A couple may fall in love or have an arranged marriage, but they surely meet before their marriage…so these are things which they should talk about.
1. Spending habits: The chances are that the boy and the girl come from very different backgrounds, so it is better that they know what is ‘cheap’ and what is ‘expensive’. I know of guys who try to live on Rs. 6000 a month, and guys who can blow Rs. 6k in one evening. If for the girl eating out means an Udipi where they will run up a Rs. 400 bill and for the guy it means a place where the starters cost Rs. 500, God it may not be easy to handle, no?
2. Using Credit: I know of couples where the girl is happy SAVING every rupee and the boy is happy to borrow for everything. This is about IMMEDIATE gratification and delayed gratification – talk about it.
3. Come clean on your past: It is common and acceptable to have a student loan, a personal loan, a car loan and a housing loan. It would be very nice if both of you can see each others credit report – there is no worry of saying ‘Oh I forgot to tell you’ kinda debt.
4. If a girl HAS to support her family she is better off telling the guy she is to marry and MAKE sure that HIS parents know about it. Have heard of cases where we had to break a girl’s salary so that she could send one to her parents and one to her in-laws.
5. What assets do you need and how will you fund it: Car, house, washing machine, 2 wheeler, ….does not matter what. Will you buy today, on installment or do you have enough money to buy outright? If you have to buy, can u ask some of your friends to pool and gift for your wedding?
6. Any financial obligations from a previous marriage? Ask and get a clarification.
7. How much are you planning to spend on your wedding and honeymoon? How will you share the expenses? How much of the expenses will your parents bear? If you pay can you decide on how expensive the wedding will be? Talk it over.
8. Be very, very careful about how you are going to share the expenses. It does not make sense to say “I will pay the housing EMI you pay the expenses” – this hurts in case of a divorce. Sorry, but being ready for the worst makes sense, right? Hey Guys think hard, only 28% marriages end in divorce.
9. On the sad note of divorce, guys be very very careful about the new dowry law – it is loaded against the guys. If a girl wants to take you to the cleaners, believe me, she can.
10. If you do not know the boy / girl much well before the marriage, do a background check. The kind of frauds that are happening – you need to see them to believe it !
11. Are you the investing types, spending types or savings types? these 3 subsets are almost independent of each other, please be careful. Also girls please stop pretending that money is a man’s responsibility and cooking a woman’s responsibility. It is not. There are men who make a mess of the family finances. If you are a CA, MBA, or an engineer remember NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING in our education system prepares you for managing personal finance. All of us have had to learn it, so please do.
12. Put a date on which you will change your surname, and when will you merge the accounts. It is almost compulsory to keep the salary accounts in single name – please ensure that the nominee is in place.
13. Guys check out on your life insurance! Pregnancy can occur without notice! On a serious note even if both of you are earning similar amounts, there is a chance that the woman takes time off for having children, and some other matters – so go and get yourself a life insurance term cover…these days a Rs. 2 crore cover costs you about 8k a year, so go and get it…
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