With all the excitement involved in planning a wedding – it’s no surprise that sometimes the spending can get a little out of control. We’re often so fixed on the end product and the big day that we spend, spend, spend without a second thought or reference to any real constraints to budget.
It’s not hard to lose track of all the expenses, there are DJs, accommodation, dresses, suits, caterers, photographers, wedding planners, venues, honeymoons….. All these things that we book without a second to think about the actual money we’re spending and whether or not we can really afford it. It’s only after the big day has finished that all these reminders and bills come back to haunt us.
So what are the first steps?
Well first of all, think about who you actually owe money too. Do you owe the bank? Do you owe your parents? All these things matter. Sit down together and make a list of everything and everyone you owe money too, if it helps order the list in sizes of amounts due. The sooner you get this sorted – you’ll free up some head-space too, meaning you’re less likely to be up all night worrying about things and worrying about making payment deadlines. Being a newlywed is all about enjoying the honeymoon period after all, so make sure you’re not forgetting to do that!
Once you have a clear idea of how much you owe to various people, you need to prioritise the payments and start making a payment plan. Sit down together again and sort out ways you can both cut-back on everyday costs – and how you can start paying these amounts back.
We’ve outlined some ideas for you below:
Start taking on overtime at work. Just a couple of hours a week could help make a difference.
– Start walking or taking public transport, instead of driving. Petrol is pricey!
– Sell any unwanted wedding gifts on eBay
– Sell all your old clothes, shoes and electricals on eBay
– Take on part-time work during the evenings and weekends to top up your salary
– Cut down on food shopping costs, and go for bargain brands
Once you start actively trying to make money, you’ll notice you’re bank balance gradually rising and gradually getting a bit healthier looking. This money that you’ve saved can then go towards paying off the more urgent debts loans you took out. If you borrowed money from friends and family, ask them how urgent the repayment is and be honest about your situation. The likelihood is – they’ll be more flexible than suppliers and banks.
Any last bit of advice?
Of course. Mainly, don’t stop the saving as soon as your loans are paid back. Remember that you’re in this for the long haul and there are going to be occasions in the future when you need extra cash. Such as home renovations, a home deposit… or even a new baby. Keep these good habits going and you’ll find you’re prepared for anything.
Sarah works for World Pay Merchant Accounts. She deals with newlyweds and newly engaged couples planning their finance on a daily basis.