The newlywed budget

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Updated: 4/16/2007 1:29 pm Published: 4/16/2007 1:29 pm

After going through a wedding, reception, and honeymoon, chances are, you'll spend some serious bucks, even if you economize along the way. So it's a good idea to set up a budget for your new household. If you're currently living apart, you'll need to look at potential expenses when living together. One method is to make up a chart with three columns: The first should be the bride's current expenses, the second should be the groom's, and the third should list expected costs as a shared household. If you're already living together, just use a single column. Include fixed expenses like rent or mortgage, car payments, cable TV, health and homeowner's insurance, and property taxes. Don't forget fees like lawncare, pest control, or maid service. Next, list your variable expenses such as electric, water, gas and phone bills; credit cards; medical costs; groceries; auto maintenance; dining out; and miscellaneous. Total each column vertically, and compare this to your average take-home pay. If the 'together' column is more than your combined salaries, you'll obviously need to cut back somewhere. For more information on budgeting, consult a book on the subject, or visit a financial planner.

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