Going into debt for your wedding may have been necessary to finance your special day. Use this guide to help draw up a plan to pay off wedding debt.
There are common pieces of advice that loved ones give before a wedding: Never go to bed angry. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Selective hearing is the key to a long marriage. And the list goes on. But chances are nobody took you aside to talk about coping with the costs of your big day.
Unfortunately, the fiscal burden of getting married is something most couples deal with. It’s common for newly married couples to face wedding debts. It helps to know that this is not a rare phenomenon, and with a little help, planning, and guidance, you can start your life together on a strong financial path.
From vows to spreadsheets.
The first step to recovering from wedding costs is acknowledging them, along with the other costs you’re bringing into your partnership. Between the two or you, there may also be education loans, credit card debt, and other financial commitments.
Put it all out there. Plan to sit down with your spouse to get aligned on all the costs you need to tackle, and decide who’s responsible for what. You can even do it on a date night over pizza and wine. (Maybe opt for a not-too-expensive varietal.)
Find ways to save.
Find practical ways that you and your spouse can save. Maybe that means a few more meals at home and less time in restaurants. Making your own coffee instead of opting for the takeaway latte from your local barista is a simple example. (Spending $3 or $4 on coffee each morning adds up to $100 every month, per person.)
Small things like using the carpooling mode on a shared ride service can make a difference. Also, for some expenses, you can now take advantage of those coveted family plans: health and auto insurance policies, cell phone accounts, even movie and music streaming services. These are all opportunities to cut costs by combining forces.
Use your monetary gifts wisely.
Sure, that 18-piece cookware set from Aunt Ethel is great, but you can’t use it to pay for your wedding. Monetary gifts, on the other hand, can go a long way. Instead of investing your wedding day dough in unnecessary home goods or excursions, set a portion aside to help pay off your wedding debt.
Debt now shouldn’t hold up your dreams for later.
Just because you're cutting costs now doesn’t mean you can’t think about future financial commitments. When you sit down to talk with your spouse, use that time to set long-term financial goals and discuss what’s most important. Is it buying a home? Starting a family? Launching your own business? Talk openly, and make a joint plan that feels right for both of you. It’s important to balance investing for the future and tackling costs now.
Many of us spend so much on our wedding day because it’s one of life’s key moments. It’s also one of the few occasions that is truly worthy of the financial commitment. But with a little planning, you can make sure the cost of your wedding isn’t the lasting memory.