Updated: Mar 17
After tying the knot, some couples spend their wedding gift money on things like repaying credit card debt, pursuing a new professional degree, or replenishing their savings accounts—while other newlyweds put the money toward a honeymoon, new vehicle, and purchasing household items such as furniture, cookware, and other items for their kitchen. However, Forbes and many other financial experts can all agree on one thing: Newly married couples should use their wedding money to build and strengthen their financial future.
While you and your new spouse may be tempted to spend your wedding cash on the material things you don’t really need, using this money as responsibly as possible will benefit you now and well into the future. For some tips and advice on using your wedding money wisely and responsibly, read on.
Start an Emergency Fund
According to Stash, the ideal emergency fund contains three- to- six months of non-discretionary spending—as this helps couples to get by in the event of a financial emergency. For instance, an emergency fund can help couples to get by if one spouse loses his or her job or can’t work for any reason, or in the event that the couple needs to pay for an unexpected medical service, car repair, or tax bill.
While this savings account should be kept separate from a couple’s standard checking account, it must also be easily accessible in the event of an emergency. Several options that meet these criteria include a money market account (MMA), no-penalty certificate of deposit (CD), or another savings account that doesn’t penalize couples for withdrawing money.
Save for a Down Payment on a House
Unless you and your spouse already own a home together, you may be saving up for a down payment on the purchase of a new home. While you may not have enough wedding gift money to fund your entire down payment, the cash you receive from your wedding guests can help you and your spouse to get one step closer to achieving your dream of homeownership.
If you and your spouse already own a home together, however, you may choose to put this money toward other investments like home renovations, repairs, and improvements. Alternatively, this could be a good time to update your bedroom set or living room furniture.
Purchase a Final Expense and Life Insurance Policy
Discussing things like life and final expense insurance may not seem like appropriate topics for newlyweds, but newly married couples will start their marriage on the right financial foot if they broach these topics soon after tying the knot—especially if they’re thinking about starting a family. While it’s important that newlyweds do plenty of research to find the right life insurance policy for their specific needs, several options for married couples include:
● Term or permanent life insurance.
● Joint life insurance.
● Final expense insurance.
By purchasing final expense insurance, for instance, surviving spouses receive the financial security they need in the event that one spouse passes away unexpectedly. Also known as burial insurance, this type of life insurance policy helps surviving spouses to pay for the deceased’s medical bills, outstanding debt, and any funeral-related costs and expenses.
Set Some Money Aside to Celebrate Your Marriage
Once you use your wedding gift money to start an emergency fund, save for a down payment on a home, and to purchase a new life insurance policy, it’s time to have some fun with your new spouse. With your remaining wedding cash, book a couple’s massage, adopt a new pet, or enjoy a date night out at a winery, theater, baseball game, or anywhere else that interests you and your love.
While using your wedding gift money to pay for things like life insurance and credit card debt may not seem very exciting, these smart moves will set you and your partner up for a happy, healthy, and secure financial future together. Financial security leads to longer-lasting marriages, and these tips will prepare you and your partner for anything that may attempt to get in the way of your marital bliss.