How Can Couples Cut Everyday Costs to Save Money for Their Wedding?
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When you're just starting to save money for your wedding day (or any other big-ticket item for that matter) it may seem like a daunting task. That's especially true when that goal number has five figures or more. Fortunately, Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner with the personal finance company SoFi, explains that putting aside money for your wedding each month doesn't have to involve as many sacrifices as you might think. As long as you and your partner are working together to meet your savings goals, you'll find that it's fairly easy to build a healthy wedding account.
Make a Date
The first thing you need to do is get on the same page about what your debts, earnings, and expenses are. Anastasio suggests scheduling a specific time for the two of you to sit down at the table with your laptops, log into all your accounts and share the numbers. "Be open about your salary and net worth," she says, explaining that your net worth is everything you own (your assets) minus everything you owe (your debts). "Calculate this and share it with your partner along with your salary, then switch," the pro says. The process may be challenging since it forces the two of you to talk about things like student loans or credit card debt, but that it's information you should each know going into wedding planning.
Make a Plan
Debt should be part of the conversation since it may factor into how soon you'll be able to reach certain financial goals, like buying a house or having children. Knowing exactly what each of you have, and owe, will allow you to prioritize your savings. "Transparency into each other's finances will help each of you be more empathetic while working toward joint goals," Anastasio explains. Once you know everything about each other's finances you can make a plan, and decide how much you want to regularly contribute to savings based off of what makes sense for each of your financial situations.
Trim the Budget
"When it comes to making sacrifices in order to fund a goal, it's important to make sure you're on the same page," she says. Do you want to split costs down the middle, or does it make more sense for your situation to have one of you paying a larger percentage towards the goal? "It doesn't matter what you decide, only that you come to an agreement that feels fair to both of you."
Once that's been decided you can look at where you both want to make cuts from the budget. "If you've decided that you're going to split expenses down the middle, decide together what shared costs you'd be willing to make changes on—or do without—to save money." Anastasio suggests considering things whether to cut the cord in favor of less expensive streaming options, or cut back on using a parking garage in exchange for utilizing street parking. "Then crunch those numbers and put that toward your shared goal," she says. "If it makes more sense for you to each contribute as much as you can afford to your savings goal, then you'll want to be open with your partner about what expenses you're willing to cut and which ones are too important to you." If there's an expense that you're not willing to part with, that's okay, you just need to make sure you're being upfront with your partner about your plans.