April 9, 2013
It’s Spring Wedding Season: 4 Tips on How to Protect Your Budget
It’s spring and that means it’s prime time for folks to get married. And who doesn’t love ‘Love?’
If you’re in your mid-20s or above, you know that weddings can be a welcome but unexpected drain on your finances. Between flights, hotel accommodations and wedding attire, your expenses can reach into the thousands faster than you can say, “I do.” Here are four tips on how to get through wedding season unscathed.
1. Set a little more aside each month. There’s no replacement for cutting back so that you can spend a bit more when the time comes. This means you have to take a close look at what you’re spending. Could you nix that three-cup-a-day Starbucks habit? Will Friday night date night have to consist of a few more walks in the park? Whatever it is, make sure you’re being prudent about what you can live without.
2. Set up a travel alert such as the one found on Kayak.com. Here’s how it works: You set the dates and city and the time you’re traveling. It will prompt you to set up the alert, which can be daily or weekly. The coolest thing about the alert is it uses a graphic to tell you if the price of your flight during that time is trending up or down; it will tell you if you need to hurry up and buy. Kayak is a popular tool, but dozens of other sites have a similar alert system that works just as well.
3. Use the buddy system. We just couldn’t think of a better term for it, but we still hope you’re doing this. Practices like room-sharing, carpooling, group discounts and the like never fall out of favor with the budget-conscious. The key here is to plan in advance and to be sure you’re dealing with likeminded individuals, who wouldn’t, for instance, at the last minute decide they want to upgrade to the most expensive suite, or rent a sexier, more expensive car.
4. Put your foot down. If you have the savings or credit and you’re just going to use what you have, be sure to pick a number that works with your savings goals and stick to it! If you’ve just got to spend it, make sure you can recoup what you’re spending, and that you’re not going into exorbitant amounts of debt to do it. The reason many get into trouble is because they’re spending on unforeseen expenses that add up and get out of control. If you simply say, “This is all that I’m spending, no matter what,” you’ll likely find yourself in a much better situation when all is said and done.
Got any spring wedding tips or ideas? Share them in the comments!