Written by Ugodre Obi-Chukwu
Twitter: @nairamterics or @ugodre.
~Punch: Thursday, April 7, 2016
Nnamdi has been dating Amaka for about three years now and pressure is mounting on for them to take the relationship to the next level. Nnamdi is approaching his mid-thirties and Amaka is also not getting any younger making time not exactly their friend. Their respective parents are also mounting pressure and do not understand why their children would not just get married soon enough.
Unknown to either parents, Nnamdi and Amaka have a major stumbling block. Apart from being career focused individuals they also believe more importantly that their combined salary is not enough for them to build a home and at the same time pursue their career objectives.
Many of us fall into this trap at some point in our life and if not handled carefully can lead to serious emotional and financial distress. How does one get married without enough money? I will attempt to respond by addressing some of the common excuses we give.
I can't afford wedding "ceremoney" - The thought of preparing for a wedding ceremony is one that scares many off early marriages. Most people consider it a very special event and believe the only way to live a lasting memory is to splurge on it. Having a memorable wedding is important for everyone however, not everyone can afford an expensive and memorable wedding. With proper planning you can have a cheap and memorable wedding as well.
Wedding ceremony shouldn't be seen as a do or die affair as all you have to do is spend what you can afford. What you should realise is that at the end of the day it's about you and your spouse being happily married thereafter and not about the drinks, food and the pageantry that comes with the ceremony. There will be many, many more opportunities to be merry with friends and family.
Where will we live after we get married? -My friend, Victor once told me he got married to his wife when he was still living in a one bedroom flat. After the wedding, they came back home to their one room apartment happier than they could ever imagine. I asked him why and he said the thought of them spending the night together forever was all they wished for and could as well have lived in the car if that's what it will take. The point here is that you need not live in a three bedroom or four bedroom apartment to get married. You could even have just married and still living in your parent's apartment provided you are both focused on the goal.
Just have it at the back of your mind that this is only temporary as experience has shown that finances do improve more frequently after marriage. If you both work hard and remain steadfast you will soon move to an apartment befitting of your status.
I haven't bought a car yet? - A younger friend once told me he could never get married before buying a car. He just did not see him and his wife walking together to the bus stop to take a bus ride to work. I could understand his point of view and only hoped that it was more of a challenge for him than a principle. If I were him, owning a car will probably be tops on my priority also.
However, while owning a car is very important in a marriage there are no rules barring one from buying it after marriage. A car and married to the person you love are both mutually exclusive and because you do not have the funds to buy the car yet, does not mean you won't have it soon after your wedding. It really boils down to your priorities and how they align to your goals. If your goal is to settle down then owning a car can't be prioritized over marriage.
We can't afford to raise a baby - Having babies soon after marriage is a blessing every newlywed seeks. What other way to fortify the union that you both have. However, there is also no rule saying you must have children immediately after marriage. If you and your spouse believe you are not ready financially to take care of children then you can as well abstain from doing so too in marriage. You just have to prioritise like I mentioned early. With careful financial planning and the help of God nothing stops you from having children and being able to care for them as you wish.
I can't pay the bills - First thing you have to realise is that marriage these days is as much a spiritual union as it is a financial union. I don't believe the modern marriage works any longer with one breadwinner as you and your spouse both have a role to play financially.
This is no more important than when it comes to sharing bills which ironically becomes even easier in marriage. You no longer need to pay for separate light bills, internet bills, water bills, rent etc. So, this in fact is a plus in marriage than it is outside marriage.
Finally, while money is important to living a happily married life, it need not come before marriage. First, find the right partner, get married and focus on working hard so the money and blessings keeps coming. After all, a man who finds a good wife finds a good thing.