Marriages may be made in heaven, but they are executed down here. This sacred bond involves a lot of important decisions; one of them being money. Efficient money management contributes significantly in creating a happy married life. So, while this might not be the rosiest of topics to discuss when you have just tied the knot (or about to), this should be taken up as a priority. And if you are wondering how or what should you discuss, here are some tips to break the ice and get you started.
Start talking about money
Every individual has a different attitude towards money. Hence, it is important for the couple to start discussing about this topic from the beginning. It is best that these discussions take place before the wedding as it is a crucial factor in deciding the compatibility. But it is never too late to start talking about money.
Some important points that need to be discussed include:
- Concept of savings – do you spend and save or spend after saving?
- Risk appetite – do you prefer fixed deposits because of their low risk factor or are you open to higher risk instruments such as equity investments?
- Budgeting – do you like to take each day as it comes or are you the kind who likes to plan and stick to the budget?
It is also important to peek into each other’s financial goals. These could be related to travel, profession, investment in assets such as property, gold or car, etc.It also includes personal goals that may have a financial impact on the lifestyle of the couple such as starting your own business, taking a sabbatical or moving to another country. Also, in addition to the personal goals, the couple should also pen down their joint goals.
Knowing what you want to achieve will ensure that you stay on the right track and take corrective action whenever required.For instance, if you are young and wish to buy a luxurious property in the future, equity investments may be a better choice.
And most importantly, you will not get a heart attack when your partner announces that he/she wants to give up their well-paying job to form a start-up. You will be mentally and financially prepared for it.
Discuss bank (and other) accounts
A couple should make a comprehensive list of all income sources, bank accounts, deposits, investments, loans or any other debt. It is also a good option to open a joint account which can be used for all the house related expenses.
One should also not forget to add the name of the spouse as a nominee in investments such as insurance policies, Mutual Funds, etc. This small step can become a big help in case of an eventuality in the future.
Plan for a rainy day
Life is full of unforeseen events. It is extremely crucial to plan for such days by creating an “Emergency Fund”. A good emergency fund should help you tide for at least six months and cover daily living expenses. The important factor to keep in mind is that this fund should be highly liquid. One should be able to withdraw the funds without delay or getting stuck in paperwork. You can consider parking your emergency fund in a separate bank account or liquid funds.
Insure yourselves adequately
Insurance should be one of the first things you should invest in as a couple. Research the market well and choose a plan which meets your requirements. For instance, one can choose a pure term insurance plan if they only want a death benefit.
Communication plays a big role in helping a house transform into a home. And money tops the list of the topics to be discussed. In the end, it is all about how two people can come together and support each other realize “their” dreams.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.