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Love is free but happiness costs

Love may be free but a happy marriage can cost almost £270,000 over a lifetime, a new survey indicates.

This total includes the price of the wedding ceremony and honeymoon which sets couples back £21,257 on average. More than half of those who took part in the survey – 52 per cent – claimed this expense was justified because a dream wedding would help set them up for a happy marriage.

Expenses do not stop once newlyweds return from their honeymoon. Couples in the survey had around three ‘date nights’ each month in order to maintain a happy relationship. These can include trips to the cinema, meals out and going for drinks. The cost of these nights can add up to an average of £1,404 each year. Even romantic nights in came with a price as couples pay for films, food and drinks. Those who were surveyed had an average of three such nights each month which added up to £558 per year spent.

Happy couples give each other gifts around twice a month according to the survey which was commissioned by the website Quidco. The cost of these presents reaches £305 each year but the figure does not include jewellery. Couples on average spend around £477 on this over the course of a year.

However not all aspects of a happy marriage are financial. Respondents claimed to have said “I love you” to their partners around 16 times a month on average. The majority of those surveyed – 84 per cent – said that money was not enough for a good relationship and 73 per cent claimed it was important for both partners to put equal effort into their marriage.

Quidco spokesperson Vix Leyton said the results show that while love may be free “ostentatious gestures to demonstrate it come at a cost”. Although many couples cited the importance of a dream wedding she warned that “engaged couples need to keep a firm eye on budget when planning the big day to avoid starting their wedded life in debt”.

Earlier this week research suggested that raising a single child to the age of 21 could cost as much as £230,000.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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