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Before you tie the knot

Okay it's not the stuff of gorgeous weddings and picket fences, but neither of those things are possible without THE TALK. Before gliding down the aisle all engaged couples need to discuss finances - openly. Some say that finances should be a topic for the first few dates to ensure that you are both on the same page. If you skipped that conversation to keep the dream like trance of love going, here are some things you should talk about together before you tie the knot. 
The big stuff What is your general attitude about money? Once you have had an open and frank discussion neither of you should be surprised by sudden impulse buys or inconsistent savings - fight fodder. Its really important to be on the same page in terms of attitudes towards your finances.   
Know one another's financial history Gather all of your paperwork, statements, bills and personal financial information to evaluate your finances so you both are on the same page. Is there student loan or credit card debt? What kind of retirement or savings plans do you contribute to? How much are your utilities? Do either of you have an emergency fund? 
Beneficiaries Review retirement plans and insurance policies and update your beneficiaries where applicable. 
Insurance Review your medical, life and car insurance plans. You may find that combining coverage may save you money or that your plans have some redundancy. 
Name change If either of you is opting for a name change, notify the bank, the social security administration and the driver's licensing branch.  
Accounts: joint, separate ... both? Gone are the days when newlyweds open a joint bank account and share credit cards. Some couples keep separate accounts while others choose the traditional route, and everything in between. 
Determine a budget and set financial goals It's always a good time to embrace the art of the budget. Once you have a joint budget evaluate your discretionary income and determine your short-term and long-term financial goals as a couple.


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