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Easiest Way to Become a Millionaire: Elope

The wedding industry has done a wonderful job of manipulating couples into believing that their wedding day is the one day of their lives when no expense should be spared. Buying into this can mean the difference between having a healthy nest egg or beginning married life in debt and with money issues hounding you from Day 1.

Unfortunately, many couples choose the latter: 75% of people getting married either never set up a wedding budget or don't stick to the plan they develop.

There is debate on how much money trouble contributes to divorce, but financial issues do have an effect on married life. If you are beginning your marriage in debt rather than with a solid foundation for your retirement account, these financial issues are bound to be amplified.

A Creighton University Center for Marriage and Family study found that money is one of the main obstacles preventing newly married couples from being satisfied. The biggest concerns causing the dissatisfaction included debt brought into the marriage and the couples' financial situation.

On average, a U.S. couple spends $28,800 for its wedding, according to a new Web site set up by The Wedding Report, which provides statistics and market research for the wedding industry. You can see the average cost of a wedding in your specific city by typing in your zip code. In some large cities, such as San Francisco, the average wedding costs $50,000 or more.

To make matters even worse, these averages do not include the cost for the honeymoon, the engagement ring, a bridal consultant or a wedding planner. Add $5,000 for an average honeymoon and $3,500 for an average engagement ring and you are up to $37,300 from the U.S. average -- and you're still not counting a bridal consultant or wedding planner.

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