Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue —a sweet wedding tradition, unless the something borrowed is thousands of dollars to pay for the big day.
Money issues are the number one cause of marital conflict, so it doesn’t make sense to start married life with enormous debt. Sometimes a financial rough spot is unavoidable, such as when a spouse loses a job. But wedding-related debt is an entirely avoidable hurdle.
Know what you can afford
The average wedding these days costs between $25,000 and $35,000. However, you can make the big day memorable and special without breaking the budget. It just requires the right attitude, a willingness to be flexible, and creativity.
Starting out richer rather than poorer
Those in the wedding business agree that there are countless ways to cut costs without sacrificing the dream. The key is identifying what one or two things are most important to you and your future spouse so you can splurge in those areas and economize in others. For example, one bride put together a wedding for 150 people at a cost of just $1,500. The trick was to splurge on fresh flowers and good champagne while keeping everything else simple. They also asked friends and family for help, including borrowing a friend’s wedding dress.
You can achieve elegance and individuality with half the money. Here are other ways to cut costs without sacrificing the dream.
- Don’t wed during peak season. You’ll have more leverage in negotiating prices on everything from catering to the band if you can avoid getting married during the height of wedding season.
- Lower the guest count. A shorter guest list not only keeps costs down, it creates a more intimate and personal affair. Consider inviting only your immediate family and closest friends.
- Consider options for the reception. A brunch buffet usually is less expensive than a sit-down dinner or a served brunch. Serving midafternoon hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal can also be a good money-saving option.
- Limit the number of attendants. Having many attendants will mean more plates at the rehearsal dinner as well as more bouquets and boutonnieres. And, gifts for the wedding party can be expensive. Allow those closest to you to participate another way.
How R1CU can help
With the idea of avoiding debt entirely, R1CU offers a few products and services designed to help you save vs. borrow.
- Use the tools we offer at no additional cost. Members can use our online and mobile banking tools to make budgets and savings goals, so you can watch what you are spending and see how much you have saved to reach your goals.
- Meet with someone who can give outside insight to your finances. Members also can set up a meeting with one of our Budget Buddies,who can help assess and make plans to work on weak points in your finances. They can also help you make a budget plan that works for you and teach you how to clean up unnecessary spending.
- Are you missing any savings you already have? Our Spending accounts come with tons of discounts on travel, recreation, local shopping, retail, and more! See if your Spending account has R1 Cha-Ching powered by BaZing, open your account, or upgrade today by calling us at 800-375-3674 or visiting us in person.
- Does your savings style require a little tough-love? If you need a little more structure in order to save, you might want to consider a Savings Builder loan. This loans payments are required upfront before funds are released. This loan has a fixed rate, and no credit pull is required. The main idea behind this has a monthly obligation to save, and once the loan is paid off, you have the money in your account.
It’s important to know what you can comfortably afford before making your plans. Sit down with your future spouse and your parents and create a budget. Determine ahead of time how much you can afford to spend and then stick to your plans. There are many online wedding budget planners to help you. Make sure to include miscellaneous expenses, like tips, the marriage license fee, attendant gifts, and thank you cards.
Here are additional tips to avoid post-wedding money troubles:
- Pay off credit cards as you use them. Using a credit card to pay for deposits can be smart, but make sure to pay your credit card bills each month. If you can’t pay them in full, then pay more than the minimum monthly payment.
- Don’t count on cash gifts to pay for your wedding. Spend only what you can afford to on your own and use any money you receive to help you with your important financial goals.
- Communicate with each other. Talk often and openly about the wedding budget, bills to be paid, and choices to be made.
You can keep your special day uniquely yours, but still within your budget. Start married life on a solid financial footing with as little debt as possible to help ensure you have many happy years together.
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- Improvement in credit score is dependent on multiple factors specific to your situation and financial behavior. For example, late payments on utility bills, car loans or credit card accounts would negatively influence your credit score, even if your payments on a Credit Builder Loan are current.
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