When It Makes Financial Sense To Delay Marriage

There’s no doubt that finding someone you feel would make a fantastic spouse is one of the greatest feelings in the world. That said, you’ve got to be careful of the timing of your nuptials, especially when it comes to your finances. Before you say “I do” or decide to pop the big question, consult your soon-to-be-shared finances to determine whether it makes sense to delay the marriage.

You Don’t Want To Incur a Marriage Penalty Tax

Be sure you have a solid idea of what your new tax bracket will be after getting married. It’s vital you realize that the married filing jointly tax bracket isn’t double your single bracket. There’s a chance you may actually be hit with a tax penalty after getting married, depending on how much your new shared income is. Usually, married couples receive a tax bonus when one spouse makes a lot less than the other. Sit down with an accountant familiar with filing taxes for married couples to get an idea of whether you’ll owe money the tax season after your wedding.

You Want To Stabilize Your Financial House

It makes sense that you feel hesitant about moving into a house that’s a little rundown and in need of some upgrades. The same applies to feeling hesitant about sharing financial responsibility with someone whose finances are stellar when yours need more than a little work. There’s nothing wrong with delaying marriage until you’ve paid off more of your debts, have more saved up in an emergency savings account, and have a better credit score. That way, you and your spouse have one less thing to worry about in your new married life.

You Don’t Want To Lose Child Benefits or Support

If you or your significant other have kids, your getting married is sure to impact them in more ways than one. Are the kids going to college in a few years? Maybe they’re already in college. Either way, their financial aid could be reduced through blended finances. Any child support or spousal support currently coming in could be either cut off or reduced after you’re legally married. Again, consulting with either an accountant or a financial expert like Don Gayhardt can give you a clear picture of what you two can expect so you make a well-informed decision.

You’ve Got (or Are Looking Into) Income-Based Student Loan Repayment

If one of the debts you’re carrying into the marriage is of the student loan variety, check to see how and if you can expect your loan terms to change after getting married. Your current repayment amount could be based on your current income. By marrying someone with a high income, or just by having a combined income, you could end up having to pay more for your student loans.

One of You Isn’t Good With Money

Maybe you’ve been working on getting better with your finances for several years, but your significant other can barely stick to a budget or balance a checkbook. This is where you can’t let your feelings blind you from making what could be a regrettable decision. You don’t want your soon-to-be-spouse ruining all the financial work you’ve done by damaging your credit score due to late payments on bills that are in both your names. Consider enrolling in some financial literacy courses together so you both can learn how to keep your finances and credit reports in good health before getting married.

Before tying the knot, you and the love of your life want to be on the same page romantically and financially. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with delaying your marriage if your finances aren’t yet in sync.

The Best Free Online Tools to Manage Your Finances

With all the technological advancements in the last few years, coupled with the rise in efficient online services in diverse sectors, users now have more choice than ever. As with many other domains, a host of impressive online tools are available for managing your finances. If you are not using them, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to better manage your financial life.

So here are some of the best free online tools that not only provide a great medium to keep track of your finances but are also free to use:

1. Mint.com

online money management tools

Perhaps the most popular and widely used tool for the amount of features it offers. And rightly so. Very few, if at all, other online tools come close to offering such a complete set of money management tools that not only help your keep track of your expenses but also let you plan goals and budget if you wish to do so.

Mint has recently come up with its own Android app as well, which means it is easier than ever to manage your finances right from your smartphone! Of course the best part is both the online service as well as the app are 100% free!

2. SmartyPig

Another one of my favorite online tools, SmartyPig is a simple yet effective service focused on helping users accomplish their specific saving goals. Essentially it is a free online piggy bank that lets users design their own financial goals, by way of saving up money for specific items and helps them reach that goal. Although it is not a complete money management tool per se, but it is extremely effective when it comes to creating and reaching your financial goals.

The best part about this tool however is that if you save up money in an online account with them, you can redeem it for cash for a gift card at specific stores that offer you great deals and discounts.

3. Buxfer

A lesser known, upcoming online money management tool that is nonetheless feature rich and easy to use. It comes with a nice user-friendly yet modern interface and offers effective features to help users manage expenses and group their finances. The tool uses Google Gears to store account login and credentials on your computer so if you’re one who doesn’t like to trust new companies with their credentials, this one might be perfect for you.

Apart from offering usual money management features like credit card and bank account linking options, the USP of this service is that it lets you manage your shared expenses with friends and divides up each person’s shares and alerts the other group members as well, something that some find awkward to do in person.