How much for a happy marriage?

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

4th April 2016 at 3:04pm

How much for a happy marriage?

So you’ve finally found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you’ve even got them to agree to spend the rest of their life with you – that’s great. Just don’t think it stops there because marriage is really just the beginning and if you think you can take your foot off the pedal now that you’ve sealed the deal – you’re very much mistaken.

On recently becoming engaged myself, my partner and I have been busying ourselves with organising our wedding and I have to say I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, well so far anyway. From choosing the venue and setting the date to writing the guest list and celebrating with friends and family – it really has been a good few months.

And because weddings are so notorious for being expensive we were fortunately under no illusion that the Big Day was going to cost us so we sorted our budget early and we’ve been working hard to stick to it since. But what I hadn’t realised or had never even thought about was how much the actual marriage part would cost – and that’s what’s really caught my attention.

An investigation of a wide range of married couples of all ages revealed the cost of a lifetime of harmonious marriage currently comes with a price tag of over £250,000 and that’s all after you say ‘I do’.

Can you put a price on happiness?

Now we’re definitely not saying you can put a price on happiness but maybe a little spending can help – let’s just take a look at the research.

The studies by cash back website Quidco show that the happiest couples treat themselves to an average of three ‘date nights’ a month. Date nights can be anything from dining out, going for drinks or trips to the cinema. Other splurges include regular holidays and the odd gift to keep the romance alive.  And let’s not forget romantic nights in – happy couples consider these to be very important and spend on average three romantic nights in together a month.

It all adds up

Date nights on average cost £39 per date, that adds up to £117 per month and £1,404 per year whereas the average romantic night in comes in at £15.50 per night in – that’s 46.50 per month and £558 per year. Furthermore the study shows that getting ‘date-ready’ costs on average £267 per year, with the majority claiming to spend this amount on looking nice for their partner.

Other figures to emerge from the study showed the average cost for holidays per year coming in at £2,337 and the cost for small gifts at £305. The spend on more extravagant gifts such as jewellery was slightly higher at £477 on average for the year – with some admitting to spending considerably more.

The best things in life are free

While the study shows some of these gestures come at a cost it also revealed that free and regular declarations of ‘I love you’ are priceless – with happy couples averaging these utterances at least 16 times a month.

The good news

According to Quidco spokesperson Vix Leyton ‘The good news is that by planning ahead, you can achieve a lot of the little touches that keep a relationship alive without breaking the bank. Booking holidays in advance, shopping around for the best deals and trying to keep a stash of savings specifically earmarked for ‘date nights’ and treats, can give you the margins you need for impulsive gestures like flowers and chocolates ‘just because’.

The even better news – you’re better off together

All this talk of marriage costs can seem alarming, but don’t be put off because it turns out that the cost of married life isn’t all that bad when compared to the cost of a lifetime being single.

According to research from price comparison website uSwitch, living alone costs singletons more over a lifetime compared to couples. So be thankful you’re not carrying the burden of a mortgage, holidays and bills all on your own because the costs can really add up. And let’s not forget you get to spend your life with the person you love and that’s what it’s really all about.

Join the conversation

What are your thoughts on the cost of marriage? We’d love to know – join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook.

The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice. Information correct as of March 2016. A personal pension is an investment and its value can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in.