Just married? Life is all bliss and you are all excited about being married. But once the stage of euphoria ends starts the actual married life. There will be a lot of adjusting from both sides. Adjusting also includes finances. You cannot live separate lives just because both of you are working and have an income. Both spouses have to share the expenses and discuss their finances. One just can’t ignore the elephant in the room. You have to set your married life on the right path and discuss with your spouse how the finances have to be managed. Here are a few tips to start off your financial planning and goals.
It’s important for everyone to communicate to avoid misunderstanding. It’s crucial that couples communicate about how to manage finances. You can start off with communicating your goals, both individual and couple. What do you want from life and will any of you want to study further or looking for a career change. You also have to discuss the sources of income and how much you earn, spend and save. Even the minute like if you are an impulsive shopper or careful about spending money has to be communicated well to the partner. Also, you have to figure out your monthly expenses to start planning your budget.
Consolidate all assets and liabilities
List your income, expenses, savings, investments, insurance, and debt if any. It’s important to know every asset class you and your partner have invested before marriage like gold, property, shares or mutual funds. Also, it is important to know all the loans both of you have like credit card loans, student loans or any other loans. Sources of income other than the salary have to be discussed too. Once you have consolidated the assets and liabilities, you can start paying off the debt and concentrate on which assets to invest and the asset allocation for each. It’s considered ideal to start off married life with no personal loans.
Each one will have a set of goals as individuals and as a couple, you will want to achieve some financial goals too. So list all the goals and prioritize them. Break them into short-term and long-term goals. Invest according to their priority. Generally, the long term goals like retirement are to be given more priority than short-term goals. So investing first towards retirement is considered ideal than for a vacation in 2 years.
Start with the necessities
Food, shelter, and clothes are necessities in life. Similarly, in finance, there are necessities in finance too. It’s important to cater to these necessities first then move on to other goals. Creating an emergency fund is the first step in financial planning. It is the need of the hour. Having an emergency fund helps in times of uncertainties and reduces a lot of costs for us. The second financial necessity is insurance. Having life and health insurance is as important as having a bank account. Insurance will help in time of emergency and also helps in covering medical expenses. In case none of the partners have insurance take one. If there is already one insurance alter it to meet the current needs.
Build a financial plan and work towards it
Now that the necessities are covered, the attention can be shifted to other financial goals. They say that there is no ‘I’ after marriage. But I do not agree with that. Each individual has their own set of goals. Retirement, vacation, owning a car or any piece of jewelry can be individual goals. And there are goals for a couple like being debt free, having a dream home, vacation or saving up for an occasion. One has to plan in such a way where both the individual and couple financial goals are catered to. It’s all about prioritizing the goals and investing in it.
Meet a financial advisor if you are unable to figure out how and where to invest to achieve your goals.
Happy Married Life! Happy Financial Planning.