10 Biggest Expenses in a Couple's First Year

Combining households means sorting out which furniture you keep, and which pieces need to be replaced. © IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Thinkstock

Marriage is a big, grown-up step, and a time when many people give up some of their youthful habits and possessions. It's a time when you can finally admit that the futon you slept on all through college is no longer comfortable or that the bookcase you made of concrete blocks and plywood really is as ugly as your mother keeps telling you. Even if the furniture you're each bringing to your marriage is much nicer than a futon and concrete blocks, most newlyweds want to pick things out together, things that are theirs.

The first step is to talk about the things you already own and want to keep. Then, make a list of furniture you'd like to have, maybe new bedroom furniture or living room furnishings. If you're buying a house, you may need furniture for nearly every room. And don't forget accessories such as end tables, lamps and rugs.

The next step is to prioritize your wants and needs, then create a budget and timeline for purchases. Look around online to get an idea of how much furniture costs and to pick out styles and colors you both like and that suit your lifestyle. Furniture is generally a long-term investment. Don't rush into it; get pieces as you can afford them. Look for sales and enjoy the process.