Expert Answers: The Picture of Financial Compromise

Posted by Azure on March 9th, 2009
Special Feature from Dr. Taffy Wagner, Creator of Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and Debt Stops At The Altar
Debt stops at the altar

Debt stops at the altar


Over the last few days, I have watched different clips on morning shows or read in the news about brides saving money as they plan their wedding. One that really spoke volumes to me and bodes well for the couple’s financial future was a $20,000 wedding on a $6,000 budget. Take a look:



http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6969926&page=1

Let’s look at some of the events that happened:

The story says saving money on the wedding initially started out as a game, but the bride got laid off. Then it became necessary to save. No doubt, this could have actually gone another way – the bride could have said “Working or not working, it’s my dream wedding and I want things my way.” First Tip: When planning a wedding, whether or not you are willing to make certain financial compromises can paint a picture of how you make decisions once you are married.

If you disagree, let’s return back to our subject couple where the bride lost her job. One of the most - if not the most - important parts of the wedding day for the bride will be her dress. This bride knew exactly the dress she wanted but refused to pay the price. She took the time to do the research and found the exact dress in her size and the right manufacturer number for less on the Internet. This says to me that during their marriage she is not going to make impulsive purchases; she will take her time and shop around. Second tip: Given what is happening in our economy, now is not the time to be an impulse shopper. This is a time to consider the long-term consequences of how you spend your money, your parents’ money, or your future-in-laws’ money.

I have to add another tip in this one because I know people get caught up in the excitement of planning and talking with the caterers, florists, and attending bridal shows. Third tip: Do not let society dictate what you spend on your wedding. Society is not paying the bill. Furthermore, your wedding day is not in a competition with anyone else’s.

Think about it: If your fiancé met you for lunch today and said, “Tell me a story about you and how you handle money now and what you did before we met,” would you be confident and share this story, knowing that you were making wise choices? Or would you be embarrassed to share what your financial picture looks like because you wouldn’t want him to know about bad choices you made? Fourth tip: When you make a financial mistake, pick yourself up, learn the lesson, and realize you have an opportunity to begin anew and make better financial decisions.

I’ll share a secret with you. Most of us were not taught how to manage money for one person, let alone two. Mistakes are going to be made; however, they should not be repeated. If you do not like your financial picture, you can change it. As you are preparing to walk down the aisle, you will begin to live out a new financial picture with your groom. Let this be a picture that you are proud of and willing to share about.
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