3 Crucial financial moves to take before you get married

Pre-marriage financial planning can make your post-marriage life smooth and happy. Take these 3 crucial financial planning steps before you tie the knot.

December 10, 2019 10:51 IST | India Infoline News Service
The key to a great start to your marriage is to be on the same page or at least on the same chapter of the same book before tying the knot, especially in matters of finance.

While you are excited to start the next chapter of your life as a married couple, you must take certain steps together as a couple before you get married. Keep reading to know what the crucial steps are.

1. Estimate and plan your wedding expenses

This step is the start of your journey as a couple. Taking those crucial saat pheres doesn’t come cheap! So, a discussion of the wedding expenses is something you should do before you get married.

Discuss what kind of a wedding you want
Whether you want a simple wedding or a grand celebration, discussing what you both want can save a lot of money as you can plan the expenses around it.

Be realistic about how much your wedding will cost
Is your wedding a one-day event or is it spread over a few days? Figure that out. Accordingly, determine the budget for your wedding. Break down the cost of the wedding and allocate funds to each category depending on your budget and how important the category is in your wedding ceremony.

Break down the cost into the following categories: 
● Venue
● Catering
● Bridal gold and jewellery
● Guest accommodation
● Décor
● Photographer/videographer
● Wedding day clothes
● Gifts for guests/family
● Transportation
● Music and entertainment
Note: Always overestimate the wedding cost by at least 30%.

Figure out how you will pay for the wedding
Now that you have the budget ready, figure out where you stand financially - how much you can afford to spend on your own and how much you’ll need. You may want to pay for the wedding through a combination of personal savings and family contributions. You can also get a marriage loan to fund some parts of your wedding.

In fact, it would be a good idea to have a ready line of credit at your disposal to use as and when an unaccounted-for expense crops up. Withdraw as much as you want, up to your credit limit and pay interest only on the amount you withdraw and not on the whole credit approved.

2. Have monthly money talks
You can call these discussions MMTs (Monthly Money Talks), just to make it sound a bit exciting. Schedule a time to seriously discuss the financial situation. That said, this step is the best way to avoid your partner from being your financial enemy. Make financial planning a regular event even after you get married.

Don’t make these money talks ridiculously boring or judgmental. Discuss various topics, such as:
● What should be your future vacation plans? How often should you go on vacations? And how much will it cost?
● Do you want to own or rent a home in the first few years of marriage?
● What are your career goals?
● What does financial independence mean to you and how can you achieve it?

While you discuss these topics during your MMTs, follow these rules:
● Don’t blame each other
● Be honest with each other
● Focus on the future not on the past

These MMTs can help you get to the next step of financial planning – that is defining your future financial goals.

3. Sketch your financial future together

Your future financial goals could be buying a new house, family car, or having a child. Discuss your financial goals. You may not have enough money to achieve them now. But you can definitely come up with a plan to achieve them in the future.

Don’t forget to include these aspects in your future financial sketch:
● Health insurance
● Savings for retirement
● Emergency fund

The author of this article is Shiv Nanda, a financial analyst, www.moneytap.com

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