You’ve slipped the wedding ring on your finger, toasted to a long life full of love and friendship and you’ve started to settle in your new home, paid for with a mortgage courtesy of your local, friendly bank.

In all the manic months of wedding talk, some time has been devoted to discussing your finances with your new spouse, but these conversations may have been limited to the cost of the flowers, the total budget of your big day and expenses related to the set-up of the cosy little place you’ve bought for your future lives together.

But marriage is not only a commitment to have and to hold. It is also a financial commitment, binding your money and responsibilities together. Here’s what you need to watch out for:

1. Check your tax status

Once you’re married, your tax status may change, which would allow you to take advantage of any benefits which come with pooling your money together. Speak to your accountant, or the tax department, on how best to manage your payments and contributions to make the most of the income you get.

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2. Be clear on your previous debts

Marriage is not the time for secrets. And, while, ideally, you should both have been straight with each other BEFORE you got hitched, coming clean as soon as possible after your wedding will still allow you to start off on a clean slate. If you do have money owed, work out a way to pay it back – without putting undue pressure on your relationship.

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3. Sort out your bank accounts

You may have 3 deposit accounts, 1 current account, a VISA card…and loads more! But, however close your relationship is with you bank manager, seek a way to integrate the way your cash is managed across all your accounts. If you have a mortgage, you would already have a joint account – presumably, from which your loan is paid – but you might want to think of a joint expenses account too, to be able to better manage your incomings and outgoings.

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4. Track how you each spend money

You love to splurge on clothes. He runs a tight ship. Okay, while these may be stereotypes (and, hey, he may be the one swiping that card), you will need to have a look at how you both spend money. Calculate how much cash you have to spare, as well as what you’ll need for groceries, bills and unexpected expenses (which always happen). And, discuss how to keep track of all the movements as the month goes by.

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5. Talk!

There’s absolutely nothing which is better for a relationship than to communicate openly, and that goes in matters of finance too. Decide on your future priorities together – there’s bound to be a cost involved for anything you’d like to do – as well as how to achieve your objectives, including what sacrifices need to be made along the way. Want to travel? Sure, plan it. Want to change job? Work out the most opportune time for both of you to adjust to any changes.

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6. Save!

The ‘s’ word is central to any marriage. No, we’re not talking about what goes on in the bedroom but what goes into your bank accounts. Save for a rainy day – or even for when the sun is shining – but make sure you start to line your pockets and bank accounts with a tidy little cushion, ready for when you decide to explore the world, have kids or need a hand when you get into a spot of trouble.

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