After your wedding, you have a little more work to do. If you don’t already live together, you are going to need to take care of that first. The bride will need to get busy changing her name, if she has decided to take her husband’s last name. Once that is complete, it is time to start changing the name on credit accounts and insurances. The following list will help you meld your finances with your new spouse as seamlessly as possible.
Joint Bank Accounts
This is optional, but ideal. You can still each maintain your own personal accounts for little expenses, but your life will be easier if you have one joint account to pay household bills out of. You will need an ID with your married name on it to do this. This is also a great way to start saving money for a big purchase or a vacation. If you both bank at the same bank already, this is an easy transition. If you use separate banks, check out all of the pros and cons and choose a bank you both agree on. Don’t feel pressured into having a joint account with your new spouse. It used to be the standard order of things, but nowadays, many people choose to keep their expenses separate for the most part. Do what works best for you and your husband.
Auto insurance typically requires one policy for the household. Most states will not allow a husband and wife to have separate policies while living in the same house. If you have high insurance rates, your husband is going to be paying high rates as well. Make sure you discuss all of this ahead of time. Contact an insurance agent and shop around for the best rates. There is a break for married couples!
Health insurance is another consideration. You don’t have to change your existing health insurance policy if you don’t want to. However, if you do want to get on your husband’s policy or vice versa, it needs to be done immediately following the wedding. There is usually a 30-day window which allows a newly married individual to add a person to their policy. If you miss the deadline, you will need to wait until open enrollment.
Life insurance policies will need adjusting. If your parents or a sibling were your beneficiary, you will want to change it to your spouse. This is typically an easy fix and can be done through your agent. You will need to supply a copy of your marriage certificate.
If you don’t already live together, you will need to work out a new household budget. This can be divided straight down the middle with you each depositing half your paycheck into the joint account to pay bills or putting it all in and sharing your income. The latter is most common, but separate finances are becoming more popular. It is crucial to the health of your marriage that you work out your finances early on in the marriage. If your husband is a penny pincher, he will not appreciate you going on shopping sprees. Work out a budget that makes you both happy. A dual-income household typically allows for more luxuries, but, it is not a free pass to buy whatever strikes your fancy. Be open and honest about how you spend your money and your goals for the future. Two incomes are always nice, but if you are planning on staying home or going to school while your husband works, you need to realize he is supporting an additional person. There will be some budget adjustments and it is best to figure all of that in the first few days and weeks of the marriage.