I had a very enlightening conversation with my new friend, who reached out from the blog wanting a bit of financial advice. She is already good at budgeting but now the picture is changing after she got married. She just wanted my inputs on some of the key things that she should be looking around when dealing with her family finances. In turn I ended up getting advice on what I should be looking at when doing my wedding budget, many thanks.
I was going to delay writing article until I saw this meme about cars and there was one that caught my attention in particular, “Married young couple association” starter pack. This described young couple with a new car, in a town house with kids going to “fancy” schools. Not against that, but I just wanted to highlight a few things about newly wedded couple.
Since we live in the day and age where everyone is working on being independent and moving out from home early; by the time we get married (which is often later in life), we are likely to have accumulated some assets as well as debt. In addition, we come in marriage from different families with different social and financial status.
I have seen a few young couple take financial decision that are detrimental to them due to the societal perceptions about what life you should live after you are married. Like the say, the grass is not always greener on the other side and you really do not have a full picture how others are funding their lifestyle. This does not only start post the wedding, but also the during wedding preparation, I’ve seen a few mistakes with people trying to keep up.
Keeping that in mind, the followings are some of the things that you should be looking out if you are considering getting married or recently got married or being married for sometimes and never though about it:
- How does your bank account and savings look after the wedding? Is the any wedding related debt that you should maybe clear first?
- What is your debt situation and that of your partner? The one thing that came out of my chat with my friend from the blog, she made of list of what debt she owes and what debt her partner owes in order to be aware of how much they are carrying together and how they will continue with the repayments.
- Are you currently renting or does one of you have a house? If so, are you going to continue renting or will you consider getting a house together? Please remember if you are married in community of property or out of community of property before taking this decision.
- Are you living in one town of different towns? If you live in different towns, you are essentially going to continue carrying costs of two households.
- Are you planning to have kids and if so how many and by when? Kids are a whole “ Investments/expenses” on their own in as much as they are a blessings, so bear this in mind when deciding where to live, the size of the house to build, the proximity of schools etc.
- If you had life covers and other related policies, do remember to make an appointment with your financial adviser to help you change your beneficiaries as well as assess if your covers is still adequate. You do not want to get a shock of your life when one spouse passes away only to realize his/her mum is the only beneficiary
- See if there are ways you can pool your savings and consolidate your debt if possible. Remember the impact ofcompound interest can either work for you or against you.
These are some of the key considerations that you should be discussing with your spouse, friends as well as parents.
And I do hope you remember that perceptions can be an obstacle on this journey.