Upon marriage, you are likely ready to settle into many of the perks of domestic housekeeping. Still, setting up a home requires financial planning. If you are still renting a property, you must learn how to manage upkeep costs as joint finances beckon. What are some of the ways you can improve cost management?
Costs Involved In Rental Homes
Once you marry, you might decide to move into a bigger rental property. Thus, your rental obligations will likely cost more than before. As a result, you and your spouse will probably have to combine a few expenses. These might include:
- The base rent on the property
- Additional rental fees, such as pet rent, parking leases or garbage collection fees
- Security deposits
- Renters insurance premiums
- Standard utility costs for gas, water and electricity
These expenses apply to both spouses. So, depending on each spouse's income, it is a good idea for you both to work together to manage these costs.
Managing These Bills
Generally, it is not difficult to manage rental costs on two incomes. However, the smart approach is to ensure you don't live beyond your means.
- Ensure your rent does not exceed a certain percentage of your total monthly income. Most experts recommend that rent should cost no more than 25 to 35 percent of this budget. So, if you and your spouse bring home a combined $8,000 per month, your rent should cost no more than between $2,000 and $2,800.
- Think about committing a slice of one spouse's paycheck specifically to rent. That way, you'll always know where and when the rent money will hit your accounts. The other spouse might then be able to cover remaining costs out of their check, for example.
- Consider placing household money in a joint account that goes explicitly to these costs. Often, you can direct a part of your paycheck to go to that account each month. Afterwards, you'll have more room to work with the remaining money in other accounts.
- Avoid having two renters insurance policies. Usually, spouses will not need two renters insurance policies. That's because most of the possessions and liabilities are their joint responsibility. However, where changes often prove necessary is in the amount of coverage carried. Two people cost more than one. You'll likely need to increase the possessions and liability limits of your coverage.
Your landlord will usually provide a comprehensive overview of your household charges. Therefore, you'll have the opportunity to better plan for your rental expenses. This will help both spouses manage both joint and separate money.