Financing your married life.
When two people decide to marry there is more to it than moving in together and starting a family. There is also the question of how you plan to approach the financial side of the arrangement. Money brings with it certain stresses and strains and because of this it is well worth while to sit down before tying the marital knot and come to some sort of an agreement.
In some cases its not even an issue as one partner might not be all that fussed about money and agree right from the start to hand all his or her earnings over to the other to manage on behalf of both. This may work all the way through their married life as long as equal access to the account is available and it never comes down to handing out an allowance. Some points to consider include the following:
- In modern times it has become the practice for both spouses to keep on working after they marry. Each spouse will have their own bank accounts prior to getting married and all they do is to open a third account that they both contribute to. The amount of contribution would depend on the level of earning but the idea is for a certain amount to be left to either spouse to spend as they wish and the joint account used to fund the partnership. This is alright to start off with but the situation changes somewhat when one of the marriage partners either loses his or her job or the wife has to leave the workforce to have a baby. When such a situation occurs the fall back position would be for the joint account to be the main account where all earnings from all sources are deposited and what is agreed upon transferred to either spouse's account for spending as he or she wishes. It doesn't matter all that much what is agreed to as long as both partners agree and nobody is left begging for scraps.
- Bill paying these days can be done online from whichever account is set up for that purpose and it need not be the sole responsibility of any one partner. If fact it is best for both marriage partners to sit down at bill paying time and go through the whole process together. By doing this it can be a good time to review the family budget and ensure that all is on track.
- What is a bigger problem for marriage partners to come to terms with these days is what to do with any existing credit cards. It will be most likely that each partner will have a credit card in their own name. There is nothing wrong to continue this practice as long as both are happy to have each individual card serviced by either partners separate bank account, if that is how things are arranged. If you have agreed to cancel your old separate accounts and only have the one joint account it will probably be best to cancel the separate credit cards as well and just keep one that both partners share.
When discussing how you want your finances to be arranged after you marry, it is also a good time to bring your life insurances up to date. It is an appropriate time to increase the cover to allow for the changed circumstances as well as change the name of the beneficiary, even a good time to make your first will or make alterations to your existing will to better reflect the changed circumstances.