The average cost of a wedding in 2017 was almost $27,000.
That is a lot of money when you think about it from other perspectives. It is the equivalent to the cost of a full 4-year bachelor’s degree in most states. It is the price of many moderately sized new cars, and that lump sum could really be quite the down payment on most houses.
But just like your education, your car, and your house: your marriage is an investment. This investment starts on your wedding day.
So the question stands…how can you afford a wedding when you have all of your regular day-to-day expenses, and your parents aren’t helping you foot the bill?
Scroll down for some tips on how to pay for a wedding without breaking the bank (too much).
1. How to Pay For a Wedding 101: Cut back on Monthly Expenses
Chances are you subscribe to more things than you realize. Between cable, Amazon, Xbox, Birchbox, and etc., the average American spends almost $900 a month on subscriptions. That is almost $11,000 a year.
You and your fiance should sit down and write down all of your subscriptions. Not only is this good practice for budgeting for your day-to-day marriage [sadly, money is still the number one cause of divorce in the USA], but it reinforces that your wedding is a team effort.
So, when we say write down all of your subscriptions, that is exactly what is meant: all of them. Do you belong to a gym? Do both of you have Movie Pass, your own Netflix accounts, and separate cell phone plans?
The first thing you can do after making a list is merge subscriptions wherever you can. Maybe it is time to commit and share a Hulu, go to the same gym, and most definitely get a family cell phone. Merging allows you to keep everything you want, and still save money.
Next, choose what is negotiable and non-negotiable. Like if you are paying for your own health insurance, obviously, don’t get rid of that.
Now comes the big decision: what are you going to get rid of? With all of the streaming services, cable is a great place to start as a no-need service. Also, do you really need all of those streaming services or new tempting boxes of lip gloss every month?
This may sound like a small step, but even if got rid of two $20 services a month, that is almost $500 a year right there.
2. Stop “Little” Purchases that Add Up
Starting on a Sunday, open up a note on your phone, and begin adding up all of those little purchases.
You know the ones: the Starbucks lattes on your commute every morning, buying water at work, going out for happy hour, getting Uber eats more than once a week. See how much you spend on these “small” things, and you quickly realize how much $2-$6 add up.
You do not have to sacrifice all of these things. Just scale back and ask for help. Chances are, your fiance may already be good at cutting down on these little purchases (he did buy you an engagement ring, after all).
Maybe go to happy hour once a week, or only stop for a latte on Fridays. It may not seem like a lot when you are spending $10-$20 on little things every day. But that is between $3,600-$7,200 a year, which is a whole latte money that could be going towards your wedding.
3. Remember to Realistically Use Your Credit Cards
As you begin to book vendors, caterers, etc., you are going to see that almost everyone in the wedding business accepts credit cards. And this is intentional.
A lot of people have the dreams of a Kardashian wedding, but only have the budget to buy an outfit from Kanye’s line. So, it is important as you swipe away making deposits for this and for that to remember that you will have to eventually pay all of that money back.
And you should be ready to pay them off completely in a timely manner. Depending on your credit, and your interest levels, you may want to consider getting small personal loans as opposed to burying yourself into more debt. After all, you do not want to start your marriage already drowning in credit card debt.
You may have grandiose plans, and that is great, but the bottom line is just that: the bottom line. Make a budget and stick to it.
4. Put Some More Money into Your Pockets
Do you have a skill that you can do freelance for a surplus of cash? Are you crafty and people have told you in the past to start your own Etsy shop? When is the last time you went through your closet and dropped things off at the thrift store?
Think about some ways to bring money in, on top of cutting back. This could be as simple as selling an old iPhone, Xbox, or couch you no longer want. It can also come from you simply using the talents you already have and using them to create an extra cash flow.
Having this extra revenue is beneficial in more than one way. For starters, it adds money to your wedding budget. But as a bonus, whatever venture you choose may keep you busy enough, so that you are making money on the weekends instead of out to eat or meeting people up for drinks
Put the Fun into Wedding Funding
Budgeting is not the most exciting thing for the vast majority of people. Most of us look forward to receiving those boxes in the mail filled with our monthly boxer subscription. Some of us feel like a morning cannot start before we drink our Caramel Macchiatos.
But in this day and age, it is how to pay for a wedding if you want one.
Just think about it like this: you are giving up small things for your big day! It may not be the most fairy tale choice, but avoiding wedding debt is the real way to have a happily ever after.
Do you want to learn more about budgeting your money for your wedding and your future? Click here for more info!