Friday Financial Tidbit-Putting marriage and children over becoming debt-free

Recently I have started to notice a disturbing trend lately in the personal finance world: the number of articles detailing how younger couples are putting off marriage and having children due to finances. It’s troubling because debt is cited as one of the major reasons people are postponing these life events.

Now I want you to become debt-free and get your finances in order as much as anybody. But not at the cost of delaying marriage or having children if you feel you are ready for those responsibilities. I’ve been blessed to have gone through both of those life events in the past four years and I can tell you that they are worth it and I wouldn’t want to wait until I had paid off my last debt to do it.

Yes, our debt might cost us something. Your huge student loan debt might not allow you to save enough for the wedding of your dreams or you both might have to continue to work for awhile once the baby is born. So your debt will still cost you, but there are still ways to have a nice low-cost wedding and children don’t cost that much. The thing is I think a lot of times we want to make sure we are really ready before plunging into marriage or parenthood. But trust me, you are never truly ready so don’t wait until you have perfect finances to start.

I hope you aren’t in this situation, but if you are, ask yourself why you can’t get married or have children. Is it really about the debt? Or are other factors involved? Whether you have debt or have no debt, marriage and having children is an incredible experience. For me, getting married and having children have greatly impacted my life for the better. If I had to do it over again and had debt, I would definitely postpone my getting out of debt to experience these life events.

How about you? Did you ever have to choose between delaying marriage or having children to become debt free?

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5 Responses to Friday Financial Tidbit-Putting marriage and children over becoming debt-free

  1. Dan Black says:

    I think it’s wise if the circumstance is right to pay off debt before getting married or having children. That was the goal my wife and I had until she became pregnant and our plans of course changed. It’s going to take longer to become debt free due to our child’s expenses but we are still moving toward becoming debt free. Great thoughts.  

  2. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    I wrote a post on this a while ago and came to the same conclusion as you but with one caveat.  If both people are on the same page about how to run their finances and pay off debt together, I don’t think there is a reason to wait.  But if the couple is in disagreement over money or one of them is still  practicing the habits that got him into debt in the first place, marriage should be put off until they have resolved their differences and the wayward fiance(e) is on track on his own.

    • Jon White says:

       That’s a great point Emily. Yes, if you and your spouse to be are in disagreement over how you will handle your money together then you should proceed with caution and I wouldn’t recommend marriage until you are on the same page.  I’ve seen it many times where couples have disagreed on finances and decided they would “deal with it” after the wedding. That usually just leads to bigger disagreements and trouble down the road.

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