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Getting married: what it means for your money

Marriage Finance The start of a marriage or civil partnership is a great opportunity to begin planning your financial life together, now and in years to come.

Think about the life you want

After the whirlwind of your big day, you can now focus on building a life together. To give yourself and your partner a head start, it’s a good idea to consider your finances, so you can create a firm foundation for all your future plans.

Talk about money

Having regular, honest conversations about your finances is a good way to gain an understanding of your different views towards money and savings. You might have different attitudes to taking on debt, for instance, or to budgeting and spending. Being open about these areas can help to reduce the risk of conflict and help you both make better decisions together.

Review your finances

A good way to start talking about money is to create a joint financial plan. Calculate and record your incomings and outgoings and start to regularly save any surplus cash. This could help if you encounter an unexpected expense, such as a car or boiler breakdown, and it could also help you to build up a cash lump sum.

You could decide to open a joint savings account and use this to help fund future goals, such as buying a new or bigger home, car or growing your family.

Make a will

If you have a personal will, it’s likely to become invalid after you get married. But even if you have never made a will, it’s a good idea to organise this after a wedding or civil partnership.

Typically, there are two ways to approach establishing a will:

  • Do it yourself
    You can write a will yourself which must  be signed, dated and witnessed. It may help to download or buy a ‘will kit’.
  • Use a solicitor
    Many solicitors have a relatively cost-effective fixed fee for drafting a simple will, although the cost will almost certainly go up if your circumstances are complicated. If you are over 55 , you can have a will made up for free during ‘Free Wills Month'.

Check your life insurance

Being in a long-term relationship means you’re more likely to be relying on shared income to pay for things such as your mortgage or rent and household bills. While no-one likes to think about the worst happening, you should consider how these outgoings would be paid if one of you falls critically ill or dies – particularly if you have, or plan to have, children. Life insurance can help to provide a level of comfort in these situations.

YOUR NEXT STEPS

Joint bank accounts

When you are in a committed relationship, you may consider opening a joint current and/or savings account that you can both pay into and withdraw money from. This can make day-to-day sharing of money and expenses easier, but there are other areas to consider. For instance, you will both be liable for any overdrafts or fees incurred, and if one of you has a poor credit history, opening a joint account will link your credit reports.

Where to find out more

Information on married couples’ benefits:

Find out more about the Married Couple’s Allowance.

Other useful information:

To ensure you’re taxed correctly, you can let HMRC know about your change in relationship status.

The Citizens Advice Bureau also has details about the key legal differences between living together and being married.

If you’re worried about debt, you can contact the National Debtline for support.

If you’d like to speak to an independent financial adviser, you can find one near you.