Debt can be a major source of strife for newlyweds—and in today’s economy, that trouble may be magnified. But it need not cause a rift, writes Jeff D. Opdyke in the Wall Street Journal. Some tips:
- Firm up your money goals in a joint “financial mission statement.” Decide things like when credit card bills will be paid and “what defines an emergency expense.” Be specific and willing to compromise.
- Don’t wait to discuss existing debt and your strategies for approaching it. “You must proactively engage your debt, or risk that it consumes your finances and destabilizes your marriage."
- Know the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt, including affordable loans on homes, cars, and education, “improves your life permanently.” Bad debt—like auto leases, which typically involve cars beyond your means—“only improves your lifestyle temporarily.”