How To Save For a WeddingWords by Kristi Blane
It's no secret that one of the big stressors of wedding planning can be the price tag. However, money doesn't need to dictate whether you get your dream wedding or not. That's why we've brought in the Financial Education Manager with Monifi, Dr. Emily Schwartz, to get her best advice on how to save for a destination wedding (see below):
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Discuss your priorities.
When planning a wedding, you will oftentimes have your initial "musts" in mind; it is very important to not assume they are the same as your partner's. When everything on your first draft list is viewed as essential, the costs will quickly spiral out of control. Having a conversation regarding your priorities early on in the planning process ensures everyone is on the same page and your budget is being allotted to only the most important items for the two of you.
Set a budget.
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 confirm a final figure that you are willing to spend for your big day. Structure your budget to cover your priorities first and fit in the additional details around that.
I advise platforms such as Monifi to track where you're spending your budget. Monifi allows you to create multiple visual goals, while tracking your progress, so you can see what savings you need in order to achieve them. In fact, Monifi can even categorize your purchases under umbrella terms, such as “catering”, "DJ", "wedding dress", so you can see the total amount spent in that category and know how much of your budget is left.
Make a timetable.
As you begin to research and confirm your vendors, I would suggest crafting a timetable of when deposits and payments are due. For example, your venue might need to be paid before your florist and your dress may need to be purchased prior to the cake. Keeping track of these timelines will assist in how you break down your budget as well as help keep your payments on time.
Make a savings plan.
Now that you have a budget and a timeline, work backwards to figure out how much you’ll have to save per month to meet your goal. This is also a great time to loop in any family members who might also be involved in the planning process.
Is someone in your family offering to assist in the financial portion of the event? Do they have a budget in mind as well?
When it comes to family and finances, assumptions can fly, so make sure everyone is comfortable with the final arrangement.
Rein in miscellaneous costs.
As you begin saving and spending, make sure to stick to your budget, especially with small expenses. Big expenses like 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.Preparing for your big day can be stressful, but also an exciting and memorable time! As long as you keep your focus and stay organized, your day can be just as magical...and budget-conscious...as you always dreamed.
Dr. Emily Schwartz is a financial educator for Monifi Bank, where she helps thousands of people each year create and achieve financial goals.
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