Discussing your personal finances, spending patterns, and financial plan with your partner is crucial.
“Dealing with financial matters is something any couple can do, but you’ve got to do the job yourselves, or it just won’t get done,” writes David Bach in his book “Smart Couples Finish Rich.”
“If the two of you don’t make your finances a priority, they won’t be one.”
In his book, Bach points to the following six mistakes to avoid:
Only 17 states in the US require that students at public high schools take a personal finance class before they graduate.
'If you don't start teaching your kids about money, no one else is going to,' Bach writes.
The earlier you start teaching the basics, the better. Every kid learns at a different pace, but you can start laying the groundwork as early as five years old.
'You don't have to be a financial professional to be able to teach your kids about money,' assures Bach. 'You can still talk to them about how you are saving for retirement and why. You can discuss with them how you handle your credit card debt, what sort of investments you are making, and how you make sure your financial practices reflect your values.'
Prenuptial agreements -- a legal document drafted by an attorney specifying who gets what if you end up getting divorced -- are a touchy subject, but it's unwise to ignore them.
'There's no sugar-coating it. Asking the love of your life to sign a prenuptial agreement while the two of you are planning your wedding does not make for great romance,' Bach says. 'Even though it may be a pretty difficult subject to bring up, I suggest you address it early on in your engagement (or even before you become engaged).'
'Thirty-year mortgages are probably the most popular form of home financing around. They are also, in my opinion, the single biggest financial mistake people make in this country,' Bach writes.
The longer you take to pay off your mortgage, the more interest you'll have to pay, and interest can add up to over $US100,000. To get a better idea of how much interest you'll end up paying, use an online mortgage calculator.
Bach doesn't suggest ditching your 30-year mortgage if you already have one. 'The fact is, 30-year mortgages give you a ton of flexibility,' he explains. 'By all means take out a 30-year mortgage, but under no circumstances should you take the full 30 years to repay it ... A much smarter decision is to pay off your 30-year mortgage early.'
He recommends reviewing your last mortgage payment and adding 10% to that number. 'That's how much you're going to send the bank next month, and every month thereafter ... If you keep this up, you'll wind up paying off your 30-year mortgage in about 22 years ... In short, this is a simple idea that can easily save you tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of dollars in interest over the lifetime of your mortgage.'
Call up your bank or mortgage company to let them know you want to pay them earlier than the schedule calls for, and make sure there are no penalties for paying it off sooner.