The first step is to make sure you are on the same financial page and have a common vision. Hopefully you have already had some fruitful discussions about mutual goals as well as expectations regarding spending/saving before walking down the aisle, but if not then I would encourage you to have these discussions as early in the marriage as possible. Check in with each other and see how you have individually progressed on your goals prior to marriage such as starting an emergency fund, budgeting process, identifying short term saving goals and contributing to a retirement plan. I would suggest that you try to merge these individual goals and processes as much as possible so you can begin working as a team on your mutual financial goals.
Once you have had the common vision discussion, the next step in any newlyweds’ financial life should be to identify who is going to take ownership regarding the various aspects of your finances. I think it is important to clearly establish who is going to oversee paying bills, maintaining the budget, and oversee investments and insurance. Be flexible though and willing to switch up roles as life dictates over the years.
The final step to strongly consider as newlyweds is the whole aspect of risk protection. It is not too early to start thinking about the possibility of adding some additional life and/or disability insurance to protect either spouse in the event of untimely death. This should be especially considered as it seems like more and more young people are getting married later in life now and often already have significant debts from either owning a house or obtaining a college degree. You should also consider drafting a new will or updating one already created as well making sure your have updated beneficiary designations.
Money discussions aren’t always easy for newlyweds. But, as with any marriage issue, it’s best to approach them with an open mind and as a team. The more thoughtfully you work together on money matters, the more financial harmony you’ll maintain in your life together.