If you’re just married or are soon to be, it’s a very exciting time. But once the confetti has turned to mush, one of the less thrilling, but still very important aspects of your new life together is making sure your finances are in order. With marriage can come big financial decisions.
Our guide explains.
You tell each other your most secret hopes and dreams, so why should your finances be any different? It makes sense to spend time together talking about your financial objectives as a couple; for example, agreeing how you’re going to manage your day-to-day finances or how you’re going to save for the long-term.
Should you have a joint account?
If you haven’t already, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is whether you’re going to have a joint account. Some couples put their entire salaries into one, so everything is split 50/50. This makes things easy from an admin point of view, but it can be tricky if you want to treat your partner to a surprise or buy them a birthday gift if the other person regularly checks their statements. Others prefer to keep their individual accounts and open a joint account that they each pay into for paying bills and for shared expenses like holidays or going out for dinner. There’s no right or wrong way; do whatever works for you. With a joint account, each holder is granted full access. You’ll each received a debit card, checkbook, and online banking passwords, so you can both keep an eye on your finances. One thing to note is that the credit score of your spouse will have an impact on your own score if you have a joint bank account, which can either be a benefit or a disadvantage.
Dream honeymoon v reality:
One of the big initial costs of getting married is the honeymoon. You might have your heart set on two weeks in Bali, but make sure you tie your expectations in with your budget. You don’t want to get yourself into a lot of debt at the start of your marriage. If you’ve already spent most of your budget on the wedding itself, an idea might be to go away for a cheap city break for your honeymoon and then go on your dream honeymoon on your first anniversary when you’ve had a chance to save.
If you already have children, you’ll know that as they grow, so does the cost of having them! If you’re planning on having a family, it makes sense to try and save for this before you even start. Family and friends will often help out with the initial big outlay like cots, prams, and highchairs and other parents are more than happy to offload clothes their children have grown out of. But as children get older, there are other things to consider: the cost of holidays, food, will you need a bigger car? If you want to start a family, sit down and financially plan for your new arrival. You will need to save for the new arrival and it’s never too soon to start.