For those of you who just got engaged, CONGRATULATIONS! Tis’ the time to start putting that wedding budget and financial plan together; making sure you have a strong foundation before marriage.
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement when you first become engaged. After all, it’s a moment you have probably been dreaming about for as long as you can remember. After that initial excitement, it is important for couples to think about planning for the marriage and not just for the wedding day. Achieving successful financial security begins with organized financial goals and a clear understanding of how to implement a successful financial spending plan before marriage.
I can’t tell you how many times I have met with couples who have no idea what they’re going to be spending on their wedding. They’re bound to have arguments, insecurities and debt. To avoid those issues, before you begin your wedding planning create a budget. Budgeting is the most important phase in the wedding planning process. The main purpose of a budget is to help you live within your income, avoid debt (and conflict), reach your financial goals, develop wise money management habits and prepare for financial emergencies. Here is a convenient online wedding budget calculator to help you get organized. This will help you keep within your spending budget plan.
Although your checkbook may give you a complete record of your expenses, it is not a spending plan. A budget requires that you outline how you will spend available income. Keep a written budget that you are able to review daily to keep yourself on track. Remember to spend only what is available NOW. Never go into debt for a wedding. Doing so can really stress the marriage. Remember that finances are the number one issues couples tend to fight about, so start the marriage off without those additional burdens.
Often, couples see changes in their finances depending on the length of the engagement. Make any necessary revisions to your spending plan on a regular basis. Prioritizing is also important. Discuss all purchases and decide together if they are essential. If not, wait to buy when there’s extra cash. Implementing a spending plan should be well planned, realistic, flexible and clearly communicated. Doing this pre-wedding work can help strengthen the relationship and communication skills. When you keep yourself organized and within budget, you are on your way to meeting your financial goals and planning the wedding of your dreams.