Spending can be one of the biggest sources of contention within a marriage, and this can be especially true when things are very tight after an expensive wedding and honeymoon, often combined with the cost of setting up a new home as well. It’s important to sort out your priorities and expenditures early on, especially if you have used up all your savings on the wedding and house, to make sure that you don’t get into deep water and place an unnecessary strain on your marriage.
You will need to decide whether you are going to have two bank accounts or a joint one. A joint bank account may make it easier for you to keep track of your money as you will only have to check one set of bank statements; on the other hand separate accounts may be easier for some lifestyles, with each of you taking responsibility for different financial obligations such as the mortgage, housekeeping, bills, entertainments, etc.
Once again you may have to decide whether to combine an account or maintain two separate ones; you may choose to keep a building society account as your main means of saving, for instance for special items such as holidays or for a deposit on a house or a car.
You may already be covered for personal insurance under your mortgage arrangement, but if not it could be a good time to arrange for life insurance in one another’s favour; if you are depending on two incomes and one of these is suddenly curtailed the other partner could be left in great financial difficulties.
You may be involved in a pension scheme at work, but if not, or if it is only minimal, your marriage could be the ideal opportunity to take out an easy saving plan spread over the maximum number of years. You may also want to start saving towards the cost of having children, schooling, etc.
It is well worthwhile making out a simple budget for your first year, and then revising it each year as your circumstances change, so that you have rough guidelines to keep to and will be able to assess what you can and can’t afford realistically. Use this page to plan your rough incomings and outgoings, and see if they tally – if not, some adjustments will have to be made!
|Incomings||S per year|
|Any other incomings
|Outgoings||S per year|
|Mortgage or rent|
|HP payments or bank loan repayments|
|Things for the house|
|Car payments, insurance, tax|
|Extras, eg. haircuts, dental fees, prescription charges, club memberships, magasines and books, records and tapes