Financial essentials for newly weds: It is a truth universally acknowledged that money plays a very important role in the success of any marriage. Therefore, a financial plan deserves adequate attention right from the beginning of a 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 ones financial status which must be undertaken as soon a possible after tying the knot.
Change of Name & address: Your bank and financial institutions need to be informed about your new status and if there is any change in your name or surname or a change in address, it needs to be updated.
Change of Nominee: One needs to change the nominee at various places such as bank accounts, securities, insurance policies and other investment arenas.
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 realised in time. The goals must be realistic and should cater for a few unseen circumstances that may crop en route.
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.
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.
—The author is CEO, Bankbazaar.com