While you may not see your savings account grow during wedding season, you can do your best to see that it doesn't shrink or completely vanish. Most engagements average about a year, and usually you're aware of which weddings will include you on their guest list far in advance. A flexible rule of thumb: If you're surprised to receive an invitation to someone's wedding and it requires many expenses, send the couple a gift but don't attend. Of course, if you can afford it by all means make the trip, but if your wedding season has you fretting about money it's OK to say no thank you. Discover my three-step wedding season budget plan when you read more.
After you've had your pouting pity party because you have so many added expenses, do realize that you're lucky to have good friends who want to share their lives with you. Here's my wedding-season money plan:
- Promise yourself that you won't go into debt during wedding season. If you think your many events are expensive now, consider how much more they will be when you pay interest on whatever you charge to your credit card. Think about how long it will realistically take for you to pay off these charges and make a plan to avoid this situation.
- Create a spreadsheet or simply make a list of all of your anticipated wedding-related events, and estimate how much you'll need for each event. Include everything you can possibly think of — travel costs, apparel, gifts, food and drinks, accommodations, etc. It's always safest to be generous with your estimates because as we all know, things can cost more than you expect and surprises do happen.
- Once you've figured out how much you'll need to save for each event, use a savings calculator to figure out how much you need to save each month in order to have X amount of money with certain dates in mind. Set up your bank account to have this amount automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings. If you can't tweak your spending enough to afford the monthly amount you've calculated, save whatever you can.
Check out all of our wedding season coverage at IDoSugar.