People decide to get married for all sorts of reasons but finance is not normally part of the consideration. However, there are a lot of marriages that break up due to financial reasons and so it is something which should be considered carefully. There are also some advantages and disadvantages financially to being married as well.
Married Persons Allowance
If one person in the couple is earning below the tax limit and the other is paying the lower level of tax then they can ‘borrow’ a bit of their spouse’s tax allowance and pay a little less tax. The allowance is not worth a fortune but it could make a difference and why turn down free money! You will have to claim this, it is not sent automatically so it is worth checking out the government website and looking for the details so that you can check if you qualify and find out how to make a claim.
Borrowing for a Mortgage
If you want to buy a mortgage then having two incomes will make a big difference when you are applying. You will be able to borrow more money and repay more so it should enable you to get a better choice of mortgage. You do not need to be married though, to have a mortgage together, even friends or siblings can do this and so in this case marriage will make no difference.
Again, whether you are married or simply living together, there will be no difference with regards to benefits apart from the married persons allowance mentioned above. The benefits that you are entitled to will depend on the income of the household and so whether you live with your marriage spouse or a partner, it will make no difference to what you can get.
Living together, whether married or not does have financial benefits. If you have one house together rather than two separate ones, your bills will probably be less. You will be able to share the costs of the utilities, rent, council tax and insurance and it is likely that you will not be sharing a home that is significantly larger than where you lived in before so you should be able to save some money.
If you share financial documents with someone else then this is reflected on your credit record. This meant that if you have a joint bank account, joint names on a utility bill or something like this then if one of you has financial problems, this could get flagged up on the others credit record. Again, this is not necessarily going to just happen to married people though as it can happen to anyone who shares joint liability for something. This means that you need to be careful with what you put your name on. Unfortunately, sharing an address could also implicate you so there maybe no escape from the association with someone with credit problems anyway.
Most disagreements about financial matter has a few simple reasons. It might be that the couple cannot agree on how money is spent or that one is keeping money problems secret form the other. Discussing things carefully and making sure that you come to agreements that you both agree with could be a great step in ensuring that your marriage or relationship is not negatively impacted by money. Operating joint accounts where things can be clearly seen can also help with this, although some people do like to have some money independent of their partner. Make sure you are upfront about this and come to a decision about money which suits you both.