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House or Honeymoon? Why Some Couples Ditch the Getaway

Did you spend your honeymoon canoodling or moving into a new house?
Did you spend your honeymoon canoodling or moving into a new house?
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

You can go anywhere on your honeymoon. Lush, tropical isles. Unspoiled wildlife refuges. European villas. Even a faraway metropolis the two of you have always wanted to visit.

All these romantic destinations sound great, but a growing number of newlyweds are vowing to head home instead of jetting off to an exotic locale. You only get one opportunity for a honeymoon, so why ditch it? Well, there are multiple reasons, and not all of them have to do with money (though most do).

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There are modern couples who see a honeymoon as a needless expense. We're not suggesting that everyone forego the trip of a lifetime, but for some, it makes sense. Many couples believe the money can be put to better use, and still others (believe it or not) would just rather stay home.

Anyone who's gotten hitched recently knows how expensive a wedding can be. Adding the cost of a honeymoon is sometimes just too much. If your budget is straining under the weight of flowers, catering, the dress and venue rentals, your primary concern is probably finding cash to tip the DJ, not to fund an exotic getaway.

Even if you can easily float both the wedding and the honeymoon, there are still plenty of reasons to save your money. After all, a honeymoon is only temporary, and in this uncertain economy, those funds could be invested in other ways. Everyone has a financial to-do list, and newly married couples are no exception. Instead of a six-night tropical vacation, you could fix all those lingering car problems (or make a sizable down payment on a new vehicle), pay off a good chunk of your college loans or even start a nest egg for emergency situations and unexpected expenses -- trust us, you'll have both. If you're starting a family right away or already have little ones, that money can be funneled into a college fund.

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Paying for your child's education might not be a concern in this decade, so think about other ways you can use the money. Whether you're financially savvy or you hire a financial adviser, you can look into stocks, gold or bonds. If you have dreams of starting a business, you might be surprised how far that vacation money takes you.

But the most practical reason we can think of to skip the honeymoon is using the resources to make a down payment on a house. Every married couple dreams of owning their own home, and in the current buyers' market, those vacation dollars can see you through a lot more than an ocean-view room.

Just being together -- no matter the location - is a total blast. You're newlyweds, after all!
Just being together -- no matter the location - is a total blast. You're newlyweds, after all!
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The honeymoon question isn't always about money -- whether it's a surplus or lack of funds. Perhaps you have so much vacation-ready cash because you've got an excellent, well-paying job that you just might lose if you take too much time off. Maybe the two of you would rather save your vacation days for later in the year, when you can visit an ailing relative, adhere to the traditional family Christmas skiing trip or even just wait for better rates for an extended, one-on-one break.

What are some other good reasons for staying put? If you're pregnant, you might not feel like flying, hiking, sunbathing or doing the standard honeymoon activities. Maybe you feel vacationed-out after spending months planning your several-day destination wedding, and chilling at home seems more relaxing than checking into a posh resort. You could also always choose tangible items over a temporary vacation -- some couples are choosing to divide their honeymoon pot and give each other gifts instead taking a trip (HDTV or luxury handbag, maybe?). And as cheesy as it sounds, if the only place you want to be is in each other's arms, your house is as good a destination as anywhere else.

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Of course, we have to say that honeymoons are tradition for a reason. Married life is tough, and though they may just seem like words now, "through good times and bad" really means something. Your honeymoon is, in a way, your last, great, solitary (meaning just the two of you) hurrah. No kids, no money woes, no head-of-household stress concerns -- just you, the love of your life and the ultimate vacation. Don't let the struggles of the moment cause you to lose sight of the big picture, because while you don't have to take a honeymoon if you don't want to, years from now, you'll almost certainly be glad you did.

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