Three ways to manage your finances in the lead-up to your wedding
In the process of planning a wedding or soon to start organising your big day? With some careful planning and a few handy tips, managing your finances in the lead-up to your wedding can be easier than you'd think. Drawing up a budget, changing your spending habits slightly and considering the different types of wedding financial assistance available are all great places to start. Learn more about each strategy for managing your finances and discover which are the best fit for you and your partner ahead of your nuptials.
Stick to your budget
Getting married certainly isn't a cheap exercise, especially when you factor in the cost of your venue, catering, photography, your celebrant, your wedding attire and all the other odds and ends required to help the day run smoothly. Before you even start planning your wedding, it's important to work out just how much you can afford to spend in total. This figure will become your maximum budget.
Once you've set the maximum budget for your wedding, do your research to gain a better understanding of how much each individual expense will realistically cost. Getting quotes from several vendors can be a good way to get a better idea of what each expense will actually cost and will also help you to find the best options for your budget. From here, you can start to break down your expenses and work out how much you'll allocate to your venue, catering and other big-ticket items.
A good way to ensure that you're spending your wedding budget where it matters most is to draw up a list of must-haves. You may have your heart set on some specific vendors, such as a certain venue, photographer or caterer, while others, including decor and entertainment aren't quite as important to you. Use your list to determine how your budget will be split and what will take priority if your funds start to run low.
As you start to lock in each of your vendors, be sure to take note of how your budget is tracking and when all deposits, payments and final payments are due. It can be easy to go over budget but using a wedding planning binder, budget tracking spreadsheet, a smartphone app or another helpful tracking tool can make it easier to stay on top of your spending. Find a budget tracking option that is easy for you to use and understand, allowing you to be fully across the planning process.
Pair down your day-to-day expenses
Wedding planning is a process that takes place over the course of many months, if not years. Choosing to pare down your day-to-day expenses in the lead up to your big day can be a great way to save some extra money that you can put towards your wedding or honeymoon.
Without some careful consideration, spending on food, drinks and entertainment can quickly get out of hand. Whether you're working full time or simply don't like spending time in the kitchen, eating out or ordering in can become an easy, yet expensive, habit to fall into. It can be a nice treat to have someone else take care of the cooking every so often, but paying a premium for your food on a regular basis could start to add up. Instead of eating out or ordering in, choose to stay in and cook a delicious meal with your partner, or pick up supplies for a picnic from the supermarket and enjoy an affordable meal outdoors.
Concerts, nights out and other leisure activities can add up quickly too, so it can be worth exploring any cheap or free options around you. Days out at the beach, lovely scenic walks and strolls through local markets can all be great ways to spend a weekend. It might be hard to change your habits at first, but the goal of saving money for your wedding is sure to offer some great motivation.
Small habits, such as buying fewer takeaway coffees or packing your lunch instead of buying a meal each day, can also leave you with some extra money to play with ahead of your wedding. Although the amount that you save may not necessarily be enough to rethink your entire wedding budget, it may help to provide a buffer for any unexpected expenses that may arise in the lead up to your big day.
Consider your finance options
While it may be tradition for the parents of the bride and groom to provide some wedding financial assistance to help cover at least a portion of the total expenses, things have changed over the last few decades, with many couples taking the cost of their nuptials into their own hands. Despite the best laid plans, however, not everyone will have the cash on hand or be able to save enough money in time to cover the full cost of the ceremony, reception and other expenses.
If your dream wedding is just out of reach financially, a wedding loan might be a good option, giving you access to the cash you need, when you need it. Once approved by your chosen lender, the funds from this type of personal loan can generally be accessed within a few days, meaning that you can secure your chosen vendors without having to wait.
The beauty of wedding loans lies in the fact that as the planning for your nuptials usually starts at least a year in advance, you can start paying off the value of your loan before you and your partner even head down the aisle or make your way off to your honeymoon. Although a loan may not necessarily be the best way to finance a wedding, they can help you to stretch your budget a little further so all the essentials are covered.
You may be tempted to borrow more than you realistically should to allow you to plan all the ins and outs of your dream wedding, but it's important to remember that just like any other type of loan, wedding loans are a debt that will need to be repaid within a set period of time. Before you commit to a specific value of wedding finance, take some time to consult your regular budget and see what is manageable for you to pay fortnightly or monthly alongside your regular expenses.
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