Dave Ramsey: Cash wedding on a budget

Dear Dave,
Sep 4, 2014
Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

I’m getting married soon, and my fiancée and I together have saved about $9,000 for our wedding. Right now, we’re doing really well on our budgets and almost always have money left over each month. Should we use the extra money to continue paying down our debt, or is it okay to use it for a few wedding incidentals?

Nathan

Dear Nathan,

I love the idea of having a nice, reasonable wedding paid for with cash. Some people look at weddings as an excuse to go nuts, but you guys sound like you have a good plan in mind.

The average cost of a wedding in America right now is around $30,000. Even if the extras you mentioned run $5,000 to $6,000, you’re still talking about half that amount. So, let’s look at it this way. Basically, you’re asking me if it’s okay to put your debt snowball on hold temporarily in order to modestly enhance your already reasonable wedding plans. My answer is yes!

Now, if you’d told me you wanted to drop $50,000 on the wedding instead of getting out of debt, I’d think you were crazy. It doesn’t sound like you two are going to abuse the situation, though. I think you’re both being very wise.

God bless, and I hope you have long and happy lives together.

—Dave

Taking care of final expenses

Dear Dave,

I’m 30-years-old, single, I rent an apartment and I have no dependents. Do I need life insurance?

Shawna

Dear Shawna,

You may have very little need for life insurance in your situation. If you have enough money saved up to pay for your burial, and you don’t have any debt, there’s really no reason to carry a policy. No one is going to be harmed financially by your death, and no one would be deprived of the income that would be lost if something unexpected happened to you.

But if you don’t have money saved, and you’ve got a bunch of debt, you might want to consider a small, term life insurance policy. At your age, if you’re fairly healthy, you can get $100,000 worth of coverage for almost nothing.

Remember, you shouldn’t buy life insurance to leave an inheritance. You should buy life insurance is to make sure there’s enough money to take care of your family and final expenses. You wouldn’t want your parents or someone else having to foot the bill once you’re gone.

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times bestselling books, “Financial Peace,” “More Than Enough,” “The Total Money Makeover,” “EntreLeadership” and “Smart Money Smart Kids.” The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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