Saving For Married Life
Most people starting out on a career see saving for their wedding as their immediate financial goal. That is a time when they actually put their hard-earned savings to use. Notwithstanding the expenses by parents, self-financing one’s wedding with one’s own money does have its own merits. So, it helps if one starts saving for one’s wedding from the early stages of one’s career. Financial goals change over the years due to changes in circumstances, such as inheritance, marriage, birth, house purchase or change of job status. So, one needs to revisit these plans ahead of marriage.
First Things First
The one thing that you should avoid at all costs immediately after wedding is any kind of debt burden. Make a plan to get rid of all your credit card dues and personal loans. You may continue servicing your educational loan even after the wedding; so prepare a plan of your impending expenses well in advance. Under no circumstances take a personal loan to fund your wedding.
Sole Or Joint
You will have to decide whether you want to continue with your individual bank account or opt for a joint account with your spouse. It’s better to continue with your existing account a few years into your wedding as certain cheques in the maiden name of women are not subject to name-changing formalities.
Around three years away from your intended wedding, move your investments in equity mutual funds (earmarked for your wedding) to less volatile debt funds. The same goes with your parent’s investment for your wedding needs. But you can continue with your investments in Public Provident Fund (PPF), shares, bonds and other fixed deposits. Encash only those investments which are nearing maturity. Invest the proceeds in bank fixed deposits or debt funds. If you are yet to start saving for your wedding, opt for debt funds if your wedding is three years away, and balanced funds if it is five years away.
Post-wedding, women usually change their surnames. However, in a few cases, there are change of names also. As such, existing nominations will also require change of names. To keep the transition smooth, keep the record of all your original certificates handy. Get the marriage certificate prepared in the initial years itself. The parent’s investment with their daughter as the nominee may not require any change. But investments in the daughter’s own name will need to be modified in the spouse’s surname after her wedding.
Just Into Marriage
Work out a detailed roadmap for family finances with your spouse. This should ideally start with covering health and life risks for both of you. Take into account the expenses for children’s education and marriage that you will incur once you start a family. Also, plan out the expenses for your car and house you intend to own in the years ahead. Plan out your retirement and the corpus you will need to fund the kind of lifestyle you would want to enjoy in your sunset years after fulfilling all your obligations. Consider inheritances that are likely to come to you and your spouse during the course of your married life. Lastly, let your partner know where you stand in terms of finances rather than giving him/her a nasty surprise. Let not money play spoilsport in your married life.
Outlook Money is a personal finance magazine which provides mutual funds insight and mutual fund investment ideas.
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