Start Talking About Finances: It’s best to do this before you get married, but if you have not, discuss finances with your new spouse as soon as possible. You’ll need to go over what accounts you have and how much debt you carry, if any.
Write Down Your Goals: After you have determined your baseline financial status, discuss your long-term financial plans in-depth. Make sure to write all of your goals down and review them periodically. You’ll have a much better chance at success if you do so.
Discuss Bank Accounts: There are both pros and cons to opening a joint bank account or to maintaining your individual accounts after you’re married. You can even do both. Discuss these issues and decide what best suits you both.
Start Saving: If you don’t already have an emergency fund, consider making this a top priority. An emergency fund is money that is set aside in case something expensive happens unexpectedly, such as a lost job, family illness, natural disaster, or a major home repair. Aim to save about 6 months’ worth of your household expenses in case the emergency is that you have no income.
Design a Budget: Review your expenses and establish limits per category. Don’t forget to allocate for unexpected or irregular expenses, such as routine car maintenance or doctor’s appointments. Your budget may be a work in progress, so don’t worry if you have to make adjustments, especially over the first few months.
Track Your Budget: Make sure you stay within your spending allotment and adjust accordingly as your situation, expenses, or income changes.