Before you take a step down the aisle, it's crucial that you and your bride have your financial houses in order. You don't need to be incredibly well off to get married, but you both should at least be on the same financial page. An open discussion with your wife-to-be about your incomes, debts and financial goals can be helpful.
Don't Take Control
Traditional marital roles have shifted somewhat. While back in the day it was expected that the man would work and the woman stay home, it's now more common for both to work. It's also common for people to split financial responsibility. But, in some cases, one partner is more adept at managing money and paying bills than the other. If that's the case in your situation, by all means, handle paying the bills. But don't handle money in a way that leaves your spouse clueless about what's going on. Check in with her frequently so that you both have a handle on your financial life.
Check Your Credit
One of the best gifts you can give your bride is an excellent credit score. No one wants to marry the guy with a low score and a pile of debt. Checking your credit score before you get married and sharing your score with your future spouse is one way to make sure you're both on the same track. She should share her history and score with you too. Checking scores also lets you share with each other what you've learned from any mistakes you made in the past, according to the New York Times.
Everyone needs an emergency fund, just in case something terrible happens. If you don't have one, get a jump on married life by starting to save. Kiplinger's recommends having at least three months worth of income stashed away. As you prepare for your wedding, another thing to think about is life and health insurance, especially if your income will be higher than your wife's. If you should be injured, become sick or die, the insurance will help your spouse weather the financial storm.
Bring in the Budget
No matter how much you make or how great your combined incomes will be, it will help your financial situation immensely if you stick to a budget. Creating a budget allows you to see what money is coming in and what money is going out. It also lets you plan for the next big financial step in your lives. Get in the habit of budgeting before you get married so that it's almost second nature after the ceremony. Once you do get married, sit down with your new wife and work together to create a budget that meets both of your needs.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.