Couple in their wedding attire posing.

Guest lists, honeymoon destinations, and the perfect dress…getting married (and being married) takes a lot of preparation. Here are some things to consider.

Wedding Expenses

If you have money set aside already for your big day—great! If not, there are some borrowing strategies that will help you foot the bill without going broke. If you own a home, using the equity to cover wedding expenses is a great, low-rate option. You can also utilize personal loans, which don’t require any collateral. If you’re big day is a little further out, try to put aside some funds every month to cover those additional expenses. Even a little bit will help you to reduce the amount you borrow.

Combining Finances

If you haven’t already, start to think about how you want to combine finances. Some couples find that creating a joint account just for shared expenses allows a little financial freedom and avoids a fight or two about spending. Regardless, it’s important to get on the same financial page both with your day-to-day budget as well as your long-term goals. A great exercise is to meet with a financial planner to discuss setting a budget as well as long-term goals and saving strategies. The questions they ask can get you on the right path towards a shared financial strategy. You can schedule a free consultation with a Rivermark financial advisor by calling 503.905.3108.

Building Your Assets

Thinking about life as a married couple is exciting. Purchasing a home, what you’ll do in your golden years, and maybe even raising a family might all be on your mind. When you create your budget, include a savings plan for those things. For example:

  1. You can create a retirement account that’s separate from whatever program you have at work, which will help you diversify.
  2. Saving for the down payment on a home can be much more satisfying if you create an Name Your Savings account that you can name whatever you want. You’ll see the amount that you have set aside for ‘Dream Home’ rise and will be much less likely to pull from it unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Create an emergency savings account in the case of a lost job, unexpected car repairs, etc. A good rule of thumb is a savings equivalent to 3-6 months of post-tax income. If that figure seems unattainable, start small. In an emergency, even a small amount is better than nothing.

Protecting Your Assets

As you combine your assets, take a look at the current configuration to ensure they’re protected. For example, review the beneficiary information on your retirement and banking accounts and make updates as needed. You can also consider increasing or bundling (or both) your auto loan insurance to get a better deal, and to make sure that you’re sufficiently protected in the case of an accident. This is also a great time to review your homeowners or renters insurance policy to make sure that your combined assets have enough coverage in case of an accident. Not having enough home or auto loan insurance, for example, can leave you open to a lawsuit where your personal assets are on the line.

You’ll also want to protect your spouse in case the unthinkable happens, so as unpleasant as it may be to think about, life insurance is a great investment. Don’t put it off…the younger you are when you sign-up, the lower the rates in most cases. Check out Rivermark for auto, home, and life insurance. As a member, you get great rate advantages over other providers.