There is so much stress involved with a wedding, here are a few tips that can help you start off your marriage stress free.
Combine, combine, combine. There is no reason that you need to pay extra (sometimes double!) on the following:
Car Insurance. If you are with separate companies, call each one before the wedding and get quotes. Which company will provide you with the best coverage at the best rate? Most likely a company that offers longevity discounts (the company one of you may already be with) or a company that caters only to specific clientele (such as USAA).
- Remember, your liability limits should be the same for every car in the house.
- Whether or not you opt for “full coverage” (meaning Comprehensive and collision coverage to protect your vehicle against fire, theft, vandalism and collision with another vehicle or building/structure) is up to you.
- If you have a loan or a lease on your vehicle, the lender will require to to carry both of these types of coverage.
- If you use public transportation to travel to and from work, tell your insurance company that you use your vehicle for pleasure only.
- If you drive less than 10,00 miles/year, let your insurance carrier know- most companies offer a short mileage discount!
Renters/homeowners/condo-unit owners’ insurance
- Remember to combine your home insurance as well, especially if you have not lived together prior to your marriage. You’ve got all those get wedding presents! Insure them!
Cell phones/landline/internet coverage/cable.
- If possible, change to the same carrier and get a “family plan” with unlimited mobile to mobile for your two numbers, at least! Most carriers offer a discount for the second cell phone.
- Do you both have cell phones? Think about why you have a landline. If you’ve received less than 20 calls on your landline in the last month that were actually people you wanted to talk to (not phone solicitors or surveys), consider canceling your landline. You’ll have around $300/year, if not more.
- Most companies that offer cell phone and internet coverage will provide you with a discount if you “bundle” your services. Ask your carrier!
- Cable- If you have high speed internet service and a Netflix subscription, cancel your cable subscription. Between Hulu, CBS.com, and YouTube you really don’t need cable. And really… As a newlywed, you won’t be watching all that much television.
Finances: This is a major one!
- Budget- Your financial intake should be more than your output. Make a list of all of your monthly bills and make sure that you include budget lines for groceries, gas, savings, and a date night! Join Mint.com if you are having trouble with your budget or don’t know where all your money is going. Stick to your budget. This is really hard. You can use a website like Mint.com to help you make a budget (they’ll even do a pie chart for you too)!
- Combine bank accounts. If you do not want to do this, at the least put each other on your accounts as a co-signor (for emergencies!).
- Saving money is important. If you get cash as a wedding gift- DON’T SPEND IT ALL. A lot of relatives and friends give you money so you can start your life together. Save some of it for your future!
- Talk honestly about the debts you bring into the marriage and make a plan to get debt free! Debts include car payments, credit cards, student loans.
- One person should be in charge of all of the bills and balancing the checkbook. YES- You must balance your checkbook! Be willing to trade duties and both of you should be aware of how much money you have as a couple, where your debts stand and the plan to save.
- Make a list of all of the bills and when they are due each month. Put them on your family calendar (don’t have one? Get one! We use a desk blotter style calendar that we hang on the wall next to the computer) every month. If you are a digital family, use iCal or Outlook, and make a reminder 5 days prior to the due date.
- Get life insurance! If you are young, it’s pretty cheap. If you get it from the same company as your auto insurance, you’ll get a discount on your car insurance, in most cases.
- After the gifts are opened, and thank you cards are sent, gather up all of your old pots, pans, and whatever else was replaced with your wedding gifts and hold a yard/tag/garage sale. Someone will want your old towels, sheets, pots and pans. Use the money you earn to pad your savings account.
After Hubs and I got married our car insurance went down over $100/month between the two of us, our cell bills went down about $30/month. That little “extra” each month gave us a chance to put more money in our savings account!