To be economical with the statistics, more than 60% of couples in Nigeria start their marriage with debts. In fact, some of them pay these debts for years into the marriage and some are still paying today. What I’m about to share with you are tested and proven ways you can start your family debt free and have a debt free marriage.
So I heard you found the man or woman of your dreams and you’re engaged. Congratulations! Now it’s time to plan the wedding. Your destination is Dubai, right? Hehehehe! The Lord is good. It’s a noble thing to celebrate your wedding with friends and family but doing it at the expense of the financial stability of your family doesn’t worth it. But if you have the means, common let’s paint the town red.
Three years ago when I wanted to get married. When I went to tell my uncle and he quoted this scripture for me. “Seek ye first the kingdom of cash and all other things will be added”. Then he asked, do you have the funds to venture into marriage now? I smiled and said yes! Long story short, I got married to my lovely wife and life has been good.
Guess what I did not take any loan from anyone. A few family members sent in gifts and volunteered to do a few things but that was it. I bore the financial consequences. And I can tell you for a fact that the peace and stability with which you start your family matters.
I know couples who started fighting the following week they got married because of money. I’ve heard and I’m sure you would have heard of couples whose marriage didn’t last one year because of ‘money palava’.
The truth is MONEY is a crucial part of marriage and can’t be overlooked.
Are you about getting married but don’t know how to fund it? Here’s how you can do it. –
1. Set a Budget: This is the very first step towards achieving a debt-free wedding ceremony. Sit with your wife/husband to be and agree on the budget. Inquire about the must-do activities and plan them first. In my case, I had my budget in MS Excel and stuck with it dearly. Once you’ve settled the must do’s go to the optional ones. It’s not compulsory to cook all the types of food you have in your village to get married.
2. Pre-sell yourself to your In-laws: Before the marriage talks begin, you have to sell yourself as a SON, not their daughter’s husband. As a man, you’ve got to know how to negotiate and sell rightly to be successful in marriage.
Never put up the wrong impression about yourself to your in-laws before the marriage. While selling yourself, get to know who calls the shots and establish a good rapport with him or her. Is it the dad, mum or uncle that wants to show you pepper?
Know this person beforehand and find their weak spot, who the person listens to or fears. If the man likes to drink, never go to his house without a bottle of his favourite drink. Be his friend and pamper the family before the marriage talks begin.
3. Negotiate Everything: Now that discussion about what is required has started, it’s a good time to show your skills by reducing the list of requirements your in-laws may have imposed on you.
Don’t show off your small money. Tell them you can’t do all except for the “Must Do’s”. There are several ways to do this, but firstly accept the list and go home, cross-check with your budget and sit your spouse to be down to discuss it. Then agree on what you can afford. You can now go back and negotiate. This is where all the good seeds you’ve sown should produce some results.
Sometimes you may do the negotiation yourself or send your spouse to be or even an elderly member of your family. Let her go and cry for her parents, tell them you have big plans for her and the entire family so they should not eat all at once. Sweet talk them till you get a rebate.
4. Save Ahead: I advise you start saving for the marriage project at least 2 years before the time. If you have a budget of 1M for instance, and you save 50k per month, in 20 months, your total marriage bill is covered. See there’s no magic, you’ve got to be very intentional about this.
Saving in instalments for each project helps you have financial ease. What if you save four years ahead? For a budget of 1M, you’ll only need to save N20,833.33 per month. This is the smartest thing to do whether you have fiance/fiancee now or not.
If you start saving for your marriage ceremony today, you will be able to win arguments of “buy me a shoe or human hair” faster. You will also avoid wasteful spending and best of all you will be able to afford your own wedding.
It is a thing of pride to be able to afford your own wedding. And have the donations and support from friends and family as spare funds.
This is getting too long and so I’ll end this first part here, watch for the second part… But in the meantime, lemme know your thoughts in the comment section.
Till I come your way again,
I’m Robor Bliss, a financial Strategist. I help individuals plan their Finances to enjoy today and have a secured tomorrow.
Watch out for the concluding part.
How To Plan A Budget And Manage Your Finances Like A Pro In 2018