Around Acadiana

Aug 15, 2013 10:10 AM by AP

Newlyweds need to plan for their financial future

Summer is the most popular season for weddings and is an exciting time for newlyweds.

However, there is more to a marriage than planning the wedding and the honeymoon. Couples need to be committed to each other not only emotionally but also financially.

To prevent future financial problems, the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana advises newly married couples to discuss their financial goals and issues before walking down the aisle.

The BBB offers the following advice for newlyweds planning their financial future together:

· Discuss your financial history. After marriage, any personal debt becomes "our debt." It is important to sit down early when marriage is being discussed to discover what outstanding obligations exist on both sides. These could include car loans, school loans and credit card debt. Review your credit reports to get a better idea what both of you are bringing to the marriage.

· Build a budget. After you've gotten a grasp on your debt, it's time to build a monthly budget. Look at your monthly bills to create a realistic picture of how you spend. Discuss your long-term goals - such as buying a house or car and having kids. Figure out how much money to set aside each month to reach those goals.

· Learn to budget as a team. In order to avoid confusion, one person should be assigned to pay the bills every month, but this doesn't mean that the other person takes a backseat role in managing the finances. Have a discussion at least once a month about your financial progress in order to map your path and get rid of any bad spending habits.

· Plan for emergencies. Many young couples fail to save money to get them through hard times such as health problems and unexpected unemployment. Experts recommend you set aside three to six months of salary in a rainy day fund - ideally an interest-bearing account that can be easily accessed.

· Save for the future. Retirement may seem like a long way off to newlyweds, but setting aside money now means reaping big rewards later on. Take advantage of both employers' retirement matching programs - if available - or set up individual retirement accounts. For more tips on saving for retirement, visit finra.org

· Make a vow to be savvy consumers. Many families have had their life savings decimated after becoming a victim to fraud or identity theft. Start with Trust®. Check with the BBB before doing business.

The BBB of Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. For more information, please visit www.acadiana.bbb.org.

The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Acadiana residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.

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