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Weddings and Costs

Bankrupting a New Relationship with an Expensive Wedding

After spending a very enjoyable evening at my brother-in-law’s reception on Saturday night I looked back on my wedding and where we had the right idea, and where we might have gone wrong (financially speaking, I’ll leave the critique on relationships to Mrs. C8j):

  • We had our reception as a brunch which was much cheaper and because we only needed the reception room until 3:00 PM, we actually got it for free, as we had booked lots of rooms and we were paying for the meal.
    • Because this was brunch very little liquor was served as well.
  • The real reception was at my wife’s parents house, so we and her parents bought most of the booze “retail” from the OLC, which was cheaper.
  • We didn’t spend too much on a honeymoon (which I view as a regret, but we just couldn’t afford it).
  • Both sets of parents gave generously to the blessed event as well (in case they are reading and thinking I am trying to portray this as something I solely paid for).

I am not a believer in blowing huge amounts of cash for a wedding (as you can tell).

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How do you Retire With Kids at Home?

The phenomenon of Adult children living with their parents is not new. In 2007 I wrote about the concept. Stats Canada had some very interesting info at the time as well.

Stats Canada published a plethora of interesting statistics from the 2006 Census. In the area of Personal and Home Finances: For the first time there are more unmarried folk over the age of 15 than there are married.

In 2006, more than one-half (51.5%) of the adult population were unmarried, that is, never married, divorced, separated or widowed, compared with 49.9% five years earlier. Conversely, only 48.5% of persons aged 15 and over were legally married in 2006, down from 50.1% in 2001.

2006 Census release topics

A large increase in 1 person households (i.e. people living alone). More of us living on our own? Interesting, one theory put forward is folks are trying to get themselves together financially and mentally before committing to a long-term relationship. If that is the case, that is a good thing (in my opinion).

The one really interesting statistic for me is the following:

Over the last two decades, one of the trends for young adults has been their growing tendency to remain in, or return to, the parental home. This upward trend has continued over the past five years.
In 2006, 43.5% of the 4 million young adults aged 20 to 29 lived in the parental home, up from 41.1% in 2001. Twenty years ago, 32.1% of young adults lived with their parents.


Among individuals aged 20 to 24, 60.3% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 49.3% in 1986. Among those aged 25 to 29, 26.0% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 15.6% two decades earlier.

2006 Census release topics

So, more and more of us are not becoming “Empty Nesters” in fact we are turning into a “flop house” for our 20-year-old kids? That seems to line up with my observations from friends and acquaintances that I know. Kids go off to University to get their degrees, but then return and move back in.

I must admit that I was somewhat guilty of that on work terms. I did, however, manage to not move back in with my parents after I graduated.

My question is how can you retire if your kids have moved back in with you? I guess if they move back in, and start paying room and board, that might be OK. If they move back in and resume their role as “child” while pulling in a large salary, that is bad. They keep calling my generation the “Sandwich” generation because we will have to care for both our parents and our children eventually, these statistics seem to imply that may well be the case.

Time to Leave Home ?

I have attempted to instill in my kids a real desire to leave the house. Useful statements like:

  • “You don’t like me harping on you to do your chores? Well if you had your own place, that wouldn’t happen would it?”
  • “If you don’t get a summer job, you’ll be watching your brother all summer for me”
  • “You want money? Room and board is not enough?”

I am kidding (although I believe in a few spots, I have actually said that to my kids at some time). It is important to get our kids prepared to spread their wings and leave the nest (and then move the NEST).

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Even with Same Sex Marriages, People Aren’t Getting Married?

Gay LEGO Cake Toppers
Yes it seems there are less folks getting married than before, and that is including same sex marriages as well. Now the data from Stats Canada is only until 2003, but it seems we have reached a plateau for marriages.

A total of 147,391 couples tied the knot in 2003, only 653 more than in 2002 and just 773 more than in 2001, according to vital statistics data from the provinces and the territories, which for the first time include limited information on same-sex marriages.

The most recent peak in marriages occurred in 2000 when 157,395 couples took their vows, presumably choosing to marry at the start of the new millennium.

So in Canada there were 0.4% more marriages in 2003 compared to 2002, which is interesting. Ontario (the Good) had a healthy increase of 3.0%, whereas in PEI it their marriage rate dropped by almost 8%

What does this all mean? Are we running away from Marriage, and will all live on communes with communal spouses shared by all? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! Whoops, sorry, forgot my Prozac there for a minute.

Who is getting married? Not sure, could be that the increase in Ontario could be from the Same Sex Marriages? Why do folks get married now? Religious reasons, maybe, but in terms of the law, marriage “the concept” is not needed for a union between people any more. If you live with someone for more than 2 years, you are viewed as “married” in terms of taxes, child support and dissolution of unions, so why are folks getting married? I think I am asking that in a rhetorical fashion. I am married, and I think it’s a good thing, but what do you think?

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He has lunch out, so I can…. (part 2)

The story continues. Just as an epilogue to part 1, my friend usually ate lunch at work because his wife made him lunch (and she did that to be FRUGAL and to make sure he eats properly).

So my friend went on a “toot” and bought lunches out the week his wife was away (not a serious sin, but the story gets better).

I found out from a source my friend’s wife’s side of this story, and it was a bit of a mind-blower. My friend’s wife evidently either knew or guessed that my friend was going out for lunches while she was away, and in response, she was going to go out to some expensive furniture stores to get some furniture. I am not positive this is a direct reaction to the “going out for lunch” but it was a contributing factor. Now my friend has previously told his wife to stop buying furniture, so his wife KNEW that this would bother my friend (i.e. this was a calculated act).

So, now you have two grown people who are doing financially silly things because their partner isn’t doing what they should do. I don’t know, but the first time I heard this I thought, “How childish is that?”, but then I realized that I know I am guilty of the same thinking with my wife, so I should be careful of the “glass house syndrome”.

Conclusions: Talk with your partner about money, and the things that you want to do to save money and such. You may not get agreement across the board, but be adult enough to tell your partner what you are doing, and don’t end up in the following argument:

Partner 1: I just bought a new big-screen TV, isn’t it great?
Partner 2: WHAT?!??! How could you do that, we never discussed that? Where did you find the money?
Partner 1: Well you got to buy that new dress so I thought it was only fair…
{At this point the argument would degrade into hellishly childish discussions, I can assure you}

Plan together, and work together and life will be a lot more enjoyable

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