Every enterprising young man who is considering popping the BIG question to his girlfriend has probably asked himself another question as well: “how much does it cost to get married?” We are talking here about the costs a young man is usually responsible for. So, this doesn’t include the cost of the wedding day itself (except for the honeymoon suite of course). That cost (averaging $29,000) is traditionally paid for by the parents of the bride. So, for the young man thinking of marriage, how much does it cost to get married? More than you might think!
A friend of mine recently started a relationship, which if all goes as planned, will probably lead to the marriage altar. Since I recently got married he asked me frankly, friend-to-friend, how much I figured he’d need to get married, zip away on a lovely honeymoon and come back to a fully furnished, comfortable home for his bride. I gave him a pretty easy figure: $50,000.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Married? $50k
If you are a young man considering marriage, you can stop reading this article, go back to work and start piling away those savings! Or you can continue reading and find out how I arrived at this figure.
I tend to be extremely debt averse, which is apparently unusual for Americans. My goal was to marry completely debt free. Mission accomplished. The only debt I hope to ever incur in the future, is a mortgage. Mortgages are a ‘useful’ sort of debt and have their benefits, but we’ll save those details for another post. Needless to say, when I was considering the idea of getting married (before I ever started a relationship) I did some itemizing and calculating to come to the $50k figure. Here they are.
One Time Costs (aka non-budget items)
- Furniture / Appliances - $15,000
- Engagement / Wedding Ring - $4,000
- Honeymoon - $4,000
- Home Goods (pillows, sheets, curtains and other items for setting up a house) - $2,500
- Kitchen Equipment (non appliance) - $2,500
- Emergency Fund (3-6 month’s expenses) $10,000
- Total One Time Costs = $38,000
Recurring Costs (aka budget items)
- Starter home rental $800-1,000/month ($800 + first and last month’s deposit = $2,400 up front)
- Food & household $600/month
- Communications (phones,internet) $150/month
- Transportation (1 car) $300/month
- Utilities & Services (heat,cooling,water,trash,etc) $300/month
- Clothing & Personal Products $300/month
- ‘Fun Money’ $200/month
- Healthcare and Pharmacy – $400/month
- Savings - $300/month (varies based on usage of other budget categories)
- Total = $11,650 in the first 3 months of marriage
GRAND TOTAL = $49,650 (about $50k give or take a few thousand)
Of course, this is only a rough sketch of what it might cost a couple just beginning their first 3 months of married life. I left out a lot of finer details. But, it makes a good starting point for anyone considering what it might cost to get married and start a home together.
What do you think? Is $50k too conservative, or more than enough? Couples, what was your newlywed financial experience like? Did I miss any big ticket items? Sound off in the comments below.