- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

# Don’t Get Married

Marriage is nice in principle but when it comes down to the dollars and cents, is it really truly worth it? According to some statistics in Rebecca Mead’s new book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding [3] (tip of the hat to Freakonomics blog [4]), the average cost of a wedding is \$27,852. Compare that to the median income in 2005 of \$46,326 (Wikipedia [5]) and you’ll wonder where people find the cash to pay for their weddings, let alone the financial pain brought on by the government.

The Marriage Tax
Let’s say you make \$60,000 and the love of your life makes \$60,000 too. If you remained unmarried, your couple’s total tax owed is \$22,847.50 (\$11,423.75 each) not counting any deductions. If you were to get married, you would owe \$22,847.50 as well; being married doesn’t hurt right? What if you made \$90,000 and the love of your life made \$90,000? As single filers, you’d pay a combined \$38621.50 in tax. As two happily single but committed persons, you’d pay \$38,621.50 (\$19,310.75 each); \$39,392.50 if you were married, a difference of \$771. As you make more and more money, the difference becomes more acute. So, either don’t get married, or don’t make a lot of money… a fair decision for someone to have to make right?

Here are the tax tables for a reference:

 Tax Rate Married Filing Jointly Single 10% \$0 to \$15,650 \$0 to \$7,825 15% \$15,650 to \$63,700 \$7,825 to \$31,850 25% \$63,700 to \$128,500 \$31,850 to \$77,100 28% \$128,500 to \$195,850 \$77,100 to \$160,850 33% \$195,850 to \$349,700 \$160,850 to \$349,700 35% \$349,700 to infinity \$349,700 to infinity

Weddings Are Expensive
I mentioned it before but the average wedding is somewhere in the \$25-\$28k range, which is about a down payment on a house in most areas. While everyone loves a party and loves the celebration, the sheer expense of it all almost makes you want to elope or hit up Vegas, doesn’t it? Not only are weddings expensive, they’re often stressful as you want your wedding day to be perfect. That means the food must be good, the drink must be good, the guests must be happy, the ceremony must go off without a hitch, the rings can’t get lost, the weather can’t turn sour, the reception hall can’t lose electricity, and so on and so forth. Considering how little of that you can actually control, it makes for quite a stressful day doesn’t it? Oh, and it’ll cost you a pretty penny or two (million).