Marriage can save you money!
Although the government does little to offer any financial incentive to be married, there are ways in which you can make the most of your married status to make sure that you make the most of your joint income and shared expenditure. Here are just a few.
1. Make the most of your employment
The first place to look for marital savings is from your employers. Take time to compare closely the benefits you are entitled to for duplication. For example, if your spouse can cover your health insurance, perhaps you can opt for some of other options such as additional holiday, supplemental life insurance, or medical coverage.
2. Maximise your relationship with your Bank
Banks today offer lots of different bank account options that you can chose (a single combined account; two separate accounts; his, hers, and ours…). Make sure they are linked in the bank's mind so that you qualify for lower fees or higher rates -- which usually require a minimum deposit across accounts. Perhaps you could manage with a single account that allows you to write cheques (find one that doesn’t charge) and put the extra level of money into a high interest-paying account where you can transfer money at a fixed notice.
Take a look at some of the online banks, which often have lower minimums and may be more convenient for bill paying.
3. Review your Insurances
There are many, many types of insurance, including life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, health insurance, home insurance, contents insurance, and mortgage insurance. Each comes with variations in premiums, no-claims discounts, protection plans and deductibles. If you haven't updated your policies since getting married or in a long time, take a look at them to see if they fit your current financial state. Some possible changes: maybe you can afford a higher deductible now and can lower your premiums, or maybe with two incomes you have less need for disability insurance.
Take a good look at your life insurance, especially if you now have children. Do you have coverage from your employment? Take time to think through the costs of providing full time care for children in the event that one of you should die, or be incapacitated – the tragedy and trauma will be tough enough, without financial burdens that can’t be covered.
Car insurers will often discount your insurance when you get married (especially for young men.) Combining car policies together (as well as any other insurance policies) should get you a discount since you will become a bigger (and better) customer to them.
4. Cut Your Costs
There is an old adage that two can live as cheaply as one. This is not strictly true but there is a grain of truth in it. You can share the phone line rental bill, the subscription to the paper, and your house, but you still need your own food and clothes!!. What you can do is take advantage of being a bigger consumer. Buy the litre rather than the pint of milk, the multi-pack of loo rolls, or the caterer’s pack of beans!
An environmentally friendly way to cut costs: If you live in/near a town, getting married may mean being able to get rid of one of your cars. Evaluate how often both of you are using a car separately. If it is infrequent, you might be better off just hiring a car for those occasions.
5. Make some plans
Personal finance and investing are something that you should plan together. Identify the big goals (holidays, cars, ponies, footservants...) and talk about your expectations of life together, and the ways in which these things would influence your happiness. Why not prepare a simple budget using one of the readily available home finance packages, or even a simple spreadsheet. Set your selves some simple targets and watch your savings towards your goals grow!
Find ways to use your complementary skills. Who thinks finding the bargains at the super-market is fun? Who is more likely to use the coupons that you so neatly cut out of the Sunday paper? Who's better at remembering to pay the bills on time?
If investing and personal finance are new to both of you, why not contact an independant financial advisor? Alternatively take a look at a good book on home budgeting like How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously!
Tip by Kate