Getting married or moving in with your partner? This stress-free financial management guide will help

Jul 17, 2020.

Getting married, or even simply preparing to move in with your partner, isn’t just a big emotional step. You’re also taking a big, scary leap into the world of merged finances. But that could be great, so long as you stick to the two Os: Openness and Organisation.

Go for financial transparency

If you know it’s going to happen down the road, the first thing you'll want to do is sit down and talk about your separate financial situations and how they might work together. If you’re getting married, paying for your wedding is an excellent opportunity for a trial run! In any case, being open means full disclosure of your incomes, outgoings and debts.



Budgeting and joint accounts

Then, being organised starts with budgeting. Will you still have separate budgets alongside your joint budget? What will you use joint accounts for versus using your own separate accounts? Some couples like to merge everything, while others prefer to maintain separate budgets and accounts for their personal spending and savings.


There’s no right or wrong answer, but make sure you talk it through and decide together, and be prepared to make adjustments as you go.



Saving for the same thing

Your joint savings goals make up a big part of any joint budget in a marriage. So that means being open about what you want for the future –  for example, if you’re going to want to redecorate, buy a car or even just go on holiday together. For any of these purchases, you'll need to iron out how much you each need to contribute and then work that into your joint budget.


It’s also important to be open and organised about how and when you both spend from the joint pot of money. It’ll never work if you’re both making purchases, especially big ones, you haven’t agreed to and don’t tell each other about. So decide on some ground rules to make sure you’re always on the same page and ensure everything gets recorded into your joint budget.



Cut your spending

The best thing about merged finances in a marriage is merged expenses, which can save you a lot of money! But to make the most of it, you need to proactively question everything. Do you really need those separate Netflix accounts? Can you get a join gym membership? How will you buy groceries together?


You’ll also have plenty of things, such as furniture, that you suddenly have duplicates of when you move in together. These can make you some serious cash if you sell them online, on platforms like Ricardo or Tutti. Pay particular attention to those big-ticket items figuring out that you don’t need two cars is a great way to start saving for your next big joint purchase!



Protect your future together

Insurance is another area to focus on when getting married. Many kinds can be held jointly, so be sure to review all your policies to see which of them can be merged. That said, your new status as a newlywed or cohabitant might call for some new policies, such as health, life or home insurance. So be sure to have a conversation about what kind of coverage you might need and make sure you're prepared for and protected against every eventuality.


Then there are your wills. If either of you doesn’t already have one, you need to get one. And if you do have one, you’ll probably need to update it to account for your change in circumstances.


Lastly, be wary of lifestyle creep. This is where luxuries become necessities as your disposable income increases, which happens pretty suddenly when couples merge their finances. While there’s nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money, overindulgence can cancel the savings brought by joint budgeting. This can prevent you from reaching your savings goals and needlessly stretch your budget. So, be mindful of everything you both choose to bring into your lives, asking yourselves whether it will genuinely add value and if it does, whether that value is really worth the price tag.


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