You’ve been seeing someone for a few years and now it’s time to tie the knot. You’re already engaged and ready to start planning that colossal wedding. There’s only one little hurtle– one of you is in massive amounts of student loan debt!
First and foremost, it needs to be stressed that while money is a common cause for divorce, it shouldn’t be the basis of why you marry a person. You can always learn to save more money and support each other to earn more money. However, I’m tackling the specific topic of student loan debt and marriage.
Delay Your Wedding Day
Perhaps you can delay your wedding day. My friend’s sister chose to move in with her fiancee (of course parents weren’t too thrilled) prior to their actual wedding so they could save money together and experience life as a couple. After a few years of toughing it out, working long hours, paying down debt and saving money, they finally had enough money saved up for that dream wedding.
Nobody wants to delay that special day, but sometimes waiting for it can really save you financially. Then when it does finally happen you’ll feel a giant chip off your shoulder because you won’t have to stress about money the whole time.
Consider a Small Wedding
Don’t rip my head off yet. Everyone wants to have a mega wedding where they rent the nicest hall in town and invite every been they’ve ever come in contact with.
Some couples can save thousands of dollars on their wedding simply by having a remote wedding (like the Dominican Republic or Mexico). You can save lots of money because you only have to pay for the couple’s wedding package and for the people you really want to bring in (parents, best friends, etc.). These savings could really go a long way when it comes to paying down your student loan debt and getting life started as a newly married couple.
Are Your Goals Congruent?
Do you share the same financial goals as a couple? Does one person want to retire early while the other loves their work so much that they never want to retire? Does one person want to live in a downtown condo while the other prefers to live out in the country? Is one frugal and the other frivolous with their spending? Your financial goals as a couple need to be aligned before you can decide if marriage and student loan debt will go hand in hand.
Now before you start planning for a wedding and marriage, I wanted to share a few additional tips that are relevant for everyone:
1. Start saving early.
Even if you’re single now, it’s never too early to begin planning for your wedding. Opening a separate sub-savings account with your current online banking account for this occasion can go along way. You can start by just putting aside $20 a week or so. The earlier you start, the more money you’ll have saved for that wedding when the time comes. And yes, the time will come.
2. Plan slowly.
Weddings can often be stressful because all of the planning is saved until the last minute. The trick is to slowly start planning ahead of time. Contact the hall, find a DJ, look for catering and anything else that needs to be done earlier rather than later so that you have first pick.
Have you guys had to deal with student loan debt and marriage? If so, please share your experiences with us.
Learn more about student loan repayment so you can start the next phase of your life debt-free.