How do you save for one of the biggest parties that you will ever throw? How do you afford all of the details that you have been dreaming of incorporating into your big day?
There is a way, and it’s not magic or a miracle…it’s a budget.
It’s interesting to me that the web is filled with tips on how to save money by cutting corners, DIY wedding décor, and bargain shopping. I searched and scoured tons of sights and not a single one brought up the topic of budgeting. I truly feel that it is the first and most important step to helping couples to achieve the wedding they want, and it is extremely important for a successful and happy marriage. No one wants to fight about money-and this way you don’t have to.
I have never been great with money. My parent’s never taught me how to make smart financial decisions, because they were never taught how to do it for themselves. It’s not a knock against them, it’s just how they were raised, and they continued that pattern when raising me and my siblings.
My views on finances changed when I met my husband. We had grown up with completely different experiences when it came to spending and saving. I never spent on big ticket items, instead my money went to bills and little things like make-up, random bottles of Dasani when I got thirsty in the Las Vegas heat, renting a movie out of boredom or going out with my friends on the weekends. He never spent an unnecessary penny. He got his pay check and held on to it, which didn’t make for the most exciting dating life.
When we first met we were two extremes, but have since balanced each other out. One of the most important things we did early on as a couple was to have an honest, open, and non judgmental dialogue about money. We had separate bank accounts and then opened a joint account for our bills and shared expenses. It worked for us…sort of. Now fast forward 2 years into our happily married lives, we decided to get a little more serious… A budget. We always tracked our expenses after they happened, never thinking ahead far enough or specifically as to what we were saving for. We began using a program called YNAB-You Need A Budget. And I have to say it has changed our finances, both spending and saving. It’s something that I immediately wished we had done right from the start, pre-wedding and honeymoon.
For more on YNAB, http://www.youneedabudget.com/
Once the wedding is said and done you can sign up to receive Newlywed Budget email tips. It’s nine days worth of some really good advice. http://visit.youneedabudget.com/newlyweds-to-crash-course/
I am in no way affiliated with YNAB, just a fan and loyal user. There is other software available, check out a review at http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/01/03/budgeting-software-options/