Couples go into marriage with the highest of expectations yet often fall into money pitfalls which can upset the desire for marital harmony. When couples begin a life together, it is wise to discuss financial goals, a budget, bank accounts, and learn about possible changes to filing taxes.
Financial goals should be clear upon entering a shared life, and secrets should be nonexistent. Credit histories should be divulged, as marriage will join two histories into one and directly affect the credit scores and future credit for the couple. When financial goals such as savings accounts and spending limits are discussed, a budget can be created.
With a budget, a couple can see their income versus expenses and decide how much money should be saved. With a budget, extra income earned above what is needed to live can be put into a savings account, or invested, and earnings can go towards big purchase items such as a new home, car, or vacation.
Some couples choose to maintain some semblance of independence by keeping their own personal bank accounts, while setting up a third for household expenses. The financial design is a personal choice between the couple, and decisions should be made together with clear expectations of each partner.
As a married couple, filing taxes jointly may put folks into a higher tax bracket. It is wise to meet with a financial planner prior to the wedding to discuss taxes, savings, investments, budget, etc. Newly married couples should enjoy their life together while avoiding the common financial pitfalls of marriage.
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