Newly married couples should start thinking about changes in their finances as soon as possible, advises the Consumer Credit Institute, a consumer education forum set up by the American Financial Services Association. It suggests that newlyweds take the following steps:
Take an evening to review income and how it is used; also discuss future plans and their financial implications.
Then, set up a realistic budget that meets expenses and provides for your future.
Decide whether to have joint checking and savings accounts, or whether to continue separate accounts. If the wife has changed her name, change the names on her accounts.
Also decide whether to have joint or separate credit cards and make appropriate name changes.
Parcel out the responsibilities for handling finances: Decide who will balance the checkbook and who will pay the bills.
If the wife has changed her name, change important documents like her Social Security card and driver's license.
Make appropriate changes to all insurance policies, and change beneficiaries on life insurance policies.
Review investments and change the beneficiary if necessary.