Financial considerations for newly married couples

Financial considerations for newly married couples

‘Til death do us part, or ’til debt do us part?

As of the 2011 Census, 48.7 per cent of Australians were married. Once you factor in people that have since separated, divorced or otherwise lost their loved one, only 34.3 per cent of us over the age of 15 have never been married.

It’s a big commitment, and is more than just an emotion- and lifestyle-based one. When you get married, you are also sharing your finances with the one closest to you however, this can put a strain on your relationship.

With recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that there can be as many as 118,000 marriages registered in a single year, we think it’s important that couples get off on the right foot financially once they’re married. So how can you do that?

Set your goals together

If you haven’t done this by the time you get married, then after the honeymoon it might be time to set some long-term financial goals. This might be gathering together money in a savings account for a home loan deposit, or perhaps for another honeymoon further down the line. 

Whatever the goal, make sure you work together to determine how you will achieve it. As the Australian government’s Family Relationships site notes, “be willing to negotiate around your differences with respect and generosity. You are not going to get your own way all the time.”

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Don’t hide the problems

Relationships Australia often surveys couples about the struggles they face, and one such piece of research revealed that nearly 85 per cent of people think financial problems are likely to split couples up. Meanwhile, approximately 10 per cent think that financial struggles actually keep couples together.

However it impacts your relationship, it’s important to be direct and honest about debts. They could be personal debts from a long time ago or a simple mishandling of finances on one person’s part, but individual debts can become joint debts when you’re a married couple. Clearly communicating any issues and solving them together could be a crucial first step in your married life.

Don’t be afraid to get counselling

We don’t mean marriage counselling – hopefully newlyweds don’t need any of that. What we mean here is financial counselling. Entering married life could mean you have to adopt a different financial outlook, be it saving more ahead of a birth or working more while your significant other perhaps completes a degree or applies for another career role.

A financial counselling service can help you set new, clear goals and find ways to achieve them. It could be just what you need to kickstart your new life together on the right financial footing. 

Check your tax status

If you have just registered your marriage, you may need to check up on some tax details too. For example, according to the Australian Taxation Office you might need to supply PAYG statements, foreign income details or child support details that your spouse has. 

The same applies for losses on a rental property or superannuation deductions. Doing your taxes is never particularly enjoyable but with the right preparation and the right information, it can be a breeze. Newlyweds should check what they need to change on their taxes. Maybe wait until you’ve had a relaxing honeymoon and holiday though.

Getting married is one of the biggest decision you step into, and it can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and enrichment of each other’s’ lives. On top of that, you can double your buying power when it comes to achieving your financial goals. Once you’ve tied the knot, tie up your financial goals and move forward into a happy future! 

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Learn more about bank accounts

Can I find my bank account number online?

Yes, you can find your bank account number by logging into your online banking and clicking on the relevant account.

What do I need to open bank accounts online?

Opening a bank account online is a simple process and only takes between five to 10 minutes to complete. To get started you will need a computer or smartphone with internet access.

Information to have available when you’re ready to apply is:

  • Identification (such as driver’s licence, birth certificate, passport, proof-of-age card)
  • Tax file number
  • Residential address, email and a contact number

In some cases, you might be asked to provide employment details. If you’re not able to verify your identity online, most financial institutions let you provide this in the branch at a later date.

There are some types of bank account that you can apply for only in a branch. However, most bank accounts can be applied for conveniently online.

How do you delete your bank account from PayPal?

Deleting your bank account from PayPal is a simple three-step process:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Choose the account you’d like to delete
  • Click ‘Remove bank account’

How do you open a bank account in Australia?

Opening a bank account in Australia is usually a straightforward process. Some banks give you the option of opening an account online, while others require you to visit a branch.

Different bank accounts offer different features, so it’s best to compare your options to find one that suits you.

All banks require you to pass an identity check to open a bank account. Australia uses the 100-point identification system, which means you’ll need to show a number of forms of ID that, together, add up to 100 points.

Common ID types include a driver’s licence, passport, Australian visa in a foreign passport, and Australian Medicare card. You’ll find out what types of ID are accepted when you go through the sign-up process online or at a branch.

Once your account is open, you’ll be given or sent a debit card that you can use to make purchases and withdraw money from your account.

Do I need to open a business bank account?

Just because you’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean you need a business bank account. You could be a sole trader not registered for GST, and use your personal bank account for business.

If you do want a business account, there are plenty of benefits attached to business transaction and savings accounts, as well as business term deposits.

There are business bank accounts designed for businesses with a high volume of transactions, and those for start-ups with a small amount of trade. You could also include an EFTPOS service with your account.

Some business bank accounts charge for the number of transactions per month, while others offer a pay-as-you-go fee structure, where you only pay fees for transactions you make.

It’s up to you whether your priority is mainly transactions, or earning the maximum amount of interest on your principal. There’s a business banking solution for you if you need one.

How do you open a bank account under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you want to open an Australian bank account, you will need your passport or birth certificate. (Some lenders might require just a Medicare card or driver’s licence.) You can apply online or at a branch. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

How can I find bank accounts in my name?

To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

  • Payee’s name
  • Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
  • BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
  • Account number

Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.

A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

Can I set up a bank account online?

Most Australia-based lenders will allow you to set up a bank account online. Requirements vary from lender to lender, but you will probably need to provide a passport or birth certificate, as well as a driver’s licence, Medicare card or another form of secondary ID.

Can you open a bank account at 16?

Yes, you can open a bank account at 16, or even younger. If you’re 13 or under, you will probably need a parent to accompany you to a branch.

Can I have a PayPal account without a bank account?

You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.