Recent research from Roy Morgan indicated that married couples experienced less incidence of stress, anxiety and other mental illnesses than any other type of relationship — even de facto couples. But try telling that to anyone who is going through the financial nitty gritty that comes with getting married!
You don’t just share your love with another; in many cases you are also sharing your savings accounts – and often debts, which can be an intimidating process. With this in mind, let’s have a look at some handy tips for newlyweds and how you can both be smart and stress-free with your finances.
You don’t need to go all in
While many couples do pool all of their finances together, it isn’t always necessary. What many people do is have a joint savings account, as well as each party’s individual account. Once your living costs are determined, you can decide to deposit a certain amount each week into this.
As you’re getting married, it is fair to say you and your partner have established trust, and will have no problem sharing funds in this way. Remember that a joint high interest savings account will also only incur one set of bank fees, which may be more appropriate for you than paying two sets of these with separate accounts.
Make the right considerations
While same sex marriage is yet to be approved on a federal level, many couples will have an inherent financial imbalance based on gender. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ trend results for average weekly earnings found that the average weekly total earnings for men were $1,678.80 as of November 2014. For women, this figure was $1,307.60.
If this is the situation in your relationship, consider talking through with your partner what each person’s contributions towards a joint credit card or your regular bills will be. It’s something that will be different depending on your exact situation, but is worth the discussion. It may also be worth chatting to your accountant about ways to make the most of a benefit at tax time.
Settle on a common goal
Have you already purchased a home as a couple, or are perhaps considering a home loan to do so? Whatever your long term goals are, make sure you’re on the same page. Saving for a honeymoon may be one party’s goal, while the other may believe putting funds aside for a first home deposit is more important.
Open discussion about financial goals and a clear goal-setting scheme is key. You’re both in this together, and should work towards a common financial goal. This doesn’t mean putting your own dreams by the wayside, however. You can have your individual financial goals as well!
Update your insurance
Whatever your insurance policy or estate planning is before you get married, it will likely need to be updated now that your living situation has changed. Your will, power of attorney, insurance policy and superannuation contributions will all need to be looked at in a new light.
Your premiums may change too. This is all part of the process: Your budgeting is going to change significantly.
Consider your credit card options
Give your credit card a health check and see how yours stacks up to the competitors by using our credit card comparison tools. Many credit card providers give you the option of taking out a second piece of plastic for use by family members, which may mean paying fewer fees. When you get married, you may wish to take up this option so you both have access to certain accounts.
Getting married is a big step, and we’re sure you’ve thought through everything. But it doesn’t hurt to double check, especially when it comes to your finances. Set your goals together, compare savings accounts, incomes and goals, and enjoy a fruitful life achieving your dreams! And as always, don’t forget to shop around for the right savings account, home loan or credit card.