Marriage- Two bodies but one soul !! What about their finances?

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The common way of running a household is ‘the man earns the bread and the woman cooks it’. But now with the changing scenario, both men and women are equal partners in sharing the expenses. So why should they not be equal partners in charting out their family finances? In most situations, the man makes all financial decisions such as the monthly budget, the amount of money allotted for specific goals, all investment decisions etc. However, this is not ideal. Both partners must be equally involved in drawing out the finances and taking important financial decisions.

 

Generally, couples allot specific duties to each other and stick by them. This might be an ideal method to run a household but in the wake of one’s finances, this need not necessarily be right. If any one spouse is completely unaware, it could lead to huge amounts of stress in the event of an unfortunate demise. Not being aware of the exact amount of their assets, not having details of their insurance policies or all their investments details can leave individuals feeling lost during trying times. The simplest way of avoiding such stress can be by discussing, planning and timely evaluating one’s financial position together.


Budgeting: Budgeting is the primary decision involving a couple. How much money to save, how much to spend! This cannot be decided solely by the husband. Even though he may be the sole provider of income in the house, the wife is better informed of the current expenses of the house. She is a better judge of the amount of money needed every month and hence, the figures should be decided by both the members.


Women are usually better at effective implementation and hence, the wife is better able to maintain the budget set by the two of them. Also, when both the members are planning together, both are equally aware as to how much they can afford to spend and how much they must save. This leads to better understanding of their financial situations and both the members work towards maintaining the same.


Shared Goals: Goal setting is a very important part of financial planning. It is a must that one charts out their financial goals and plan for them as this ensures you have adequate funds when you need them. Hence, it is important that goals are discussed and mutually set so both individuals can work towards achieving a common goal. Either of the members being kept in the dark would render the person incapable of understanding how much they need to save and why. In order to achieve financial goals successfully, the co-operation of both the husband and the wife is a must.


Savings: so once the amount to be saved each month is decided, it is time to actually implement it. Keep the savings separately. Start an SIP so as to ensure this amount is invested on a timely basis. Not everyone may be interested in the details of the investments however it is of utmost importance to ensure that both members are aware of how much money gets invested each month and where. In the event of the death of the individual, it is necessary that the other spouse knows where their money is.


Insurance policies: Life insurance comes into play only upon the death of a person. Hence, it is of utmost importance that both partners are fully aware of the all the life insurance policies owned by each of them. It would not be ideal if one of them missed out on a claim since they were not aware.


Will: Just like the insurance policies, a will comes to play only upon the death of a person. Thus both the members should be aware of whether their spouse has a will or not. And if yes, where has it been kept. A copy of the signed will must be maintained with a person associated with the family, such as the family doctor, lawyer etc. Each one of them should be aware of with whom exactly is the will stored as this would be of great help in the event of an untimely demise.


In most cases, one of the individuals is not interested in the finances of the house. They simply bring money to the house and then the other spouse looks into the details. However, effort must be taken by both the individuals to be aware of their financial situations. It is much needed as it can help reduce great amounts of stress and tension in times of need.

 

By Shalmali Kulkarni.

The writer is working as a para-planner with Fpguru.com


Comments  

 
0 #2 Pratik 2012-07-18 08:04
nice
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0 #1 kinjal 2012-07-17 10:26
Good write up... couple should know every details of their financial matters.
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