Author Topic: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.  (Read 7932 times)

Kaspian

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Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« on: February 13, 2014, 10:49:00 AM »
"Sonja Frohberg and Matthew Kitchen’s February wedding will cost $24,646.06, a large amount for a young couple already wrestling down $35,000 in consumer and student debt."
"Ms. Frohberg owed $6,000 on a line of credit, mostly from trips she took to places like Japan and the Philippines..."  " Mr. Kitchen, who had $24,000 in student debt (down from an original $40,000) and owed additional money for a custom-made engagement ring."  "...'We want to get married and weren’t willing to sacrifice a wedding or wait.' ""This is not a story of extremes – it’s perfectly average."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/the-sweet-bliss-of-paying-off-a-2464606-wedding/article15810317/?cmpid=rss1

Is it actually "saving" if you owe more than you've saved and your upcoming action is going to dig you $25K deeper?  Or is it just assets that you haven't properly put on liabilities yet?


Forgive me if this has been posted here before, but it's just too good.  I know that gambling is the most anti-mustachian thing you can do, but who wants to bet on that they decide to buy a house within a year of marriage?  ...Because it's "perfectly average" to do so.  ...Glad I'm not average.  It's nothing I've ever aspired to.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 10:57:00 AM »
what I don't understand is that many of their other practices make them look like reasonable people. $80/week for food isn't super terrible (not sure how Canadian prices compare to US but it seems like everything is a bit more expensive there)... buying used... teaching yoga to get a free membership... so what's up with the $24,000 wedding?!? weddings make people crazy.

gecko10x

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 10:59:43 AM »
Just to be clear, your point is that if I have debt (say student loans), I shouldn't prioritize anything else over it? Like, maybe, a vacation?

Or is your point that spending $25k on a wedding is insane? Or that it's only insane IF you have other debt? If the latter, what's the threshold? $5k? $10k? Some % of your outstanding debts?

prodarwin

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 11:38:58 AM »
Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.


Rural

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 02:50:58 PM »
Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.

This.

Bank

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 03:01:06 PM »
Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.

This.

The starting point for any wedding should be the cost of the marriage license.  Everything after that is just frills.  It's fine if you want 'em, but they're luxuries.

Elyse

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 03:56:37 PM »
Just to be clear, your point is that if I have debt (say student loans), I shouldn't prioritize anything else over it? Like, maybe, a vacation?

Or is your point that spending $25k on a wedding is insane? Or that it's only insane IF you have other debt? If the latter, what's the threshold? $5k? $10k? Some % of your outstanding debts?

Personally, I'd think more along the lines of percentage of your salary.

I, for example, do want a nice (the average nice - read expensive) wedding.  It will be around $9,000 with flowers, a nice cake, a very pretty venue, fancy dress, and reception.
But that is a small percentage of my salary, especially over the course of time I am saving it.  I'm saving for it right now while I don't even have a perspective mate.  I would like to have the money in the bank to slam on the table.  I know $9,000 is more than people here would like to spend, but I'm ok with that. 

I'm a southern girl that does like a few of the expensive things in life. 

I just make sure I only ever do them on special occasion once or twice a decade.

However, while being in debt, just go to the court house and get married until you can dig yourself out.  My best friends did this, and they recently (2 years ago) got out of debt and are on their own way to FI.  So we're about to have the big party!  But their party is much different.  The pig roast we do every year is being rescheduled so that can be the meal. I love baking and a friend is excellent at decorating cakes, so we got that covered.  They are paying to get flowers, but that is about it that is extra from the pig roast we already do. 

If you really want out of a hole, you need to get yourself out. 

If you are already out of the hole, as long as you are still hitting your goal... why not party responsibly?

@Bank - I agree.  I want the party, I don't need it.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 01:16:41 AM »
Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.

This.

The starting point for any wedding should be the cost of the marriage license.  Everything after that is just frills.  It's fine if you want 'em, but they're luxuries.

Whoa.. hold up there fat cat, marriage licenses cost money; shacking up is free, everything after that is just frills

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 06:49:15 AM »
Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.

This.

The starting point for any wedding should be the cost of the marriage license.  Everything after that is just frills.  It's fine if you want 'em, but they're luxuries.

Whoa.. hold up there fat cat, marriage licenses cost money; shacking up is free, everything after that is just frills

but depending on you and your SO's income, that marriage certificate could save you a great deal more in taxes! ;)

http://taxfoundation.org/article/effects-marriage-tax-burden-vary-greatly-income-level-equality

Bank

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 10:57:28 AM »
LOL - "Sure you'd like to go to the courthouse some day and tie the knot in front of the Justice of the Peace and one of the clerks there, but for those of us whose name isn't Rockefeller..."


MrsPete

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 07:47:54 AM »
what I don't understand is that many of their other practices make them look like reasonable people. $80/week for food isn't super terrible (not sure how Canadian prices compare to US but it seems like everything is a bit more expensive there)... buying used... teaching yoga to get a free membership... so what's up with the $24,000 wedding?!? weddings make people crazy.
I agree that they seem -- in some ways -- to have their act together.  For starters, given that he's in the military and could be transferred anytime, I agree that their decision to marry sooner rather than later was wise.  After all, it's easier to have a wedding if the groom is "local", and if he's transferred later it'll be easier for him to take a spouse along.  And they seem to be living in a relative moderate way:  small, inexpensive apartment; low food budget. 

But in other ways, they seem to be out of their minds:  A custom-designed wedding ring, a honeymoon to Barbados.  These are above-and-beyond luxuries for people who have their financial house in order.  Like too many people, they feel sure (insert cheery voice here) the debt will be gone soon because "they both have good jobs".  Those good jobs could disappear in a heartbeat.  In fact, here's a very likely scenario:  Being military, he's transferred, she has to give up her job, she can't find another one in the new location.  Oops.  No more ability to pay down that debt. 

And they seem to recognize they have a problem -- after all, she admits that she ran up the credit card bills “living a lifestyle outside of my means.”  But she doesn't recognize that the wedding was yet another "outside of my means" choice. 

Just to be clear, your point is that if I have debt (say student loans), I shouldn't prioritize anything else over it? Like, maybe, a vacation?
I'd say yes.  If you have debt, paying that off should be more important than an extravagant wedding or a vacation or another luxury. 

When you take on a debt, you're selling a portion of your future.  You're saying, "I want ___ right now and am not willing to wait.  I will give up other things later so I can have ____ now."  Your life is not "completely your own" as long as you have debt, so it's sensible to wipe it out as soon as possible, even if it's at the expense of fun things that you really want. 

Furthermore, if you DO splurge while you're still in debt, it makes sense to do it at a moderate level.  For example, they could've had a small wedding for a couple hundred dollars (not many of us want to go the license-only route).  That would've been more reasonable than a $25,000 wedding. 

Cassie

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 03:52:56 PM »
We had a nice wedding with 60 people for 2k. We made the food ourselves, rented a low cost hall for reception, etc,. we even had a DJ so there was dancing.  We had a few people volunteer to be a bartender to make people drinks, etc.  Someone made a beautiful cake as our gift. If that had not happened I would have bought a sheet cake from Costco. That $ included my dress, etc. but not the rings.  You do not have to spend a ton to have a nice wedding/reception & a great time.

ThermionicScott

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 10:14:18 PM »
I think in today's usage, "I'm saving for..." really means "I'm going to spend all my money on ..., but by some miracle of self-restraint, haven't done it yet."

MgoSam

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 09:00:46 AM »
Yeah, I dislike weddings now. Not the act of it, I'm all in favor of that. But I don't like that so many couples spend way more than they want for their magic day. I think all rationality goes out the window, as the costs quickly add up.

If I get married, I really hope to just have a quick and stressfree wedding, and not the hoopla that weddings have become.

DollarBill

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 07:44:46 PM »
Quote
Quote from: Bank on February 13, 2014, 03:01:06 pm



Quote from: Rural on February 13, 2014, 02:50:58 pm



Quote from: prodarwin on February 13, 2014, 11:38:58 am

Spending $25k on a wedding is insane, although it is a very normal occurrence.




This.



The starting point for any wedding should be the cost of the marriage license.  Everything after that is just frills.  It's fine if you want 'em, but they're luxuries.



Whoa.. hold up there fat cat, marriage licenses cost money; shacking up is free, everything after that is just frills

Unless her Daddy is paying the $25K :)

trugrit03

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 08:27:17 PM »
I'm 29 and unmarried and in the past few years, I've seen a lot of friends getting married. While there are still plenty of people (like the two in this article) that are willing to spend absolutely exorbitant amounts on the wedding, I think there is a trend of people simplifying their weddings. I guess this could be a result of any number of things, but I like to think that it shows that the general public understands trying to make small trade offs for less spending. For example, two of my friends met while working at a summer camp for people with disabilities. They rented out the dining hall for probably a fraction of the cost of some other friends that hosted their wedding at a yacht club. Having a friend DJ, take photos, or bake a cake are also all great ways to save and you're not really giving much up in the way of quality.

Bank

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 08:06:52 AM »

Unless her Daddy is paying the $25K :)

I'll finish your sentence for you:  Unless her Daddy is paying the $25K... and has fully funded his retirement so he will not be a future burden on his daughter and her siblings.  ;)

BPA

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 08:23:08 AM »
People save for weddings when they don't even have a partner?

Wouldn't that just be savings?

Too much emphasis on weddings vs too little emphasis on the marriage in many cases, I say.

4alpacas

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 11:24:18 AM »
Too much emphasis on weddings vs too little emphasis on the marriage in many cases, I say.
+1

SpeedReader

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2014, 09:59:19 PM »
I knew a few young couples who blew a fortune on the wedding, then wound up divorced a few years later because they were always fighting about not having any money! 

EngGirl

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2014, 08:26:19 AM »
I think in today's usage, "I'm saving for..." really means "I'm going to spend all my money on ..., but by some miracle of self-restraint, haven't done it yet."

Totally agree. "Saving" for a wedding is not saving, it's planned spending.

In my mind, it's impossible to save with a negative net worth - you are simply shuffling debt into a savings account - a wolf in sheep's clothing.

And 25k on a wedding is total BS. I married my husband 2 years ago for around $1,000. But to be fair, I always thought the institution of marriage was BS until I fell in love with someone who was in Canada on a student visa. Now my cold, logical, unromantic heart has melted a little.

4alpacas

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2014, 11:08:48 AM »
I think in today's usage, "I'm saving for..." really means "I'm going to spend all my money on ..., but by some miracle of self-restraint, haven't done it yet."

Totally agree. "Saving" for a wedding is not saving, it's planned spending.

In my mind, it's impossible to save with a negative net worth - you are simply shuffling debt into a savings account - a wolf in sheep's clothing.

And 25k on a wedding is total BS. I married my husband 2 years ago for around $1,000. But to be fair, I always thought the institution of marriage was BS until I fell in love with someone who was in Canada on a student visa. Now my cold, logical, unromantic heart has melted a little.

All of my savings is planned spending.  I save over 50% of my income to spend on my future retirement. 

socaso

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Re: Saving for their $25,000 wedding while owing $35,000.
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2014, 11:14:51 AM »
We paid cash for our wedding and it was $9k and then about $3k for the honeymoon. Because we had no other debt I consider that the time we spent saving for our wedding was a great exercise learning to manage our finances as a couple. We have been great about saving ever since then and we really learned to talk about finances while planning the wedding. We never have any trouble discussing finances and we are usually on the same page about what to save for. We've become the kind of people who'd rather put it into savings. So even though this couple's choices seem nuts to the Mustache community maybe it will end up being a good lesson for them as a couple. But yes, like the rest of you, I see the debt they are in and I CRINGE!!