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A Financial To Do List for Engaged Couples

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Author: Nathan Dawson

Article source: Used with author's permission.

Engagement can be a hectic and overwhelming time for all parties involved. However, by setting a wedding budget and by creating a long-term money-management plan, you can ensure that you will start off on the right foot. Follow these steps for a good marriage preparation:

1. Prepare to merge finances

Discuss your spending and saving habits, your debts and assets and your respective salaries. Be sure that you have a realistic idea of how marriage will affect you both as a couple and as individuals.

2. Plan your wedding

Make a realistic assessment of how much you can spend. While the average wedding cost is $15,000, with careful planning you may be able to go lower than that and create memories that will last forever.

3. Decide on whether to have a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements aren't always necessary. However, if there is a considerable difference in your net assets, it would be foolish not to have one drafted by a lawyer and signed by the necessary parties.

4. Merge your money

In the eyes of the law (and creditors), a married couple is a single financial unit. This holds true, even for those couples who decide to open joint bank accounts.

5. Go over your taxes

A good accountant may help out in this area. Generally speaking, dual-income families get penalized by tax laws. Evaluate your tax situation and decide if it is worth it for both of you to work.

Nathan Dawson writes for and, great online sources for marriage and finance information.

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