In many Asian countries, couples living with in-laws aren’t uncommon, some being part of their customs. There may also be a few of them in the west, but it isn’t as normalized as in religious and highly traditional countries. In the Philippines, for example, married couples will typically live in the husband’s family home first while they’re saving up for a home. Though many Filipinos are now expressing their disapproval for it, it remains to be part of the country’s culture.
But regardless of a couple’s nationality, a lot of them tend to prioritize saving up for a wedding rather than for a home. And it’s not hard to understand why; wedding trends pop up on social media every day, instilling the “goals” mindset in couples. Bride-to-be’s, usually, are dead set on making their dream wedding a reality, pinning tons of Pinterest photos for inspiration. For a wedding dress alone, engaged couples are already compelled to stretch out their budgets.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a dream wedding. There’s also nothing wrong in striving to make it come true. But if your wedding will come at the expense of living with your in-laws for a while, then it would be wiser to sort out your priorities.
Reasons to Spend Less on Your Wedding
As of 2018, the average cost of weddings in the US was $33,391. In prime cities like New York, the costs reached $77,000. Those are roughly ₱1.7 million and ₱4 million, respectively, based on the 2018 exchange rate.
Such amounts are already the typical prices of a house for sale in Cavite and other cities near Metro Manila. So if you’d spend that much money for a wedding alone, then you’d need an additional heap of savings to afford a beautiful home.
The problem is, the average family income of Filipinos is only ₱267,000 approximately. As such, it makes buying a home more difficult than it already is.
But if you spend less on your wedding, you may have a chance to buy a home before getting married. You can always go frugal on your special day without looking cheap, anyway. After all, increasing our savings is more important, with a pandemic currently affecting us.
If you’re from the US, the $33,000 or $77,000 can be used for paying off your student loan debts, instead. Or to fund emergency savings, which most Americans don’t have. Your emergency savings should have at least six months’ worth of living expenses. You can live off of it while most of your savings are going straight to your mortgage down payment.
There’s also retirement to consider. You may still have a long way to go before your golden years, but the financial decisions you make now will impact your retirement. Hence, instead of paying $33,391 for a wedding, invest a third of that amount, and let it rest for 30 years. By the time of your investment’s maturity, you’ll be gaining $169,000.
What Makes Living With In-Laws a Nightmare
But if you’re only living with your in-laws for the meantime, it should be harmless, right? It depends, but in most cases, it would be disastrous.
First, privacy will be a problem. With your in-laws present in the space, it would be hard to spend quality time with your spouse. Not to mention it’s uncomfortable to spend me-time in a home that isn’t yours.
Second, just because your in-laws treated you nicely before your marriage means that it’ll stay the same way. They may not end up maltreating you, but they may still develop contempt towards you due to shallow reasons like your house chore skills not meeting their standards.
Third, since your in-laws are the parents in the house, they may expect you to answer them. If your spouse is living in your family home, you may not immediately feel the detrimental effects of this, but maintaining your “daddy’s girl” or “mama’s boy” persona can damage your spouse’s confidence. Don’t wait until they hit rock-bottom before realizing it!
Fourth and lastly, your in-laws will most probably interfere in your marriage, especially if you already have kids. Chances are, your mother-in-law will criticize your parenting skills, making you feel inadequate.
Therefore, while you’re still years away from engagement, propose saving up for a home first. Find ways to make a budget wedding look glamorous. With tons of hacks available on the internet, you’ll nail a splendid ceremony and party for a fraction of the average price. As a result, you can prioritize your home and your sustain your marriage without unwelcome interference.