Congratulations on your marriage! While, you might have discussed everything with your partner before marriage, yet money would be off the table. Financial intimacy is what you should consider!
Though, you may find it unromantic, the truth is that money can make or break any relation. As per the survey conducted by the Economic Times in 2015, spending habits were one of the main causes of disagreement among couples.
As you have started a new chapter in your life, it is time to talk about money to avoid any conflicts later. Tips are here to give your financial (or marriage) partnership a good start:
- Start Talking About Finances
It is crucial to craft your financial plan in such a manner that it suits both the partners. This is possible only if the couple discusses their present financial liabilities, like loan EMIs, credit card payments and other expenses. It is important to understand that you no longer remain a solo traveler and there is one more person who has joined you on the journey of life. Therefore, get an idea about each other’s current financial state soon after the wedding rather than wait till things turn awry.
2. Set your Goals
Once you both have understood each other’s financial state, start discussing your financial goals in-depth. This may include your aspirations, change in lifestyle, major investment (like home, car), foreign travel, etc. Have an open discussion with your partner to priorities these goals.
3. Create a Monthly Budget
With your goals set, frame an optimum family budget accordingly. Identify your expected expenses and chart ways to manage them judiciously. Allocate a fixed amount towards your living expenses, medical expenditure, investment, insurance, etc. Unexpected expenses, like doctor’s appointment, vehicle maintenance, special occasion, etc.; should be kept in mind while creating a budget.
Make sure enough money is kept aside for personal needs. Nobody would be interested in giving the count of every penny spent. An amount up to 5% to 10% of each person’s salary should not be calculated at all. If your spouse wishes to surprise you or wants to help his/her parents financially, this spare money will help.
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4. Build an Emergency Fund
Just like an ant saves for a rainy day, you should also build a contingency fund to save for emergencies like job loss, medical crisis etc. Try to create a contingency reserve fund equal to your six-month salary. Keep raising your contribution towards your rainy-day fund in proportion to the increase in your salary. However, make sure your amount is either in the form of cash or near cash assets, like bank fixed deposits.
5. Update Nominee Details
Update your current investment and insurance documents, including corporate insurance policies, to make your spouse a joint holder or a nominee.
6. Track Your Budget
A couple should not only follow the budget but also find gaps and make necessary changes if required. Monitor your budget and expenses for a few months and see if you can stick to it or not. Make sure to do a thorough scrutiny to find out where you are lacking.
7. Buy Useful Insurance Covers
Now you are married and have an added responsibility; it is essential to purchase necessary insurance policies to deal with life’s uncertainties. The first most important insurance is an online term insurance policy which offers financial coverage to your spouse after your death. Then some term insurance policies cover critical ailments like cancer, chronic kidney ailment, heat issue, etc.; as well. These policies make a payout if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical ailment. The payout can be used to meet both medical and household expenses.
Next, go with a family floater health insurance to cover yourself and your spouse. Moreover, most of the health insurance plans cover maternity only after a waiting period of 2 or 3 years. It means, if you buy a health insurance policy at an early stage, you can use it when you do a family planning after a few years.
- Start Investing: Saving money is a nice idea, but it would be wonderful if your money works hard for you. Invest in avenues like equity-linked mutual funds, PPF, ULIPs, etc.; for long-term and generate enough returns to beat the inflation impact.
- Start Retirement Planning
You might be thinking that why we are asking you to think about retirement so early in your life? Time flies so fast and before you realize, years would’ve already flown by. In fact, you are already late as you should’ve started investing for retirement the moment you got your first salary. It is always good to plan for your retirement together in case both of you are working. Also, if one of you want to retire early, the timely retirement planning would make it feasible. You can start retirement planning by investing a small amount towards equity funds which can give you high returns in the long-run. Keep increasing more as per the hike in your income!
Start working as a team towards a financially secure future!