Having great weddings on a budget is a daunting task at best. This event many times turn out to be one of the more expensive investments you will make in your life, even if that is not your original plan. From the flowers to the dress to the catered dinner, weddings are expensive and the tendency to keep up with the fashionable trends becomes a huge drain on your household budgeting endeavors.
For this reason, it is both practical and logical to start saving early and planning in advance using effective and practical strategies to save money. Here are seven of those strategies to consider for planning and saving for your own wedding:
Earmark a Savings Account
In order to have adequate cash and avoid having to run up credit card debt, you and your intended should open a savings account with a plan to commit a certain percentage of your income for deposit into the account with each paycheck. It may be worthwhile to start this savings plan as soon as you know marriage is in the future so you will save smaller increments over a longer period of time.
Automating these savings deposits helps you stick with it rather than spend money once it is in your hands. Look for a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate and do not forget to search online accounts and credit unions which tend to offer the better deals.
Set a Budget
Sit down with your spouse-to-be and go over your joint expenses and income. Weddings on a budget takes discipline and commitment. By combining your financials on paper, you will be better prepared to plan within an agreed upon family budget and start married life on the right foot. Account for both of your monthly expenses and figure out how much you can afford to set into savings with each paycheck.
Establish a Wedding Checking Account
In order to keep on track with your new personal budget plan, connect a checking account to your wedding’s savings account so you can make payments on your wedding plans directly from the wedding account. This will prevent you from impulse spending over and above what you can afford from your individual accounts. A designated checking account also serves as the first foray into joint banking accounts in your newly married life. So, if possible, look for interest checking accounts so you can get a return on any money you save in the account over time.
Scout Sites Early
If you have to find a place to hold the festivities, do so early. You have a better chance of getting the venue you want if you reserve well in advance. If you are open to suggestions for where to have the wedding, consider first asking family and friends who may be able to help you secure a cheaper location or who may offer their own home or property for your big day. This may save you thousands of dollars by securing a free venue. If you have to pay for a place, booking early may allow you to make payments over time so you have time to budget accordingly.
Who You Know
Up next in our tutorial for having weddings on a budget is to check around with people you know who may be good at providing your wedding services. For instance, you may know people good at baking who would be willing to create a wedding cake as your wedding gift. The same may be true if you have relatives or friends who will not be part of the wedding party that are talented with catering, flower arrangements, photography, or videography.
These are great strategies to save money. Many loved ones will be willing to provide such services at a much lower cost or even as a gift to you for your big day. Let people know what kind of services you need and network around before going to the high priced professionals.
With the popularity of online do-it-yourself websites, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips to create a lot of wedding décor without a ridiculous expense. Find how-to websites to design favors, table decorations, venue décor, and more. Rather than spend on pre-made items, get your bridal party together to assemble creative favors and such in the months leading up to your big event.
Not only should this be at the top of your list for having great weddings on a budget, it is also a great way to bond with family and friends before the wedding, as the big day is make more personalized and memorable.
Consider Something Borrowed
If your household budget planning is really tight, consider the age-old tradition of having something borrowed. Ask your mom or other loved ones for their wedding dress for the day. You may need to pay for a tailor service for the right fit but it will be far cheaper than having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a new dress.
Weddings are filled with a lifetime worth of memories and can be as wonderful without the grandeur of the popular lavish and expensive affairs. Sometimes small intimate weddings on a budget are much less chaotic and less stressful than the large, expensive affairs that end up hurting the financial stability of a new couple for years to come.
It is wiser to start planning early and keep your mind open when it comes to the detailed planning of your wedding and enjoy the day instead of worrying about your money matters and being stressed about how to pay for it.
Please tell your own ideas for having weddings on a budget below with some practical strategies to save money from your own experience.
Rob Toledo is currently planning a budget wedding himself for later this summer. He recommends using My Bank Tracker to compare savings accounts and CD rates.
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