposit funds with the firm and then they place the investment orders for you. Even though that might sounds weird, that’s actually very common. All four firms listed above are online stock brokers, which is just a person or an institution licensed to buy and sell stocks and other securities via the market exchanges.
Do research and figure out what investments work best for you, and remember that retirement accounts and real estate are investments, as well. Also, the stock brokers all have customer support and financial advisors that can answer some questions, especially about previous results of investments and they can walk you through the trading process.
Seek an Expert
If you are unsure about budgets and investing or what is best for you, consider using a certified financial advisor to help make sure you are on track for all your goals. They can also recommend investments!
Michael and I agreed to invest our money from our gifts into real estate, while also investing in our apartment with a little makeover (and by little I mean new furniture, new artwork and a new bed). We planned ahead and used our credit card to pay for parts of the wedding and received a large lump sum of points to go on our honeymoon to Mexico!
Thank you for coming all on this journey with me!
Jessica Naziri is the founder of TechSesh.co, a lifestyle website for women inspired by tech. She has been a technology news reporter for The Los Angeles Times, CNN and CNBC.com. Since then, her work has also appeared in TechCrunch, The Washington Post, Mashable, CBS, The Travel Channel, CNN, NPR, USA Today, Inside Edition, Yahoo!, and Business Insider.
Follow Jessica on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or reach out directly via email Hello@techsesh.co.