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Guide: Marriage, Weddings and Money

June 27, 2017 | Amin Dabit, CFP®

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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