We can think of no worse way to start life with your new husband than mired in thousands of dollars of wedding debt. So get ready, newly-engaged ladies, because you’ve got from now until your big day to fill your bank account. The plan? Enough to cover the festivities, with a little left over to seed your next savings goal.
Sparkly new ring on your finger? Congrats! And while you still might be in the lovey-dovey, I’m-so-happy phase of your engagement, now’s the time to start thinking about how you’re going to pay for your wedding. The sooner you start planning — and saving — the better. Here are some steps to get you on the right track.
Assess where you stand financially, wedding-wise
If you’ve already socked away some money, add that to the monetary gifts you know your parents or relatives will contribute. However, try not to count on cash gifts you will get at your wedding (if you overestimate, you’ll be left with an unexpected shortfall). Then, do a rough cost estimate on your dream wedding to see how much more funding you need to come up with.
Open a savings account solely for wedding expenses
Open a bank account; then, have money deposited automatically from each paycheque, and enjoy watching it grow. This will only work if you and your fiancé agree not to take out any of that cash for reasons unrelated to the wedding.
Make extra cash where you can
You are swamped with wedding planning, but have happiness energy to burn! Devote some of it to earning some extra income. If your full-time gig is in a field where you can do some freelance work on the side, go for it. Or, take advantage of sites like Craigslist and Kijiji and sell anything you own that you simply don’t need or use anymore. (You’d be surprised at how much the stuff collecting dust in your garage might fetch you!) Once you get the extra money, though, be sure to put it directly into your wedding savings account.
Cut out unnecessary expenses
You know you spend a bit frivolously sometimes — and now’s the time to make a change to those bad habits. Do you buy a latte daily even though you have a great coffee machine at home? Switch to your home brew and put that $3 latte money (that’s $15 weekly!) into your wedding piggy bank. Perhaps you have a home phone line you rarely use, and have been meaning to cut the service but just haven’t gotten around to it. Make the call to your phone company and there’s another $20 or so you can contribute monthly to the wedding savings account.