Merging finances after marriage

Bringing another party into the equation can complicate matters, particularly when one spouse may not have the full picture of the others spending and saving habits. In fact, the financial resource Bankrate.com says some of the most common financial problems newly married couples encounter include overspending and managing debt.

When deciding how to merge their finances, couples can experiment to see what works best for them. It may take some trial and error before couples find a solution that fits their needs, but its important that they keep the lines of communication open and express a willingness to compromise with regard to managing money.

The following are some additional tips for couples who want to make the transition to sharing finances go as smoothly as possible.

Start the conversation early

According to a recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, more than two-thirds of engaged couples had negative attitudes about discussing money with their soon-to-be spouses, with 5 percent saying even having the conversation would cause them to call off the wedding.

If money is causing this type of issue before the wedding, delaying the conversation until after tying the knot can be a big mistake. Its better for couples to begin financial discussions and start brainstorming long-term goals and plans as soon as they get engaged. Dont hide negative financial information from a prospective spouse. Being open and honest -even though it can be challenging -is the best way to proceed.

Deal with debt

Bank orders loans review as consumer debt rises

An increase in personal loans and rising levels of debt on credit cards have led the Bank of England to announce a review into whether the UK’s biggest banks have let their lending criteria become too loose.

Britons are taking out unsecured loans at the fastest rate in more than 11 years and the Bank’s financial policy committee, which oversees financial stability, is concerned that a surge in the indebtedness of households could fuel another debt bubble, noting that consumer credit was “growing particularly rapidly”. In January, a member of the FPC described the rise in unsecured borrowing as a “flashing light”.

Debt charities have warned that calls for help are increasing. StepChange said it had received a record 600,000 calls asking for help with…