Marriage, it seems, is becoming as rare as your average outhouse. Not a month goes by that I don’t see a news story bemoaning the fact that married couples account for fewer than half of US households, that people are waiting longer and longer to tie the knot, and that a high number of couples are undoing that knot almost as soon as they’ve tied it.
Then several media outlets this week reported on a study of 300 Americans that found working class women and men were delaying marriage due to job insecurity, low wages, and lack of resources. The verdict: marriage was fast becoming a commodity that only the rich could afford.
About that notion I say this: tommyrot.
Sure, the average wedding extravaganza might cost upwards of $25,000. Yes, the tax code does penalize some married couples. And, yes, a divorce can cost anywhere from a couple grand to a couple hundred grand.
But let’s get real. You don’t need to spend $25,000 just to get married. Your wedding can cost close to zero dollars if you skip the designer dress, cake, rental hall and other fancy particulars. The tax code actually rewards some lower income married couples. And if you stay happily married, you won’t ever have to worry about the cost of divorce.
Plus, no matter how poor you are when you tie the knot, your income and savings are more likely to increase over time if you are married than if you stay single. Indeed, research shows that the average married couple saves 10 times more money over their lifetimes than the average single couple. So two people aren’t just two times richer than one. They are ten times richer.
That’s not bad, eh?
When my grandparents met one another, neither had a nickel to their names.There was no engagement ring, and the wedding consisted of a trip to a justice of the peace. Then the two lived off the land, farmed, and raised two boys. By the time my grandmother died a few years ago, they’d been married more than 60 years and had amassed a considerable nest egg.
Their story shows that money doesn’t have to stand between two people and a happy marriage. Plus, there are plenty of financial incentives to tie the knot. Let’s count the ways. Here are seven ways getting hitched can make you rich.
If you are single, I’m in no way implying that you should get hitched. There are plenty of benefits to staying single, too. For instance, I’m sure it’s quite nice not negotiate who gets what side of the bed as well as whose turn it is to wash the sheets. All I’m saying is this: the size of your wallet should not come between you and love.
Has your income gone up or down since marriage? Have you avoided marriage because you don’t think you’re rich enough to tie the knot? What are additional ways married couples can save? Join the conversation.
Read more of Alisa’s writing at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com.