Unfortunately, weddings and money go hand in hand. What should be an enjoyable celebration can rapidly become stressful and upsetting, all thanks to cold hard currency. While the only surefire strategy for avoiding financial wedding stress is to win the lottery (or marry an oil tycoon), there are some more practical strategies you can employ to at least soften the financial blow. Here are five money mistakes to avoid, in order to make the whole experience of getting married that much more pleasant for everyone, including you.
Starting the Wrong Side Hustle
Taking on a home business is kind of a “done thing” these days, especially when you’re saving up for something big like a vacation or a wedding. While starting a home-based side hustle (e.g. MLM companies) is definitely a viable option, it’s important to choose the right option for you.
A lot of folks immediately pursue the multi-level marketing (MLM) route. You know the drill — we’re talking about Amway, Beachbody, Mary Kay — all the options where you both sell the product and work to find people to sell on your behalf. This can work. But you’ll need buckets of energy, lots of contacts and a thick skin. It is not for everybody.
Other options you might look into include lead generation, drop-shipping, and selling products online through Etsy or eBay. Again, they can all work, but you’ll need to understand the fine print and find something well-suited to your personality. Always do your research before leaping headlong at a money making option.
Failing to Plan Financially
This one is probably the most awkward addition to your financial to-do list. It’ll make some readers wince uncomfortably. If you haven’t already done so, you and your other half should seriously consider sitting down to talk about money. Sure, these days you’re probably already managing your finances together, but after you’re married, the financial stakes may well become higher.
You may assume you have a roughly similar viewpoint on how money should be managed, but there could well be some tricky sticking points. In the lead up to the big day, it’s a great idea to lay it all out on the table so that together you have a crystal clear notion of how to save, how to deal with debt, and even just how to talk about money.
Get your financial planning ducks in a row early, to avoid harder challenges down the line.
Going All Out on the Wedding
This one seems obvious. The problem is, it creeps up on you like a ninja wielding a lightly-greased fry pan. We’re talking about wedding expenses. The bald truth is, the wedding industry is designed to encourage you to spend up big for your wedding day. But that final price tag on comes not from one big decision, but from a thousand small financial decisions which all add up.
Having an upper dollar figure in mind is just not enough when it comes to limiting your wedding outlay. It’s far easier to maintain financial control if your budget at a more granular level, setting upper limits for all your major expenditure categories. Then, add a small contingency fund at the end and solemnly promise one another you won’t go beyond it.
Getting a Bit Too Grabby
Wedding registries are a legit way to offset your initial household expenses, particularly if you occupy the rare category of folks who are setting up their home for the first time soon after getting married. Most wedding guests are going to be fairly content with the idea that you’d like them to shop within the confines of a registry list. However, it is possible to push a little too far!
Inevitably, someone in your guest list will want to give you a different gift. It’s important to be open and receptive when this happens. Moreover, when you are setting up your list, do be sure to give less financially solvent guests a nice range of lower price tag choices.
As tempting as it is to see your wedding as a solution for some of your bigger ticket domestic expenses, our advice is that you approach your wedding registry with a sensible level of caution.
Credit Card Debt
If you find yourself saying, “don’t worry, we’ll charge it to the credit card” more than a few times, take a close look at all that nasty credit card debt you’re racking up. The last thing you need is a giant pile of debt (with mounting interest rates) as a wedding gift!
Credit cards have a nasty knack of convincing their owners that the money they’re spending is entirely hypothetical. Remember that it isn’t!
Weddings needn’t be a huge financial stress. Try these fiscally responsible tips to make the day a lot more pleasant for everyone.