Money can be a tricky topic for a couple to discuss, but being on the same page financially is paramount to a lifetime of happiness. Planning and saving together for your big day is great practice for navigating finances in your marriage.
1. Discuss your priorities
Your idea of the perfect wedding may differ from that of your partner’s. For example, a “small wedding” might mean 20 guests to you and 100 guests to your partner. Have a conversation regarding your priorities early on in the planning process to ensure you are on the same page and your budget is being allotted to the most important items for the two of you. Make a list of your “must-haves” and your “wants,” so when budget surprises appear, it’s easier to decide what can be cut and what each of you considers a “non-negotiable.” When everything on your wish list is viewed as essential, the costs can quickly spiral out of control.
2. Set a budget
This may sound like a no-brainer, but knowing your absolute top limit for spending allows you to set a savings goal. While weddings can be a huge expense, some metrics show the average cost actually decreasing as couples become more cost-conscious and shift their priorities. Work with your partner to come up with a total amount you are willing to spend on your big day. If someone in your family is assisting with the wedding expenses, make sure you understand the budget they have in mind as well. When it comes to family and finances, assumptions can fly, so make sure everyone is comfortable with the final arrangement. Once you’ve established your budget, you can use a budgeting tool such as Monifi to monitor your savings and wedding expenses. Monifi allows you to create multiple visual goals and tracks your progress, so you can keep close tabs on how your savings stacks up to your wedding expenses. In fact, Monifi can even categorize your purchases under umbrella terms, such as “catering”, "DJ", or "wedding attire," so you can track the total amount spent in each category and of course, as a whole.
3. Create a timetable
As you make decisions on the venue, catering, cake, and attire, create a timetable of when each deposit and payment is due. Is the final venue payment due before the florist? Keeping track of your deadlines will aid in managing your budget and cue you to make your payments on time.
4. Make a monthly savings plan
Once your budget and timeline are set, work backward to calculate how much you’ll need to save per month or week to meet your goal. Then make a savings commitment and get started!
5. Rein in miscellaneous costs
Throughout the planning process, stick to your budget, especially with small expenses. Big expenses like the food and venue are easy decisions to stick to once they’re made, but small decisions, like centerpieces, décor, favors, etc. can quickly add up to be budget busters. Stay true to your priorities and keep your spending in check.
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