In these early days of summer, a young man's heart turns to thoughts of wedded bliss. OK, maybe not.
But perhaps it should. Yes, folks, I'm advocating marrying for money (but in a good way). Romantic? Perhaps not. Practical? You betcha.
Two heads are better than one
Let's consider just a few of the advantages of soldering on the proverbial ball and chain.
First and foremost, it's the right thing to do. Pay that visit to Tiffany
A happy home ... is cheaper than two
Two people living apart incur nearly twice the number of bills of two people living together. Two apartments means two sets of monthly cable, phone, and power bills that must be paid every day both apartments are rented -- even when you're at her place or she's visiting yours. Sure, sometimes people "need their space," but the cost of heating, cooling, and lighting separate spaces can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
Other costs can't be cut exactly in half, but there are still savings to be had from merging your households. Look at cell phone bills, for instance. After the honeymoon, you'll each almost certainly want to carry around separate cells. But as a married couple, you can sign up for one of the "family plans" offered by most cell phone providers. In my experience, two cell phones on one family plan can easily save $10 to $15 per month.
The same holds true for larger appliances. Two households require two washers, two dryers, two microwaves, two stereos -- you get the picture -- to be bought, maintained, and replaced over time. Under a single roof, all of these costs are cut nearly in half.
Speaking of one roof ...
Let's assume two people are living in separate apartments. Tying the knot and moving in together under one roof can yield significant savings -- even if the new place is larger than the two old ones combined.
According to the rate sheet from my old apartment complex, depending on the floor plan, two people moving from separate one-bedroom apartments to a single three-bedroom apartment, would save anywhere from 18% and 44% on their combined rent. Depending on where you live and the going rate for apartment rentals, on top of giving you more space to live in, sharing a roof can easily mean hundreds of dollars in savings each month. (In the examples I looked at, the savings worked out to between $400 and $1,200 per month.)
There are even more ways to save as a dynamic duo. Consider the advantages of joint banking and investment accounts. Banks often pay higher interest rates on accounts with bigger balances. Sure, you could earn and save more, but that's easier said than done. A faster, more frugal way is to combine your separate treasuries in one joint account.
The situation is similar in brokerland, where a battle rages for market share among major online brokers such as TD Ameritrade
This is America, after all, and bigger is considered better. So the bigger your investing account, the more perks these companies will throw at you. With accounts worth $10,000 or more, account holders are usually able to avoid monthly maintenance fees. At the $50,000-and-up level, discounted commissions are a common perk. And once you cross the $100,000 line, money managers like Bank of America
Listen to your heart, young Fool -- and your bank account. They're both singing in unison: "It's a nice day for a white wedding."
Blue Nile is a Rule Breakers recommendation, whileBank of America is an Income Investor pick.