As my sister is preparing to get married this coming summer I am overwhelmed by the amount of decisions she and her fiancé need to make; flowers, invitations, venue, decoration, the list goes on and on (and on, and on, and on..) But that’s just the wedding! After their “special day” they’re going to be entering the real world as a married couple. Goodbye, romance. Hello, grown-up things! This means finances for two people, budgeting for two people, and potentially, as a result, fighting for two people. Here is some information regarding financial decisions a newlywed couple will need to take on, with the help from an article by Quotacy.
Insure your wedding rings
Maybe it’s a family heirloom, maybe it cost upwards of 5 paychecks for your fiancé, and maybe your fiancé bought it on clearance. Regardless of the price tag, that sparkly ring on your left hand ring finger symbolizes your marriage. In case you lose it or it gets stolen, it is a good idea to insure your wedding ring. You can cover it with your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Contact your insurance agent about your coverage options.
Nothing screams “we’re married” like having joint bank accounts. But this may not be for every couple. Having a separate or joint bank account is a personal decision. Joint accounts keep everything in the open and make it easier to know exactly where you sit financially. Joint accounts make it easier to track spending and budget, as well. If you prefer to stay financially independent, then keeping accounts separate won’t harm you financially. Being dishonest may, but a separate bank account will not.
You may be a thrifty spender, while your fiancé may be someone who doesn’t think twice about dropping big bucks on something they want. This is something you’re both going to have to learn to live with (doesn’t marriage sound fun??), and something that will help is to create a budget. A budget will help make sure you don’t run out of money to pay for the important things, like utilities, rent, gas or groceries. Here are 5 easy steps for building a budget.
In another article on MSA’s blog, we cover insurance with employers. This article may be helpful for you to check out if you have any questions. It is important to research all plans available so you can enroll with the plan that gives you the best coverage for the best price.
You may want to update your beneficiaries after marriage, and add your spouse as a primary or secondary or contingent. This is a decision you and your spouse will need to make. Review and update your beneficiaries for your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and Will.
In some marriages neither spouse will take the other’s last name, for reasons they personally feel strong about. But, if you do decide to take on a new last name, there is some work that needs to be done afterwards. You will need to update your IRS, driver’s license, Social Security Administration, passport, credit card, bank, etc. The DMV offers a checklist of who to notify of your name change.
As a couple there is now double the chance that something will go wrong compared to when you were single. Set aside money every month to build up an emergency fund. Your car may break down, you may have a medical emergency, or you may lose your job. It’s always smart to have a backup plan and a little cushion for “just in case,” and no that does not mean “just in case” you want to go on vacation or “just in case” you might need those $500 dollar shoes.
Are you a young newlywed? Then you should also check out MSA’s article about getting life insurance in your 20s. Now is the ideal time to get life insurance. If you were to pass away or be handicapped in an accident and you were without life insurance your spouse would then carry a financial burden. “Till death do us part” does not apply to finances, so it is important to financially protect your spouse from any life altering events.