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5 Financial Steps To Take After Getting Married

5 Financial Steps To Take After Getting Married

Getting married requires months of planning to organize such a momentous event. Hiring a caterer, selecting a venue to have the ceremony, organizing the guest list and picking a wedding photographer are a small portion of what's involved to make your special day go as planned. After all is said and done however, there are additional steps to take to integrate the financial lives of two individuals.

1. Update Your Credit Card Users

While it isn't necessary to have new credit cards printed with both of your names on the front, you will need to contact your lender and have your spouse added as an authorized user. The benefit is that now both of you will have access to additional lines of credit to make purchases for the family. A downside worth taking into consideration is that both parties will be equally responsible for any outstanding debt. If your spouse is in the process of repairing their credit then consistent payments can help boost their credit score. If however, something happens and payments are missed or other black marks result then both sets of credit reports will be negatively affected.

2. Purchase Wedding Ring Insurance

Homeowners or renters insurance will normally provide coverage for personal jewelry but only up to a certain amount. Many policies limit claims for jewelry to $1,500 or less so if you have an expensive wedding ring consider purchasing an insurance rider. Have your wedding ring appraised and documentation created to verify its value since this information will be required in the event it is stolen. As added protection, consider having your Social Security number laser etched onto the diamond itself which can assist in recovery if it is sold to a pawnshop.

3. Open a Joint Checking Account

To simplify paying expenses like a mortgage or rent, utilities or purchasing groceries it is normally recommended to open a joint checking account. The benefit of having a joint checking account is that both of you will be authorized to deposit or withdraw funds which is often necessary for both day-to-day living and in the event of emergencies. This solution isn't mandatory however and not all couples will benefit from having joint accounts. Many couples prefer to have either completely separate finances or maintain a joint account in addition to their own personal individual accounts. Pick the solution which works best for you and your spouse and is least likely to cause issues.

4. Sell Duplicate Household Items

If either of you have been single for any substantial period of time you'll have already purchased your own furnishings, kitchen appliances and possibly even a washer and dryer. Needless to say, few families need to double up on sofas and bedroom sets so sell excess items on Craigslist and have a few garage sales. This not only has the benefit of allowing you and your spouse to choose the best items from each other's personal property but also to make some extra money. If enough money can be made from selling duplicate or unwanted household items than these funds can be used to pay down existing debt or to start investing for the future.

5. Invest Wedding Gift Cash

Getting married will be one of the few times you and your spouse will have immediate access to a significant amount of cash. Many newlyweds normally use wedding cash to pay for a cruise or go on some other type of honeymoon. Smart couples however use this significant cash windfall to pay down debt or better yet, start an investing plan such as buying a Certificate of Deposit or opening a stock trading account. It's important to do this right after getting married since shortly thereafter life kicks in and plans can come to a screeching halt.

Image by: DuskyYouth