Although we won’t all find our life partner trotting up to the wedding in a royal carriage, it’s fair to say that in our own way we all create our own fairy-tale wedding. We move into life together as Kings and Queens, jointly presiding over the situations in our lives that affect and influence our domains, family and future.

The joining of the houses for many modern families usually occurs long before marriage, where cohabitation and de facto relationships are formed.

Difficult differences of opinion in things like ‘who is doing the shopping?’, ‘who is the better cook?’, ‘where does the chocolate live - in the fridge or the cupboard?’ and ‘cats or dogs?’ are often ironed out early and lifestyle routines are settled in to.

However, this cohabitation prior to marriage often masks some of the more important discussions that need to be had before the ring goes on the finger.

"We’ve been living together for ages now, nothing needs to change"

But it already has.

You’re now committed to a life partner and there are many sensitive topics particularly relating to your finances that need to be discussed.

Here are five pointers to keep in mind for financial harmony once you’ve tied the emotional and financial knot.

#1 Merge Your Finances

Even in joint households, often there are many benefits that can be achieved by a more complete merging of finances. Joint budgets and savings programs can help reduce costs, taxes and improve wealth accumulation which has the additional benefitFive tips to financial harmony for newlyweds of avoiding trivial squabbles of finances. Working together to determine your short and long-term financial goals will also assist in achieving these and understanding what you are working for together. Agree on who is the budgeteer, the person who manages the finances and keeps the other spouse informed so that you stay on track.

#2 Wills and Estate

Even though you’ve only just started your life together its important to plan for the other end. Ensuring that your spouse is looked after in your Will and other parts of your estate is important. Guardianship of your kids, who will look after them if you both go, is also an important and often difficult part of your Will. Powers of Attorney and Powers of Guardianship are the other parts of the puzzle which provide clear authority and instruction in relation to who will look after your personal finances and health related issues if you can’t. This avoids your spouse having to seek legal authority in the courts when trying to comfort and support an unwell partner.

#3 Private education  

This is a six-figure question as private schooling could cost upwards of $10,000 per year per student for anywhere between 5 to 12 years. This is a large investment which means starting sooner to make a financial provision to fund school fees in the future is vital. Alternatively, you may prefer the state system and look towards purchasing a new home in an area with better public schools. Either way, your decision does bear consideration and plan early to avoid potential financial stress in the future.

#4 Protect Your Spouse (and family)

Insurance is there to protect your partner and your family if something should happen to you. Ensuring that your partner and family are taken care of financially if the worst should happen is one of the finest final gifts you can provide them. Life, disability, trauma and income protection are areas worth reviewing early while you're young and your health is at its best.Five tips to financial harmony for newlyweds

#5 Retirement Planning

Although it may be some time off, considering how you want to spend your golden years with your partner, and when you want to hang up the work shoes is an important part of your planning. Getting started early can help compound investment returns and assist you to realise your retirement goals early so you really enjoy your twilight years together.


Most importantly, you and your partner need to intentionally make time to talk about the above to ensure that you stay on the same page. Important decisions are going to shape your family’s future and it’s important that you both are aware of the implications and benefits to avoid arguments, conflicts or misunderstandings in the future.

Together you can create a future together that is exciting and achievable, and one which will help you forge a strong legacy for your future generations.

For more information about helping establish a strong financial plan for your family and loved ones, please contact an RSM Financial Specialist, who will guide you through the steps.