American Consumer Credit Counseling Provides a Financial Checklist for Newlyweds

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ACCC explains the necessary steps newlyweds should take to discuss their finances and plan a strong financial future.

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Being upfront and communicating with your significant other is critical, especially when it comes to having a healthy financial life.

Personal finance is not the most romantic topic of conversation for a newlywed couple. However, in a healthy relationship it is essential that each person’s financial history, habits, goals, and values are open for discussion. To help couples share and plan their financial future, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has created a checklist.

“Often, some of the biggest arguments between couples are on money and finances,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, based in Newton, MA. “Being upfront and communicating with your significant other is critical, especially when it comes to having a healthy financial life. Make sure you discuss key financial issues, challenges or goals as early as possible in the relationship, so there are no surprises along the way.”

According to a survey by lendedu, 53 percent of married individuals said that the topic of finances is the most stressful part of their relationship. The survey also found that 23 percent of high-income earners, 14 percent of middle-income earners and 7 percent of low income earners say that they have a hidden bank account or credit card to spend money.

American Consumer Credit Counseling provides a financial checklist that all newlyweds should go through.

1.    To combine or not to combine finances? Decide if you want to pay your bills individually or from a joint account.

2.    Discuss both of your spending habits. Figure out if either of you have any problem areas that need to be worked on, especially if a joint account is opened.

3.    Who will manage which financial responsibility? There are several payments that need to be managed such as car insurance, mortgage, rent, and utilities. Decide who will be in charge of what to ensure these bills are paid on time.

4.    Create a budget together. Use a budgeting worksheet and create a joint budget, especially if you plan on making a big purchase in the future, such as a house.

5.    Discuss both of your debts. Once you walk down the aisle your spouse’s debt becomes your debt. Make sure you address any credit card or student loan debt you may be bringing into the marriage as soon as possible.

6.    Strategize debt repayment. Discuss which debts are more important to pay off first based on interest rates.

7.    Set your future financial goals. Future plans need to be discussed. Is there a house in your future? A baby?

8.    Will you open joint accounts? It is very common that couples decide to open a joint account while also keeping their separate accounts.

9.    Discuss any major purchases. Quite often couples discuss purchases that are over $200 to ensure they are on the same page.

10.    Review your finances monthly. Things change month to month so it is important that you revisit your budget to ensure is reflects any significant changes.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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