Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Four Financial Issues to Resolve Before You Settle Down

When the time comes to finally settling down, we often get so caught up in all the emotional and operational aspects that we forget to take the practical course of considering the financial aspects, before embarking upon this new phase in our lives.

It thus comes as no surprise that financial incompatibility can often cause situations of conflict in a marriage. This includes factors like budgeting, current debts, and current and proposed investments.

Here are a number of crucial financial issues that one needs to delve into, before settling down –






Review current debts –If you have a loan on a car or an education loan, or a credit card bill, you ought to put a number to the debt in terms of the value of your liabilities. It is also important to factor in how long it is going to take to pay back the amount, given the new expenses that are bound to crop in post-marriage. You should also review your partner’s financial liabilities and make a joint decision on whether to individually clear all debts, or pool in resources. This way, budgeting becomes much easier and the fact that there are debts to pay comes as no surprise or a cause for concern later in the marriage – full disclosure is mandatory.

List out assets and ongoing investments –Once you have identified the financial liabilities in terms of current debt, it’s important to look into current assets, investments and income, so as to be able to set a financial plan in place. While most of your investments till now were defined by your individual goals, marriage entails deciding what goals remain individual to a person and which goals, two individuals can combine and work towards achieving together. Make a list of your current and ongoing investments, approximate returns, stock investments and current assets like jewellery and real estate. Once you do this, you can decide the financial responsibility to be borne for each investment, post marriage.

Also, if need be, you might want to make future investments in your spouse’s name, or change the nominee in current investments, and while listing assets. These are aspects that need to be taken into account before settling down so that there are no conflicts or misunderstandings later on.

Financial planning and budgeting – A critical factor you need to take into consideration when getting married, is that your attitude towards money and those of your future spouse, might be different. You should thus have a discussion with your partner, about their spending habits, goals, and future expectations vis à vis those of your own. What you might consider a frivolous expense, might be a priority spending area, in the eyes of your future spouse.

You should also factor in financial responsibilities like monthly maintenance bills or looking after parents, and future plans like buying a house or having children. At this point, you ought to have your individual as well as joint priorities set, so that you can put a number to your short and long term finances.

An additional area of conflict could be actually spending on the wedding, which you should factor in into the financial-planning process as well.

Defining financial responsibility and demarcation of money – Often, conflicts arise depending on who manages the money, or who’s paying the bills. It thus becomes important to plan whether one or both the individuals have access to the funds, whether there are joint accounts or individual accounts or both, and each person’s role in making investments, bill payments and household expenses.


This is a guest post by Paisa Bazaar

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