You’re recently engaged and you’ve begun planning. But have you considered your finances? To avoid any big surprises after your big day, discuss your financial health with your partner. Work together and plan ahead to avoid misunderstandings, and if you need assistance - get it now rather than later.
Here’s what you can do:
Check Your Credit. Obtaining a credit check for you and your fiancé can shed light on spending habits and help you plan for future investments. Get a free credit report once a year, or when you are denied credit. Be sure to review things like collection accounts, unpaid loans, tax liens, and past-due payments.
Discuss Habits and Set a Budget. By discussing past financial habits, both partners will be on the same page when it comes to the others’ spending. Discuss what your financial priorities should be, and set a budget. Consider money for emergencies, and long and short-term goals.
Discuss Bank Accounts. As a couple there are many options when it comes to setting up your bank accounts. You and your partner could make a joint account, a joint account in addition to separate accounts, or two completely separate accounts. Remember, if you choose to open a joint account, both parties will likely have complete access to the account. Couples with vastly different spending habits may opt to have completely separate accounts to avoid arguments over a joint account.
Prenuptials and Postnuptials. In California, a couple has the option to separate assets before or after marriage. Postnuptials and prenuptials can outline critical details such as property, bank accounts, and spousal support in the event of a separation or divorce.
Preparing Your Tax Return. After you are married, check your Federal Tax bracket at IRS.gov and consult an Accredited professional to decide if it is better to file jointly or separately. Remember, additional benefits and responsibilities may come with filing jointly.
Plan for Your Future Together - Consider a Professional. When discussing your finances consider consulting with an Accredited finance professional. Begin your search at bbb.org.
By Danielle Spang
Disclaimer: Views expressed on this Blog are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BBB Serving Northeast California.