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Before you shower your Valentine with expensive gifts on Feb. 14, maybe you should think about going all the way and tying the knot. It might make your mom happy and will certainly win praise from the folks behind National Marriage Week. It might also save you some money.
The founders of this week-long international holiday argue that your pocketbook is better off when you’re married. In fact, National Marriage Week – which runs from Feb. 7 through Valentine’s Day – exists specifically to remind us that marriage benefits everything from our wealth to our health.
“Marriage pays,” says Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA. “Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school, have less trouble with the law, less teen pregnancy and fewer issues with addiction.”
Despite these perks, the holiday’s CEO, Chuck Stetson, points out the marriage rate has dropped from 79 percent in 1970 to 57 percent today, with 40 percent of American babies now being born out of wedlock.
But why is he so worried about other peoples’ marriages? Because the financial burden of divorce and out-of-wedlock childbirth is shared by all taxpayers.“Marriage breakdown costs taxpayers at least $112 billion a year,” Stetson says, citing a report by the Institute for American Values. “In these days of economic hardship, policy leaders and individual Americans need to get serious about our efforts to strengthen marriage.”
To do their part, the folks behind National Marriage Week offer resources like these on their website:
- Classes/seminars: “Most folks don’t know where to go to get the help they need,” says Weber. “We’ve created a list of hundreds of classes and conferences all around the country. Folks can locate an event near them by logging on.”
- Ways to work on your own marriage
- Tools: “We also provide tools to make this year’s Valentine’s Day extra fun and meaningful,” adds Weber. “Use the Great Valentine’s Date idea we’ve posted, use a ‘Love Letter Kit,’ or take the ‘Five Love Language’ quiz and discuss it on your night out.”
But if you’re considering tying the knot, check out our stories first:
- 3 Things You’d Better Know Before You Live Together
- Money & Marriage
- How to Be a Budget-Conscious Bride in 2011