Weddings take a lot of planning. And fair enough– there’s so much to consider! But not everyone plans past the day itself and there are a lot of financial aspects to consider once you’re married that might not occur to you amidst the hype of the big day.
So here are eight tips for tackling post-wedding finances and recouping some of the money spent on your wedding day:
Bargain with your bank
If you’re one of those couples who want to jump into the property market as fast as possible after the cost of the wedding is out of the way, you will probably need to consider taking out a home loan first. Make sure that before you do, you have a look online to find the most competitive deal or package – this could save you thousands in the long run.
If you do want to stay loyal to your bank when it comes to your home loan, shopping around online first is still important. It gives you a very strong idea of the market if you’re able to approach your lender with quotes from other businesses. This means you may have some bargaining power in the case that you’d like to negotiate your repayment terms.
Pay off your post-wedding credit card debt
A lot of couples consider expensing many of their wedding costs on their credit cards, but it’s important to remember that eventually you’ll have to pay this off. Create a financial plan or even a budget in order to ensure that once you’ve said “I do,” you won’t have to sacrifice other things just so that you can pay off your debt.
Although it may be traditional to head overseas straight away, you may want to consider having a postponed honeymoon. More and more couples are taking this option due to the general expense of weddings. This could give you the opportunity to save for the trip of your dreams, instead of potentially settling for somewhere that isn’t first preference, as well as saving up a bit of extra leave from work.
Inform institutions of name change
If you’ve decided to take on your husband’s last name or a hyphenated version, it’s important to let all of your financial institutions and utilities companies (and anyone else who may contact you) know that your name has changed. Also, a lot of people might not realise that most official documents (passport, driver’s license) need to be renewed to include your new name. Sometimes there can be a fee, so be prepared with cash so that you aren’t caught off guard.
Have the “money talk” with each other
Now that you’re married it’s important to be completely transparent with each other about your financial position and spending habits. You can decide to take out joint bank account or you can keep your finances completely separate (whichever suits your situation best) but it’s vital to keep open channels of communication. This should save you from any potential arguments later on!
Write down savings goals
Setting goals with each other allows you to work together collaboratively in order to achieve a common target. Not only is this great for relationship building, but it makes saving easier as you’ll be working as a team and can share in the win together.
Sort out your wills & life insurance
Once you’re married, you may need to update a will or create one to reflect your situation. Also, if you or your partner work in a high-risk environment, you might consider taking out life insurance so that if something does happen, you’ll have the peace of mind your partner will be taken care of. If you already have it, you may want to up your policy– shop around and compare life insurance online.
Review your insurance policies
If you’re a couple that has a lot of collective health issues (or alternatively very few), a couples health policy may be better value for your lifestyle. Although a scary concept, it’s easy to find the right option for you and your partner using a health policy comparison tool.
Also, a lot of couples jump straight into wanting to start a family straight after they’re married, but something that might not occur to you to check is whether reproductive services and pregnancy are covered under your current policy and if there is a waiting period. While still unborn, medical costs should be covered by your private health insurer but once the baby is born, they will probably need separate cover.
Ms Zigzag says: It is empowering to be in control of your finances and for both people within the marriage to be well informed and manage financial decisions.
Bessie Hassan is a Money Expert at Australia’s most visited financial comparison website, finder.com.au.
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