Post # 1
hello! as a recent Masters degree graduate, and with student loans having kicked in, I am wondering how my boyfriend and I can save for a dream wedding ($20-$25,000). We both have student loans and other bills- we are barely making it by as it is. If we wanted to get married in 2018, how can we effectively save enough money while still making all of our other payments? Just wondering how everyone else has gone through with such a big expense.
PS- We really cannot rely on our parents as they have their own financial hardships. They will contribute but it will be very little so the brunt of the cost will be on him and I. Thanks for any advice! 🙂
Post # 2
My best advice is to put aside some money as soon as you get paid–prioritize the savings the same way you would a bill.
To be able to do that, though, you’ll have to drill down your finances. Figure out exactly what you make each month (use the low end, if it tends to vary), and then go through all your bills and figure out exactly what your responsibilities are (use the high end if it varies). Include EVERYTHING, including roll-over clothing and entertainment categories. Include your daily Starbucks if you get those. It works best to take an average spend from the last six months if you can for categories like clothes and food that aren’t a hard and fast cost.
Subtract your expenses from your income and figure out what you can afford to set aside each month without encroaching on your bills. If it’s not very much, and you can see that you won’t be able to afford your wedding by the time you want to have it, either try cutting out some of the discretionary spending (entertainment), or consider postponing your wedding.
When it comes to actually setting aside the money, as soon as you get a paycheck, immediately transfer the savings into a separate account. If it’s never in your primary account, you won’t be tempted to spend it, whereas if you leave it there “just in case,” you’ll end up spending it on those “mystery” expenses we all have.
Post # 3
If you want $25,000 in two years you need to save a bit over $1,000 every month. If you are barely getting by are you sure that is really how you want to spend your money or what you want to save for? Imagine having an extra $1k/month for other things or having $25,000 for a down payment or to reduce your loans.
Post # 4
I’m in the same boat as you. Don’t have students loans but have a house and debt and little income it’s so hard to come by any extra money. We are also planning a 2018 wedding for the reason that we are paying for it all ourselves. I don’t think I will have my “dream wedding” though. I have a goal of about $6000 and plan on having a nice small wedding. I’m gonna try and cut any costs where I can such as going out to eat, buying expensive clothes, makeup, etc., negotiating phone bill, pretty much anything non essential has to go.
Post # 5
Make a plan and a budget and stick to that. Read articles from The Financial Diet to get started– I’ve found those helpful.
Long version/how I’m doing it:
Cut out as much random stuff as possible– ditch cable TV if you haven’t already, cut back on the number of times you go out to eat each month, things like that. That alone will give you a huge boost.
After that, come up with a savings plan. My fiance and I combined our incomes, then figured out how much we paid each month in necessities like rent, utilities, copays for my regular doctor’s visits, groceries, etc. After that, we gave ourselves a monthly allowance that can be spent on fun things, like occasional dinners out, or new clothes, or anything else that’s not covered in the necessities budget. We keep track of this allowance and make sure not to overspend it. The amount of the allowance is what we figured out we can afford to spend each month in order to still have $10k by a certain date.
Hope that makes sense!
Post # 6
The “easiest” way will be for both of you to get an additional job. Look into a “work at home” job, get a part time retail job, work at a coffee shop, waitress on evenings and weekends… If you are just barely getting by and you still want your dream wedding, put ALL of your extra cash from additional jobs away. I would also plan on trying to budget and save in any way possible for the wedding. Find a wedding dress either pre owned or at a sale, cut the guest list if you can, cut down on flowers, that sort of thing. Having a “dream” wedding is actually fairly overrated anyway.
Post # 7
missm0392: Have you looked into a Destination Wedding? That might be a good option to have your dream wedding on a budget. Personally, if I was barely making it by, I would not spend 25K on a wedding.
Post # 8
hi everyone, thanks for all of your comments! Where I live everything is very expensive, so that’s why I listed the wedding at around $20-$25K just because that’s low balling it. I really appreciate all of your insight; I do realize that having “dream” weddings are almost ridiculous with everything these days but as a hopeless romantic I would like to try and not give up my once in a lifetime event because of money. I realize it will most likely be a compromise but either way I digress 🙂 keep the advice coming, it truly helps! Thanks ladies!