Marriage Is Kind Of Like Credit Cards, It Can Be Done In A Beneficial Way Or In A Way That Costs A Lot Of Time And Money
So the other day I wrote this article and then during dinner brought it up to my wife. And our internal conversation was kind of interesting, probably not what most would expect.
First of all, neither my wife nor myself really care all that much about the concept of “marriage” or the many definitions it may come with. What we think is more important is two people wanting to be together and deciding to be together, by choice, without the need for any marriage (contract?) or business transaction (marriage?). And as of now we are very happy to be together, even though we’re married.
And yes, “marriage” in one sense should only mean that one person wants to be with another person, but if that’s the case then just be together, you do not need to get married and do the whole thing, c’mon people!
Now listen to this, during our conversation I came up with an unusual comparison. I somehow connected the idea of marriage being similar to credit cards. Some people say credit cards are bad, that you shouldn’t get them, you’ll get into debt, et cetera. Others know the benefits of having them, the cash back or points you can get (i.e. discounts) and think it’s foolish to purchase things without using a credit card.
So marriage, it can be used in a beneficial way, or a way that can lead to debt.
Like credit cards, if you understand simple concepts and don’t get into debt, they really are amazing. But if you’re uneducated about them they can cost you a lot of money, maybe stress, and a distaste for them. But it’s not them, it’s the individual user (the spouse).
I’m not going to get deep into credit cards here, but as a sidenote, if you don’t have a credit card or are choosing to not learn about the simple concepts you may be losing out on hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars a year. On the flipside, if you do have a credit card and have been using it poorly, where you carry a balance because supposedly you should and that should help your credit (please, such nonsense..) then understand that it’s not too late to turn that boat around, reassess what you know and don’t know, learn, and grow.
But okay, marriage. Like a credit card, after one gets married there can be a lot of debt. Depends on the credit limit of course. If a budget for a wedding is say $25,000 for everything, that can mean you go negative $25,000 in a single day, right? Or if you have the funds to do so, perhaps it’s then simply a cost, an expensive one. But is it a necessary one? I feel like this is the wrong way to get married, to pay so much money for a single day. This is the wrong way to use a credit card too (unless you don’t have a credit limit and too much money to even handle)!
Blup, I might get in trouble for comparing marriage to a credit card. But hear me out, please. It’s simply an opinion, or just a bad comparison. Take it with a grain of salt, or pepper.
If a marriage ends up costing a lot of money upfront for a new relationship of two people coming together that isn’t mature and where each person doesn’t have a lot of funds, you lose.
But if a marriage ends up costing a lot of money upfront for a new relationship of two people coming together that isn’t mature, but each person has a lot of funds, it doesn’t matter, get married, pay whatever you feel like paying, and enjoy not being in debt or worrying about money. I’m guessing if you’re in this situation you already own property, maybe a house or a condo or both or more and have at least over $250,000 in assets, investments, plenty of savings, and no debt. So dropping $25K on a wedding shouldn’t be anything to even flinch about, especially if you are marrying the one.
Now, if there is a fund that has been built for a marriage or if parents or other family members are paying for a wedding, I’d say to maybe just give whatever money isn’t yours back and to use the money you saved up elsewhere, not a single day, but that’s just me, a guy who thinks it’s more powerful to be together unmarried as opposed to together and married. Don’t listen to me, I don’t know much.
So what do I think is the right way to use the idea of marriage, right? Basically use it for the benefits you can get, but don’t have it cost you much money or time. A wedding and a honeymoon usually involve a lot of time spent to make decisions and arrangements and a lot of money to pay for the decisions and arrangements made. And then the unexpected things that are likely to happen end up costing more time and money.
Instead of spending all this time and money early on, do so after having been together with someone for 10, 20, or even 30 years. Celebrate milestones if you want to call them that. A two-decade anniversary may be worth having a party about. Have people come together and share the joy, share how it has been achieved, share the secrets. Maybe one of the “secrets” is not having a big wedding early on.
As for getting married for the benefits, just go do it, with the minimum that is asked for. Maybe do it on a random Tuesday. Go to the courthouse, have a witness there if one is needed, get married, then leave and eat at a local diner. Wake up the next day and don’t worry about being married, just continue to be happy together and use your marriage status when it benefits you. Whether it be for taxes, shared health insurance, visa, whatever the few benefits there are that can help you, use them, and have fun actually being together happily.