Just Married? How To Get Your Life Started Financially
When you get married, there are a lot of things in your life that change. One individual will get a new last name and one or both of you will move. In addition, both of your financial situations will change, and this could bring about new challenges to your relationship as a whole. It is important to learn how to navigate credit card debt, your personal financial goals as well as everything in between. You want to start your marriage with a strong financial foundation, and you can do this with strategic planning. Here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Deal with Your Bank Accounts.
This is probably one of the first things that you should deal so that it is out of the way. Do you keep your individual, separate bank accounts or do you open up a joint bank account? Or do you go with a third option and have a combination of both? It is ultimately up to you as a couple, but it is something that needs to be discussed. In the end, it may be a good idea to go the combination route. This way a joint account can be used for family-related expenses, such as utilities and other bills, groceries, etc., while separate accounts can be used for personal spending.
Tip #2: Create a New Budget.
You have already created a budget for your own cash flow, but you now have more monthly income coming in as well as more debt going out. Therefore, it is important to sit down and look at all of this to determine how things have changed. You both need to sit down together to do this. Make a list of your cash flow and outgoing debt. You also want to look at the amount of money that can be saved each month and see if there are any ways that you can combine your expenses, such as getting on the same cell phone plan.
Tip #3: Look at Your Health Insurance Options.
Getting married is one of those life changes that will allow you to make changes to your health insurance. If you are both employed with health insurance from your employer, look at both of your plans and see which one will offer the most bang for your buck before simply switching to one or the other.
Tip #4: Plan for Your Retirement.
If you currently have IRAS, pensions or any other type of retirement plan, you want to make sure that you check out the beneficiaries. More than likely, you will want to change the beneficiary to your spouse so that your spouse is entitled to the benefits upon your death. If you have not started saving for your retirement, now may be a good time since you have two incomes coming into the household. Plus, you may be able to save on your taxes since there are some retirement accounts that are designed to do just that.
For more information about financial and retirement planning, contact a financial planning expert in your area.