25 October 2020

Losing Wealth For Marriage

Read time: About 2 minutes, or as long as it could take us to get married on a budget

As the Indian middle class is growing, we are witnessing a lot of things for the first time. This includes liquid wealth.

From what I know - of my city and people near me - a hundred years ago the only form of wealth we were aware of was: a piece of land.

This land was either passed down from their parents or bought with a pension after a lifetime's work.

When the people inherited land, some wanted to cash in hand instead of their inheritance. While others held on to it and passed it down to their kids. A few generations later, the entire land was gone from the family.

When working in a co-working space, one day, I overheard a teenage kid on a phone conversation. He was talking about his sister's marriage plans to his friend.

"Are hau, paise acha kharcha karne ka irada hai, old city main zameen hai na"
Translate: "Yea!, we are planning to spend a lot. We are selling the land we own in the old city".

Why are we so obsessed with selling our assets to live like royalties for one day? We are not queens or kings! We live in a capitalistic world, and here we are giving away our capital to look cool? Why has our mindset wired this way?

Was it worth it selling your land to celebrate the wedding?
Was it worth it taking a loan to celebrate the wedding?

The Alternatives

Mohsin and Zuber Issa started their business with $150,000 in 2001. Issa brothers purchased a petrol pump in a small town in England.

Today they operate a $15 billion global empire with many brands and are worth 3 billion pounds.

Read their story here

Hakim Hamid Abdul Majeed owned a small Unani shop. In 1910 he started selling a concentrated drink made from fruits, herbs and rose. Intended as a remedy for hot summers, Rooh Afza was a hit.

Today they clock in ₹1000 crores every year. Registered as Waqf, 85% of their profit is transferred to Hamdard National Foundation. HNF disburses it for charitable organizations.

Read their story here

Imagine Mohsin Issa, Zuber Issa and Hakim Hamid using this money to celebrate a marriage. Sure they would have enjoyed 2 days of pride and luxury. But they would have not been as wealthy and comfortable as they are today.

Still reading?

If you are already married you must remember how much did you spend for your marriage events. I made a tool for you.
Calculate how much money you would have had today, had your invested the same amount into investment instruments.

Check out this tool

Do we think we are doing your kids a favour by splurging lakhs of rupees on their marriage event? The truth is quite the opposite. We are better off giving that money to your kids, rather than partying with 500 relatives your kids don't even know names of.

Yes, we have money to afford it. But is it the wisest decision we can take?

Imagine The Growth in GDP

How many businesses have we killed by depriving the next generation of their capital? How much our economy would have developed had we invested that money in new ventures?

All gone. Because we wanted to arrive at our wedding on a Horse, wearing lakh-Rupee-Sherwani.