The Carr Report: Help! My fiancé wants to spend my entire life’s savings on our wedding!?

by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier

My fiancé wants to spend my entire $16,000 savings that I have saved for emergencies and down payment on a house on a big wedding. I’ve already spent $3,000 on a ring for her.  I’d prefer to do a smaller wedding on a budget for approximately $5,000.  She says it’s not enough. We can’t seem to come to an agreement. Please advise?

~ FB Question

Damon Says:

It’s easy to spend money that you didn’t bust your butt working for then sacrifice, do without, deny yourself, and delay pleasure in an effort to accumulate a lump sum for a specific goal!

This is why she’s so willing to spend it all on a wedding and you’re more selective in terms of how you want to allocate spending the money.

52 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Of those divorces, nearly 80 percent cite finances as the leading cause of the divorce.  This gives new meaning to the expression “Irreconcilable differences”

In truth, your disagreement has nothing to do with the money. It’s the same $16,000 no matter how you slice it. The irreconcilable differences are about different goals, dreams, and priorities. You two are unevenly yoked financially. It’s a good thing you see it now — before you jumped the broom.

You need to seek both marriage and financial counseling before you set a date and start planning your wedding. If you can’t come to a compromise after seeking marriage and financial counseling, the compromise needs to be the marriage.

For she’s a spoiled princess in need of a serious reality check. If by chance, she remains reluctant to see the bigger picture — that an emergency fund, house and marriage, all have to be accounted for, view it as a microcosm of more financial irresponsibility to come.  In this case, it’s cheaper to ditch her.




My niece texted me asking if she can borrow money to put on her cousin’s commissary. He’s currently in jail. She says she’ll pay me back when she gets paid Friday. What should I do?

~ Marie


Damon Says:

The cousin of your niece is probably a relative.  Why didn’t the relative ask you for the money directly? Because, they already know the answer is NO!

I’ve worked in banking and finance my entire career. Ask me for money, I’ll tell you in a matter of fact tone ~ I work for the bank! I’m not the bank! 

I understand banking. Ask a bank for money, they’re all up in your personal business asking questions to see if you qualify for the loan.  Being the little banker that I’m, if you ask me for money, you invite me into your personal business. I have questions! Why do you need this money? How much do you have to put towards this thing you’re trying to do or purchase? When do you plan on paying me back?

As a general rule, I don’t lend money or co-sign on a loan for family or friends — including my kids! Your niece asking for money for another person is violating two of my rules. Lending Money and Co-signing.

The answer is an emphatic NO!! But I may give if I feel led to give or I’ll help you come up with a solution to your financial problem.

Furthermore, he’s in jail. He has time on his hands!  He can wait until Friday!




My man makes $55,000 per year.  I make $35,000 per year. We just got an apartment together. Rent is $1,700 per month. He expects me to pay half!? Is he wrong?

~ Facebook Question


Damon Says:

You shared “gross income” — before taxes. I’m going to use approximate “net income” after taxes and other deductions because you can’t budget off of gross income.

  • He nets $3,700 per month
  • She nets $2,333 per month
  • Total – $6,033 per month

Are you married? Because neither one of you can afford $1,700 monthly rent on your own – and still have a life!

If you’re not married, I’ll suffice it to say, avoid shackles when you’re shacking up! Meaning: Don’t co-sign for anything!  That includes credit cards, personal loans, car loans, leases and mortgages. Why?  You run the risk of being tied to a person that you’ve broken up with because of bills you created in both names! And since neither of you can afford this place on your own, “Act your wage”!!

Married? It’s all ONE pot! You’re ONE economic unit — so says the IRS, Census Bureau and The Bible!

But, there’s an unwritten rule! The wife gets the larger disposable income because her personal care and maintenance is more costly! And… you do want her looking good, right!? The wife also gets the most reliable car! You can’t have your boo stranded out there in those streets!

If she’s not getting those two things — any financial proposal outlined by the man of the house is boyish to her!

Every household is run differently. If we’re discussing what’s fair based on pure mathematics, fair is using the pro rata share of the whole. I’m going to continue to use net income for my illustration.

They net $6,000 per month. He earns 61 percent of that. She earns 39 percent of that.

  • $1,700 rent:
  • He pays $1,037
  • She pays $663

That’s fair! 

Lastly, both should have autonomy and be responsible to write the checks for certain bills. For when one proceeds the other in death. The surviving spouse needs to have a clue on how to manage money and  make financial decisions.

(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached at 412-216-1013 or visit his website at

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