Post # 1
Before I got engaged, I paid off 1 huge credit card and managed to get my savings in order. Now that we are planning a wedding, I feel like I’m unable to save a lot and my money is just flying everywhere. I’m not the best person to stick to a budget. I wanted to know how other bees budget themselves. For example, when you get 1 paycheck, how do you divide up? What happens when you don’t have a choice and have to go over your budget?
Post # 3
I use a wedding budget calculator from weddingchannel.com to keep track of direct wedding expenses and I use a Quicken program to forecast and budget the wedding and our other bills. Without those two things, I would totally be lost.
Post # 4
@SoontobeMsL: I have a high yield savings account set up through http://www.smartypig.com I also use http://www.mint.com to track my expenses. It lets you set budgets for yourself and emails you when you get close.
The first thing I have always done is pay myself first with every paycheck. Every time I get paid $200 automatically is transferred over to Smarty Pig and divides itself up into the goals I have set up over there. Right now I am saving up for my venue, dress, tent, and cinema. I’m sure I will be adding flowers, photography, food, ect. later. I also have $20 deposited into another account in another state. (I live in a tri state area so it’s only 20 minutes away and I use to live there) My SO has the ATM to that account so I don’t even see what’s in there until I get my statements. So $250 right now is coming out of each paycheck and I forget about it and budget with what’s left. I count it as a deduction just like medical insurance or 401K. It’s coming right out of your paychecks and you never see it.
I’m also using Google Docs to track wedding expenses.
Post # 5
Did you have a budget pre-wedding-planning? If not, then it might be a good idea to make one. You may have a wedding to pay for now, but your income and your fixed expenses are still the same as they were before. Knowing exactly how much money you have left after rent, bills, grocieries, etc. is the first step to making a wedding budget, and it’s not a bad thing to have after the wedding either.
How we did this is we made a list of all the expenses that are the same every month. Rent, cable/internet, car insurance, student loan payments, etc. Then we made educated guesses at how much was going toward everything else, like groceries, going out, clothes, toiletries and household, savings, etc. For a month we saved all our receipts and added them at the end of each month to know what we actually spent. From there we made adjustments to our draft budget – What cost more than we thought? Where do we need to tighten our belts? We continued to track receipts for a few more months to make sure we were able to stick to that budget.
Once you know how much money you can put towards the wedding each month and how many months you have to save up, you can calculate the overall maximum amount you’ll have to spend on the wedding. Then it’s just a matter of doing research for the area you plan to get married in and start pricing out venues, caterers, florists, dress and accessories, etc. and assigning a portion of your budget for each expense.
What happens when you don’t have a choice and have to go over your budget?
You’ll always have a choice. No one will hold a gun to your head and say, “You MUST go with the satin chair sashes, not the tulle!” And if you’ve stuck to your budget and done your research, you shouldn’t end up getting caught by surprise. Anytime you find yourself tempted to go over budget on one expense, you’ll have 3 choices: 1) control yourself and stick to the budget, 2) rebalance your budget to make room for it, or 3) go into debt.
Post # 6
I’m a little different than most people. I don’t keep my money in the bank unless I have to (its this whole story from my great grandpa about him going through the depression). So…I have a box inside a big safe at home, in the box I have envelopes for everything from student loans, gas, credit card payments, wedding things, etc. Whatever I amount I have to pay, I divide by 4 (4 weeks per month, I get paid weekly) and each paycheck I put that amount into the envelope. Then, when I get, say my credit card bill, I pull out the money that I have been putting in each week, deposit that in the bank, and write the check! Then, on months with 5 weeks….tada!! “extra” cash!
Post # 7
my personal budgeting is usually pretty simple- sheet of paper with monthly expenses that HAVE to get paid (rent, bills, insurance, ect). I take whatever is left over and try to put as much of it into my savings account. Lately though, with the wedding, I take the leftover and figure out how much i can put towards my wedding. To do this I made a big list of EVERY wedding expense that would need to be paid for. From dress to ceremony site to cake knives and cutlery : ) I got the average prices of everything I plan to buy for the wedding and put all items w/ prices into an excel spreadsheet. Now i can see what’s bought already and budget for the upcoming things i need to pay for. Simple, but works for me
Post # 8
I use the budgeting tool on theknot.com…without it, I’d be totally lost.
For my personal finances, I also use mint.com! I love it. You can really see where your money is going. You can also set goals on there, and it’ll remind you that you need to put a certain amount of money aside monthly. For example, my goal is to have a down payment for a house, so it reminds me to put a certain amount aside each month. It’s super helpful.
As far as trying to not spend savings…I keep reminding myself that not everything has to be paid right now, and that I can usually ask my vendors if i can split the payments in 1/2 or 1/4’s sometimes! I’m not a great saver either, and I can see where you’re coming from.