Preparing for marriage

5 steps to prepare for marriage and managing money

As the big day approaches, it’s important that you and your partner are united on money matters.

These five steps can help.

Step 1: Start the money conversation

Building a strong financial future as a couple requires teamwork and open dialog about your mutual financial goals.

Goals worth discussing as a couple may be how you will:

Your first conversation doesn’t need to be long — you simply need to get comfortable talking about these important topics. Bringing these issues to the table will help you reach agreement.

Step 2: Budget together for your big day

It’s easy to overspend on the perfect wedding celebration, but careful budgeting as a team may help your new marriage start off on the right financial foot.

Taking time to plan your wedding budget together ensures you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to “must-haves,” “nice-to-haves,” and how much to spend overall.

Use these simple conversation starters:

Rank your priorities and find areas on which you both agree to allocate your budget. Once you decide on a budget, consider using a tool like My Savings Plan®1 to help you track your savings progress.

View My Savings Plan

Step 3: Consider if you should merge your finances

How you choose to manage your expenses may help you decide on how to best merge your money, if at all. This is a topic you will need to explore as a couple.

Use these questions to start the conversation:

Once you have a clear understanding, it’s time to consider if and how to merge your money. When it comes to checking and savings accounts, a few examples include:

Each option will have unique pros and cons. Think about which options will be easiest to manage while also providing the best control and transparency. There may also be legal or tax implications with each option, so consider reaching out to a legal or tax professional, if necessary.

Even if you plan to combine your accounts, you may still want to consider keeping some household bills in each of your own names to build and maintain your individual payment history.

Step 4: Make updates to your account information

After the festivities, determine if you want to add each other to existing accounts.

Make any necessary legal name and address changes to bank accounts, beneficiary information, deeds, and any other relevant financial accounts.

You will likely need your marriage certificate and valid ID to make these changes.

Step 5: Create a system for important documents

It’s never too early or late to start safe keeping important information and documents.

Store them in a secure location that you and your partner agree on and update regularly.

This might also be a good place to keep your annual tax-related documents.

Read more on this topic

You’re on your way to mastering money during marriage. Up next:

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