But someday I might be and there are many things to be considered before entering into a relationship. Emotional trauma aside, certain aspects involved in a marriage relationship – especially a failed one – (or even a failed premarital relationship) can be quite costly – financially devastating, in fact – and people should be aware of how to avoid some of the economic pitfalls that I will address in this post.
Financial problems related to Dating
Some people, in an effort to impress, will spend more time and money than they can financially afford on a dating relationship. You’d think people would know to look out for this, but they apparently don’t.
Fancy restaurants and elaborate gifts are two of the many ways that people can meaninglessly squander their finances if their main objective is to impress.
Of course, there are circumstances when perhaps such “squandering” might be appropriate and have a purpose. However, depending upon what you are aiming to get out of a relationship (and how much you are willing to invest), it should be considered that “going all out” should not be an everyday occurrence.
Engagement and Wedding Rings
The jewelry dealers love you for your ignorance:
- Brick-and-mortar stores will sell you a setting for a relatively good price…and then bankrupt you on the diamond.
- The online stores will give you a decent deal on the diamond…and then rip you off on the setting.
Knowing this, you can go to your local jeweler for advice and compensate him for the advice by purchasing the setting from him. Then you can go online and purchase the diamond. You can then take the two parts to a store and have them assembled and tweaked. The store may not like you finding that loophole, but they will likely keep taking your business because they want you to keep shopping around their store in hopes that you will buy more.
This is one place where I think that people go all crazy. Yes, weddings are a special day, and we should keep it that way but you don’t want to spend the next 10 years of a relationship paying of wedding debt, or suffering from a lack of funds due to extravagant wedding expenses beyond your means. Weddings do not need to be expensive, but people put themselves way back financially by getting things they don’t need (or really, want) and inviting people they don’t need (or want) there. They do this because of social expectation/pressure.
Photographers will charge $200 an hour, refreshments are unreasonably expensive, and expenses for the setting will cost a fortune. My advice is to ignore social expectation; invite people you want there and don’t invite those you don’t; only get those services that you need (and provide the rest yourself); and finally, be original. Everyone goes to a big church, invites all their friends, has matching bridesmaids and groomsmen, parties at expensive buildings for the reception, etc. Yet, many couples will tell you that, though it was nice, it wasn’t necessary. I know people who, if they could do it again, they would make an effort to do it more cost, time, and emotionally effective.
Instead of doing it the aforementioned way, you could have your wedding in a nice park, or if you have access to a farm or acreage, do it there. Instead of buying/renting matching clothing, don’t dress up. Have a time/cultural theme (western, hippie (not suggested, btw), 18th century dress up, etc). Also, wedding dresses are expensive and impractical. I personally would recommend going without. Nonetheless, women like them and I’m not going to tell them to give that up. However, if you’re going to get one, see if you can find a used/like-new/inexpensive dress. Or, suck it up and ask your Mom or friends’ parents if you could borrow theirs.
It is expected that one would follow the tradition to go away for a holiday with your loved one directly after the marriage. Often, people go to tourist attractions (and thus, virtually everything about it is e x p e n s i v e) and expensive resorts. Again, while couples who have done this would say it was nice and really quite enjoyable, they would also acknowledge that it wasn’t necessary. I’m am not saying that one shouldn’t have a honeymoon, I am saying that there are different ways to go about it. For instance, there are plenty of nice places to take a holiday right near where you live! Or you could go to other less expensive, but still equally beautiful places. It will be more enjoyable, more cost effective, and it will put your mind at ease.
Renting or Buying
Many people will buy their first home. However, renting might be the better choice if they would otherwise have to take on too much debt in purchasing a home. When one owns a home, one must be the one to fix, or at least authorize, all aspects of repair.
Conversely, when one rents, it is the land-lords’ responsibility to repair. You are exempt from whatever damage a natural disaster might through your way. You can save a lot of money, at least for your first house, this way.
In conclusion, there are many financial aspects to consider when entering a relationship. Some of them are:
- Renting or Buying
One can save a lot of money by being more mindful of these early marital/premarital expenses.
How many of you actually thought that I was engaged?