Financial planning for newlyweds
Marriage is a major step in life - both emotionally and financially. Money and finances are the major causes of marital conflict, so it benefits newlyweds to have a good understanding of each other's financial situation before the big day. Frequent discussions and good communication are key to avoiding problems. Here's what you can consider:
- Will you each have an individual bank account or a joint account?
It is generally a good idea to consider a combination of both joint and individual accounts. A joint account should be used for family expenses, such as the mortgage or rent, utilities, bills, groceries, and so on. In addition, each person should have an individual discretionary account for personal spending, or fun money.
- Will you take advantage of the convenience of online banking?
By banking online, you can save considerable time and money. As your lives become fuller and busier after marriage, you have less time for visiting branches and writing out checks. SWSFCU’s Online Banking and Mobile Banking services allow you to do your banking when and where it is convenient to you.
- How will you budget your money?
Even if you had created a budget for yourself in the past, your new spouse will contribute to the debt, assets, bills and savings of your household. Discussing your debt, savings plans and ways to handle expenses will help you develop a realistic budget.
- What are your plans for the unexpected?
Important decisions need to be made about insurance and estate planning. If both of you work and are covered by a health plan through an employer, take a look at which plan will be the most beneficial. Getting married is one of the life events that allow you to change your health insurance election without waiting for the open enrollment period. After you get married, discuss what would happen if your spouse was left to support your household alone, and consider whether or not life insurance would be appropriate. A sudden loss of income can be devastating to a family.
- What are your retirement plans?
Take a look at your beneficiaries on existing retirement plans, pensions, IRAs and any other assets you may have. When you establish beneficiaries on these accounts, you can ensure that your assets are disbursed properly when you die. Don’t forget to take advantage of the many different retirement accounts that are available to help your tax situation. With two incomes, it can be a great time to begin saving for retirement and save money on taxes at the same time.
SWSFCU can help you start your married life the right way with products and services that fit your needs.