Getting Married? Top 6 Tips for Merging Your Finances

Covering wedding and honeymoon expenses can easily crowd out all other thoughts of your soon-to-be-joint finances. It’s worth carving out a little time to start planning how you can get the most bang for your mutual buck in the coming months and years.

1. Compare notes

It’s a good idea for each person to make a complete list of all their current accounts and collect the corresponding financial statements. Then bring all the information together to get an idea of your combined:
  • Income
  • Assets, savings, and investments, including emergency funds
  • Everyday bills
  • Total debt, including credit cards and student loans
Look at accounts where you have a beneficiary and decide where you want to designate each other.

2. Get rid of redundancy

Are you both paying for the same things unnecessarily? Could you get a better deal on services if you went in together? Assess these spending areas:
  • Streaming subscription services
  • Cell phone services
  • Health, auto, and life insurance

3. Establish money management routines

It’s usually easier and more efficient if one person pays the bills, but the other person should always be informed. Consider setting a quick weekly meeting to make sure you’re staying on the same page. Many couples benefit from spending ground rules like:
  • Neither person can spend over a certain amount on a single purchase without discussing it with the other person first
  • Neither person can lend money to friends and family above a certain amount

4. Talk with a tax advisor

You can be married and still file your taxes as individual singles, or you can file jointly. A tax advisor can help you determine which is more advantageous in your situation.

5. Start crafting a budget you can both get behind

People have different financial personalities, from super-savers to starry-eyed spenders. Your personality doesn’t have to be the same as your spouse’s. The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open and have a mechanism for crunching the numbers.

The United budget calculator makes it easy to break down income, essentials, and more.

6. Align on your long-term financial goals

As a new couple starting a new life, what are you hoping to accomplish together down the road? Priorities change over time, but it’s good to start the conversation and revisit regularly. Common goals include:
  • Buying a home
  • Making home improvements
  • Retiring comfortably
United is here to help with a full range of financial solutions from mortgages to home equity loans to personal savings accounts. Just schedule an appointment online.