What to Do When You’re Getting Married to Live “Happily Ever After” Financially

Congratulations on finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with!

Whether you’re newly engaged or have already walked down the aisle, it’s important that you and your partner lay the foundation early for a successful financial partnership. This means being completely open about everything involving money, and making decisions together about how you want to handle things going forward.

The best approach is to have these discussions before you get married so you both know what you are committing to financially when you say, “I do”– if not before you marry, this needs to be at the top of your list as you start your married life together.

Avoiding the discussion now leaves the door open to many potentially serious problems later on… better to work things out now than risk your “happily ever after.”

What Kinds of Things Do You Need to Consider When You’re Getting Married?

Getting married touches every aspect of your life, from where and how you live to your legal and financial rights and responsibilities.

To successfully merge two separate lives into a happy partnership of equals, you will need to work with your partner on your getting married finances, to define your roles and responsibilities. This means you not only have to make decisions now; you also have to decide how  you will make decisions as a couple going forward.

You’re not the only one whose opinions and happiness matter anymore– someone else’s hopes, dreams and preferences are just as important– so you have to figure out how to set things up so both of you can be happy.

So you have lots of things to discuss.

  • Your Wedding

    What is your wedding budget and how will you pay for the wedding?

  • Your Decision Process

    How will you, as a couple, make financial decisions?

  • Your Marital Finances

    Who will be in charge of managing the money in your marriage?

  • Your Bank Accounts

    Will you have joint accounts or keep some or all of your funds separate?

  • Your New Budget

    What will your monthly budget look like after you’re married?

  • Your Savings Goals

    What big purchases do you want to save for together? A home? Cars?

  • Your Debt

    Will you pay off pre-marital debt like student loans together or separately?

  • Your Credit

    Are you both credit-worthy? If not, how will you handle purchases that require good credit?

  • Your Taxes

    Should you file your taxes jointly or separately to maximize your deductions?

  • Your Pre-Marital Assets

    Do you want a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement to decide how assets you brought into the marriage will be handled?

  • Your Critical Info

    Where and how will you store critical account, medical and other information so that both of you can access it if needed?

  • Your Spouse’s Security

    What arrangements do you want to make to ensure your partner is taken care of if something happens to you?

… And these are just the general questions– there are many more that will come up depending on the specifics of your lives.

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your getting married finances… which is why it’s a good idea to talk things over with a financial advisor who can help you with financial planning for newlyweds, so you cover all the bases and make sure you’re fully prepared for your new financial life together.

Request Our Free Guide: Marriage & Money

Marriage & Money guide cover

To help you get started, we offer a free interactive guide, Marriage & Money, with helpful budgeting worksheets and checklists created specifically for people planning to marry or who have recently married.

The guide addresses some of the most common issues that come up in financial planning for newlyweds (for engaged or newly-married couples):

  • Wedding planning and budgeting
  • Becoming one legally and financially
  • Records to update/addresses to change once you’re married
  • Budget planning as a couple

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If you want to meet with an advisor to discuss your specific situation and make sure you’ve covered everything you should to start your partnership the right way, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.

We’ll be glad to help you and your spouse look at your getting married finances and help you with financial planning for newlyweds, so you can create your plan for a happy and financially secure life together.

Tools and Resources

How does getting married impact your insurance needs?

Article: 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

How do I change my name on my Social Security card?

IRS Tax Tips: How Getting Married Can Affect Your Taxes

Article: 5 Key Financial Steps to Take Before Saying “I Do”