Should we invest for our children’s marriage — or not?

Published: June 13, 2021 at 10:41 am

Last Updated on June 13, 2021 at 10:41 am

Alok asks, “dear pattu, sir, thanks to your articles, we have started investing with confidence for retirement and my son’s education (he just turned two). There is one aspect we are not able to decide on. Should we invest for our son’s marriage expenses or not? My wife says no, but I am not sure. Can you please write an article on this topic?”

This is a subject that gets extreme reactions from readers. In this article, I discuss why we must at least think of our children’s marriage expenses as a “planned emergency” if not a financial goal.

Many obsessively plan for weddings in terms of gold accumulation and expenses mainly due to community pressure – more for girls than boys. At the same time, many young Indians are adamant that they will not spend anything for their kid’s marriage and that the kids they will have to fund it themselves.  The only caveat is that many voices in this group are either unmarried or non-parents or new parents.

Now, let us be clear about what we are addressing. This is not a debate about planning for education vs planning for marriage. It is obvious that the former is a need and the latter at least to some extent optional. This is also not a debate about planning for retirement vs planning for marriage.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!
🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our robo-advisory tool & courses! 🔥

The first priority is always retirement. What this means is, if you only have limited money to invest (like pretty much everyone!), then retirement is the 1st priority and children’s education the 2nd priority.

We shall only discuss this question: If we have some extra money to spend (if not now, in future), should we consider their future marriage expenses as a 3rd priority or not? Let us focus on those who vehemently believe that they will not fund their kid’s marriage.

A big mistake in (personal) finance is to be certain of future cash in and outflows. It is dangerous to assume “I will not spend for something in future” and end up spending for it even partially due to “circumstances”.

The simple truth, we may say we will not spend today on our kid’s marriage, but we can never certain of that. We may not spend 100% of the marriage expenses but considering the double-digit inflation for this kind of services, even 20% of unplanned expenditure would leave a noticeable dent in our net worth.

Forget about what we feel about funding our kid’s marriage. The most important question we need to ask is if we make a big-ticket expense in future for which we did not plan (when could have), which of our goals would get affected? Retirement. It is always retirement.

If you could never inevst enough and this happens, then that is the way the cookie crumbles and not much could be done about it. I would never like to be found in a position where I have to spend on something for which I could have planned and invested years ago and failed to do so because of inexperience and pig-headedness.

Even if we do think much of investing for our kid’s marriage expenses, it would be better to treat it as a planned emergency and assume some cash outflow for it in future.

Even if we do not sit down and do a proper goal planning exercise for marriage expenses, investing a little more into the funds that we use for their education goal is all that is required.  So I would recommend Mr and Mrs Alok to try and invest 5% or 10% more for their son’s future needs goal. That should help to minimise any nasty surprises!

When I started goal-based investing I invested separately for retirement, my son education and his marriage. Then after my mom needed an attendant I could not invest in all three goals and therefore merged the education and marriage goals. When my in income improved I just invested a bit more for his future needs goal.

In summary, even if you do not wish to inevst for your kid’s marriage if you can spare the cash, invest a bit more to protect your retirement corpus!

Do share this article with your friends using the buttons below.

🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our courses, robo-advisory tool and exclusive investor circle! 🔥& join our community of 5000+ users!
Use our Robo-advisory Tool for a start-to-finish financial plan! More than 1,000 investors and advisors use this!
New Tool! => Track your mutual funds and stock investments with this Google Sheet!
We also publish monthly equity mutual funds, debt and hybrid mutual funds, index funds and ETF screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel. Subscribe button courtesy: Vecteezy.
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel.
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp Channel
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp
Podcast: Let's Get RICH With PATTU! Every single Indian CAN grow their wealth! 
Listen to the Lets Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
Listen to the Let's Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
You can watch podcast episodes on the OfSpin Media Friends YouTube Channel.
Lets Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube
Let's Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube.
🔥Now Watch Let's Get Rich With Pattu தமிழில் (in Tamil)! 🔥
  • Do you have a comment about the above article? Reach out to us on Twitter: @freefincal or @pattufreefincal
  • Have a question? Subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.
  • Hit 'reply' to any email from us! We do not offer personalized investment advice. We can write a detailed article without mentioning your name if you have a generic question.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!

About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
Our flagship course! Learn to manage your portfolio like a pro to achieve your goals regardless of market conditions! More than 3,000 investors and advisors are part of our exclusive community! Get clarity on how to plan for your goals and achieve the necessary corpus no matter the market condition is!! Watch the first lecture for free!  One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos! Reduce fear, uncertainty and doubt while investing! Learn how to plan for your goals before and after retirement with confidence.
Our new course!  Increase your income by getting people to pay for your skills! More than 700 salaried employees, entrepreneurs and financial advisors are part of our exclusive community! Learn how to get people to pay for your skills! Whether you are a professional or small business owner who wants more clients via online visibility or a salaried person wanting a side income or passive income, we will show you how to achieve this by showcasing your skills and building a community that trusts and pays you! (watch 1st lecture for free). One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos!   
Our new book for kids: “Chinchu Gets a Superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both the boy and girl-version covers of "Chinchu Gets a superpower".
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So, in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it, as well as teaching him several key ideas of decision-making and money management, is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
Buy the book: Chinchu gets a superpower for your child!
How to profit from content writing: Our new ebook is for those interested in getting side income via content writing. It is available at a 50% discount for Rs. 500 only!
Do you want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (it will work with any index!), or get the Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
We publish monthly mutual fund screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
About freefincal & its content policy. Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance developments. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified with credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions will be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions and seek the correct answers, and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at a low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner.

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is an in-depth dive into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, and how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically, with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 300 (instant download)