Wedding season is upon us again.
It's a great time of life, but it comes with many financial challenges. Some thoughts:
- Marriage is the world's best antipoverty program. Two really can live better, if not cheaper, than one.
- Don't skip the marriage vow. It honors God, honors your spouse, cements your commitment, saves you taxes and makes you eligible for your spouse's medical and other benefits.
- You will make over $1,000,000 each during your lifetime. If you start saving 10% now, you can earn enough to retire with the same income in about 40 years.
- Home ownership will provide you with about half of your minimum retirement needs. Start now, when interest rates are at historical lows.
- Learn to live beneath your means. It's no good to have an expensive sports car if you can't afford the gasoline.
- Don't miss a blessing by waiting to have children until you can afford it. You never will afford them, but somehow people find a way to get by anyway.
- You can safely use debt for affordable cars and houses. That's because, even with the debt, you're better off with a car and a home.
- Avoid consumer credit. Use a debit card instead and save the interest, or just pay cash.
- You are in a race to build your life, not repay your debt. Our role model, Abe Lincoln, got married, had children and bought a home while he was still in debt.
- Financial problems end many marriages. You can get new things easier then you can get a new family, so stay united and forgive each other when you make mistakes.
- After you have children, one of you should consider finding work you can do at home. You can have the same net income with lower gross income because of the savings you'll receive in taxes, child care, gasoline, eating out and clothes.
- Life is uncertain. Have a will and get $500,000 of cheap term life insurance if you want to be fondly remembered.
- Yes, you should have health insurance with maternity coverage. Get the highest deductible you can afford to pay out of pocket to minimize your costs.
- Try to live on a budget, but leave a little room for frivolity. If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.
God made us male and female because He is in favor of romance. Don't let financial fears steal the greatest blessings in life.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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