Guide: Marriage, Weddings and Money

in Financial Planning, Personal Finance Essentials by

Wedding season is upon us, and at Personal Capital, we realize how much life decisions impact your financial choices – and vice versa. Marriage and money go hand-in-hand, whether you are thinking about getting married, planning a wedding, or have already said “I do.” As you decide to navigate life with your partner by your side, it’s a good idea to consider some of the important financial topics that coincide with “tying the knot”.
 
Here are some of the best ways for married couples to handle finances. Our free Personal Capital Marriage Guide will help guide you and your S.O. all the way from the altar to a happy retirement.
 

You said “Yes!” – now what?

After the social media announcement and influx of congratulatory phone calls comes the time to start having the sometimes-uncomfortable conversations that are the key to a happy and healthy relationship. The first step is to determine your financial compatibility. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Will both of you contribute to a long-term financial stability, or will one of you shoulder the main load?
  • Do they have debt, and if so, how much do they have and what is it costing them?
  • What does long-term savings look like for you & your partner? Do they look to the future and pattern their savings habits to meet that future?
  • How do you spending habits compare? Do they have any savings plans or long-term financial goals?
  • Consider the details of cohabiting with your partner. Who will be paying for what or will everything be split down the middle?
  • Should you keep your finances separate or open a joint account?

 
These may be difficult questions to ask, but upfront honesty about your financials can help ensure no surprises and fewer money problems in your marriage.

Time to walk the aisle – how to do it without breaking the bank.

It’s almost unfathomable to think that the average cost of a wedding is upwards of $26,000. With that amount of cash, you could buy anything from a 3-bed, 3-bath condo in the Virgin Islands, 13 new MacBook Pros or a tasteful, brand-new Volkswagen Tiguan.
 
While we can’t put a price on love, we can put a price on what the celebration will run. It’s best to set forth a budget so you can celebrate your marriage with a wedding that honors you as a couple, without mortgaging your souls to do so. Align on a wedding budget that incorporates your long-term financial goals.
 
[Use Personal Capital’s free financial tools to track your finances so you can hit your long-term goals]

The honeymoon continues – financial planning for your future life events

Thinking about financial considerations do not just stop at saying “I do.” As you move forward with your spouse, there are numerous financial subjects you should be considering now and through the rest of your life. These range from buying a home, filing taxes, children and/or pets, insurance, retirement, and estate planning. Making sure these affairs are in order will allow you to sleep easy knowing you are prepared for anything life throws at you.
 

The Takeaway

There are countless factors to consider –aside from the cake flavor and style of the dress — when deciding to get married.

Read our free Personal Capital Marriage Guide to learn more.

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Amin Dabit, CFP®

Amin Dabit, CFP®

Amin Dabit is the Director of Advisor Services with Personal Capital. Along with the EVP of Advisory, Amin helps lead Personal Capital’s financial planning experience and advice. Amin brings over a dozen years of experience in private wealth management and financial planning. Amin works with the advisory team to identify and establish strategies for reaching clients' financial goals by providing comprehensive, customized financial advice designed to improve their financial lives.

5 comments

  1. Todd Lukesh

    LOL. This article came three years too late! Perhaps reading this article together and asking those tough questions with my ex-wife would have setup the relationship to be a long-term success. Completely different outlooks on money between she and I were the number one contributing factor to our divorce. I wish people would have encouraged me to have these conversations up front. A VERY EXPENSIVE lesson learned.

    Reply
  2. Jeanine Cloud Rigby

    Marriage is another chapter of our life. We will no longer be thinking of ourselves but we should be thinking our partner and family as well both financially and emotionally. My sister got married 2 years ago. I asked her how they managed to budget the expenses of their wedding. She informed me that they made an accounting of all their monthly expenses. It helped them track all their expenses from transportation, food, bills, payment for the wedding. This is not only applicable to partners who wish to have their wedding soon but to individuals who wish to save on a monthly basis.

    Reply
  3. Michael

    Married 27 years, 10 months, 5 days ago. We were and are very financially compatible. During pre-marital counseling, we talked about money. We agreed on two things that day:
    1. Not to spend more than $100 bucks without talking to each other first (we’ve changed the amount since)
    2. no deal so good that we don’t sleep on it and go back tomorrow.

    We payed off her student loan and our first car before buying a house. Payed off the mortgage 3 1/2 years ago.

    Reply
    • Jamie Balkin

      Awesome story, Michael. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  4. Sherneal White

    Getting married is a big decision and is one of the most significant events in someone’s life. Apart from the excitement involved in planning your big day, the stress about how and where you can marry may also immediately affect lots of areas in your life. We may not be aware of the legal status, inheritance rights, and pensions which are just some of the things that will change. Many other parts of life will also change.

    This is a great article as it gives a good insight of what couples should take into consideration when going onto marriage and to expect going forward.

    Reply

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