We all know matters of the heart can be treacherous—from casual dating to a full blown relationship, falling in love can take a real leap of faith. However, while you may be open to the emotional risks posed by amour, have you taken into account the effect it can have on your wallet?
The Cost of Love, a recent study released by RateSupermarket.ca, Canada’s comprehensive financial rates comparison site, breaks down the expenses associated with a year of dates, a year-long engagement and the average Canadian wedding. The total? A whopping $45,151.88, from first date to wedding day.
“While all relationships are different, the pattern we found is that these costs are generally unexpected,” says Penelope Graham, Editor of RateSupermarket.ca’s Money Wise. “While Canadians are aware of the need to save for home ownership, retirement, or debt repayment, dating costs tend to be extra expenses not quite accounted for.”
And it’s not just singles playing the field that are shelling out on romance: those coupled-up for the long term face the potentially gargantuan expense that is the average Canadian wedding, which the study found to cost $26,963.
Looking to save some cash with your sweetie? Check out these top tips:
#1: Say “I don’t” to debt
Preparing for your walk down the aisle? Do your very best to avoid charging wedding costs to your credit card. “Debt worries can be a serious mood buster,” says Graham. “Why start married life under the cloud of debt repayment?” Couples can counter these costs with a dedicated savings plan (start socking it away once he puts a ring on it). If you do have to take out debt for your special day, consider lower interest options rather than a credit card that charges 20% or more.
#2: Make an achy-breaky budget
Do dates fill your social calendar? Dinners out (not to mention those cute date outfits) can really take a chunk out of your disposable income. When you’re making a daily budget, ensure your romantic outings are accounted for. Budgeting may not be sexy… but neither is being broke!
#3: Get a financial matchmaker
Shacking up with your sweetheart? Cohabitation poses some hard questions about sharing your finances. Much like marriage counselling, this topic can benefit from an objective expert. Meet with a financial advisor to determine how you’ll split everyday expenses, plan big ticket purchases, and invest for the future.