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Bottom Line Up Front

  • Talking about debt, budgeting and how to handle your bank accounts before you tie the knot will help set you and your partner up for a lifetime of wedded and financial bliss.
  • Sharing these practical financial tips with your soon-to-be spouse will make it easier to plan for purchases in the future.

Time to Read

2 minutes

May 1, 2022

Having a conversation about money can be tough for even the happiest of couples. However, it’s better to know ahead of time whether there are any differences in how you and your future spouse handle finances. So, here are a few important questions to pop when you find that special someone you want to spend the rest of your money with. After all, marriage shouldn’t be “‘til debt do us part.” 

  1. How much debt are we bringing into the marriage?

    The debt conversation doesn’t have to be difficult, but it’s important to have before you say, “I do” on your big day. Be completely honest about your financial obligations, your debt and your net worth. Student loans from your college education, credit card debt, car loan payments and any other liabilities you may be bringing into the marriage need to be discussed. Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re paying bills off on time, so be up front with your financial discussions about what you owe and when it’s due.
  2. What should our monthly budget be?

    Figuring out your regular monthly expenses and then deciding how much money to spend on things can be tricky for couples, especially newlyweds navigating a shared monthly budget for the first time. Whether you decide to merge your money into one checking account or keep your personal finances separate and divide expenses, it helps if you create a budget that works for both of you. Check in every now and then to ensure your spending habits stay on track. Consider setting money aside for an emergency fund as part of your monthly budget, too.
  3. Should we have a joint bank account?

    A joint bank account should be a joint decision. Are you a spender and your significant other a saver, or is it the other way around? Talk it through and decide together whether separate accounts or joint ones work best for you. If you do make the leap toward joint accounts, you’ll need to select a trusted financial institution and consider what’s important. Checking, digital banking, financial planning advice and life insurance options should all be part of your financial decision making process.
  4. What’s your credit score?

    It may not be the most romantic conversation to have, but this one is important if you’re looking to make a down payment on a home or buy a car as a married couple. If you’ll need financing, it’s not just about how much you’ve budgeted for payments. Credit scores, which can be found on your credit report, affect your financing options, so knowing each other’s credit scores before you start shopping for big-ticket items will help you set realistic expectations and avoid potential money issues.


Next Steps Next Steps

  1. Not sure what to do next? Don’t worry—that’s why we’re here! If you have financial questions before your big day, personal finance counseling is available to help you analyze your debts and create a joint budget. 
  2. Navy Federal Credit Union’s monthly budget calculator makes it easy to calculate out your finances.


This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.