Michaila
Dedicated November 2020

All i want is cash to pay off our debt...

Michaila, on July 9, 2019 at 12:03 PM Posted in Registry 0 61
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So, long story short, me and my FH don't make a ton of money (me = 20k/yr, him = 24k/yr, working on that) and I have a bunch of student loans, but he has this $6000 debt that I'm not going to go into but it's really holding us back. Once we pay it off, we will have so much more freedom and he's been dealing with this for the past 12 years. All we want for a wedding present is to not have to deal with this horrible thing from his past that this debt is still dragging on to our future. We've both agreed that this would honestly be the best wedding present ever to have this stupid debt off our backs and not have to start our life together with it hanging over us.

We have a small Ikea registry for a new bedroom set and some dishes and such and a honeyfund for cash gifts (we're just going up north for our honeymoon $500 max) but we want to move into a bigger apartment sooner than later so really don't want stuff. How do you politely/tactfully say that you would honestly prefer cash gifts? I don't want to be a jerk but we just don't need any more stuff that we're just going to have to pack and move. Honestly, wouldn't that be easier for people?

Plus I have a bridal shower coming up too and I don't know how to deal with that for gifts either. Help.

61 Comments

  • A
    Dedicated May 2020
    Abigail ·
    • Flag

    Just set it up as a "couple fund!" our "future fund" similar to the honeymoon funds that are available. No one needs to know what you are using it for and the point of gifts is to help couples start the next chapter of their lives. Just put on the registry that in lieu of registering for gifts, the couple would appreciate monetary gifts to their future fund.

    I think it is much more common now to ask for money instead since many couples already live together.

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  • Nemo
    VIP August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag

    I would decline the bridal shower, since it wouldn't really be appropriate since you don't have much of a registry and cash is not given at a bridal shower. Or you could keep the shower and do a "stock the bar" party for your home bar, or do a recipe shower instead.

    I think your reasoning makes sense, but I wouldn't tell people you want cash unless you're asked.

    Are you able to cut back on anything for the wedding to go toward the debt payment?

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  • ASMini914
    Super September 2019
    ASMini914 ·
    • Flag
    Have you considered putting the money from your honeymoon and what you would spend on a wedding towards paying off this debt and just getting married in the courthouse?
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Depending on your social circle, there may not really be a way to do this without it coming across wrong. Most people think the point of a bridal shower is to "shower" the bride with gifts for her home. If you truly don't want any physical gifts, I'd politely decline having a shower. In many circles, if you don't register or have a very small registry, people will give you cash/checks as wedding gifts without having to ask. But, it's typically considered impolite to say, "we want $$$." Keep in mind, some people don't give $ no matter what, so if you don't give them ideas through a registry, they are going to buy something random. (There was once a bride on this forum who reported being gifted a garden gnome....) Again, this might vary depending on your guests/circle, but in many circles there's not a way to "politely/tactfully" ask for cash. (You can let your moms/close friends know that if someone asks them for an idea, they can tell them that you are working hard to save for your future. Personally, I would't want to share with people about the debt situation; that could be really awkward/uncomfortable.) Good luck!

    PS -- nearly all hosted "fund" sites take a percentage of the monetary gift. To me, that's a ridiculous waste, especially if you're in a position where every gift is helpful. Why would you pay a middleman/website to do something that shouldn't cost you anything at all? For generations, wedding guests have gifted cash without having to go through a middleman; if they are motivated to give cash, they'll do so without the "fund."

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  • Courtney
    Super September 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    I would probably not register anywhere. I think it depends on your crowd and area but in my experience it’s usually common to get cash gifts, especially if you aren’t registered. Since you’re not putting it towards a honeymoon, fixing up your house etc I think the “x-fund” might not make the most sense in the situation. For the bridal shower I would talk to whoever is hosting and explain the situation. You could register for giftcards etc so you can use them for items you’d normally buy and put that money towards the debt instead. Personally, I think people are a lot more flexible today and not every gift has to fit “tradition” but I think this is a know your crowd thing!
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    People know that cash is a good gift, they don’t need to be told. Your registry should have enough items for the shower, since that’s the whole purpose of a shower. If the entire registry is purchased, people will default to cash gifts for the wedding.
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Not having a registry at all or having a small registry will give people the hint that you want cash. Showers are not for cash, they are for physical gifts, so if you want a shower you need to have a registry with physical gifts. If you just want cash and nothing else, then don't have a shower and don't have a registry at all.

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  • Formerbride
    VIP June 2019
    Formerbride ·
    • Flag
    I agree with PP that if you don't want physical gifts, decline the shower or have a different type like stock the bar, lingerie, etc. That being said, I got cash from some guests and giftcards from others. My aunt did put that lowes giftcards are appreciated on the shower invitation as we have a home we are constantly working on. We got a lot of giftcards.

    As for wedding gifts, where I'm from, people really do not give physical gifts. If the same can't be said for your region, don't register for physical gifts and you'll likely get a lot less of them.
    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Devoted November 2020
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    I agree there is really no polite way to ask for cash. I normally gift cash/gift cards at wedding events because that's my go to but for one wedding I was in I received a little poem in a card that basically said we have everything we need and want cash and it just rubbed me the wrong way. But if you google that you will see a ton of cutesy poems like that that basically just ask for cash. Even when it rhymes it's not cute in my opinion.

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  • Alycia
    Super July 2021
    Alycia ·
    • Flag

    Not having a registry doesn't necessarily "give the hint" that you want cash. You might end up with a lot of gift cards to places you don't go. (A friend of mine ended up with around $300 in Olive Garden and Black Angus gift cards because people thought it would be nice to gift them with a night out. She still has them 2 years after the wedding.)

    His personal debt is something he needs to handle. He made the debt, he needs to pay it. A part-time second job can take care of $6000 in a year or two. (A job where he makes tips can cut the time in half.) Asking other people to help pay it isn't right. However, if people voluntarily choose to gift you with money at the wedding you can spend it any way you want.

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  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I think this is the most tactful way if you're doing it.
    Overall when you marry someone you marry their debt too, you might want to consider postponing until it's gone. I told my fiance we couldn't be engaged until his debt was gone and it worked fine. Now we can pay cash for our wedding, buy a car, and finish our school loans off.
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Also, unrelated to your direct question, but definitely related to your bigger issue of paying off your debt, if you aren't already familiar, I HIGHLY recommend the Dave Ramsey books, podcasts, etc. Money issues are still the number cause of divorce and marital stress. The sooner you and FH can get any and all debt behind you, the more time you'll have to build/enjoy the future/lifestyle you truly want. The real answer isn't about asking your wedding guests for cash to help you pay off debt, it's about the two of you creating a plan, and then following through to accomplish your priorities. Honestly? The only way to do that is to be very clear about "wants" vs. "needs" and then deciding together what you're both willing to "sacrifice" to get where you want. A pp mentioned potentially skipping/postponing the honeymoon (and even the wedding celebration, although it's probably too late to do that without incurring significant costs), to make quicker progress on getting rid of the debt you feel is holding you back. Daughter and SIL are in very good shape financially, but they LOVED the DR books and found them VERY motivating. In a relatively short period of time, they've made huge progress on their financial goals, because they are working as a team with a very clear goal in mind. They could have spent $8-10,000 on their dream honeymoon, but agreed getting in their "dream home" that much more quickly was a much higher priority for them. We find it kind of amusing how much pleasure they are taking in living within their budget as they watch their savings quickly move up. Good luck to you!

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  • Michaila
    Dedicated November 2020
    Michaila ·
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    Oh, we're all about Dave Ramsey and doing the wedding on the tightest budget I can manage. Getting married in a church because that's important to me, feeding people, are the biggest expenses ect. cash flowed from my side gigs and summer jobs (I'm a teacher). Going to be about $5000 when all is said and done (dress included) and I've done most of that on my own to pay for the wedding so his extra overtime and side gigs can go to his debt (which also keeps him from getting better jobs). But it should be cash flowed.

    My sister and mom decided I get I bridal shower and they've been in charge of that.

    Granted, we're breaking the DR rule by taking on this debt first (my car loan is closer to 5k and I have student loans in income driven repayment closer to 2k each so it's not our smallest debt but one of the smaller ones) but it limits us so much it's a higher priority. I have a $500 emergency fund. We were just going to go up north for our honeymoon and get out of town for a few days since I will be on fall break (planned the wedding around that timeline) Might even just go camping and keep it cheap. I don't really care. We can do a fancy honeymoon later. We're going up to Flagstaff where we got engaged.

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  • Michaila
    Dedicated November 2020
    Michaila ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    He didn't make the debt - it's a long and complicated story but his mother did (and no, she can't pay it's a mess). He's working full time and going to school for coding to get a higher paying job so getting a part time job isn't feasible for him at the moment.

    There's a lot of emotional trauma and baggage associated with this debt besides just the money and paying it off would allow a lot of that to go away.

    • Reply
  • Tara
    Dedicated September 2019
    Tara ·
    • Flag
    We actually asked for gift cards from two places. So do not feel bad. We are planning to move across country and didn’t want to pack and worry about breaking all of our new stuff. We kept the gift cards and put the cash either towards a home or honeymoon. People understand nowadays and they don’t have to go out and buy you something. I’m really happy with how it all turned out.
    • Reply
  • Brittanie
    Dedicated June 2020
    Brittanie ·
    • Flag

    My husband and I decided on a "home savings fund" or basically a cash registry. We agreed to let our guests know that a little bit of money towards our future house would mean more to us than any pot and pan set or waffle maker that they have in mind for our wedding gift. There's nothing wrong with having your guests put money towards something that means a lot to you rather than giving you a bunch of gifts that you may not even want or need in the first place (like in our particular situation, we already have everything to put IN the house, so we want the actual house instead of more stuff to fill it with). And I'm not having a bridal shower since all I'm asking of everyone is to donate to our house fund. I told them that their gifts most likely wouldn't be used anyway, and that we could all just get together and do like a spa day or shopping trip or something instead if they wanted to.

    • Reply
  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    • Flag
    We had a small registry (30 items max) and small wedding (~50 people) and walked away with $7k in monetary gifts plus some from the registry with zero promoting and no shower.
    • Reply
  • Nemo
    VIP August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Unfortunately, while paying off the debt will allow that stress to go away and give you a lot o relief, the emotional trauma and baggage will still be there. I would have FH look into a low cost counselor in your area (there are probably a lot more than you think, most work in an agency setting) to help him work through those things. It sounds like he has been through a lot. I hope you guys are able to get this resolved.

    • Reply
  • E
    Just Said Yes October 2019
    Erin ·
    • Flag

    We have the same thing going on - we're trying to save up for a house and the honeymoon, but rather than put a stamp on what we wanted money for, we found a Wishing Well saying on Google - there's some cute ones.

    Wishing Well InsertAll i want is cash to pay off our debt... 1


    • Reply
  • Florida Marlins
    Expert October 2017
    Florida Marlins ·
    • Flag

    I am not gonna lie: That WIshing Well card is the single most horrific thing I have seen.

    Bride, do not ask for money. It is the place for your guests to pay off your debt. Don't register for gifts, people will give cash.

    Truthfully - I am gonna get backlash for this but.....if you are struggling financially, postpone getting married until you are earning more.

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