Friday, January 20, 2017

In Sickness And In Wealth: Financial Planning After Your Wedding Day

financial protection
The day you get married or enter a civil partnership is one of the best days of your life. But you know that it has been a long road to your special day, and I’m not just talking about the in-laws! The cost of the day itself is enough to bankrupt most people, and after the blissful day and relaxing honeymoon comes real life again. You are together, either in name or on paper, and so the vows to share the burden is all too real now, and this includes debt. There are things that, as a partnership, that you need to discuss regarding your finances.

Firstly, talk about them. Preferably you should do this before you get married, but if you haven’t, then it might be beneficial to lay out some ground rules. For example, purchases over a certain amount could be discussed. You may have a dynamic where one of you is good with money and the other one not so much. And arguments over money are all too common. Knowing how much debt you have combined is a good starting point, so you can then factor in how to handle money on both sides of the partnership.

Secondly, establish goals. Discussing your goals in terms of things like, when you want to retire, by which point you’d like to get out of debt, and similar long-term ideas. If you are planning on having children, are you going to be a one-income family so one person can stay at home and look after the kids? If so, you need to stick to a budget, and this can’t be done unless you stick to certain spending habits and link them up to your goals.

Thirdly, discuss your bank accounts. There are good and bad points to opening a joint bank account, namely that trust is improved in your marriage, and it can simplify your finances as you can see all of your outgoings in one place. But there are also pluses to keeping your own individual accounts, especially if you need to take out individual life insurance policies, or have spending habits individual to you. If you choose to have a joint life-insurance policy, there are many comprehensive policies that cover married couples, and also those in civil partnerships, which you can get information on at But if you opt to have individual bank accounts, it may make things easier if divorce is on the cards, which, statistically, there is a chance of.

Fourthly, build an emergency fund. An important aspect of any marriage is creating a fund, in case problems relating to health should arise, or someone loses their job, or there is a part of the house that is in dire need of repair. You should aim to save around 6 months worth of your household expenses. That way, if something does crop up, you have a very big buffer to help you out of a tight spot for quite a long period of time.

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