Money Moves


Mama Bear


If you are not aware (and did not find my website from YouTube), Papa Bear and I have a podcast. I know, I was apprehensive about it at first, but I must admit that I love doing another thing with my husband. It's called Love & Legacy. We both upload the episodes to our individual YouTube channels (@1MamaBearKnows and @VelocityUnleashedRA). Discussing relationship tips based on what we've learned separately and together over the past fifteen years has been cathartic. Honestly, I believe the information we've gained could be especially useful for newly engaged and freshly married couples. If I had access to a resource like this when I was first engaged, it would have saved me from some of the quarreling through the growing pains of merging our lives.

This week on the podcast, we discussed finances. I understand the anxiety that discussing finances can cause new couples. After all, money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce, so I get it. Money can be a sensitive topic. Over the years through trial and error as well as research, I have identified some best practices when it comes to finances for couples. I've separated the tips into two categories: Pre and Post Marriage


- Sit down together and openly discuss your financial situations, priorities, habits, and goals. Be honest about debt, assets, incomes, and budgets.

- Make a comprehensive household budget that accounts for shared expenses like rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. as well as individual expenses and savings goals. Revisit it monthly.

- Budgeting tools - Try using the same online budgeting software, budget app or spreadsheet so you're both viewing expenses and tracking progress toward goals in real-time.

- Decide how to handle debt repayment. If one partner has debt, make a plan for paying it down efficiently while still meeting other financial responsibilities.

- Credit scores - Check both of your credit reports together. Add each other as authorized users to help boost weaker scores over time.

- Communicate openly about spending and big purchases. Set expectations for discussing large discretionary expenses.

-Decide whether you will combine all finances into joint accounts or maintain some separate accounts. Many couples choose to have joint accounts for major shared expenses but keep personal spending money in separate accounts.

- Open at least one joint checking and savings account that you both have access to for household expenses. Decide how money will flow in and out of those accounts.

- Both partners should understand access to accounts, credit cards, loans. Avoid having only one person manage the finances.

- Automate savings - Set up automatic transfers on payday to your joint savings and retirement accounts so the habit is forced.

- Consider meeting with a financial advisor to review your income, assets, debts, credit scores, insurance coverage, tax implications, investment and retirement accounts. They can help ensure you have legal protections in place.

- Prenup - Consider a prenuptial agreement if one or both partners have significant assets entering the marriage for legal protections.


- Consider merging investments, retirement funds and beneficiary designations over time as you become "one financial unit."

- Insurance - Combine policies where it makes financial sense, like having one family health plan. Make sure beneficiaries are updated properly.

- Estate planning - Consult an attorney to draft or update wills, trusts, powers of attorney to reflect your married status and ensure assets are handled as you intend in the event of death or incapacity.

The key is : clear communication - Be transparent and find compromise when needs or desires differ. Express appreciation for efforts made by your partner in managing financial responsibilities.

Listen to our latest podcast here: