It’s Valentine’s Day, which is always a good time to talk about relationships, love, and money. So how does love affect your money?
Let me count the ways. (Yes, that’s an intentional reference to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 in case you need a love sonnet today).
How Love Affects Your Money
Whether your relationship is costing or saving you money, the impacts love can have on your finances can vary.
Here are 10 ways love affects your money.
1. Costs of Dating
Let’s start with the earliest stage of love, dating. We won’t lie. Dating can be costly.
First, there are the costs of dates themselves, including drinks, dinner, shows, and weekends away. Even if you don’t pay for these, there are also indirect costs, such as the cost of outfits, time spent away from work, and commuting to and from dates.
Dating is not cheap.
2. Costs of Marriage
Even though dating isn’t cheap, a wedding is even more expensive. Even “cheap” weddings (where there is just some sort of celebration) cost a few thousand dollars.
The “average” wedding costs are now in the tens of thousands of dollars. Throw in the cost of rings, dresses, and honeymoon, and there is no way around it. Getting married is expensive.
3. Costs of Kids
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”
One can imagine the dollar signs associated with each of these. Kids are even more expensive than dating and weddings. Between daycare, school, activities, camps, and college, studies show that having kids easily costs more than $200k.
If you are paying for private college, that alone is more than $200k.
4. Costs of Divorce
A very large number of marriages end in divorce. The process of divorce itself costs a lot in legal fees. Then, one person usually ends up owing the other a large chunk of change.
5. Savings of Living Together
One of the biggest savings when it comes to love and money is the savings in rent. Two people can share the same space or maybe a slightly larger space to cut costs.
If you go from renting your own apartment to living with your significant other, you could save thousands of dollars a month.
6. Savings of Cooking Together
Another significant source of savings is the savings you’ll gain from cooking together. Like with renting, the cost of cooking for two instead of one may save you hundreds of dollars a year.
7. Savings of Entertainment Costs
Once you are in a relationship, you’re likely going to spend less time going out with friends. This means more time watching Netflix, resulting in savings in entertainment costs.
8. Earning Power of Two
Once you are married (or in a long-term committed relationship), you now have the earning power of two people. This not only provides more income, but it also offers a safety net if things go wrong.
Plus, you will save significantly by combining your work benefits like health and dental insurance.
9. Net Worth Power of Marriage
Married people have a significantly higher net worth than non-married people. Studies find that being married increases your net worth by an average of 77%.
10. Happiness+ Quotient
Marriage and other strong relationships are linked to what I am calling the “Happiness+ Quotient.”
What is this? It is increased life longevity, lower rates of cancer/stroke/disease, lower levels of depression, and high life satisfaction. All of these affect your happiness and your wealth.
The Bottom Line
Love has significant impacts on your money – for better and for worse – but mostly for better.
Just like how friendships affect your money, so does love. It’s important to keep this in mind today and every day.
This is why we include doing something nice for your significant other on our list of best money habits you should do every day.