Wedding vs. Down Payment

Today's "If only" blog is all about giving options to adult children and helping them make smart choices.  If only you were to sit your son or daughter down for the "wedding budget" discussion and surprise them with the "cash" offer!  How many newlyweds would prefer $$ for a home down payment over the big wedding? Loads!  Or how about a small wedding and small down payment $$? It's all about opening up the discussion and letting your child choose....and then make them live with the consequences of their choice.  

I have suggested this for many years with my clients, many of whom are very wealthy and can afford to provide both to their children but choose this strategy instead. It's the first step in helping an adult child truly understand the value of $$. One client comes to mind in particular. They have six, yes SIX, daughters. The wedding budget even 10 years ago was $150,000.  Now we all know that goes a long way towards a house down payment, even in the larger metro communities where nothing is affordable for young adults.  Out of the six girls, four are married. Two have opted for the cash, one took the big wedding, and the other did a simple, elegant backyard wedding and used the remainder to help buy a small home.  Home run!  This also accomplishes something else: It's one or the other, not both.  You don't have to further deplete your retirement savings when you believe you have to fund both a big wedding PLUS a house down payment just because "everyone else is."  

ACTION STEP:  Have the "talk." Again, it's not the birds and bees, it's about the bucks we don't talk about and it's time! 

PS...If the wedding is for YOU to "pay back all your friends" or just have a fabulous party that you didn't have when you got married,  then all the more reason to give your child the choice and consider the wedding YOUR party not your child's.  Just tighten in the reins a bit so there will be funds left for the down payment if that's the choice. Enjoy!

xo Susan

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