Let’s talk money. Yes, this is the more serious side of getting married; it’s also a very, very important detail that you and your husband-to-be need to sit down on and discuss fully. To help you both easily see the financial horizon ahead, we made a simple financial timeline that you can follow. Planning ahead, knowing what to expect, and taking active steps for the expenses for your wedding and life after will be a great way to get your married life off to a good start. So, here goes! Let’s get down to business now.
One Year Before Your Wedding: Set Budget and Consolidate Financials
- Set your wedding budget. We can’t stress enough how important this first step is. It’s going to be the basis for many–if not all–of your wedding-related decisions. When making your budget, ensure that it’s a realistic one so you don’t end up going overboard or scrimping on some of the important details.
- Talk about who pays for what for your wedding. From the beginning, be clear with who pays for what. This way there will be no problems when the bills come and it’s time to settle them.
- Understand each others individual financial situation and decide on how you’d like to handle both of your earnings and expenses. You’re both coming from a life where your only concern is your own financial needs and habits. Now, you must understand each other’s status and talk about how to move forward.
- Consolidate and arrange all your bank accounts, investments, loans, and other assets. This is the time to decide on whether you will have a joint bank account or keep separate individual ones. This is also the time to decide on what to do with all your other financial obligations and owned assets. Openness and transparency is key so you and your future husband are on the same page on your soon-to-be conjugal possessions.
Six Months Before Your Wedding: Organize Your Finances
- Set spending limits for both the wedding and for your expected expenses when you’re married. You can ask yourselves these questions. If we spend more in one area or wedding detail, what is the maximum and where will we save to make up for the cost? What will be our working budget after the wedding? Who will pay for what daily living expense?
- Create your wedding budget sheet. After setting your budget and limits, create a budget sheet that will help you easily see all your payments and how you’re fairing versus the initial budget you set. We have a standard template that you can use as basis. Download it here.
- If you’re planning to hire a financial adviser, now is a good time to start searching for one.
The Week of the Wedding and On Your Wedding Day: Settle Payments
- Choose a designated person to handle all your wedding payments. Usually this will be the time that you need to settle all remaining payments with your vendors. Since you will both be super busy, especially on the wedding say, assign someone who will monitor and manage all the pending bills for you.
- Decide which credit card to use. For all settlements that need to be done via credit card, check which card will give you the best points, discount, or cash rebate. This is especially useful for big ticket items, like paying for the venue; you’ll get more out of your expenses if you know which card to use.
Three Months After Your Wedding: Adjust and Update
- Revisit your initial budget and spending limits and adjust as needed. After three months, you will have a better feel of your regular expenses. You can no revise the initial budget you made to fit your needs and spending habits.
- Update all your accounts. Don’t put this task off for too long as it can be inconvenient if your accounts are not in order. Make sure to update your name, status, new address, as well as your list of beneficiaries to include your spouse.
One Year After Your Wedding: Set New Goals
- Set new financial goals. After your first year as a married couple, you can look back on your financial landscape the past year. How much did you spend? How much did you save? How much did you invest? After assessing how the yer went, it’s time to set new goals! It will be helpful it you do this–reassessment and setting new goals–every year.