Life event: Getting married

Written and accurate as at: 9 January 2012


According to Maya Angelou, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

Without wanting to stifle this lovely sentiment with a long-winded ‘To-Do List’, we thought we would put together a short list of helpful tips and tools for you to consider regarding saving for the big day as well as living happily ever after, financially and otherwise.


1. Saving for the wedding

Weddings can be very expensive. That’s why it’s important to find out what the costs will be and who is able and willing to help fund the cost of the wedding.

To start with, have a look at your combined income, decide on what you both want to achieve (financially) before and after the wedding. Think about;

  • Do we already have a mortgage?
  • Would we like to buy a house soon after the wedding?
  • Do we have car loans?
  • Can we afford to spend $5,000, $10,000, $30,000 (pick a number) on the wedding and maintain our same lifestyle?
  • If the cost of wedding is unaffordable, is it wise to get a loan for the wedding and what will the actual cost be after we add on the interest?

A wedding isn’t usually worth going into debt for.

The more debt you have, whether sourced from weddings or otherwise, the harder it is to afford other things you and your partner might really need in life. Now might be the time to sit down as a couple and do a budget.


2. Things to consider once married

Did you know – 70% of people experience conflict around money. Here are a few things to consider, and to do, which may just keep the peace around your finances.


3. Create separate accounts and one joint account;

Having separate accounts with money that you can spend can be one way to lessen arguments about money while knowing that in your joint account there will be enough money for bills, mortgages/rent, and holidays. However, some couples can happily operate out of one account.


4. Track your spending

While not everyone likes the idea of keeping tabs on every dollar spent, there is a benefit in knowing where your money goes on a regular basis. As your income increases, are you able to convert that to savings and investments, or does it seem to slip through the fingers? Why not have a guess of how much you spend each month, quarter or year, and then calculate it using the Budget Planner Calculator. You could also read further on financial discipline.


5. Set your financial goals together as a couple

Ask your partner what they hope to achieve and when they want to achieve it by. Do you want a three month holiday together, do you want to buy a house, do you want to buy investments, are either of you looking to start a business? Would you both like to quit, retire and travel the globe, or is that only one of your dreams? What is it that you both agree is worthwhile to work towards, and Why plan ahead?


6. Discuss Finances on a regular basis

Talking about money isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do but it is easier when discussed regularly, and particularly, before either party is stressed out about the finances. To different people money means different things – to some it’s about new opportunities while to others it’s security. If discussing debt, bills and future finances makes either of you uncomfortable, it may be easier to have these types of discussions under the guidance of your Financial Adviser.


7. Understand and appreciate you may have different preferences for dealing with money

A common source of conflict is not that partner’s have different goals around money, it’s that they have different ways they prefer to deal with money. Carl Jung, the Swiss Psychologist from the mid 1900’s researched this significantly. To know more about your own and your partner’s preferred approach for dealing with money, complete the Money Personality quiz.  Want to know more about Money Personality?


8. Understand that you may have to handle tough financial times in the future

No matter how much you plan and talk about your finances you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Times of unemployment, injury, illness, unexpected pregnancy, can happen – remember in these times to stick together and not blame either party for it. You can reduce financial stress from unexpected events by using insurance, such as Income Protection insurance, Life insurance and/or Home and Contents insurance.

Marriage can be a wonderful thing, but it can also bring it’s challenges. The statistics are significant in that financial stress is considered the most prevalent cause of separation and marital conflict. Using the tips above may just be the tonic to take some of the pressure out, and keep the spark in your relationships.

Remember to complete the Money Personality quiz to learn more about your personal preferences for dealing with money.

Here is a good video with a few more tips – The money matters of getting married.