Getting married is a lot more than walking down the aisle, buying a new home and settling in thinking about the future. Some of the most common problems that newlyweds encounter include building up too much debt, not having a financial plan and being financially separated from each other. If a newly married couple fail to merge their finances, the stress will continue to build up.

Since combining your finances should be done in any new marriage or partnership, here are the steps you’re going to want to take to make sure everything flows smoothly:

Recognise It

The first step that you’re going to want to take is by recognising that money is an extremely important part of any relationship or marriage. Bring the issue to the table and start setting up financial goals for the next 30 years. Where do you want to be financially in five years? 10 years? 30 years?

Attack the Debt

According to multiple studies, debt is one of the biggest causes of stress in a relationship. Since this debt can start to accrue early in a relationship or even before one begins, it’s important to start prioritising your spending and creating a plan to get rid of the debt. So instead of buying that new car, consider buying one used or getting by with just one. Use the debt snowball technique to get on top of things and claw your way out of debt.

Joint Accounts

A great way to combine your finances is by establishing a joint account shortly after you get married. Creating a joint account is going to let each other know where you both stand financially. Often, the problem with separate accounts is that it can be hard to know how much money each other has, making it hard to budget for bills and weekly activities. This is also an opportune time to look around at what’s available and consider switching bank.

Start an Emergency Fund

No matter what kind of financial situation you’re in, it’s important to start an emergency fund as soon as you can. This emergency fund should consist of at least three to 12 months of expenses to get you by in case you lose your job or an emergency comes up like a car problem or surgery. By creating this emergency fund, it’s going to save a lot of stress if the unexpected happens.

Watch the Lifestyle

It’s no secret that everyone in life has their own likes and dislikes in life. If one partner likes to spend thousands on travel, while another is happy staying at home, it’s important to merge your lifestyles so that it can accommodate your budget. As stated above, when discussing your financing, it’s important that you’re spending money on things that you can afford.

By planning together and knowing where you stand with money, it’s going to make a relationship a lot better. By following the steps mentioned above, you’ll be one day closer to having a healthy relationship that doesn’t have to worry about money.