Have you developed a budget for your wedding yet? After you get engaged, you’ll want to celebrate no doubt but after the engagement party and before you do any planning for the big day, be sure to create a wedding budget first. Creating a wedding budget is easy and it only takes a few minutes.
It’s a crucial first step to take and you want to do it right so you’ll know exactly how much money you can spend on your nuptials.
The Correct Way to Develop a Wedding Budget
Realistically, most people calculate their wedding budget backward and come up with a ballpark amount they think they can afford based off a guess or simply start picking out venues and caters and adding up the money as they go along.
Yes, you definitely want to include all your preferences and unique ideas when preparing a budget for your wedding, but you should start by determining how much you can afford to spend overall and how much time you want to give yourselves to save.
If you’re ready to set up your wedding budget, follow these easy steps to get started.
Step 1: Add Your Joint Monthly Net Income
First, you’ll want to record how much both you and your fiance are earning which will give you an idea of how much you can comfortably spend on your wedding. If your joint income is $50,000/yr after taxes, you probably don’t want to spend $50,000 on your wedding because you wouldn’t be able to afford it. Even with a loan, you’d be paying it off for years.
Step 2: Review Your Current Budget and Calculate Debt Payments
The next thing you’ll want to do is look at your regular budget and see if there’s any room to spare for wedding savings. Particularly, you want to look at how much you’re spending on necessities each month and calculate any current debt payments because you don’t want to make your budget so tight that you’re not able to continue paying your existing debt.
Step 3: See If You Can Cut Any Regular Expenses
After you know how much you’re spending on necessities and debt payments, your next step is to see if you can cut or reduce any other expenses to free up more money to set aside for your wedding. Consider cutting expenses that you don’t need or aren’t that important to you.
Remember, you can always temporarily cut expenses so if you need to get rid of cable or reduce the amount of money you spend on dining out for a few months while you pay for your wedding, you can always increase those expenses later after you get married and don’t have to pay for the wedding anymore.
Step 4: See What You Are Left With and Base Your Budget Off That Monthly Amount
If you are spending less than you earn, and splitting wedding expenses with your partner, you should have some money left over each month after you deduct your monthly expenses and debt payments. If you cut or reduce any of your current expenses, you’ll have even more money to work with for your wedding budget.
How much money you can dedicate to wedding expenses or a wedding spending account should be a strong indicator as to when you should get married. If you can set aside $400 per month for wedding-related expenses and you want to have a $5,000 wedding, ideally, you should set your date about a year out.
Did you use these steps when developing your wedding budget? If you plan on using these steps, how has it influenced your official date for getting married?