A very posh, very expensive honeymoon in Paris was always part of Rebecca's wedding fantasy. She didn't have much money and neither did her fiancé Garry, a fellow schoolteacher. But he was determined to make her happy.
The love-struck groom splurged on the bridal penthouse suite, five-course dinners, pricey souvenirs -- the works. He figured it was the trip of a lifetime, and they'd eventually pay it off.
Wandering through upscale Parisian boutiques, Rebecca made some offhand comments about money that piqued Garry's concern. They were just a few days into their trip when Rebecca revealed that she had some debt … and nothing to show for it. No property. No assets. No advanced degrees.
The couple talked it out and formed a plan to pay it down. Step No. 1? Drastically changing their spending habits. Even in the City of Lights, you can eat cheaply. Just ask Rebecca and Garry, who spent the rest of their evenings sharing crusty bread and stinky cheese -- and toasting with tap water. They've been married for five years now, and when things get a little tight between paychecks, they make a date with that very meal under the stars in their backyard!
The Moral: Before tying the knot, have an honest discussion about your respective financial commitments and goals. After "I do," there should be no big surprises in the money department.