Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and money. You put a lot of thought into all the details from the photography to the flowers and picking the perfect music to get down to. But soon the wedding dust settles and it becomes time to think about your new financial journey with the love of your life.
Here are eight financial moves to think about after you get married:
Insure your wedding rings
First things first, make sure you protect your new sparkly accessory from loss by insuring it. You can cover it with your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Contact your insurance agent about your coverage options.
There are pros and cons to having separate and joint bank accounts. It really comes down to a personal preference. If you and your spouse were previously financially independent, then you may prefer to keep accounts separate. Having a joint account keeps everything in the open and offers a clear financial picture. When you have all your income going into one account and all bills being paid from that same account, you know exactly where you sit financially and it can be easier to track spending and appropriately budget.
Hopefully you had the financial talk before you got married so no big financial bombs are dropped out of nowhere. Creating a budget will help you make sure you have enough money every month and that you don’t spend all of your money before the next pay day. Once you record your income and expenses you can determine a plan on how you want to go about spending and saving in the future. Never created a budget? Here’s an easy budget builder.
If you are fortunate enough to have group medical and/or dental plans offered through your employer, do your research on the plans available and enroll with the plan that gives you best coverage and price for your family. Also, if your employer offers retirement plans, make sure you are signed up and taking advantage of the company matches.
Review and update your beneficiaries for your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and Will. It’s also a good time to look into consolidating your home and auto insurance policies (you may even save money when you consolidate.)
If you decided to take on a new last name, you will need to update the IRS, Social Security Administration, driver’s license, passport, credit card companies, banks, etc. Make sure you have the right documentation to make the updates. Many times you will need special documentation to make these changes like your marriage certificate, social security card and/or id. The DMV offers a checklist of who to notify of your name change.
If you haven’t already started building your emergency fund, then it’s time to get started. Set aside money every month for unexpected expenses (use your budget to determine how much you allocate.) You never know when your car will need repairs, when you will have an unexpected medical emergency, or even lose your job. It’s smart to have some sort of financial safety net to turn to rather than relying on loans or credit cards.
If you don’t already have life insurance, then now is the perfect time. If you were to pass away, your spouse would suffer emotionally and financially. Purchasing life insurance before starting a family and while you are young and healthy can save you money. Premiums go up as you age and develop health concerns, so lock in those lower prices while you can. Term life insurance is an affordable option to offer your loved ones the financial protection and security they deserve. It’s easy to find out how much life insurance may cost you by running a term life insurance quote on our website.
Your finance journey will always be a work in progress and you will have to make tweaks all the time depending on your situation. And, while talking finances doesn’t scream romance, it will make for a better financial relationship so you can live happily ever after.
Photo credit to: Sergio Vassio Photography [original photo edited to crop]