I just got married to the love of my life, we’ll call her “P”, and P is literally the best thing to ever happen to me. That being said, P and I needed to spend time working out our finances as soon as we got married because we got handed so many checks at our wedding. After the wedding, we sat together and drew up a few key pointers that we felt were crucial to setting up our financial future together. Here are a few key pointers we came up with.
Living off one Salary
Thankfully both me and my wife work and make very respectable incomes. I work in I.T. and my wife works in Early Development. We decided that we could afford to live off one of our salaries and dedicate the other persons salary toward buying a home, investments, and savings. Once we came to that conclusion we decided to set up our bank accounts in a strategic way to build toward our goals.
Keeping a joint checking account was crucial because we decided to have all of our automatic bill pay come out of one account. The salary we chose to live off of, would be deposited into that account and luckily our rent, bills, internet and credit cards all point to that account. We also kept a small savings account connected to that account such that we would have a rainy day fund in case “X” happened.
Avoiding Banking Penalties
The other salary would go to a different set of checking/savings accounts for a very simple but odd reason. The US government tracks how many banking transactions consumers make on their accounts. A consumer with a checking account is limited to six transactions between checking/savings each month. For each transaction above six, the consumer is required to pay a penalty. Me and my wife wanted to avoid having to transfer money from one checking to another and then to a savings which would result in an 2 transactions per month and cost us unnecessary charges.
My wife is less risky as me and does not invest her money in retirement accounts, I happen to have a large chunk in investments all across the spectrum, from real estate, to stocks, to mutual funds, to retirement funds. I had to spend a large amount of time writing my wife in as the beneficiary of all the accounts. It’s very important to do so once you get married because banks will charge penalties if they need to go searching for beneficiaries.
I had to do some math to see if it made sense for either of us to claim exceptions on our taxes and file joint or separately. I will touch on this in a later discussion, but in the end I claimed an exception on her the entire year since we had set a date on our wedding. Thankfully my wife agreed!
Who am I kidding, I gave my wife, P all the Amazon, Macys, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc etc etc so that she could properly use them as she pleased. Our registry/wish list was almost fully bought out so I figured all extra things that she felt we needed could be used by gift cards.
All I asked her was for an IHome so that I could play music as an alarm clock!
Marriage life is definitely the best but it’s very important to make sure you’re both set up properly for financial purposes.