4 Big Purchases: Considerations for Newlyweds From the big purchases to the small ones, use these tips to make better buying decisions. BY ALISON STANTON
There are a few major purchases newlyweds will make that require extra thought and preparation.
“ Chances are you haven't combined your checking or savings accounts with anyone before—and it can take some adjustment.”
The first major expense for most couples is their wedding. After spending months or years of planning, you might think you can relax a bit before jumping into other major buying decisions. However, most newlyweds realize it’s now time to say, "I do" to other major financial purchases. Check out this list of big buys that come up during marriage, along tips on how to handle them.
Your Forever Home
Regardless of whether you and your spouse lived together or maintained separate residences prior to your wedding, many newly-married couples like the idea of beginning their "forever" in a new home. While buying your first home together is exciting, it can also be stressful.
To make the process go as smoothly as possible, start by taking an honest look at your finances. Chances are you haven't combined your checking or savings accounts with anyone before—and it can take some adjustment. Determine your combined income and debt, including student loans, and be sure to check your individual credit reports. If your FICO scores aren't that stellar, you might want to pay down any debts and improve your credit rating before looking into financing a home loan—better credit equals cheaper interest rates.
When you are ready to start looking at houses, it's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will show your real estate agent you're serious about the process and will also prevent you from looking at homes that are out of your budget.
That New Whip
Shopping together for a new vehicle is a typical first major purchase that newlyweds undertake together. It’s not as time consuming or stressful as buying a home, and it gives you good practice at budgeting and pooling your resources.
Again, you’ll also want to run a credit check before heading to the dealership and consider options like leasing or buying a used car. Try to remain realistic about what you can afford. Even though you are most likely combining finances—and it might seem like you have a lot of disposable income — you also have plenty of other bills to contend with, many of which are higher than before.
A High-Quality, Durable Mattress
You spend one-third of your life sleeping, and now you get to do it with your sweet babboo. Why not celebrate this delightful statistic with a new mattress?
There’s a lot to be said for getting a high-quality, durable mattress shortly after you get married. Chances are you’ve had your existing mattress for years, and general advice is to replace it every seven years. Since all mattresses are not created equal, check out this handy buyer's guide from Rooms To Go, which will help you select the best mattress for your body type and sleeping needs.
The vacuum cleaner is your only possession that won’t take it personally when you tell it "you really suck." Trouble is, many newlyweds are making do with a carpet sweeper, old vacuum or a broom to keep the floors clean.
A great-quality vacuum should be on your shopping list shortly after getting home from your honeymoon. Invest in a more expensive, but high-quality brand like Miele or Dyson. Yes, it may set you back several hundred dollars, but it will also last for years and help maintain the value and upkeep of your other, much bigger, investment.
Alison has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.