What I have witnessed is people bring in a lot of debt to the marriage to begin with. It is a fairly easy thing to do what with student loans, credit cards, and car notes. I would be very strategic and disciplined about how you tackle the paying off of these items even before you tie the knot. As an individual it would be a very responsible thing to try to minimize your debt before entering into a marriage. Of course once you're married there's no going back to try to do that on your own and now you're left dealing with this issue as a couple. I read a wonderful book that suggested that you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, really get a handle on that one..pay it off..and then go on to the next highest item and so on...the idea is that you cut back on what you would be paying in interest and can now use that money to go towards another bill.
When it came to the finances my mom really managed all of that. I think generally women are much better at handling those sorts of things. Obviously, the couple should talk about all the bills and responsibilities and they absolutely have to agree on the expenses of the household, but it would probably make sense for only one of them to be the administrator of the accounts. If money is a concern it would also be a good idea to make a list of all the expenses of the household and see if any luxuries can be removed.
Many couples struggle with money problems, and there are many potential sources for developing financial problems. To avoid these issues, you should be open and honest with yourselves and each other about your habits with money. Many couples include financial concerns in pre-marital counseling, but if you haven’t already done so, have a frank discussion about how you deal with bills, spending, shopping, giving, and saving. Some couples take financial courses together or read books about financial strategies. This way they can grow together in their knowledge of financial issues and hold each other accountable for living up to their own goals and expectations.
The best way I know of are to budget and save. You and your partner need to be prepared and committed to stick to the budgets that you guys have established,. Also you should determine each partner's financial responsibilities so as to avoid arguments and confusion. Don't be completely financially independent of each other though, a marriage is a union.