Getting married is a very exciting time in your life. Unfortunately, many newly-married couples are so wrapped up in the romantic bliss that they don't prepare for a financial future together.
The most important thing you can do as a new couple is create a realistic budget. This may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but many couples forget this important financial step.
Creating your budget does not have to complicated. All you need to do is calculate your combined income and subtract your combined monthly expenses. A free online tool that I recommend for budgeting is Mint.com. It is safe and easy to use. Also, don't forget to contribute any leftover money to your household emergency fund.
Another important item many newlyweds forget to consider is how they plan to pay off debt that they may have run up before getting married. In most cases, you are not responsible for the debt your spouse had prior to marriage, unless you add your name to those accounts – which I do not recommend. However, once you are married, this debt will affect your ability to save and make major purchases together in the future. That said, I recommend paying off any debt early on in your marriage.
Another financial consideration that needs to be discussed right away is insurance – health, auto, homeowner's or renter's and life. For example once you are married, it may be cost-effective to add your spouse to your health insurance or vice versa instead of maintaining separate plans. So take the time to assess the benefits and costs of each other's health plans and any other insurance policies.