4 Personal Financial Tips for Newlyweds in 2024

Newlyweds in kitchen

Getting married is an unforgettable and exciting milestone in life that leads to many changes. You gain a new last name, a new emergency contact, and you must learn to responsibly manage your finances as a couple. 

In the midst of all the marriage guidance you're collecting from loved ones, we're jumping in to offer you some newlywed financial advice. The joint money habits you create together will affect the house you can afford, the loans and interest rates you get approved for, the age you can retire at, and even whether you can have recreational vehicles (like boats and RVs) that make life a little more fun. 

To help kick-start your strategic planning for achieving financial success as a couple, here’s a look at four personal financial tips for newlyweds from Jack Taylor, branch manager at the Simpsonville location. 

Set Financial Goals

After the wedding bells ring, “you” become an “us.” Outlining your financial goals as a couple can give you both a sense of shared purpose when it comes to managing your money. Think about short-term goals and long-term goals, as achieving financial goals along your marriage journey can make saving money more fun. 

Short-Term Financial Goals

These goals typically take less than a year to achieve and can help you manage your finances more efficiently in the immediate future. Examples include:

  • Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses to stay within your means.
  • Build an Emergency Fund: Set aside funds for unexpected expenses, aiming for three to six months’ worth of living expense. 
  • Pay Down High-Interest Debt: Prioritize paying off credit card balances and other high-interest debts to save on interest and improve your credit score.
  • Save for a Vacation: Plan a getaway to relax and enjoy your time together as newlyweds.


Long-Term Financial Goals:

These goals generally take several years or even decades to achieve. They require patience and consistency but lead to significant rewards down the road. Examples include:

  • Buy a Home: Save for a down payment and work towards homeownership.
  • Save for Retirement: Contribute regularly to retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or IRA to secure your future. 
  • Plan for Your Future Children’s Education: Start a college savings plan if you plan to have children and want to help fund their education – you’ll thank yourself later.

“It’s easy to get carried away and think about what age you want to retire at, where you might want to retire to, how much to save for your children’s college fund, etc. But some of those goals might not come to fruition for forty or fifty years,” says Taylor. “Laying out short-term goals like planning a vacation, adhering to a budget, or paying off debt can make you feel like you’re making progress and allows you to celebrate wins along the way.”

It's no secret money can cause conflict in marriages; by starting early and discussing goals and opinions about the future, you can establish a shared commitment and establish plans to make both partners happy.

Assess Your Current Financial Health

When two individuals come together in marriage, it’s likely they each bring their own set of assets and debts. Assets may include cars, homes, real estate property, investment accounts, personally owned businesses, or any item(s) of value. Debt may include student loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. It’s important to lay it all out there so you and your spouse can determine who will own the assets and the best way  to repay the debt. Even if one spouse is entering the marriage with more debt, you should make a plan to tackle the debt together. 

“In addition to the assets and outstanding debt you and your partner bring to your marriage, I would encourage you to discuss spending habits and current credit standings too,” says Taylor. 

Being honest about your spending habits and credit standing can help the two of you become confident in your decision to combine your finances or keep them separate and provide you with areas to improve, if necessary. Do you prefer to spend money or save it? What are your thoughts on investments? How do you prepare for unexpected expenses? Some couples prefer a “yours, mine, and ours” approach to finances, while others prefer to manage everything jointly. There’s no “right” answer; open and honest communication can help you determine what will work best for your marriage. 

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In addition to the assets and outstanding debt you and your partner bring to your marriage, I would encourage you to discuss spending habits and current credit standings, too.

Jack Taylor, Branch Manager

Contribute to an Emergency Fund

Unfortunately, when unexpected emergencies happen, they can be disastrous for your finances. You never know when you or your spouse could be laid off from your job, discover a leak in your roof, or need to take time off work to care for a loved one. By prioritizing an emergency fund, you might save yourself and your spouse quite a bit of stress. 

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3-6 months of living expenses saved up should you need a safety net for unexpected emergencies. If you do an automatic transfer to a savings account each time you get paid, you probably won’t even know the money is missing – and you’ll thank yourself later. 

Don’t Take On More Debt Than You Can Comfortably Afford

Marriage is an exciting time for both of you. This is the time to start building your dream life with one another. You might be making decisions on building or buying a home, relocating to another city, or starting a family. Whatever your next step is, remember to live within your means and not take on more debt than you can comfortably repay. 

Try the 50/30/20 budget. This budget allocates 50 percent of your income to necessities, 30 percent for wants, and 20 percent for savings and financial goals. Necessities include your housing payment, transportation (gas and car payment), insurance, groceries, utilities, and any other necessary items you need for day-to-day life. Up to 30 percent of your income can go towards your wants – things you desire but don’t necessarily need. Items in this category include dining out, entertainment, vacations, shopping, hobbies, etc. Lastly, ensure you keep at least 20 percent to contribute to your financial goals including your emergency fund, retirement accounts, and anything else you’re saving for. 

Don’t let the stress of finances dull your newlywed bliss. After all, you’ve got a lifetime to figure it out together. Starting early can help set you up for success later on. As always, our SouthState bankers are here to answer your financial questions that may come up along the way. 

About the Author, Jack Taylor: Jack has worked in the banking industry for more than eight years. As a newlywed himself, he’s passionate about helping other couples navigate their finances together. He’s a graduate of The Citadel and is currently a Branch Manager at our Five Forks location in Simpsonville, South Carolina. 

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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