Getting married – Start your life together on the right financial foot

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Before you say ‘I do’, talk about your finances with your partner.

Not getting married, but in a relationship? See relationships and money for useful tips.

Manage the wedding whirlwind

The average Australian wedding costs $36,000. According to a Moneysmart survey, 82% of couples dipped into their savings to pay for their wedding. 60% of surveyed couples got a loan and 18% used their credit card.

Common wedding costs include:

  • venue
  • food and alcohol
  • ceremony and rings
  • photography
  • entertainment
  • clothing and accessories
  • flowers
  • cars, hair, makeup
  • wedding night accommodation

To stay on top of costs:

  • Decide what you can comfortably afford to spend and stick to it.
  • Break down the costs and work out what you need to spend on each item. Then ask yourself: do I need it? Will it make a difference to the day?
  • Do your research and shop around for a better deal — always negotiate.
  • Check if you can DIY or get a friend to help with flowers, photography or catering.
  • Check online stores. For things like furniture and glassware, you may be better off buying rather than renting, and then on-selling afterwards.

The more you pay up-front, the less likely it is that you’ll get into debt.

Save for your big day

Once you’ve got an idea of how much you can afford to spend on your wedding, work out how much you’ll need to save to pay for it.

The sooner you start and the more you save, the less likely you’ll get into debt.

Opening a separate, high-interest savings account or a term deposit is a good way to save. A separate account means you’ll be less tempted to use the money for other things.

Get on the same (financial) page

Talk about spending habits, debts and financial responsibilities with your partner. Doing this before you get married can help you manage your money day to day.

Also sit down and work out your financial goals. Be clear about what you want and when, so you can work together to get there.

Do a budget (together)

Creating a budget might not sound romantic, but it will give you a clear picture of your regular expenses.

It’s also a great way to help you reach your shared savings goals, including your wedding and honeymoon.

Work out how you’ll pay for things

If the two of you have different saving and spending habits, or earn different incomes, work out how to manage your money. Decide whether you want a joint bank account, separate accounts, or both.

Getting a joint bank account can make it easier to share your money and pay bills. However, you’re both responsible for making sure your expenses are covered.

Some people have separate bank accounts rather than a joint account. Then they work out who is responsible for different bills and payments. Or they transfer a set amount each payday into a joint account to cover shared bills.

Every couple is different, so talk to each other about what you think will work best for you.

Understand the legal changes

Marriage is a legal agreement, so you’ll need to review or update your legal and financial documents.

Update or do your will

Getting married cancels your will (unless your will clearly shows that you were planning the marriage).

Check your insurance

Update your insurance policies to reflect your new status as a married couple. This is particularly important for life insurance.

Update your super

You may want to change your beneficiary details, and look at how you can grow your super together.

Change your personal details

If you take your spouse’s surname, you’ll need to let the Australian Taxation Office know. You may also need to change it on other documents, such as bank accounts and bills.

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Wealthness Pty Ltd ABN 13 231 248 112 [t/a Better Financial Planning Australia] is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL No. 236523. It is important to be aware that Better Financial Planning Australia is not authorised by Infocus to provide advice relating to credit services or property advice. Infocus is not responsible for any advice outside of the scope of this authorisation and should you wish to act on any of this general information, please first seek professional financial advice.

Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia will endeavour to update the website as needed. However, information can change without notice and Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia does not guarantee the accuracy of information on the website, including information provided by third parties, at any time.

This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be specific advice on any particular matter. Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information contained herein but should seek appropriate professional advice based upon their own personal circumstances. Although we consider the sources for this material reliable, no warranty is given and no liability is accepted for any statement or opinion or for any error or omission.

Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this website. Except insofar as any liability under statute cannot be excluded, Wealthness Pty Ltd t/as Better Financial Planning Australia and its employees do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person.

Wealthness Pty Ltd (ACN 613 313 250) [t/a Better Financial Planning Australia] Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL Licence No. 236523.

Source: ASIC MoneySmart

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