Prioritize Financial Planning for Marriage Before Saying ‘I Do’

When you are thinking about getting married, it is also time to think about your financial plans. When you plan your wedding, you spend a lot of time deciding what you want in personalized wedding favors, wedding accessories, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, bridal apparel and even the honeymoon, but haven’t yet planned for the day to day finances after the marriage.

Many couples go into marriage with no idea on how to manage their money. Conflicts over money are the number one problem reported by married couples.


Before the wedding, the couple should get together and work out a financial plan. First of all, they should decide which partner should handle the day to day financial affairs. It is common for one spouse to have a good aptitude for money management and organization, while the other spouse does not. It is important to recognize which one has the better skills, and let them keep track of the finances on a daily basis. This would include paying the bills, reconciling the bank statements, and working within a budget or spending plan.

There must always be open communication between both spouses on all financial matters. This is a key point that many couples miss. With the union of a marriage, what was once yours now becomes ours. A married couple needs to look at their total income, debts and savings as belonging to both of them. In a marriage relationship, two become one; this includes all aspects of your life. You become one in your emotional, physical, spiritual and financial relationships. There is no more mine, it becomes ours.


Many couples ask if one makes more money than the other, or has more assets than the other, whether those assets should be protected with a prenuptial agreement. It is good to think about how your assets should be distributed in the event of your death, and a prenuptial agreement could address that, but the purpose of a marriage is not for one spouse to be financially independent and the other one not. If you want to have financial peace in the household, then you must communicate together and share equally all financial matters. This does not mean that one spouse cannot spend more than the other spouse, such as on hobbies, if it is agreeable to both spouses.


There is no need to have separate saving or checking accounts. Separate accounts would be more like a roommate relationship. You are not roommates; you are in a committed, lifetime relationship when you get married. Do not keep secret accounts that your spouse does not know about, because sooner or later, the other spouse will find out about it. Putting your money in joint accounts is the best arrangement in most cases, and by having joint accounts with the right of survivorship, there are other benefits as well. In the event of a death of one spouse, the ownership will pass directly to the surviving spouse, without having to go through probate and the cost, time, and public record required for probate. So, it is a good idea to have a joint owner or beneficiary on every account.


Working up a budget, or a spending plan, is a very necessary part of financial management. Too many couples have no idea how much they spend each month, compared to how much they earn in income each month. They then end up getting in trouble by running up credit card debt, and other debts that their income cannot pay for. If you have a budget or spending plan, this will help make sure that you are not going to spend more than you make, and will help you achieve financial success, and create the ability to save for things you want in the future, such as for college tuition or retirement. Your housing expenses, including your mortgage payment or rent, insurance, taxes, utilities and repairs and maintenance should be no more than 40% of your gross income.

Then allocate your other expenses, such as food, clothing, medical, transportation, and entertainment among the remaining amount you have to spend. You need to build up an emergency saving fund equal to six months of income for emergencies that may arise, and then set up a long term saving and investment plan. Remember to include church and charitable contributions in the plan as well.


Couples must work together in managing their finances in an open, committed relationship so that the two become one in a lifetime, loving family unit.

Planning for marriage involves more than just envisioning the perfect wedding day, it requires careful consideration of financial matters. While couples often dedicate significant time to selecting wedding attires, accessories, and honeymoon destinations, they may overlook the importance of establishing a solid financial foundation for their future together. However, entering marriage without a clear financial plan can lead to conflicts over money, which is frequently cited as the primary issue among married couples.

Prior to tying the knot, couples should collaboratively develop a financial strategy. This entails determining which partner will oversee day-to-day financial management. It’s common for one spouse to possess stronger money management skills, and it’s essential to acknowledge this expertise and delegate financial responsibilities accordingly. Tasks such as bill payments, bank statement reconciliation, and adhering to a budget should be assigned based on each spouse’s strengths.

Effective communication regarding financial matters is paramount in marriage. Upon marriage, individual finances merge into joint assets, necessitating transparent discussions about income, debts, and savings. In marriage, unity extends beyond emotional and physical realms to encompass shared financial responsibility. Rather than viewing assets as belonging solely to one spouse, couples should adopt a mindset of mutual ownership and accountability.

While some couples consider safeguarding individual assets through prenuptial agreements, the essence of marriage lies in shared financial partnership rather than individual autonomy. Achieving financial harmony requires equal involvement and transparency in managing all financial affairs. Although spending preferences may differ, mutual agreement should guide financial decisions to promote household peace.

Maintaining separate bank accounts may undermine the unity of marriage, resembling a roommate arrangement rather than a committed partnership. Hidden accounts erode trust and can lead to discord when discovered. Opting for joint accounts with survivorship benefits streamlines financial management and facilitates seamless asset transfer in the event of a spouse’s passing.

Establishing a budget is imperative for sound financial management. Many couples fall into debt due to overspending relative to their income. A budget ensures fiscal discipline, prevents excessive debt accumulation, and enables savings for future goals such as education and retirement. Allocating expenses within recommended proportions of gross income, including housing, sustains financial stability.

Furthermore, building an emergency fund equivalent to six months of income cushions against unexpected expenses, while long-term saving and investment strategies secure future financial well-being. Charitable contributions should also be integrated into the budget, fostering a culture of generosity within the marriage.

In essence, couples must collaboratively manage their finances to cultivate a harmonious, enduring family unit. By embracing transparency, mutual accountability, and shared financial goals, couples can navigate financial challenges together, strengthening their bond and ensuring a prosperous future.

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