Often times I see on other blogs that the “budget talk" is an awkward topic. However, I find it to be very informative and think it’s a healthy discussion to have. You know, before we get married we don’t get to witness the everyday details of our fiancés(ée) life. Usually we won’t experience the nitty-gritty until after we get married, move in and spend every waking moment together. This is why we could look at the “budget talk” as a learning experience to get to know our significant other just a little better. Are they organized? Can they budget? What is their thought process?
Sit down over coffee, brainstorm creative budget ideas, write out a goal and work on it together. And it’s a huge goal especially when you’re planning a $30k - $50k wedding. It also serves as a look into what it will be like to do this in the future as Mr. & Mrs. You’ll be better prepared for the time when you both decide to buy a house, or a car or save up for baby’s college tuition. It also helps to have a planner in this situation to help with wedding goal setting and budget tracking. Much like you would hire a realtor to show you homes or a financial advisor to help with your child's college tuition plan.
Your journey will be a bit different from mine, but here is what it looked like for me. After the proposal set in, we sat down together to discuss the plans for our wedding. First, we picked a date to figure what timeframe we had to work with. We talked about what we could set aside realistically from our paychecks for the next year and a half. We took a weekend to open up a joint account that had little to no account fees. These fees could range anywhere from $15 - $25 a month, which over 18 months could end up costing you cupcakes or favors for the wedding. Every month we both deposited our money and made all our wedding purchases from that account solely. I kept track of all expenses and balances with a custom excel budget tracker which I will be providing to you for free today. Yay! I’ve already input all the formulas for you; you just have to plug and play. On a monthly basis, collect your receipts / invoices and enter them into the sheet to view your budget in real time. It is very important that you stick to budget and I just can’t stress that enough.
Just so you get a real world example to understand what we just talked about, I took a couple that agreed to save $625 each, every month for 24 months (two year engagement). So they were putting in $1250.00 a month to save up $30,000 for their 150 person wedding.This means they could estimate $200 per person for their wedding. Lets look at how this budget gets parceled out for their wedding assuming the couple is hosting the entire wedding. I won’t go in detail but will definitely show you the large slices of the pie.
Here is your free downloadable budget tracker (Microsoft Excel must be installed on your computer). I've entered some information in there already so you can see what it looks like in use. Once you've downloaded the tracker, save it to your planning folder or desktop so you can easily access it when you need to add something.
If you have any questions or need help, send me an email or leave a comment. Happy Planning!