So you’ve found that special someone, have tied the knot and are ready to start life, together as one. Congratulations. Being married will not only change your life, it will change your finances too. Listed below are just a few of the changes you can expect and ways to ensure a healthy financial future.
Double the Income
If both of you are gainfully employed, once you are married you now have the advantage of two incomes. This is a sweet deal especially if you both had separate apartments of your own that you were responsible for. Now you have a single monthly rent or mortgage, single utilities and extra money for food and essentials. Having two incomes also helps with meeting your financial commitments each month and puts you in a higher income bracket that can help with the purchase of a home, a car and so much more.
Carrying Another’s Debt Burden
There are, however, some drawbacks to joining a single unit and living as one. And, the biggest one is if your spouse has a lot of debt. Unfortunately, now that you are married his/her debt is now yours too. This can present a problem if the debt they have is in the form of high-interest credit cards or if they have fallen behind on payments. The good news is that you now have two incomes that you can use to unravel the mess in short order. This should be something you focus on immediately.
Most married couples file jointly. Since you are married, filing together can take you into the next tax bracket where you lose out on many of the perks that come with filing separately. However, it’s always in your best interest to see if this saves you money or, if filing married single works to your advantage. Another thing to take into consideration is that if you or your spouse work for themselves, you may want to seek professional tax help from qualified individuals. Since the tax laws change annually, you want to make sure that you are taking all the deductions you are entitled to.
If one of you is a freelancer or an independent contractor employed on their own, paying for health insurance can take up a substantial portion of your income. However, that’s about to change. If the other party has health insurance through their place of employment, it’s probably available at fraction of the cost of buying it yourself. With a simple change in the paperwork, both of you can now enjoy great health insurance coverage for a small increase.
Since you now have two incomes versus one, you should be able to tuck away more money than ever before. Use this surplus to your advantage, and instead of spending every penny you make on going out or buying new things, put a good portion into a savings account. This way, when it comes time to buy your home or go on a vacation, you’ll have the funds available without the need for using a credit card to fund it.
Going from single to married has many financial advantages. Use them to make your lives easier by establishing a budget and paying down accumulated debt and opening a joint savings account. Marriage is a wonderful union between two people who love each other. Take this union a step further and make it a success for your finances too.
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