“It is difficult for some people to accept that love
is a choice. This seems to run counter to the gen-
erally accepted theory of romantic love which ex-
pounds that love is inborn and as such requires
no more than to accept it.” —Leo F. Buscaglia
The subject of dating and marriage is usually emotional. It’s hard to use a lot of logic when we are talking about feelings and emotions. It’s necessary to consider some things with your head before you make the leap with your heart. The suggestions that I make here make perfect sense to me, but I realize that when you’re in love and emotionally involved, your judgment could be clouded.
You need to ask yourself some very hard questions and ﬁnd answers before making a commitment to someone for the rest of your life.
In today’s economic climate the financial decisions you make now, are going to be very important in the future.
Consider these things before you leap
1. Dating – This is an area which may cause your emotions to take over and not look at the obvious, especially if you are head over heels in love. This is important and it could save you a lot of heartache later in the relationship. Before you get deeper into the relationship, check your partner or future spouse’s ﬁscal score. If you ﬁnd that your date has a bad credit rating, you must consider many things.
You must discuss the situation to see if you can get rid of the debt or at least pay it down so that his or her credit score is better. Down the line you may want to live together and decide you need a loan to buy a house. You will soon know that a bad ﬁscal score will affect the interest that you will pay on the loan.
It could mean the difference between buying a house or not. If you don’t sort this out and be absolutely honest with each other, you can be sure further down the line this will affect your relationship and may destroy it.
2.Wedding – This can be touchy subject. It is a very important day, and for most girls a lifetime dream.
You need to understand something about the two of you joining together for the rest of your life. It
is about the marriage and your relationship, not the wedding. It is a day of permanent commitment
between you and your spouse, with great love and excitement. The success of your future together
surely does not depend how big and how fancy your wedding was. You need to ask yourselves, “What size wedding can we AFFORD?” You may be fortunate enough and have wealthy parents who may pay for it. However, if it is coming out of your pocket I suggest you have a good look at the cost.
There are a lot of variables that can make the cost of a wedding soar to staggering heights.
A wedding with approximately 200 people could cost $50,000. Whatever it is, it is a lot of money and often times larger than a deposit on a house, a car, or land. You need to ask yourself, “Can we afford it?” Or better yet ask, “What else could we do with the money?”
If you have to borrow then don’t go “BIG”. You will be paying it off for years to come. This could cripple you if, for some reason one of you lost your job, or some other problem occurs that puts stress on your relationship, and eventually cause a permanent rift.
I have been to some fantastic small weddings. We have all had a great time with very little expense.
Find a nice park in your area. There are likely some beautiful parks with lakes, great ﬂowers, and
foliage—even little summer houses or gazebos that would make a great place for the podium. Hire a
minister or ofﬁciant. This would probably cost a lot less than renting a church.
Rent a dress – there are a great number of rental stores that have great wedding attire—for both
women and men.
Check online. Here is one web-site that rents wedding gowns: http://onenightaffairs.com/
Flowers – Pick ﬂowers from your garden or your neighbors and friends gardens to decorate the wedding canopy for the ceremony and chairs for the guests.
Buy several wedding magazines. There are a great deal of magazines with fantastic ideas for small wedding ceremonies.
Honeymoon – Maybe you can afford a couple of nights in a resort or a nice hotel to make those few days special.
Guests – You have to consider with a large wedding a great number of your friends may ﬁnd it a financial struggle to travel and to buy a gift.
Your wedding day can be made into a very memorable day with a small expense without the burden of paying a large debt off for many years. As I said before, it is about the commitment not the glamour. You can make it glamorous without the big price tag.
3. Your Life Together – Before you get married there are questions you need to ask each other. You need to share your future goals and objectives. Don’t take for granted your partner knows what you want and what direction you want your life to be headed. Not discussing and agreeing in advance is a big mistake. Here are ﬁve things that you and your partner should discuss and agree on:
Children – This is a very important issue. You need to be in agreement on if, or when, you want to have children. Make this clear to each other.
Where do you want to call home and how are going to pay for it? – Where do you want to live now, and where do you want to live in the future? You may both have apartments now, so you need to decide whose apartment you are going to move into after the wedding. The answer may seem obvious to you, but the answer may not be obvious to your partner. Also discuss how you will pay for things, such as, do you share the rent costs, or is one going to pay the rent and the other the food?
Investments – If one of you has some investments you need to disclose and discuss this with each other. For example, you need to decide whether these investments will be held in joint names in the future. Do you need a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets in case of problems down the line? It may an uncomfortable subject, but it must be discussed. It will save you money and misunderstanding.
Budget – Agree on a budget system and who will pay the bills. Have a meeting once a month to look over your financial situation together. Then you can make sure that all your expenses are paid, and that you’re both spending less than you earn.
Monthly meetings will help avoid unpleasant surprises, giving you both peace of mind.
Wills – Both of you should have a will. It is a very grave mistake when there is no will, as it could leave the other partner without money till it is settled in the courts.
These things may not sound too romantic and I guess they’re not, but these things need to be done now so there are no misunderstandings in the future. There must be no secrets.
Make your wedding day the best fun and enjoyment for yourselves and everyone present, but don’t let the wedding itself overshadow the commitment for the rest of your life—the marriage.