The financial implications of getting married can be huge. When you get married, you face many different financial decisions, from combining bank accounts to deciding when and where to buy a house. Many marriages fail because of a lack of communication around financial matters or compatibility around the same issues. As a newly married couple, it’s crucial to discuss your finances and make the right decisions for your relationship.

Here are some of the most important financial tips to consider after you get married, though many would be wise to consider them before you tie the knot.

  1. Discuss Financial Goals as Early as Possible

To get on the same page financially, you must discuss what you each want. Both of you probably have financial goals and likely have specific motivations that are tied to money. Proper communication can prevent a poor financial and emotional outcome in your marriage.

You should discuss everything from how money could impact your current situation to what you want retirement to look like. Remember that these things can change over time, so you should keep the lines of communication open over the years.

Additionally, discussing what motivates and drives you about money can be very helpful. Knowing where you both stand is useful because you are likely to have different relationships with money. Marrying a big spender, for example, could be very hard for someone who likes to save a lot.

  1. Combine Your Finances

Most marriages are an opportunity for you to combine your entire lives into one, especially with your finances. The most common way to combine finances is to open a joint checking account and add your spouse as a user on your credit card. This can help them get access to your accounts, and it can also help one spouse if they happen to have a worse financial situation.

This is because you’re both likely to have different credit profiles. Combining finances can help a younger, less disciplined, or less experienced spouse establish more of a credit history. This can be valuable to that spouse and be a great tool to build credit for large purchases you’re likely to make together in the future, such as buying a home.

  1. Know What Your Spouse Owes

A big issue for many when they get married is that their spouse may  have significant financial obligations they need to be made aware of. Taking on those debts can be very hard for some people. The last thing you want is for your spouse to have thousands of dollars in credit card debt without you knowing. This creates an immediate obstacle that you must both overcome together. Not just the money itself but also the feeling of being blindsided.

Both parties should be upfront about their financial liabilities so that each spouse can weigh the potential impact before marriage. However, if you have yet to communicate by your wedding day, you should as quickly as possible afterward. Overcoming a bad financial situation is one thing, but getting hit with it out of nowhere after marriage can make it a much more difficult pill to swallow.

  1. Update Your Beneficiaries for Every Financial Account

All of your financial accounts that would pay out to a beneficiary in the unlikely event of your death should be updated to include your new spouse as the beneficiary. This is the default for many states if you don’t name a beneficiary, but it is much easier for them if you add them beforehand. The types of accounts that you may want to make sure are changed include:

It’s important to ensure that all of your accounts are up to date and that you make it clear that you and your spouse now share a financial life together.

  1. Set a Joint Budget

Now that you know your liabilities and understand how you are motivated by money, you should set a budget that will work for your life moving forward. The budget will need to consider your new life together, including any current debt payments you both have and what your joint expenses will be. It will be something you can both live by and should be a mutual decision.

Agreeing to a budget is a significant financial step that can lead you both to a strong and healthy financial relationship. It can become very satisfying to tackle financial goals together, whether saving money or paying off debt. Not having a budget can lead to spending that displeases one spouse or doesn’t fully account for your financial picture.

The Bottom Line

Overall, getting married is a huge financial decision, not just an emotional one. Once you find the partner you want to spend your life with, getting on the same page about your finances is essential. Understand their goals, how they relate to money, and how their current financial situation meshes with yours. This can help strengthen both your relationship and your finances as you look to grow your wealth and live a happy life.


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