Dear Dave: How do you have a wedding without debt?
Dear Lynn: Wow, where do I start on this one? I guess the best way is to tell the truth. Honey, that question kind of makes you sound like a little princess.
How do you have a wedding without debt? It’s really simple. You have a wedding with the money you have. There’s nothing wrong with small, inexpensive weddings. And once you accept that and start thinking about things from a mature, adult point of view, you’ll start realizing you can scrimp and save and have a really nice, small wedding.
Lots of people have beautiful, memorable ceremonies and even small receptions for less than $1,000. Sure, you can run out, go into debt and wear an $8,000 wedding dress for a few hours on one day of your life. Or, you can find one that’s much cheaper — even something that’s been worn one time — for a couple hundred dollars. Think that’s tacky? Well, let me tell you what’s even more tacky and dumb — going $15,000 to $20,000 in debt for one day!
To have a wedding without debt you have to be creative and think within your budget. That means growing up and not throwing a temper tantrum just because you can’t have every little thing you want. Most people don’t have lavish, expensive weddings, and guess what? Years down the road they’re still married, madly in love and laughing and hugging when they remember the best day of their lives.
Please, don’t turn what’s supposed to be a happy occasion into a financial mess that will take years to clean up.
Dear Dave: My husband works for a large company and receives restricted stock bonuses of approximately $5,000 each year. We’re not sure exactly how long they’re restricted, and we both wonder if we’re allowed to sell these options?
Dear Patty: You said your husband works for a large company, so my guess is they do this as an employee retention move. That’s why they restrict the stock. They’re trying to get people to stay with the company, and you’ll only be able to sell them after they are no longer restricted.
Usually, these kinds of things have a one- or two-year restriction. I doubt they’d put a five-year hold on it, but check with the company to find out the specifics. They can tell him when the stock is free to be sold.
If it were me, I wouldn’t hold on to too much of it. I don’t own single stocks. They have too much risk for my taste. Keep a little bit, if you want, but don’t put all or even most of your financial eggs into that one basket.
Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.