How to Save Your Checkbook from Extinction

It's a well-known fact that weddings are not cheap. Across the United States, weddings can range anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000. And then we've got the crazy outliers like the small, country-style DIY wedding that's under $10,000 and the whopping, could-have-paid-for-my-college-tuition-and-all-my-friends' Kim Kardashian wedding that was estimated to cost $20-30 million dollars.

Wherever your budget falls in that range, there are going to be a lot of dollar signs along the way. Centerpieces, decorations, venues, DJs, catering, attire, the whole nine yards . . .it isn't going to be free.

Not to fret! The Knot's Rachel Torgerson shares a couple secrets to keep you from spending an arm and a leg (you're gonna want those for pictures and dancing).

1. Put to use this simple math equation

Take the sum of your budget and divide it by the number of months you have to save up. (Ex. $20,000 divided by 12 = $1,700 per month). If the number you come out with seems like more than you're willing to spend per month, you may want to reevaluate the price of your wedding or the length of your saving period. Obviously every couple's budgets and financial situations are different, so adjustments are on a person by person basis. Only you know what's realistic and what's not. But don't dig yourself into a hole financially if you don't have to!

2. Cut back on monthly expenditures

Those monthly expenses can really start to drain your account. Netflix, Amazon Prime, cable, your gym membership, magazine subscriptions . . .analyze what you can get rid of, at least temporarily. When compared to spending the rest of your life with your soulmate, the must-haves won't really seem like must-haves anymore.

3. Stop the little spending habits

Do you really need that $5 coffee every morning? You can skip the Caribou and Starbucks runs and save $100 a month! Drive right on by the drive-thru and pack the lunchbox instead. It's tedious and takes some extra minutes, but packing your own lunch instead of going out-to-eat will end up saving you more than a couple pretty pennies. And you think you can't, but you can say no to the last-second-weakness snacks you grab every time you hit up the grocery story or fill up with gas.

Between the day of engagement and the wedding day, cut back on the monthly expenses because they really add up. And when you're saving up for the biggest day of your life, it seems to make sense, and cents too.

4. Possibly be willing to make bigger spending sacrifices

If push comes to shove and cutting little corners just isn't cutting it anymore, you could consider more drastic steps. Moving in with your parents for while to save on rent or selling you or your honey's car are nothing to sneeze at but are viable options in order to save some big moola.

5. Be realistic when using your credit cards!

Credit cards actually make transactions smoother and make you more secure against fraud. I'm not suggesting that you pay for things that you can't afford with your plastic. Make sure you're not making purchases that your account can't handle. Financial counselors highly discourage newlyweds from starting off their marriage in debt. As long as you're paying your cards off in a full and timely manner, you shouldn't have to worry.

6. Know when to invest

Something for parents to keep in mind (and possibly even new adults) is investing in stocks. Although stock payouts shouldn't be the primary way to pay for a wedding, it wouldn't hurt to invest now and receive the monetary perks years down the road.

7. Think of creative ways to earn a couple extra bucks

Selling items you have just lying around on Ebay, Craigslist, or PoshMark are quick and relatively effortless ways to make some extra cash online. If you have a skill and could sell your handiwork, that's an easy way to raise money as well.

Once the smaller details are in place, it's a good idea to assemble a wedding budget to help keep you on track.

Hold true to these spending guidelines and your wedding day will be all that you want it to be without completely emptying your pockets.

#wedding #spending #dosanddonts

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