Financial Planning Before the I Do's

Friday, October 10, 2014

When planning a wedding, you have all kinds of checklists. There's the one year checklist, 6 month checklist, honeymoon checklist, one month checklist and 2 week checklist.They all contain something you need to check off in order to prepare for that walk down the aisle. Because without one item done everything will fall apart, right?

There is just one little {huge} thing that is never included in all of those checklists. And it is one of the most important things you should do to start off your marriage.

Prepare for your financial future.

It's not as glamorous as picking the right amount of diamonds in your hairpiece or as fun as what bikini to pack for your tropical vacation but it's one of those important things you need after the newlywed dust settles. Many millennials are just one step away from financial disaster due to increasing health care costs and no financial planning. You do not want to be a part of that statistic.

In fact, Aflac found that 72% of millennial workers at least somewhat agree they regularly underestimate the cost of an injury or illness, including medical, household and out of pocket expenses. guilty.

Once you are married, you only have 30 days to change your health insurance. Subtract the two weeks of honeymoon bliss and that only leaves you with a small window of two weeks to get everything settled and changed. And you thought the stress was over after the wedding day.

Do this instead. aka what we wish we had done.

Take a night, sit down with your fiance and really figure out your health benefits and what is financially responsible for your family. Chances are you have coverage through your current employer and want to see if it's better to keep separate or be on one insurance plan.

  • Coverage-It isn't just a funny newlywed joke, the kitchen can be dangerous and cost a few stitches. What's the emergency room care look like? If you are planning on having children right away, check the maternity coverage. This will also help you decide between PPO, HRA, HSA.
  • Premiums-Really look at each of your health plans. What are you currently being covered for? Who is paying more for each benefit and where can you cut back. Many times you are able to figure out a way to cut down your premiums if you talk with your insurance company. For example, 2 years ago I had extra dental coverage because I hate the dentist and didn't go for 5 years so I knew there would be serious work that had to be done. Now that it was all taken care of, I was able to switch to the basic dental plan and save money every month.
  • Deductibles-Having a large deductible means you need to have that money on hand to pay until your insurance will pay. There needs to be money saved to be able to pay back until you hit your deductible. Currently, I have a $500 deductible so I know that's money I am responsible for and need to keep tucked away for medical costs. Due to a small foot problem, I am half way there within the past few months so it pays to be prepared.
If you find that your current coverage isn't the greatest, Aflac offers voluntary insurance policies, which are designed to supplement major medical plans, pay policyholders directly for unexpected costs associated with a covered serious illness, injury or loss. In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses a worker may have. Aflac also offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive care and more voluntary insurance policies.

Umbrella to cover us.

Once you have the health insurance figured out, you aren't done there securing your finances. There are a few other things you need to look at before you enter wedded bliss.

  • Retirement. 401ks. Do you have one set up? How much are you putting into it every paycheck? This is an important part of starting a new family with your spouse, planning for your future down the road. It also helps secure your retirement and not wondering what you will do for money once you retire.
  • Debt. Like many millennials, we are racked with student loan debt that we are trying to pay down. I also had credit card debt lingering that we finally paid off just a few months ago. It's important to know what debt each of you carries that will need to pay for every month.
  • Budget. It's hard. It's tedious. But it will help you anticipate unexpected costs and be able to put more into savings and more into debt every month. We didn't actually do this until a few months after we were married but I wish we had done it sooner. 
As important as it planning the biggest day of your life, financial planning before the I Do's is extremely important. You will be ready to take on that first year of marriage for sure.

The first year of marriage is a fun ride

Did you do financial planning before you started your marriage?

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. This post stresses me out just reading it!! Haha! We are the worst financial planners ever, we didn't do much before we got married and we still haven't done much... whoops!

  2. Don't be stressed! Just wish we had done all of these before we even got married. We missed the 30 day enrollment that's how much we were unprepared. Just hoping I can help others out where we should have helped ourselves.

  3. I feel like your wrote this post for me! With the engagment only a week old, I know we have a lot of finances to work on!!


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