BYUH students cash in on the blessings of marriage

Written by: 
Trenton McCullough ~ Multimedia Journalist

While the initial cost of a wedding can be intimidating, though it doesn’t have to be, being married definitely has its advantages – a few of which are financial. The Family Research Council, an educational non-profit organization, reports married individuals earn higher incomes and spend less money on healthcare nationwide. At BYU-Hawaii, married students make up a large percentage of the student population and couple thrive despite the economic difficulties of being in college and living in Hawaii.

Home is where the food is...

When asked about the financial advantages of marriage, most students’ first response was regarding the cost of food and eating out. Mindy Mitchell, a TVA resident from Washington and wife of Seasider basketball player, Robbie Mitchell, observed, “While my husband and I were dating, we ate at restaurants all the time. Eating out was an excuse to spend time together, away from roommates and shared kitchen supplies. Now that we’re married, we cook at home much more often saving money on food as well as gas, gratuity, etc.” Home-cooked meals also mean a refrigerator full of left-overs unpoached by hungry house mates, saving married couples from expensive on-the-go snacks.

What’s yours is mine...

Marriage can bring the added blessing of shared material resources, ranging from snorkel gear to Kama’aina discounts. These perks of commitment can save you hundreds of dollars, said senior in psychology from Massachusetts, Catherine Zant. “Marriage was the best thing that happened to me for more reasons than just getting to marry my best friend. I got hooked up with a car, a camera, a surfboard, a go-pro and a ukulele. Not to mention I had barely any money and my husband actually had savings. For me it was all take, no give. I had nothing cool to offer. At least he thinks I’m a cool person.”

Uncle Sam...

For American students, getting married can mean a change in dependency status – something that can have a significant impact on eligibility for federal grants and loans. In a country where education fees and student debt can be crippling, opportunities for aid are critical. Stephen Adams, a senior in social work from Alaska, said, “I never qualified for any government assistance until we got married. Now my wife and I do not have to pay for tuition. All the money that we make now from working on campus goes to our groceries and other expenses, not tuition.”