From the blast of the whistle, I dare say that the best time to contract a marriage is during a period of economic hardship like this; not when the economy is booming. Managing life in the days of scarcity brings out the best manager in you. Nothing makes a couple humble and prudent than scarcity of financial resources. Cash crunch breeds wise spenders.
We become good economic managers when there’s little to spare. When there’s no money, couples tend to be realistic with spending decisions, they are more likely to trim their desires and tame their appetites. Beloved, there’s no better time to marry your sweetheart than now! Don’t wait until the recession goes away. This recession has no terminal date despite recent assurances by the National Bureau of Statistics that the recession is over.
Couples always want to have a royal wedding; it’s OK to dream. But try and understand that a wedding is just an event, a one-off project, while marriage is a life-time journey. I’d rather you spend little on your wedding, make it as decent and modest as possible, and save for the long haul when the reality of daily living, the bills, and the stress of a new relationship begin to stare you in the face. Every marriage goes through four seasons: summer, autumn, spring and winter. Prepare for these changes, but don’t be scared.
When couples fail to plan for the inevitable challenges of marriage, their union may not last. Very often, couples get all the money they could raise and blow it all on their talk-of-the town wedding only to end up so broke that they struggle through their honeymoon, and thereafter start life in financial distress. Poor planning and lack of realistic cash flow projections, among others, are some of the major causes of crisis after the wedding night.
Therefore, to prevent your night of bliss from turning into a nightmare, plan your marriage carefully. Go ahead and take your sweetheart to the altar on a shoestring budget. Don’t spend your modest resources on entertaining guests at your wedding, which doesn’t last beyond a few hours. Do the best you can to make the show worthwhile and start life with your wife on a solid financial footing.
Always remember that marriages are contracted, which means a marriage is a contract. A key part of that contract is that you must provide for your wife and the children too, when they start coming. Don’t expect your wife to be the breadwinner, even if she is financially well off than you are.
This fact should be at the back of your mind when planning your wedding. You have to be far-sighted to have a successful, enduring marriage. Only a few people followed my friend to the registry some years back when they got married. The guests at their reception were fewer than 20; it was a parlour party because they couldn’t even afford to rent a hall as we do today. Glory to God! That marriage has produced four accomplished professionals, a doctor, a lawyer, a computer engineer and a banker, all millionaires. The old couple live in their own house in a choice area of Lagos, and they are both comfortable in retirement. The classy wedding they couldn’t afford, they gave to each of their four children. The end of a thing is far better than the beginning. Shakespeare said, “All’s well, that ends well.”
My message to you is: plan to end well; it doesn’t matter how you start. If you have a fiancée or fiancé right now, go ahead with what you have; lock your arms together and walk down the aisle, even if just 10 invitees are present. It is not the crowd that matters; it is the crown of marital success, which is made of precious jewels like good children, peace, joy, wealth, godly home, and fulfillment.
Never wait for a most auspicious time to marry. There’s no such time. Rather, time waits for no one. Don’t procrastinate; it is the thief of time. Besides, someone else may walk away with your sweetheart, if you dilly-dally for too long. Hope delayed makes the heart grow weary. A time of recession like this is a good training period for young couples to live within their means. In fact, when there’s no money, people tend to be sober, humble, and tame. Bulging pockets and bank accounts fuel the egos of men and women. Your level of tolerance tends to reduce if you have a lot of money. And tolerance is key to marital success.
I am not, by any means, celebrating poverty or lack. No, far from it. I just want to make the case that the young shall grow. It is always better for young couples to build together from scratch. If you are fortunate to marry a rich man or you get hooked to a girl from a rich family, that’s great! But you’re a gold digger, if you deliberately shop for a lady of means or a daughter of a millionaire. A lady who sets her eyes only on rich suitors is like a soldier of fortune. I’d prefer couples create their wealth together, and grow stronger together.
Weekend Spice: Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare – Oswald Sanders.
OK, folks, glad to be with you. Let’s do it again next week Friday. Stay motivated.
•Ladi Ayodeji is an Author, Rights Activist, Pastor and Life Coach. He can be reached at 09059243004 (SMS or Whatsapp only).