Guess what happened while you guys weren’t paying attention? We got married!
So now that the secret is out, I figured I’d share how getting married has changed our finances. This is a blog about personal finance after all! We’ve known we were going to get married for a long time, so we had plenty of time to prepare for this change. We even started to make some of the smaller changes before we got married!
I should start out by stating that we’ve decided to combine our finances after we got married. We talked about it a lot and decided this was what was best for us. I personally don’t think having separate finances is a great way for a married couple to keep their money, but to each their own.
Our Finances Before Marriage
Before we were married we kept separate finances. This required separate bank accounts, separate budgets and all other aspects of our finances, including credit cards, were separate. While our money was physically separate, we didn’t operate completely separate from each other.
We were constantly talking about both of our situations and in a sense we were acting as a team as much as we could while our money was separate. We talked about our future plans and how we’d manage our money after we were married. I even saved some of my money on the side to help Tori pay her loans off after we got married.
The reason we kept our finances separate was because nothing in life is certain and, even though we were planning on getting married, things could potentially change. Granted, things can change after we get married as well, but we take marriage seriously and you can’t live your whole life in fear. We’re legally married now so we’re combining our finances.
The Beginning of Merging Finances
In order to begin merging our finances, we opened a joint bank account a couple months before our wedding. We slowly began transferring our automatic payments, paychecks and other money transactions into this new bank account. We didn’t transfer any of our savings, but we did begin to live on one budget rather than two.
This meant our incomes and expenses slowly started combining just a couple months ahead of our wedding. However, that’s not the end goal. The end goal is…
Post Marriage Goal – Completely Merged Finances
Now that we’re married, we’ve begun the process of completely combining our finances. We’ve started transferring over all of our personal money we’ve saved to joint bank accounts. We’ll be working in the next couple months to begin combining the other aspects of our finances.
The first thing on the list is looking into making any possible benefit changes within the first 30 days of our new marriage. Our companies place this time limit on us. Of course, we can make changes during our annual open enrollment, but because we just got married we have the opportunity to change now so we might as well look into it.
We have a lot of other things to look into as well. We’ll have to begin combining our other non-bank accounts. We’ll be looking to update our beneficiaries on any policy or benefit that has a designated beneficiary. We’ll need to start looking into creating wills and other estate planning documents. We’ve got a lot to look into and begin combining!
Did you combine your finances when you got married? Or did you keep your finance separate? What are we missing? There is bound to be something we’ve overlooked.