Before diving in the valley of debt, let’s relax your mind. I would like to start from the beginning. Do you remember the advice which we usually get from our parents in childhood – “Study hard and get a safe and secure job.”? I had already explained how this advice affects one’s life financially in my article: The Journey Begins In the race for a job and pursuing the best course, which provide these jobs, most of us had some sorts of personal debt. Lucky are those whose parents are able to carry their complete expenses without having any debt. I had also explained how in the race for a job many land up in a job that they are not passionate about, which further lead them in the debt: Greatest debt is not to lose a job but to compromise with a job which you are not passionate about.
Once the job is in hand, parents get relaxed thinking that now the life of my child is secured. Now it’s time to get them married and retire ourselves. Most of the time, we choose to marry without any mental and financial planning as there is continuous approach from our parents to get married soon. Many of the people also get married even they are already in the debt.
Marriage is the most memorable, exciting and a life changing event for anyone. Marriage starts a new chapter, which brings a lot of happiness and hopes in the life of the couple and their families. Apart from hopes & happiness, it cannot be denied that marriage brings a huge responsibility for the couple. For this, the couple should be mentally prepared. But only mental preparation will not be enough to carry these responsibilities. No one can deny that from the day the word marriage enters one’s life, the financial statement of the person starts fluctuating like the stock market index. If anyone maintains such financial statements of expense and income practically, they can easily track the kind of disturbance in their graph before and after the word marriage enters in their life. But I guess most of us don’t maintain such statements even though it is recommended by many financial advisers as it may help you to cut down your unnecessary expense. At this point of time, I will not comment on whether you should maintain this or not. I will discuss this in my coming article. In this article we will explore why mental and financial planning is important before marriage. And if it is not done before marriage, how it is going to affect your married life and can lead you to the verge of a deadly debt. This debt is strong enough to make you feel it’s over! It is nothing less than suicide. As you go through the article, you will understand why I am referring to it as a suicide.
Marriage is not just an occasion, but a dream, which everyone wants to make as special as possible. In order to fulfil the dream, no one cares about the finance. Let the money flow like rain water, we will see after marriage. Finally, marriage becomes one of the most expensive investments of life. Do you remember the definition of liability? Anything which adds to your expense is liability. Marriage is nothing but an investment which adds to your expense. It is a kind of luxury. You can buy luxury only when you afford it. According to a report of Reliance Money, a finance company of India, the Indian wedding industry accounts for over Rs. 100,000 crores and is growing at the rate of 20-25% each year. An average Indian wedding would cost between 20 lakhs and 5 crore rupees. An Indian wedding is generally a three-day affair with different ceremonies and rituals lined up. The average cost of a single ceremony may range between 6 and 10 lakh rupees. A person in India is estimated to spend one-fifth of the total wealth accumulated in his lifetime on his wedding. According to Hitched.co.uk, the UK’s largest wedding website, the average wedding in UK was as high as £32,273 in 2018 by £5,112 – or 19 per cent higher – from £27,161 the previous year. However, the wedding cost varies with geographical regions in almost each country. In order to meet the expense of this unforgettable moment, people take the help of personal loans which charge very high interest rate. Looking at this data, it cannot be denied that a wedding is one of the biggest liabilities which contribute towards debt if you are not prepared for it financially.
The financial attack is not over, just after the wedding. It has to go a long way. It’s time for the honeymoon. Oh, come on! Who cares about money? Who can compromise with this? Planning about honeymoon starts right after the couple decides to get married. Whatever be the burden of the wedding expense, this is going to add one more lavish moment to the life of a married couple. But from a financial point of view, this is another liability which is going to be added in the expense list of the couple.
Now it’s time for a kid. Are you ready for the kid? In most of the cases, especially where education system and social awareness are not so high, this question never comes into consideration. They just go for it right after they are married. No issue. Go for it. But one more liability gets added in the list. I guess many people will not agree with me on this point that a kid is a liability. Come on! A kid is no longer going to add to the income of the family, until the kid grows enough to start earning. Although the expense is going to increase as the kid grows, in education, health, and other expenses. In most of the cases, all these liabilities get added just after a year or two of the marriage.
This is the point when the couple starts realising the financial challenges. If they have not planned financially and are not mentally prepared to carry these liabilities, their married life is going to be worse than hell. This is the point when the struggle starts between security and priorities. Also money habits inherited from their families are different, so financial temperament of the husband and wife may also vary. The threat of debt starts mental frustration between the husband and wife. This also affects their sex lives and the dissatisfaction level becomes too high. If proper actions are not taken to come out of debt, the matter may reach to a point of divorce in some cases and also to suicide in a few cases. While in some cases, couples accept to live in depression forever, which is nothing but suicide in itself.
Marriage is rapidly driving the tribal families of Madhya Pradesh, India toward debt. Nearly 80 percent of the couples who get a divorce cited financial difficulties as one of the major reasons according to The Dollar Stretcher. According to US study, ‘Examining the relationship between financial Issues and Divorce’, argument about money is considered the ‘top predictor of divorce.’ PV Subramanyam agrees. “Not having premarital discussion on finance can easily lead to divorce because of the mismatch in money personalities,” say financial expert and CEO of Subramoney.com.
Before concluding the article, I would like to attract attention towards one more situation, which is growing rapidly in business families. In many cases, the husband typically makes the wife the director or a partner in his company. The wife may have little idea about the business and dealing activities. Only when the company defaults in repayment of loan, does the wife realise the consequences of signing documents without fully being aware of repercussions. If the spouse is the guarantor of husband’s business loan, bank can hold her liable for default.
The purpose of this article is not to scare anyone from getting married, but just to show marriage from a financial perspective. It is suggested to be mentally as well as financially prepared before getting married as it carries happiness and stress together. It is better to have premarital discussions on finance to find a common ground on financial temperament. It is also recommended to take responsibility with caution.
Hey! I will be back with my next powerful article “Planning for the wedding? 9 smart ways to plan your finance before marriage” Stay tuned and trust me you cannot afford to miss the coming article if you are planning for the wedding.
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