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Posted by Sam Bernhard (MONEY FORUMS: 6, Answers: 0)
Asked on November 30, 2015 9:59 am
I got married when I was 19. I didn't give a flying toot about money back then. We didn't have much anyways; the sum total of all our bank accounts dipped below $300 on several occasions.
The biggest financial benefit starting out was splitting expenses, but of course you don't need to marry someone just for that.
The long-term is a bit of a different story. When we first got married, we only had vague notions of what we wanted in the future. Over time, our views have grown - they've aligned with each other in some areas, and diverged in others.
We've both grown to realize though that we sucked at finances, though, and we had to get better. Now I manage our money and let my husband in on what's going on, and he is genuinely trying to help cut his own spending back and trying to make side money doing what he can, too. Although we have our differences, if we weren't both on the same basic page, this marriage - and others like that - just plain wouldn't work.
Always be on the same base financial page, even if you both stray a bit.
I have a few friends who married during the college years, and they had some financial aid benefits (due to their new lower income status).
In my opinion the best thing about marrying young, is that you grow into your finances together. You don't have a lot of money so you have a lot of opportunity to make decisions together. The worst part is that you're probably broke (or even in debt), and that can be stressful.
If you do decide to get married young, seek out mentors who can help you, both with your finances and with your life.
Financially speaking, getting married while young can be a very good thing. Sounds crazy but think of it this way... it's like having a roommate for life. Someone to split expenses with. Except with a spouse, you can essentially double your income. Makes sense when you think about it like that.
So I consulted my father who works with mortgages/home loans for this question, since a lot of his process for accepting/denying a loan has to do with the financial situation that couples are in, especially young couples with a lot of collective student debt.
Some of the benefits are better tax benefits when jointly filing tax returns, using “joint” income to help qualify for a home loan and other tax deductible benefits, joint savings with duel incomes (which means more savings between the both of you!) and general benefits of collaboration on financial matters.
However, some of the drawbacks include conflicting views about savings and spending needs (especially with couples that are young and may have divergent ideas about the future, ie. family planning etc.), moving, renting versus buying, savings for the future versus living for today, investing is stocks versus real estate or other investments and not having the same mind-set or financial goals. All of these would seemingly create conflict and disharmony in the marriage. Financial conflict and differing views on money leads to major conflict in marriage at any age but I am led to believe that these conflicts can affect couples more profoundly at younger ages.