Getting married is an exciting time but, with so many things to think about, it can be easy to put off thinking about how you will manage your money together after your wedding day. Taking time before you say “I do” to agree on how you will deal with your finances as a married couple will pay off in the long run.
Plan your wedding
Weddings can be very expensive. Our wedding infographic shows the average Australian wedding costs over $36,000. But there are lots of ways to keeps the costs of your wedding down without spoiling the magic of the day.
Follow these steps to keep the wedding costs under control:
Work out how much money you need – decide how much you want to spend on each item – including food and drinks, venue, cake, cars and music – and come up with a total cost.
Start saving for your wedding now – open a savings account or a term deposit to earn a high interest rate on your savings. Use the savings goals calculator to work out how much you’ll need to save each week.
Look for ways to cut costs – research online or ask around and find out how other people have saved money on their weddings.
Avoid using your credit card wherever possible – try to pay for big items, like the wedding dress or reception venue, in instalments so you aren’t left with huge debts that can take years to pay off.
Organise your finances
Relationships can run into trouble if people have different saving and spending habits, so it’s important to decide whether you want to share a joint account, keep separate accounts, or have both.
Having a joint account can make it easier to pay shared bills, but there are risks with pooling all of your money into one account.
Work out who is going to pay which bills. Being clear about this means you won’t incur late fees or accidentally pay the same bill twice.
Some couples prefer to keep their own separate bank accounts and transfer a set amount each payday into a joint account to cover shared bills. This can be a good option if you have very different incomes or if you just want your own spending money.
Some people simply keep their own separate bank accounts and work out who is responsible for each type of payment, rather than setting up a joint account. Every couple is different, so talk to each other about which system will work best for you.
See our page on joint bank accounts for more information.
Discuss your financial goals
People sometimes don’t realise that their partner has completely different financial goals. For example, one person may think paying off the mortgage as soon as possible is the most important goal, while the other wants to save money for an overseas holiday.
The best thing to do is sit down and work out the goals you want to save for together. Whatever your plans are for the future, talk about them with your partner so you are both clear on what you want and when. Then you can work together to achieve your goals.
Organise your will, insurance and superannuation
Now that you’re officially a family, anything that happens to you will directly affect your partner. So it is important to update your will, insurance policies and superannuation to reflect your new married status.
Update or create a will – see our tips on wills and powers of attorney.
Get to know your superannuation – update your beneficiary details and discuss how you can build your super together.
The single best thing you can do to keep your finances on track as a couple is to keep talking to each other. By having regular conversations about your bills and your savings, you will both know whether you’re on track to achieve your goals, or if you need to adjust your plans.
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Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/life-events/getting-married
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