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Steven asks…

Married and poor or under my parents’ care and single?

My boyfriend and I really want to get married. We’re nuts about eachother :] And I don’t mean to be shallow, but I am concerned about money. I go to college, and my parents pay my rent, bills, tuition, etc. I have a part time job, but it only pays minimum wage. My boyfriend is also working for minimum wage. I know that my funds from my parents would get cut off if we got married, and I’m sure we’d be really scraping by. I would probably have to drop out of school, and I have a relatively large dog to feed. I was hoping to get some advice. Would you rather be married to the one you love, but poor and uneducated, or separated from him/her and treated like a child, while having the bills paid?

LoveKnots answers:

What you’re missing is a pretty big point, here.

If you’re still in school and have never lived on your own … You ARE still a child. We don’t magically transform into An Adult when we turn 18. Adulthood has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with our behavior and our lifestyle.

Right now, you’re SO not ready to be married. You might want to GET married, but you’re clueless about how to BE married and what it takes to stay married for the next 50+ years of your life. The first thing that a smart couple does is wait until they have 6 months of living expenses in a joint bank account BEFORE they tie the knot. This is so that the happy couple can sustain themselves instead of having to move in with mommy and daddy, or take out loans just so they can set up house. Then they sit at a table with a calculator and a legal pad and come up with a budget. Then they get a ring and set a date.

Sweetie, you can’t even afford to feed your dog – how can you possibly say you’re ready to get married and have anyone take you seriously?

Your ‘all or nothing’ mentality is going to get you into trouble. You’re very headstrong, and you think you know what it takes to sustain a marriage, but how can you possibly know … When you’re not married yet?

The BEST thing you could do is stop what you’re doing, and LOOK at yourself. If you’re honest with yourself, then you will see that you’ve got what we often call ”a steak appetite on a hot dog budget.” You want more than you can afford right now (monetarily and emotionally.) What a smart girl does is saves her money, and doesn’t get married until her man can afford to support a wife and family on his own … Unless you plan on putting your kids into daycare (yes, I know that you don’t plan on having kids right away, but they have a way of showing up ANYway, so what’s your plan for that? YOU HAVE TO THINK!!!) Until you have 6 month’s of living expenses in a joint account, and until he’s making enough to support you on his own (even if you also have a job), then you’re not financially ready to commit to marriage.

A smart girl waits instead of forcing the issue and then finding herself in an impossible situation. Do you REALLY want to do that, and risk the loving, supportive and wonderful relationship you have with your parents? Do you really want to be that foolish?

So, are you a smart girl or not?

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