Once you get engaged, it’ll be all hands on deck when it comes to planning the wedding. However, before you can start looking at venues and picking cakes, you have to figure out your wedding budget and start saving for your wedding. It may seem daunting to have to save for your special day, but there are a few ways to make it easier.
Research savings accounts
Once you start saving for your wedding, you’ll need somewhere to put your money if you don’t already have a savings account set up. If you do, make sure it’s the best one for you. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best savings account to get the most out of it. Look for things like instant access, flexible deposit abilities and maximum interest rates.
Track your spending
If you haven’t started saving for your wedding yet, now is an excellent time to start tracking your spending. The biggest and most honest account you can get of your spending habits before you start saving is the best way to tackle saving because you will be able to see how much you can trim the fat. If you haven’t started tracking before saving, don’t worry. As actress, Lily Tomlin says, ‘The road to success is always under construction.’ The first month of saving will still show you where you can reduce spending and prevent you losing the run of yourself.
There’s always a temptation to splurge when you have some leftover wages from previous month but this is one of the easiest ways to top off your monthly savings. Once you have your savings, bills and monthly expenses coming out at the start of the month, followed by your day-to-day spending, see what’s left at the end of the month. Even if it’s not much, take it out once payday arrives and add it to the savings account. It all adds up.
Master seven-day rule
This one is hard to master but it’s a great way to prevent impulse or unnecessary purchases. If you fancy buying something, be it a new coffee machine, a stunning dress or a new pair of shoes, freeze. Before you hit ‘head to checkout’ or physically walk to the till, leave it and walk away. Don’t think about it, just forget about it. If you still want it in seven days, consider why you’re buying it and if you’re happy to not put the money into savings and then purchase it. However, more often than not, you might decide that you don’t want it that much or even forget about it altogether.
Price check your groceries
We know this seems small, but switching where you buy your groceries can make a significant difference to your monthly grocery spend. Re-evaluate where you buy your groceries and the difference in your overall spend when you switch to a cheaper shop. You should keep an eye out for particularly good deals on cleaning and washing products as well as bulk buying household essentials when they’re on special deals.
Cancel unused memberships
We know in the run up to the wedding can tempt you to take out a gym membership to get wedding ready, or at least maintain one you’ve already been paying for but before you do, think about it. If you have one and haven’t used it, consider cancelling it in favour of running in the park or exercising at home and put the extra money into savings.
Consider renting a room
If you have a house or apartment with a spare room and you’re close to tourist areas or the city centre, consider putting your room up for rent on AirBnB. Depending on your location, this could bring in easy money frequently that can go straight into your savings account.
Buy gifts throughout the year
This is for Christmas, birthdays and weddings you have to attend yourself throughout your saving period. Look out for gifts, baby clothes and wedding presents on sale or at reduced rates throughout the year and hold onto them until it’s time to give them to people. Even if they’re not always reduced, if you know you have an expensive month coming up with two birthdays and a wedding, it’s better to spread the costs out in advance. It’s also a good idea to go hunting for gifts, cards and wrapping for Christmas in January.
Invest in a saving pot
An old-school method of saving but it does work. Buy a ceramic money pot and agree to a minimum amount to put in the pot. Make your spare pennies bigger by deciding you’ll only put €2 coins or more in it. If you do this, the pot will last longer and with the pot itself being made of ceramic with no bottom, it’ll stop you from dipping into it until you eventually smash it open on D-day.
Create a debt not a surplus
This is more of a mental trick than a way to save more money but it does work. Once you’ve figured out how much money you need for your wedding (e.g. €15,000), treat it as spent already and think of it as a debt you have to repay. Suddenly your brain will be working harder to get yourself out of the red, rather than trying to get as close as possible to a surplus. It will help you master the art of avoiding unnecessary purchases.