You’re married! Now what?
Congratulations! Your significant other and yourself are going through an exciting life change together. The celebration is over and all the thank you cards have been written out. What’s next? Have you thought about your banking, retirement and insurance accounts? How about your health and dental insurance plans? Retirement plans? HomeTown Bank has put together some financial steps and tips to help seamlessly move your financial future-forward.
Joint or Separate Accounts
Discuss if you would like to combine your accounts and establish a joint account, or if you will be leaving your finances separate. If you would like to create a joint account while still having your own separate account, that is an option as well!
Joint accounts may be good for family expenses such as mortgage/rent, groceries, utility bills, kids, etc. Both owners on the account would receive access to withdraw or deposit funds into the account at any time. Whereas, an individual account can be used for personal spending, also known as “fun money”, with that individual only being able to withdraw the funds. If you have an individual account, consider adding your spouse as a beneficiary on it. Whomever you have named as your beneficiary on your account(s) will receive the money in the account after you die.
Whether you choose to open a joint account or an individual account, make sure to check out our great account options to ensure you get the most benefits for your financial needs.
Create a Joint Budget
As a newlywed, a budget is a valuable tool to have so each of you has a clear picture of your finances each month. You both may have different spending habits that may need to be looked at to ensure you can cover your expenses and payments each month. Bills that are most likely to go through your account may be the mortgage/rent, groceries, utility bills and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.
A good place to start would be to look at your combined income each month and subtract your guaranteed monthly expenses along with any debt or loan payments. The additional money leftover could either be used for other expenses or put into a savings account. When starting out, budgets can be a work-in-progress to gain insight into your spending habits. Do not stress if you’re over your budget goal in the first couple of months.
HomeTown Bank has a great organizational tool on our online banking system which can help categorize your deposits and withdrawals in your account. Once you have your last two- or three months’ worth of transactions categorized, you may then have a better understanding of where to start with your budget.
Update Retirement Accounts
Now that you are married you are both planning to enjoy a long, happy life together, right? To do so, take a look at your retirement accounts whether they are existing retirement plans, IRAs, pensions or any other assets you may have. Is your primary beneficiary your spouse in case of an accident that may lead to death? If not, contact your plan holder to update your primary beneficiaries.
If you and your spouse both have health insurance, take a look at your insurance pros and cons to see if you should combine insurance plans. Whose insurance benefits are more beneficial for your current situation, while also thinking about your future? Which option is saving you the most money, but will also be the best fit for your health? Remember, getting married counts as a qualifying life event which will make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Also, if applicable, remember to change your name on your insurance card and policy.
Regarding your home or renter’s insurance, consider adding your wedding rings to this insurance plan if your policy has provisions for jewelry. If you have not lived together before, you will also need to alter your insured amount being that you now have more items in your house. Take a look at what you have as a couple and contact your insurance company to reevaluate your policy.
Looking for a new insurance policy? Community Insurance, Inc.* would be happy to assist you with home, auto, farm, business, crop, health, life or your investments. With 10 different locations and 12 agents, they are sure to put your insurance needs first.