Are you a newlywed or are you about to become one?  Whether you just got married or will this spring, you and your partner should consider making joint New Year’s resolutions.  Although optional, these joint New Year’s resolutions can focus on the transition you will need to make as newlyweds.

So, what type of New Year’s resolutions should you and your new spouse make together?

1 – The Merger of Finances

If you just got married or will do so soon, your finances may still be separate.  Make this the year to merge them together.  When doing so, decide on a course of action.  Should you just add each other to your individual checking and savings accounts or close those accounts and create a new one? 

In addition to merging finances, it is important to discuss the process.  If your husband or wife has poor spending habits, the extra money in your accounts may be spent right away.  Discuss how you want to spend extra money together.  Have this discussion before you find yourself indebt.

Merging finances is a step that most newlyweds take, but it is optional.  Does your new spouse have a money management problem or do you want to keep your financial independence?  If so, do not merge your finances.  Instead, develop a plan that ensures everyone is contributing equally to your new household.  For example, spilt the rent or mortgage payments, one pays the phone bill while the other pays the cable bill, and so forth.

2 – The Merger of Two Households

When two households combine into one, many items end up in storage.  Of course, it is okay to leave these items there, but think about the result.  Have you lost valuable space in your garage or are you paying monthly storage fees?  If so, end the madness now and truly merge your households into one.

If you and your spouse are living together, items should already be packed and stored.  Before deciding to throw away, donate, or sell these items, review them again.  If you moved into your husband’s home, your coffee table may have automatically went into storage.  But, is yours the better coffee table?  If so, make the switch.

As previously stated, you have the option of selling or donating all duplicate items, such as home appliances, furniture, and home décor. Donating is nice, but consider the long-term future.  Although you received money for wedding gifts, secure your financial future by selling the items you no longer need.  Host a yard sale, turn to or  Take the money and save it or enjoy a nice dinner for a date night.

3 – Spend Time with Friends

Newlyweds often spend a lot of time together.  Of course this is good, but it is also where a lot of friendships start going bad.  Don’t let this happen.  Just because you are starting a new life with your spouse, you should not forget about your old.  For that reason, spend time with your friends and let your spouse do the same.  Opt for lunch or coffee with the girls or watching a game of football with the boys.

Quality time with friends is important, but consider combining your two lives.  Plan joint activities, such as a dinner party where both you and your partner can invite friends. 

The merger of two households, finances, and continuing relationships with friends, are important to a new relationship.  So, start yours off on the right foot by making a joint New Year’s resolution with your new spouse.

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