Married / No Kids Series: Planning for the Next Step
Getting married to the person you love is an exciting venture that brings with it the promise of many happy days. But of course, we all know that marriage is not solely based on love; much of what makes a marriage work involves good communication and planning for the future.
If you’ve just gotten married then you may not already have children. However, if you plan to down the line, or have other joint goals, it’s good to make as many plans for the next steps of your lives together as possible. Some of these plans might include:
Buying a Home
A large number of couples marry without already having their first home. Because they’re just learning to pool their incomes and spend jointly, it can sometimes take a while to make major decisions like buying a home right away. However, if you think you might eventually have a family then it’s not a bad idea to begin planning for your first home together.
First, you’ll want to sit down and think about what your budget is for your home. How much can both of you contribute to monthly payments, including mortgage payments, taxes, homeowners insurance and maintenance costs? Then, it’s time to think about what you both like. Of course, you may not both agree on everything, but it’s fair to say that you should both at least like the house and neighborhood. These are all ideas you and your spouse should communicate about as you plan for this major purchase and life adjustment.
Many people do not consider the prospect of early retirement as an option in their lives, but just about anyone could do it if they make savvy financial decisions throughout their lives. The possibility of doing so as a couple is even greater if your money is pooled, saved, and invested properly. While there is no perfect plan to get to early retirement, there are options out there to make this dream a reality. So if you both think you’d like to try, it’s good to make financial plans as early in the marriage as possible.
Not all married couples mutually agree to have children, but the majority do. As you know, if you do decide to have children, your expenses will be amplified many times. You will need to think about day-to-day expenses such as baby formula and food, bottles, diapers, clothes, etc., as well as medical costs during the pregnancy and beyond. And of course, day care, school expenses, and more will fit in. But even bigger will be how having the child will affect your marriage. Will you be able to compromise on babysitting? Who will feed the baby in the middle of the night? These are all ideas that you want consider as you discuss this plan for the future.
These are just a few things that married couples have to think about when planning for the future. But the more you choose to talk things through early on, the better the chances are that you’ll have a stress-reduced marriage down the line.