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Wedding bells, savings hell

Sep 06 2012 10:43

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MyFin24 is a user-generated section of Fin24.com. The stories here come from users.

Fin24 user Brother OB writes:

I got married on April 3 2011.

When I got married I was saving a minimum of R400 a month and had a savings policy with Old Mutual.

Because of the unplanned expenses that went with my wedding, I had to ransack my savings. I surrendered my Old Mutual policy but it did not end there - I applied for a loan with African bank.

This was all because I didn't have a thorough financial plan, and had to come close to meeting my wife's expectations.

By the way, I'm not blaming her for the situation.

Since then I have been struggling to have money to see me to the end of each month. My first response when I realised that, was to apply for one credit card after another.

The consequences have been devastating. I couldn't qualify for loans any more. That led me to accumulate more debt by borrowing from friends to pay bills and make ends meet. A typical case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I shared the situation with my manager.

The financial adviser that I subsequently spoke to vanished into thin air. I suspect that he thought the situation was beyond repair. I was left to deal with it my own way.

I have not been able to pay my accounts for many months. No kind of arrangement has been workable, because my whole salary goes into debit orders.

It will only be at the end of November that I will have a breather. Two of my accounts will be paid off.

It's only then that I will start working out arrangements with my other creditors.

I hope to start putting away at least R50 a month, with a bit more when I have extra cash from overtime.

I work as a sound engineer and my wife has since started working as a deli assistant. We're happy together, knowing this situation is just for a short while. 

The lessons learnt?

  • My wife and I now agree that Cash is King.
  • We both agree that anything that we want should wait until we have enough cash to buy it.
  • For couples who are planning to get married, it is very wise to be open about everything you wish to have for the wedding, and the costs involved. You should negotiate until a compromise is reached.
  • It's very important to distinguish between the necessities and the frills.
  • Affording yourselves a special day should not amount to cleaning out your pocket or savings.

 - Fin24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyFin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views of users published on Fin24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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investing  |  saving  |  debt  |  marriage
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