For newly-weds, there is something about the honeymoon that makes it memorable. Particularly, if you have gone for adventure tourism. Especially, if you include adventure activities like river rafting and rappelling together on your honeymoon. The thrill, the surge, the excitement of getting married meshing with the adrenaline rush of the sport makes you tingle with joy. You don’t feel like chucking all that and getting back to normal life. But ‘getting back’ is something that you have to eventually. And that is when you have to put all your efforts into financial planning for your ‘new life as a couple’
As a single individual, you can do without planning, but as a couple, it is important that you do proper financial planning to avoid money matters interfering in your marital life adversely. Here are 10 tips to help you deal with your mutual finances as a newly-wed couple.
- Start talking openly. Communicate openly with your spouse about your financial goals and planning. Go over each other’s debts and investments. This is the starting point of all financial planning
- Goal setting. Fix up your goals. It can be buying a house, starting a family, owning a car etc. This will ensure that both of you are on the same page as far as understanding your priorities are concerned. If you want to start a family and the wife is going to be a stay-at-home mom, plan to keep your expenditure low so as to be able to sustain on one income.
- Draw a budget. Make sure that you draw up a monthly budget of how much you earn and how much will your expenditure be in the coming months. If both of you carry debts, it is advisable that you work towards settling off the debts as early as possible.
- Take risks as a couple. Plan your investments, especially, the ones involving certain degree of risk, together. Don’t put your money in avenues which will antagonise your spouse. Take the risk appetite of your spouse also into consideration when planning investments.
- Bring up sensitive subjects with love. If you feel your spouse is overspending or indulging in a lot of risky investments, approach the subject with a lot of sensitivity. Insensitivity may have cascading effects on other areas of the relationship.
- If both spouses are earning, share the household responsibilities and keep it that way unless there is an emergency. Decide at the outset as to who takes care of what.
- Joint bank account. Open a joint bank a/c and pool in a part of your income into that a/c and see to it that the outflows from that a/c are minimal. This will serve as a reservoir of liquid funds whenever there is a crunch situation.
- Protection plans. Buy a term plan as someone else also is now relying on your income. Term plans and critical illness plans can serve as protection for the time when there is severe pressure on the household income. A term plan would provide a fixed payout to your spouse in case you depart untimely. A critical illness plan can provide for the loss of income that you suffer when you are recovering from a critical illness and are unable to work.
- Medical insurance. Buy a medical insurance plan that covers your spouse as well.
- Don’t demean your spouse by checking on each and every penny that he spends. Trust them to make the right decisions. Learn to let go of the control except in extreme situations.
Managing marriage and money can be tough to start with, but, if you don’t do it, you are sure to end with trouble. If you develop good financial understanding as a couple, it’ll go a long way in helping you tide over whatever you are pitted against in life.