When you dream of being married, you probably don't fantasize about paying bills, but such practical matters comprise a big part of life after wedded bliss.

Considering money is one of the top reasons couples fight, it's important to establish healthy patterns for dealing with finances from the beginning. Here are some easy but important things to consider for your financial future together.

Have a financial checkup

Many couples may put off talking about money before marriage, but that can be risky; past mistakes can affect your future together. Get to know each other’s financial situation, like how many credit cards you each have and how you spend your money, before you walk down the aisle.

Consolidate checking accounts

Joint accounts allow for full disclosure, forcing you and your spouse to check in often about spending. They're also easier to manage. Who pays what doesn't become an issue. There's a greater accountability factor and it's easier to reach joint goals. On the flipside, one joint account requires that you give up a degree of privacy and control.

Keep separate accounts, too

If the thought of not having your own checking account gives you angst, consider this approach. Once you put aside the allotted money for bills (in the joint account), the rest of your money is truly yours. Spending habits don't cause as much tension when they're private. In addition, if one person brings a large amount of debt into the relationship, he or she can keep it separate until it's paid off.

Insurance decisions

One of the perks that come with getting married is insurance discounts. Ask your Starion Insurance agent to compare different providers to see which will save you the most money. Types of insurance to remember are car, health, life and home/renters.

Look at your loans

Do you know what you and your spouse have in loans? Write down your loans, balances and interest rates and ask your Starion banker if you can consolidate some of your debt. Common loans to think about are student loans, car loans and mortgages.

Review savings & investments

You’ll want to take a look at all of your current savings and investments accounts and decide if you’ll merge them together or allow joint access to your spouse. Visit with your Starion banker to set up new access or accounts, look at new investment opportunities and change beneficiary information to your spouse.

Getting a good grasp on your and your partner’s finances will help you make decisions on how to merge your money after you get married. We would love an opportunity to guide you through this transition. Contact a Starion banker to begin a new life of financial bliss!