Ok, now the wedding has passed and you both are ready to start your new life together. Besides the cost of changing you name which could be anywhere between $100 -$500 there are several important financial decisions that you should be considering.
Joint or Separate Bank Accounts:
This is often one of the first decisions that couples will have to make when it comes to their finances. This can be awkward, especially if one person wants a joint account and the other would like to keep their accounts separate, but it is a conversation that must be had. Some couples decide to keep their own separate bank accounts, but then have one joint to pay for their expenses or have a joint account for a specific savings goal, such as travel.
Often opposites do attract, spenders often end of with savers and vice versa. Some people are inherently more cautious with their money and follow a strict budget while the other just goes with the flow. While dating these tendencies could be overlooked, but when two people get married and their finances become intertwined this can lead to issues in the future. Talking about each other spending or budgeting habits in the beginning and coming up with a compromise that both spouses can agree with can prevent future problems.
One strategy could be for one spouse typically the saver and budgeter to oversee paying all the bills and setting aside money for emergencies and retirement. While the other can oversee the account that pays for the new car or the next vacation.
Set Financial Goals:
Financial goals are most easily attained when started early and consistently worked towards. Talking with each other about what is most important to the other partner will increase your probability of success, some typical goals to consider:
Saving for a new home
Each partner should go through each of their accounts such as and bank accounts (if kept separate), retirement/brokerage accounts, life insurance or any other account and add their spouse as the beneficiary.