In this blog, I’ll share 10 lesser-known shifts and tweaks you can make that will have a big impact on your overall budget.
Wedding Budget Hack #1: Balance Who You Follow
The first way to save money is on Instagram. For every wedding-related account you follow, also follow one money-smart or money-conscious account. Here are some options: @budgetsavvybride @daveramsey @clevergirlfinance @rachelcruze
Just as those perfect wedding pictures are planting ideas in your mind, these money-smart posts and ideas will spark ideas for staying on budget. If you want to stay within budget and to spend less, Filter out any accounts that don’t align with what you really want.
Wedding Budget Hack #2: Don’t Pay Interest
More and more couples are borrowing money to fund their weddings. Personal loans are now marketed specifically to couples for their weddings. These loans have an interest rate somewhere in the range of 7-18%. The average credit card charges 20% interest. But you could use your own money without paying any interest! If you want to save money, avoiding debt is a straightforward way to save between 7-20%. Not to mention what you don’t spend because you just don’t have it. Don’t have enough of your own money to spend? I’ll get to that in Hack #5.
Wedding Budget Hack #3: Sleep on It
Another way to save is to commit to sleeping on big decisions. Don’t be pressured to “book now”. Walk away from every meeting and every shopping cart for at least 24 hours. If after the waiting period you still think it’s right, then buy it or book it. This gives you the time to cool-off from the excitement of the service or product you want for your wedding. If you’ve been persuaded by a salesperson or a marketing ad, the time allows you to regroup and refocus. If this wasn’t something you really wanted, when you walk away, the urge to get it will go too.
Wedding Budget Hack #4: Keep Beer in Your Fridge
My grandfather used to say, “never stretch your finances so much that you can’t offer a beer or a coke to a guest”. Here’s how to apply that great advice to your wedding. When you create your budget, keep it reasonable and proportionate to your overall life budget. Don’t stretch your entire life budget thin just so that you can have a bigger wedding budget. Instead, plan a wedding a little below your budget where you will have some extra cash for little splurges for your guests. By foregoing the items that aren’t in the budget, you’ll have the cash to spoil your guests where it counts.
Wedding Budget Hack #5: Find a New Source of Income
If you can’t seem to stretch your wedding budget to cover everything you want, look for ways to earn extra money. Think about whether you have a few hours per week that you could use to make extra money specifically for your wedding fund? Not only will the extra cash help, but you also won’t be able to spend money while you’re working…
Spending time on this will have a lasting financial impact long past your wedding day. There are plenty of ideas for how to bring in money on the side. I’ve found that is a whole lot easier to make $100 myself than it is to save $100 on something I really want. It is possible to find the time.
Wedding Budget Hack #6: Choose DIY Wisely
Doing it Yourself has become synonymous with saving money on weddings. But take it from someone who sees finished DIY projects weekend after weekend, some of them are not money-saving.
I’ve seen DIY centerpieces that could have been outsourced at a fraction of the cost. I’ve picked up 100 DIY favors at the end of the night, that we couldn’t convince guests to take with them. I’ve seen clients trash the décor they thought they’d resell after their wedding.
I’ve also seen the opposite, DIY which was a cost-saving. I’ve seen an artist use her own art for centerpieces, a baker make her own favors that people couldn’t stop eating, and a thrifty client that successfully rents out the décor she used for her wedding more than 2 years ago. The second group took a skill they already had and used it to save money on their wedding.
Wedding Budget Hack #7: Be Organized and Prepared
Most of the financial mistakes couples make while planning a wedding revolve around a lack of planning.
If I don’t plan what I’m going to eat for lunch tomorrow, I’m going to eat out and spend more. If I don’t plan my vacation, I’m going to waste time and money on things I really don’t want to do. If you don’t plan out your wedding, you’re going to pay more, get less of what you want, and waste your own time as well as the time of all those who help bring your wedding vision together.
The best 2 tools to be organized and prepared for your wedding are an organization system for your wedding files and a thorough wedding day timeline.
Wedding Budget Hack #8: Pick ONLY 1 Less-Experienced Professional
Have you’ve heard that if you find and up and coming wedding professional for your wedding, you’ll get the most bang for your buck? Of course, any new professional in any industry is going to be less expensive than a seasoned pro. But you can never get the level of experience and expertise from the newer professional that you’d get from the seasoned one.
Utilizing one new pro can work. Utilizing all new pros can be very hard on the couple and likely the wedding itself. If you want to save money in this way, take a look at your wedding vision and your budget. Decide which element you are less concerned with. Is it catering, music, décor, photography? Keep in mind that in exchange for the cost savings, you will take on some risks related to performance and professionalism. For which element could you live with a less than professional outcome? Ask yourself, can I emotionally afford to hire this less experienced person for my wedding day to perform this service.
Wedding Budget Hack #9: Be an Informed Consumer
This is probably one of the biggest ways you can save money on your wedding. It’s also the way to have amazing wedding pros AND be their favorite client! Set aside some time to gain a good understanding of the services these professionals provide. That will help you determine whether the value you place on the service matches the price the professional has set.
Wedding Budget Hack #10: Track Expenses Religiously
Nothing controls expenses quite like watching them. Find a budget spreadsheet or app that works for you and commit to using it. Set aside a weekly date with your computer to review purchases and bookings and add them to your budget tracker.
I hope you found this info valuable and that it will help you plan the wedding of your dreams, free of financial regret. Thank you for watching and happy wedding planning.