Forget the gift list, almost one in two couples ask for cash at the wedding. I did

There are two factors behind Australia’s intentions to ask for cash gifts. The first is that couples marry much later; as my parents moved into their first home and I was 21, I was “locked up” and older (if you think I’ll tell you how old you are dreaming of).

Both sexes are leaving it almost three years later than just 20 years ago, averaging 28.5 for women and 30.1 for men, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, prior cohabitation has gone from 76% to 81% in just 10 years.

But the second factor behind demands for money is that times are tight – the OECD recently pointed out that Australian house prices have risen 250% since the 1990s, much of that growth in recent years. . The average loan size is almost $ 400,000, according to ABS, which requires about $ 45,000 as a deposit (at just 10%; 20% is better) plus fees.

Meanwhile, the latest estimates of the average wedding cost stand at $ 36,200 on the government over $ 65,000 Soon-to-be bride magazine. Which is crazy, but possibly misleading.

So I applaud this decision if the starting solvent is what it is – I would be hypocritical not to. Sadly, reports that 41% of couples married in the past five years still have marriage-related debt, and a quarter of couples have paid for their marriage with a credit card.

For the bride and groom, the discreet way to ask for cash in many countries makes it possible to write “No boxed gifts” on the invitation. It’ll probably look more palatable if you also tell your guests what you intend to do with their money.

For the guests, how much do you give? Consider covering the expenses of your evening, in the old-fashioned price guide by plate.

I must admit that my personal “money” movement was not without controversy. There was a dear family friend who warmly disapproved of our lack of a gift list. And we wanted a bar fridge. So she gave us money, when we got back to the UK, specifically to buy it.

He – literally – has served us well. But, unlike our investment properties, it is long gone.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a commentator and educator presenting Smart Money Start, financial literacy fun, in high schools across Australia.

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