Post # 1
Yes, of course everyone wants financial stability before they commit to a life together, but is it really necessary? SO is still in college, and will be graduating in December. By this time, we will have been together for a year and three months. We’ve talked about marriage, but he talks about it like he won’t even propose until he has enough money for a down payment on a house and a really good job. That could take years. I realize he wants to be responsible about this, but I know plenty of people that are married and rent an apartment and budget their finances, and they’re doing fine. I don’t need a big fancy house or anything like that, but he thinks that the only way to do things. It’s along the same lines as when some people say they want to wait to have kids until they are financially stable. Other people say, no one is ever financially stable enough to have kids, it’s just something you have to decide to do or not do, and do the best you can with what you have.
What do you think?
Post # 3
Personally, I think money and a full time job (whether a good or bad one) changes who we are. My FI didn’t want to propose until he had the full time job for at least 4 months after grad school. It took him a year to find something perm and not a temp position, but when he did, he actually became more serious and more goal motivated. It totally changed our relationship for the good and I became more confident that we could make it work. When the proposal came around at the 4 month mark, I was thrilled. And the wait was TOTALLY worth it.
Post # 4
Considering how many couples fight and/or divorce over money, I’d put financial stability very high on my list of pre-marriage requirements. That doesn’t mean 100% debt-free or a bigbucket of savings, but you as a couple should not be living paycheck-to-paycheck, you shouldn’t be borrowing, your debt-to-income ratio should be manageable, and your employment statuses should be in line with your financial goals and needs (like if you have $5k debt combined and $750/month rent, you can’t have just one person working for $10/hour).
I know there are many couples who enter marriage on shaky financial footing and manage to stick together just fine. But the money stresses certainly do makeout harder.
Post # 5
Eh…yes and no.
If you have enough money to pay your bills and live comfortably, you should be fine. My FI proposed to me when he was unemployed. He’s going back to school in the fall and won’t be done until Spring 2014, by which time we’ll already be married and hopefully in a house. We’re very open about money and good with budgeting, so I’m only making $10/hr right now, but I can still pay our bills and have money left over.
Post # 6
I think it’s necessary to be financially stable. I define that as both parties being able to support themselves (housing, food and bills). No need for a fancy house (or any property ownership, really) or fancy anything.
Post # 7
It depends on the person/couple. To me and DH– financial stability was a MUST before any marriage plans were considered. Granted- I was 3 years out of college and have a good job and he is 30 with a great job. If we would’ve been in school, I wouldn’t have considered marriage, but that’s just ME and I know it’s not for everyone!
Post # 8
While financial stability was very important to us, I think it depends on what your personal goals are. We wanted to own a home, have a nest egg built back up in the bank, and still be able to do fun things while we were engaged (and now that we’re married!), all while affording our mortgage and paying for a third of the wedding. My parents also made it very clear (as they should have, I think) that my husband and I would need to take over all of my expenses, and we wanted to wait to be in a position where we could (ha! where my husband actually could. I just finished grad school and have been looking for work). There’s no why my husband would have married me if we hadn’t gotten everything sorted out and were assured we could handle that sort of budget.
I’ve known other people who married and rent (and live paycheck to paycheck), or even still lived with their parents for two years. While I imagine that those situations would be more stressing and straining on our particular relationship, perhaps it doesn’t really impact their marriage and they are looking forward to accomplishing those things together. But for us, it felt like, “Why rush?”
Post # 9
Being financially stable can mean a few different things. Just because you do not have a lot of cash flow, does not mean you are unstable.The most important thing is that you both are making responsible financial decisions together.
Post # 10
Yes. Financial stability is important.
No. Being able to buy a house is not THE definition of financial stability and isn’t a requirement in life. Is it nice if you’re doing well enough to afford a home? Sure. Do you need to have a downpayment saved before you can propose because otherwise you aren’t “financially stable” enough for marriage? No. That’s silly. A proposal doesn’t require financial stability and marriages can be successful even if you never own a home. AND being married doesn’t prevent you from still saving for a downpayment on a home. If anything, being married could actually help that happen since you’d have 2 ppl contributing to that goal instead of 1. So, yeah. Financial stability is a totally legit concern and goal but he’s kinda using it as an excuse.
Post # 11
If it’s important to him, it’s important. The two of you will have to come to an agreement on your definition of financial stability and be willing to compromise on some things. Money problems commonly cause relationship problems so he’s being wise in his viewpoint.
You don’t need luxury but stability is important. You’re lucky he feels this way; I think most mature, responsible men do. Talk to him about his exact desires and wants for your financial future and see if you can come up with a timeline you both feel comfortable and happy with as far as his proposing and starting wedding planning.
It’s great that he’s thinking along these lines, sounds as though things are heading in the right direction. 🙂
Post # 12
I think you should wait until you both have jobs, but I think people could wait forever if they were trying to feel TRULY comfortable. As long as you are willing to have the ring and wedding you can afford, I don’t see anything wrong with marrying now.
Not long ago, I was sitting around talking with my grandparents. When they first got married they lived in an efficiency apartment that cost something like $25 a month. They aren’t sentimental, so they didn’t say it in so many words, but it was clear from their stories that the mutual struggle helped them grow closer and also helped them develop the sort of conflict management and marital resolve that would serve them later, through much stormier waters.
I know a lot of divorces happen because of money, but I don’t think being poor causes divorce. I more think it tests your mettle, and only the strong marriages survive. They recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, and are still going strong.
Besides, even if you’re financially stable now, there’s nothing saying you’re going to stay that way. There’s a reason the vows say “for richer and for poorer” — you never know what’s going to happen. Waiting til you’re very well off is no guarantee you’re never going to have to face poverty or financial trouble with the person you married. So if youre both ready and can afford the wedding you want, I say there’s no real reason to wait.
Post # 13
@Sunfire: Exactly. I was just going to post before I read your post that I think it’s more of a matter that we both have a different definition of what we consider being “financially stable” actually means. I see financial stability as being able to pay our bills on time, and having some money saved up that we can continue to add to over time. He sees financial stability as having a nice house, and a high paying job right out of college. For most people, the latter is a little harder to come by, and I just hope he realizes that these are things most people have to work towards. As long as we know we are working towards these things together, I don’t see why our engagement has to take a back seat.
Post # 14
LOL! Desirable, yes. Necessary? NO! MOST people would have never gotten married if they waited for financial stability!
Post # 15
Yes, being financially stable is VERY important… for me and my DH. I can see how this can vary for everyone, depending on the lifestyle you are accustomed to/aspire to have. For example, your friends may be okay with renting, but your DH may want to be a home owner.
Like PPs pointed out being financially stable is also different for everyone. So this is definitely something you and your SO need to discuss and figure out. For my DH and I, we wanted to own a home before we got married. Which required both of us to be finished with school and have steady jobs.
Post # 16
@OneOfTheseDaysAlice: I agree with you. Your definition of financial stability sounds reasonable and realistic.
Will he be willing to compromise about this to get engaged/married sooner than years and years down the road? It can take a helluva long time to achieve all the goals he’s after. They’re great goals, but I don’t see any reason you can’t get married and achieve them together.