Marriage is certainly one of the most exciting events of anyone’s life and it brings about a whole world of changes to one’s lifestyle. However, apart from the social and personal implications of marriage there is also a whole new world of financial responsibilities for both the newly wed partners who have to now plan for their combined future as a family - in short ensuring money power. It is an established fact that money plays a very important role in the success of any marriage and therefore deserves adequate attention right from the beginning of married life. The first thing that couples should do after marriage is to check out their financial appetites, preferences and compatibility so that a common road map can be chalked out for their joint future.
There are certain legal processes, which have serious implications on one’s financial status which must be undertaken as soon a possible after tying the knot.
* Change of Name: Since in many Indian families the brides have to change either their first or last name as per the groom’s family there needs to be an updating of this change in your financial records.
*Change of Address: Since one is likely to move out after marriage into a separate accommodation, all banks and financial institutions that you are dealing with must be appraised of the new address.
*Change of Nominee: One needs to change the nominee at various places such as bank accounts, securities, insurance policies and other investment arenas.
*Change of Will: In case there is an existing will then the details of inheritance will have to be changed or else a new will has to be created.
However, if you plan to keep your respective finances separate then there is no harm in retaining your maiden name, however it must be consistent throughout.
Chalk Out a Family Budget
A completely new approach to financial planning has to be adopted keeping in view the new responsibilities and roles. Both the partners have to sit down and chalk out a road map by defining the exact earning potential, essential expenditures and then setting goals accordingly. The financial aptitudes of both the partners have to be considered in order to work out a middle path with balanced risks in the investment. The responsibility of monitoring of earnings, expenses and investments has to be divided among the partners so that a tight control is maintained. In case either has an outstanding loan, the repayment from combined funds has to be planned so as to pay off at the earliest and start afresh. Some long term as well high cost financial goals such as vacations abroad and purchase of home or car will necessitate careful planning and disciplined implementation right from the beginning to be realized in time. The goals must be realistic and should cater for a few unseen circumstances that may crop en route.
Get a Decent Insurance Cover
After marriage the financial responsibility of both the partners doubles in order to make a new home successful. Thus both have to take adequate insurance cover depending on their income and perceived financial goals in the absence of the other. Existing cover may require to be enhanced keeping in mind the dependence of another life on your income. The couple will have to initially work out the amount that they spare for the premiums of the policy and compare it with their need for cover. Expert advice from financial planners can also be sought in this regard to get a more accurate estimate of the requirements vs. funds available.
Have an Emergency Corpus Ready
The very nature of life is unpredictable. There may be several unforeseen contingencies requiring money such as sudden loss of job, health problems, car repairs or house renovations. Even one may have to cater to health problems of the parents of either of the partner’s parents at a short notice. While prior to marriage the need for emergency funds was limited to own needs only, post marriage this must cater for the combined needs. Thus an emergency fund that is approximately half a year of expected family expenses must be kept aside within easy and quick access.
Financial success of a family depends on equal effort and team work from both the partners that would ensure financial stability and success over a long period of time. The couple has to invariably learn how to spend smartly and save a decent sum of money so as to achieve financial freedom and security at the earliest.