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A finance poll

Out of curiosity, poll for those who want to remain anonymous.
Finances and marriage were a big thing here last year. Most people would say that you shouldn't get married if you have any debt, don't have 8 months of savings, or have investments. I also read a lot of financial advice articles saying that you have to have all these things as well.

How do you finances stand? Do you think it's normal these days to have that much in savings? Is your paycheck huge compared to your cost of living or do you feel like you are barely getting by?

I classify H and myself as "Cautiously comfortable". We're solid for day to day stuff, but things like the $2k car repair bill or $1600 vet bill take a while to pay off.
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Re: A finance poll

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    were "technically" living paycheque to paycheque but are fully capable of saving if we need to, but we funnel all of our extra money into debt so we are normally broke. But I consider that a "good" broke.
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    edited October 2010
    We are in pretty decent shape financially, especially for our age.  I know my financial situation won't change between now and May 2011, and H's job is stable.  I have no student debt, we're paid out a couple months on his student loans and car (which are still significant), bought a new (to me) car this summer with cash, and are building our savings back up slowly after the car purchase.  We also have a buffer of a couple grand in our checking account if there should be a crisis.  Are we going out every night and spending money?  No.  Would we be able to deal with a crisis?  Yes.

    ETA: We also have no CC debt, 2 well maintained vehicles newer than 2005, and are getting a new dryer for Christmas.  Our risk of big crises is pretty remote.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:643a5fc6-1bbd-445d-b700-68909521db70">Re: A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]When I first saw the title, my initial thought is "aw, crap.  someone else who doesn't know the difference between her bank account and the man she's gonna marry." Then I saw who posted it and figured that you actually MEANT "finance" instead of "fiance".
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    I just had a 2 minute panic thinking I misspelled finance before I realized what you meant :)
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    I find it hard to believe that many people would have 8 months of savings these days, in this kind of economic situation (especially when it is listed separately from investments).

    But I did make DH pay off his CC debt before he moved in with me, and we paid off student loans and the car before we started wedding planning.
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    TheCranberryTheCranberry member
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    edited October 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:e2cfbdb8-a0ee-4f85-a854-355850aade8c">A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]Most people would say that you shouldn't get married if you have any debt, don't have 8 months of savings, or have investments. I also read a lot of financial advice articles saying that you have to have all these things as well.
    Posted by katiewhompus[/QUOTE]

    I don't think you need all of that to get married with a few caveats.  Both people should have a thorough understanding of their own and their SO's finances.  If they aren't in good shape they can have a plan to get out of debt, save more, invest or whatever the plan is.  Depending on the person, it could take years to get out of debt or save 8 months of living expenses.  The couple can do it together, and in some cases, it may be easier with two people contributing.

    ETA: I don't think people should necessarily pay for a wedding if they're crazy in debt with no savings, but that doesn't mean you can't get married.
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    It's odd this got brought up today, as I've been thinking about money alot recently.

    I've been working 2 jobs for 7 years and feel I'm barely getting by. Due to lot's of irresponsibility when I was younger I have quite a bit if CC debt. It would be impossible for me to live on my own, and it's going to be difficult to live with FI.


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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:69d7bc1b-b970-4a83-8e28-f177238dbdb8">Re: A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to A finance poll : I don't think you need all of that to get married with a few caveats.  Both people should have a thorough understanding of their own and their SO's finances.  If they aren't in good shape they can have a plan to get out of debt, save more, invest or whatever the plan is.  Depending on the person, it could take years to get out of debt or save 8 months of living expenses.  The couple can do it together, and in some cases, it may be easier with two people contributing. ETA: I don't think people should necessarily pay for a wedding if they're crazy in debt with no savings, but that doesn't mean you can't get married.
    Posted by TheCranberry[/QUOTE]

    I definitely agree about knowing about each other's finances before getting married. Scott and I went in with open eyes regarding each others debt.
    If we waited to get married until it was gone we would still be single though. We've got another 2 years on my car, 2 years on his bike (hopefully 1 year, I'm dumping more money into it now that his CC is gone) and about 3 years on student loans.
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    Well, right now I'm staying with my parents, so I cover my car and everything other than rent and for the most part, food. The rest goes into savings. Right now I have enough to cover my last dress payment (950) and the costs of getting my fiance visa (840), which was rather unexpected, with a grand to spare. I don't make a ton (I definitely couldn't afford to live in this area on my own), so I'm pretty proud of that. But I also have no monthly payments to make, or debt of any kind.

    FI makes enough to cover all of his rent, bills, student loan payments, etc and still put some into savings. I'm not sure how much he has in savings right now tbh. His salary isn't that significant, but the cost of living is pretty low there. He also supported me for a year while I was down there and couldn't work, although that wasn't exactly a huge burden.

    Basically, I'm pretty much just saving what money I make, and he's not living paycheck to paycheck, but neither of us is rolling in cash.
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    Yeah, it's important to know each other's finances and how each person thinks about money.  Many marriage counselors say you should pull your credit reports well before you get married so both people know the truth.  FI and I have looked at each other's credit reports a while ago but not recently.  This reminds me that I need to pull mine again soon!
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    Well if I would have waited until I was out of debt to get married, I'd be 40 or 45 years old. I think people should STFU about other people's money situations. That is kind of personal .
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    nda_roxybabenda_roxybabe member
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    edited October 2010
    We're in a pretty sucky state. I'm the only one who works as T is a full time student. I make decent money but we definitely live paycheck to paycheck with very little extra and sometimes I don't know how we're going to pay some bills. It always ends up working out but its not ideal.
    We're also not fantastic with our money, I insist on going on vacation where really I should be putting that towards debt. We both maxed out some credit cards when we first started dating and they're still screwing us over.

    We definitely learned a good lesson  about CC's though. One we both knew and were warned about but apparently we're too stupid to listen and had to do it that hard way.

    We're working on getting the debt down anytime we get large sums of money like tax refunds and student loan checks (oh yes, we're paying of debt with debt).

    ETA: That was kind of heavy for a sat. morning. Plus, T decided shutter island is much better than sat. morning cartoons
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    Thank goodness for tax refunds.
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    Ha, yea, if T and I waited to get married until we're out of debt we'll be waiting an awfully long time. I don't think we really owe too much (tens of thousands or anything) debt its just it's in several different areas (cc's, his car, his student loan, the remainder or my loan).
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    We're pretty screwed to say the least. FI has Medical debt, CC debt, and a car repossession from 3 years ago.  He should, in all reality, be filing bankruptcy, and we're looking into it.

    I have 1 CC, that I maxed out by $14, and couldn't afford to pay. It was my first credit card, and I was paying for my own schooling, and rent, and had to max out my card for books. I think that's pretty much it on my end though. Oh, and something from the Disney Movie Club (?!) that I never signed up for, but they sent me movies. Even though I sent them right back, they claim I didn't, so I'm still fighting with them about it.
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    Oh, and I couldn't afford to live on my own. FI makes enough to pay for rent, and I make enough to pay for the bills, with a little extra. But a 1 BR goes for about $1,000 right now, and I only work PT and go to school, so if it weren't for FI, I wouldn't make it. I am paying back a loan from my grandparents and a traffic ticket, both from my own paycheck.
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    This poll is a little tough for me to answer considering that we have been saving money for a wedding. 

    And once we are done saving for the wedding, we are going to save for a house down payment.

    And once we have a house down down payment and a larger home, we are going to save for if/when I am off on maternity.

    We don't have any CC debt, My student loan and his car will be paid off by the end of 2010.  His student loan will take longer.

    I can't imagine a time when we would ever have 8 months salary saved up...that's over 50k...not going to happen.

    We don't have huge debts to pay off every month and we make enough that most major financial issues that arise we can pay off within a few month.

    I don't care about other people's finances. I only care when people make stupid decisions and then complain about not having money. If you make shiiitty decisions, deal with the consequences.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:1f3388e1-fd74-43a1-9199-97988d24a02a">Re: A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>Oh, and I couldn't afford to live on my own. FI makes enough to pay for rent, and I make enough to pay for the bills</strong>, with a little extra. But a 1 BR goes for about $1,000 right now, and I only work PT and go to school, so if it weren't for FI, I wouldn't make it. I am paying back a loan from my grandparents and a traffic ticket, both from my own paycheck.
    Posted by cupcakesfrosting[/QUOTE]

    This is me as well, and why I'm going to start looking for a new job at the end of this school year. It was worth taking the pay cut/job switch but it still terrifies me that I could not support myself if something happened to H. I started laughing at a check cashing commercial the other day because I don't make enough to use one of those services!
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    The only reason we are paycheck to paycheck is because we put ALL our extra monies into savings. 
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    We're basically living paycheck to paycheck right now, but it's because we both just started working full-time in August.  For most of the summer (and off and on over the last year while we were working part-time), we were completely living off my credit card and some generous help from my parents.  Now that we're getting paid, a certain amount goes to my credit card and a certain amount goes to my parents every week.  We are perfectly capable of surviving on what's left-over, but it's not ideal.  We'd love to start saving for a house, and our plan was to maybe be able to look starting in the spring before the wedding, but that's probably going to need to be pushed back several months. 

    Do I think you need all that you mentioned to get married?  No, but you should be comfortable in your finances first.  If you have tons and tons of debt, and the wedding is only going to increase it, I would think seriously about postponing it.  If you and your FI have discussed it and have a well-thought out plan for paying for it and for suriviving and paying for normal expenses during the planning and after, then go for it.
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    We are pretty financially comfortable. We have more than 8 months salary in savings.  Even with buying a house last year with a large downpayment, we still have a significant amount of money in the bank.  Our wedding is paid in full and we have no debt.

    FI has a very high paying job and I make good money as well.  We are firm believers in living within your means (whatever your means are).  We work hard for our money but are also aware that we are very fortunate to have the jobs that we do, especially in this economy.

    If we were to have some kind of huge bill pop out of nowhere, we would be fine.  I dont think you should be totally out of debt before you get married, but I do think you should be upfront with each other about money.  Also, if we had alot of debt, we certainly would not be spending what we are on this wedding.

    Im with Ricks when she says its no-ones business where people are financially.  Well, unless you are milking the system, but thats a different convo altogether :)
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    To everyone working on getting out of debt I highly recommend Dave Ramsey.  I read his book and used his plan to get out of CC debt and student loan debt.  It's not rocket science, but it helps you put what you know you need to do into action.  His radio show/podcast also kept me motivated.
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    edited October 2010

    As we all know, I'm currently unemployed so this topic hits close to home right now.

    I was able to put over 35% of my salary into savings last year and DH also had a fairly substantial amount in savings as well. Both of our cars are paid off, we have no credit card debt or any debt from undergraduate. We've recently had to take out student loans to pay for his medical school but of course those won't have to be paid back until he's done with school.

    A lot of my savings has been depleted as I have been out of a job for a few months but we still have money in the bank. I'm EXTREMELY frugal with our money right now. Little to no shopping, one dinner out a week, I took my solar nails off, using coupons whenever possible. We have savings, if there was an emergency we would be fine, but I do NOT want to deplete it. I'm hoping I can find a job soon so we can live off my paychecks and hopefully maintain our savings if not add to it.

    I agree that people's finances are no one else's business , until they start requiring the assistance of others and then people need to be prepared to lay it all on the table.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:010aaa7b-3ec9-4b1a-8f4e-208808b85a89">Re: A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]As we all know, I'm currently unemployed so this topic hits close to home right now. I was able to put over 35% of my salary into savings last year and DH also had a fairly substantial amount in savings as well. Both of our cars are paid off, we have no credit card debt or any debt from undergraduate. We've recently had to take out student loans to pay for his medical school but of course those won't have to be paid back until he's done with school. A lot of my savings has been depleted as I have been out of a job for a few months but we still have money in the bank. I'm EXTREMELY frugal with our money right now. Little to no shopping, one dinner out a week, I took my <strong>solar nails</strong> off, using coupons whenever possible. We have savings, if there was an emergency we would be fine, but I do NOT want to deplete it. I'm hoping I can find a job soon so we can live off my paychecks and hopefully maintain our savings if not add to it. I agree that people's finances are no one else's business , until they start requiring the assistance of others and then people need to be prepared to lay it all on the table.
    Posted by JennaV26[/QUOTE]

    Are solar nails, like acrylics?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_finance-poll?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:1d5a3ba5-2208-437a-9c17-8f166738d1cdPost:95301111-77b3-4515-9eb5-d654292f640e">Re: A finance poll</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A finance poll : Are solar nails, like acrylics?
    Posted by cupcakesfrosting[/QUOTE]

    Yeah they're the pink and white ones that don't turn yellow in the sun.
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    We are also 'cautiously comfortable'. We are certainly NOT living paycheck to paycheck, or even close. We don't have a lot of debt - little more than a year of payments left on his car is all we have, and we actually do have enough in savings to pay it off in one lump sum if we wanted to. We're really working on building our savings though, so we are trying to keep spending to a minimum.
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    I'd say we're in the paycheck to paycheck category. We're definitely paying all our bills/rent on time and in full but we're not putting away a lot in terms of savings. We do have some savings though from when I had a better job and could put away more money.
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    Since FI and I have been together for awhile a lot of our financial decisions have been made together.  We own a home together and our cars have both of our names on titles.  FI's car is paid off but we will soon (after the wedding) probably lease a new one for him.  I bought mine a year ago and since I was offered 0% financing I spread the payments out over 6 years.  I have a lot of student loan debt.....but I'm still in school and will be for the next three years.  The difference I think is that FI and I made decisions about me going back to school together.  If, heaven forbid, I don't get an awesome job when I graduate but as long as I'm somewhat working we'll be able to afford my loans.  FI has minor student loan debt that we are paying back.  By minor I mean in comparison to mine.  We do have savings that I try not to touch.  We've also started a college fund/trust for future kids.  Its not huge or anything but its good to feel that I've started something.

    We could handle a crisis.....it would cause me to tighten the belt on certain aspects of how we live but we could do it.
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    We live paycheck to paycheck, hardly any savings. But it's okay. We don't have much money because we're investing in things that are working towards our future (my books, his landscaping business). I have no debt, H is paying his off. I don't mind our financial state, though. We don't really do a whole lot and certainly don't have expensive tastes, so we're content with where we are at the moment.
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    FI and I are also fortunate to be pretty comfortable financially. 

    However, regarding whether or not people should get married with tons of debt and bad spending habits: that's a conversation that has to take place within one of the first few dates, IMO.  It would be hard for me to enter a relationship with a person who has more debt than earnings at any given time.  I think that goes into a person's overall values system, and for me, that type of living does not fit my personal values.
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    Fi has no debt and I have one student loan left.

    Could I live alone? hell no. I can barely make rent sometimes. But this is also because I moved across the country and had to take a job as a part time cashier. Not exactly a good occupation for renting a house. After the honeymoon I will go back to applying for 'real' jobs. Living paycheck to paycheck sucks ballz. He was doing well but then his ex won back child support (they had only a verbal agreement and after all these years went to the state for more $$) so it was a bit of a stumbling block.

    So no, we don't really have a buffer. haha.
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