Building your financial future together

Marriage is not only a joining together to become a couple, it’s also a marriage of your finances, which may have already started with the costs of your wedding and perhaps even your honeymoon. This seven step guide is designed to help get your finances off to a good start.

1. Be open

Be transparent heart

We might know what our other half’s favourite colour is and what flavour ice cream they like, but are you one of the 13% of couples with a ‘secret stash of cash’ their spouse doesn’t know about?*. Maintaining financial independence doesn’t and shouldn’t need to be done in secret. Be upfront at the start of your married life on how you want your financial interdependence to work. By talking about it and agreeing a plan, it’ll avoid any surprises later on in your relationship.

*Source: Money Advice Service 2015

2. Talk often

two people holding hands

When it comes to discussing finances, UK couples argue an average 39 times a year*. Avoid this stress by sitting down regularly and reviewing your income and outgoings. Online banking is an easy way to do this and by working together you’ll both be able to understand how your finances are looking and be able to take those all important decisions as a couple. If you use our Internet Banking, why not give our Money Manager service a go, as it’s a free budgeting tool that'll automatically help you keep track of your day-to-day spending and saving.

*Source: Money Advice Service 2015

3. Work out what works for you

Two pairs of Wellington boots

There’s no right or wrong answer to whether you should open a joint account. Having a shared account can make paying bills straightforward and automating payments can reduce tensions around who’s responsible for what. Consider separate accounts for personal items, while pooling the rest of your finances into a joint account, offering you the best of both worlds.

4. Find a nest that you can afford

Opening the curtains

Your home will be your biggest joint investment. Whether you rent or buy, think about all of the financial implications of the move beyond the monthly rent or the mortgage payment. This may include renovations, commuting costs, council tax and costs of visiting your extended families. If you’re planning a family of your own, think ahead and research the costs and availability of places at local nurseries and the performance of the local schools. To help you work out the potential costs of a mortgage why not try out our Mortgage Calculator.

5. Funding a growing family

Boy with football

Children are a big financial commitment. The average cost of raising a child in the UK has been stated as £230,000*. Of course, most parents will tell you it’s worth every penny but make sure that you’re budgeting for their needs at every life stage. Why not consider opening up a children’s savings account to support them as they grow up.

*Source: Centre of Economic and Business Research based on the cost for the 21 year period to January 2015.

6. Give yourself and your family peace of mind

Children under umbrella

Life insurance is designed to give your family peace of mind in the event of your death. If you have children, a mortgage or have people who rely on you financially, life insurance could pay out a cash lump sum, helping them with their living costs, bills, mortgage payments and even your funeral expenses.

7. Have you made a will?

Family photo

Almost 73% of 16-54 year olds don’t have a will.* The benefit of making a will means that you decide who inherits the things that you’ve worked hard for. It might perhaps be something for your children, your grandchildren or even a bequest to charity. It’s a good idea to review your will every five years, to take into account changes in the law, as well as your personal circumstances.

*Source: The Law Society 2015