May 10, 2023
Tagged As: Personal, Wealth Management
Getting married? Congratulations! By now, you have probably sat down with your partner to talk about finances, like whether you’ll open a joint account. So when the big day comes, try to live in the moment and take a few moments afterward to enjoy your new status as a couple. But when you're ready to tackle the financial aspects of marriage, here are the most important places to start.
Decide How to Manage Your Accounts
It is no longer assumed that all couples will have joint bank accounts. However, there are some benefits to having at least one joint account. Managing household expenses can be much easier with an account that both partners can access and contribute to. But there can be some drawbacks as well. If one person has a significantly lower credit score than the other, it could affect the offers the couple has access to.
Determine Your Financial Goals
What does money mean to you? Do you want to save enough for a vacation each year, or focus on building a nest egg? What do you want your financial picture to look like in five years? Talking about and agreeing on your financial goals as a couple can help you avoid arguments and get you and your partner on the same page to build a better future together. When you and your partner are aligned on what you want from your finances, it will make reaching those goals that much more rewarding.
Make a Will
No one wants to think about it, but in case of death of one or both partners, it is important to have a will set up. Having a will is doubly important if you already have children. Putting a will in place will make things much easier if the worst happens.
Calculate Your Net Worth As a Couple
Now is the time to lay your entire financial story out on the table, if you haven’t already. The clearer you are about where you stand financially, the better off you will be long-term. List outstanding debts, any payments owed to previous spouses (such as child support), all income, investments, and all accounts (including retirement accounts). Use this as a springboard to put together your financial goals and your day-to-day budget.
Create a Budget Together
Even if you have separate accounts, a joint household budget is essential to reaching your financial goals! Talk with your partner and be sure to prioritize your joint financial goals in setting up your annual and monthly budgets.
Changing Your Name
If one or both partners choose to change their name, it will be important to take steps to ensure your creditors, financial institutions, and other entities are aware of the name change. This process can take time, so don’t delay. It may be helpful to make a list of all places and documents that may require official name change information, such as:
- Social Security card
- Driver's license
- Vehicle registration, lease agreements, and other documents
- Creditors (including any outstanding student loans)
- Financial institutions
- Voter registration
If you’re taking one, we wish you and your spouse a very happy honeymoon and a fruitful start to your life together! And if you have any other questions about your finances as a couple, our bankers are happy to help. Stop by any Hills Bank location or get in touch with us online.