The average Aussie wedding costs around $31,000 today. That’s a big chunk out of your savings or worse still if your credit card was used to foot the bill.
I was reading an article the other day called Aussie couples are putting their own ‘Royal Wedding’ before their first house. It talks about the financial hit many couples take when they fall in love, get a ring, then realise that they don’t want to be renting when they get married. They need to find money for a deposit, get money for a wedding, and get a big home loan. It’s a big ask isn’t it? Dipping into your savings or using your credit cards to “have it all” will put you under the pump to pay the piper, and this stress alone is not an ideal way to start a marriage.
Raising chickens with golden eggs
I thought this would probably be a good time to share a little about my own wants and how I have had to face my own financial demons to get myself back on track. There was a time when I was spending too much without really thinking about the longer term implications. I had already bought my first property but once I was married, I thought how wonderful it would be to buy the 5 acre property and raise some chickens or children (whichever came first!). And the wedding – well it’s all planned – a three-day festival with friends and family coming from all over the world. At a pinch, we might be able to keep it within the $100,000.00 budget. Are you balking? My mother did. But in my mind I was justified – it will be my only wedding so I wanted it all. And then…
Do you want to work forever?
….my partner and I sat down with our financial adviser and told him all our dreams and he showed us how spending $100,000 on a wedding festival could impact our family over the following years, 7+ years to be precise. That’s how many more years we would have to work (full-time) to “buy back” the cost of our wedding. In other words, if we were to invest that $100,000 or use it to pay down our home loan, then the difference would mean we could retire 7 years earlier.
A costly wedding may also mean that we would not be able to do other things we want to do like travel, not to mention what it would cost to raise those chickens! We were in “have it now and deal with the consequences later” mode. Fortunately we woke up to ourselves and it was back to the financial planning drawing board for us. Now it was time to think about what was really important to us. What did we want our future to look like and how were we going to get there?
Can money buy happiness?
For me, I had to ask myself what I was actually spending my money on. How much credit card debt did I have? Was I really that addicted to shopping? You’ve heard the saying, ‘People who say money can’t buy happiness just don’t know where to shop”. Hmm.. there was a little bit of me in there for sure. Now though, I think before I spend (as long as there is no tequila involved!). If you’ve never read Rich Dad/Poor Dad, I recommend you read it or re-read it. I decided after reading it that I would spend the next 5 years putting my money into investments or businesses. Then when those investments/businesses start generating income, THAT’S when I can spend it on fun stuff, and that’s when money can buy happiness. No way was I going to spend 5 years in financial hell, it was just not worth it to me.
You can have it all
So what about you? Are you thinking about the consequences of your financial actions? Many people aren’t and it’s not all their fault. We aren’t taught this in school. Most of us are left to figure it out for ourselves and many leave it until it’s too late. I’m not saying don’t have a nice wedding or don’t have a nice house, I’m saying that with a little forward thinking and a financial strategy in place, you can have it all.
If any of this resonates with you, get yourself a good financial advisor – I can point you in the right direction if you need a referral. I also highly recommend you get a loan review. You never know, your current lender may not be the most competitive right now so it’s worth checking it out. Give us a call on 02 6188 4555 or send us an email and let us help you avoid even one day in financial hell.