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One asked, the other said yes. Woohoo! Congratulations! The next big step is to think about finances, because according to the research, weddings don’t come cheap these days.
By Julie Nipperess
The ASIC MoneySmart website puts the average cost of an Aussie wedding at around $36,000. But according to a survey run by a popular bridal magazine a couple of years ago, it’s actually more like $65,000.
For the sake of argument, I’m going to err in the middle, and say the cost is about $50,000.
The numbers pretty much speak for themselves, and right now, a part of me just wants to end this blog right here… ‘nuff said.
But I too, ladies and gents, am a romantic at heart … And I love, love, LOVE a good wedding!
What I’m not so in love with, is the price tag. It’s a whopper and while it’s a magnificent day, a great excuse for a party and you’re supposed to be creating a bunch of memories to last a lifetime … you really have to ask yourself whether or not you want to spend that much.
Because that’s a pretty decent home deposit. Or a good-sized managed fund. Maybe it’s the cash you need to start your dream business, or to pay for kids’ education down the track.
You can do a lot with $50k.
So, when you’re planning your wedding, plan wisely. It’s so easy to get carried away. Emotional buying is never a great idea, and we all know that many wedding specialty shops add a ‘bride and groom tax’ to their prices just because they can.
So do your research, and make the effort to shop around.
Make sure you have a budget and stick to it. Because, right now at an estimated $50k, let’s not forget that we have not even factored in the cost of the engagement ring or the engagement party yet. Or for that matter, the honeymoon.
And even if friends and family offer to contribute some cash to offset the cost of these events, it’s still big money.
And, as my clients know, when it comes to ‘big money’ decisions I always advocate for a ‘take-your-time-and-think-it-through-carefully’ approach.
My grandfather used to say that these kinds of scenarios were always better dealt with after a decent night’s sleep. This is good old-fashioned advice.
Don’t forget that it always definitely feels better when the cash is in your bank account, and not someone else’s. Remembering this can help to quell your impetuousness and delay any action until you’ve considered all the pros and cons.
I’ve written recently, about the impact that money can have on love.
Finances are responsible for more relationship breakdowns than infidelity, and that’s a fact. What’s more, research also shows that the first year of wedded bliss is the most challenging in terms of financial stress. And this is usually because couples are combining finances for the first time. It’s more than likely they’ve upscaled their rent to move into together, they might be saving for a home, or having bought one, managing those mortgage payments.
And that’s all a fact of life, a big part of coupling up and creating a future with someone you care for and want to be with.
In my experience, the rot only sets in if couples have not prepared themselves beforehand, by discussing their money habits, goals and expectations.
Combining finances can be a big change, and if your relationship is not ready for it, it can be disastrous.
Which leads me to (without wanting to sound all ‘doom and gloom’) the topic of divorce.
One in three marriages ends in divorce in Australia. This number doesn’t include statistics of separation in long-term defacto relationships.
The financial impact of separation and divorce can also be significant, on both men and women.
But women in particular, who are older when they separate or divorce, and may have missed out on contributing the maximum to superannuation through time out of the workforce to care for children or other family members, often find themselves having to erode their asset base to be able to set themselves up properly in their retirement years.
One thing that’s true for both sexes is that it does take some time to recover financially, and some estimates put this recovery time at a decade or more.
Now, with all of that said, it’s important to know that no matter what your financial situation, or you goals, there are always options.
If you’d like to talk about budgeting, future plans, superannuation, business finance, investment, insurances, saving for your wedding or just a rainy day, then I’m more than happy to help.
Because the moment you take control of your finances, is the moment you give yourself choices, and choices are important for living your very best life.
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of Step Up Financial Group Pty Ltd ASFL No: 512509.