9 Ways Getting Married Is Good for Your Finances

By Mikey Rox on 25 April 2014 2 comments

Regardless of whether you believe in marriage, walking down the aisle has its benefits. On average, married couples live healthier lives than those not married; and there's evidence that underprivileged children are "more likely to graduate college and earn more if raised by two married parents." (See also: How to Stay Happily Married for 29 Years)

But the potential benefits don't stop here.

Some couples don't live together until after marriage. And for those in this category, newly combined incomes can provide some amazing financial benefits.

Not that you should marry only for financial reasons. But if you and your partner are contemplating marriage, here are nine possible benefits.

1. Better Auto Insurance Rates

Auto insurance companies typically offer discounts when there are multiple vehicles under one policy. Therefore, consolidating your insurance policies might be cheaper than paying two separate policies.

After getting married, ask your insurance carrier to provide rate quotes for adding another vehicle to your policy. Also, if you purchase a home or rent an apartment, you can enjoy additional savings by acquiring your homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance from the same company that handles your auto coverage.

Unfortunately, a cheaper auto policy is only possible if both of you have good driving records. If your spouse is a high-risk driver, consolidating policies can raise your premiums. (See also: Avoid These Mistakes When Shopping for Auto Insurance)

2. Increased Financial Stability

If you lived alone prior to marriage, getting married might increase your household income, thus increasing your financial stability.

Job loss can happen. But with both spouses working, a job loss doesn't always mean financial ruin. Even if the working spouse doesn't earn enough to fully support the family, some income is better than none; and this income might cover the majority of expenses until you're able to secure employment.

3. Access to Health Insurance

Once you say, "I do," your spouse can add you to his or her employer health plan, and vice versa. Coverage is typically available within 30 days of tying the knot, and you don't have to wait for open enrollment periods. This is a major perk if you can't get health insurance through your employer, or if you're self-employed and can't afford coverage.

4. Easier to Secure a Mortgage Loan

Qualifying for a home loan on your own can be a real challenge, especially if home values are through the roof in your local market. But as a married couple buying your first place together, the lender uses your combined income to determine whether you qualify for financing and how much you can afford. (See also: Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan)

5. Cheaper Loan Rates

If you have a low credit score and your spouse has a near-perfect credit score, mortgage lenders will likely use the lower of both scores to determine your rate, which can result in paying more for your house. However, if your spouse applies for the mortgage alone, you'll receive a better rate.

Since the bank will only use one income to determine affordability, this reduces how much you're able to spend on a property. And although your name isn't on the mortgage loan, you're still allowed to be on the mortgage title.

6. Additional Resources to Pay Off Debt

As much as you wish to pay off your credit cards, it's often challenging on a single income. If you and your spouse didn't live together before marriage, combining your income after marriage and sharing household expenses increases your disposable income. Use the extra cash to pay off credit cards and other loans.

7. Opportunity to Build a Savings Account

Not only can disposable income pay off debt, there's the opportunity to start or grow your cash reserves. Save up for a down payment for a house, make home improvements, or get a jump start on retirement planning.

8. Reduces Your Tax Liability

As a married couple filing jointly, you can pay less taxes than you would as a single person. This is because combined earnings might push you into a lower bracket, more so if one spouse earns considerably more than the other.

"A single person earning $40,000 a year pays $6,181 in taxes on that income, while a married individual with the same income pays only $5,162 — a savings of more than $1,000 annually," reports The Atlantic.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Because of the marriage penalty, some high-earning couples who file a joint return move to a higher tax bracket, and end up paying more in taxes than if they were single. (See also: Worst Tax Moves)

9. Assistance Buying Household Items

When planning marriage, most couples also plan a ceremony. They can say their vows in front of close family and friends, and then celebrate at the reception.

Gift giving is customary when a couple ties the knot, and guests are generally happy and eager to bring a present. Just to be clear, you shouldn't get married just for the gifts. But if wedding plans are already in the works, a gift registry can be a lifesaver — especially if you're young and moving into your first place together.

The cost of moving into a new place and starting a life together adds up quickly; but with friends and family assisting with common purchases — glassware, a microwave, inexpensive home furnishings, bath accessories, and other household items — you can get the things you need without going broke. (See also: What to Put on Your Wedding Registry)

Do you know of other financial benefits to marriage that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.

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Guest's picture
Olivia

We were both pretty broke when we married, so the greatest financial benefit wasn't exactly tangible. It had to do more with combined experiences and skill sets. I knew how to fix/make things and he knew how to budget, do taxes and balance a checkbook.

Beth Buczynski's picture

It's worth noting that some states allow unmarried partners (even heterosexual) to be covered under each other's health insurance. My state, Colorado, is one.