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« Who Pays For What? | Main | Wedding Day Shape Up »

Combining Your Finances After The Wedding

Keep a list of all assets as well as your properties' estimated worth. This should include but is not limited to your home, car, jewelry, checking and savings accounts, antiques and other valuable possessions. Remember, when you decided on an insurance plan, the more items you include in the same plan, the better rate and discount you will receive. Also consider a life insurance policy for added security.

Also keep a list of all debts and outstanding credit card balances and loans before the wedding. Know ahead of time what money you need to set aside to pay off bills so you can budget your wedding expenses accordingly. Then make a conscious effort to pay off what is known as "bad debt" first such as credit card debt. If you have student loans or a mortgage, make the minimum payment each month and do it on time, but try to pay more than the minimum amount each month for your credit cards.

Start paying yourself first. Even if you are not married this is an important tip. Start early with a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or an IRA. If the company you work for offers this benefit, take advantage of it and put whatever amount you are able to into your account each month.
Seek advice. Don't expect yourself or your partner to know all the answers when combining assets or planning for your future. Talk to your bank or a financial expert who can offer you the advice you need on how to start planning for your future today.

Plan for the future early. If you are planning on buying a home, starting a family or investing, consider all of your options before making any rash decisions. Always seek expert advice and do your homework before investing any money. The more planning you do from the start, the less stress you'll put on your marriage later.

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