Wedding bells without wedding bills

Love may be in the air but sooner or later someone has to pay the bills. Here are some simple strategies for enjoying a debt-free wedding day and a financially equal life with your new life partner.

Wedding = one day; your life together = a lifetime

Who doesn’t want a terrific wedding? But you really need to look beyond the confetti and those tinkling glasses to your long-term financial life. Plan for a happy wedding but within a reasonable, affordable budget. Use the wedding budget process as a learning exercise for you and your partner to work together toward a shared financial goal.

Wedding costs = real money

Pay for your wedding with money you’ve saved instead of through credit cards or “stealing” from your investments or retirement fund or you?ll end up paying for your ?wedding over and over again for many years. For example, put $25,000 in wedding expenses on your credit card at 14% interest and only make the minimum payment each month and it?ll take you 100 years to pay it off!

Financial plan = stick to it

Set a wedding budget based on the money you?ll have at the time and start saving right away! While you?re at it, set other financial goals like accumulating a down payment for a new home and begin saving and investing for those goals, too. Here?s a simple wedding dreams to fiscal reality budgeting template to get you going:

? How much debt is each of us bringing to our marriage? $________
? How much money do we have saved? $________
? What is our combined monthly income (salary and/or other income) $________
? What are our monthly costs (mortgage/rent, food, cleaning, personal?products, phone, cable, electricity, travel expenses ? car, gas, parking, ?etc. ? insurance, taxes, bank loans, credit card payments, entertainment, etc.) $_______
? How much can we afford to put into our wedding fund monthly (including the rings, and a honeymoon)? $_______
? How much can we afford to save/invest for our other ?dreams?? $_______

Put those numbers in place and you?ll know if your wedding budget is realistic or needs a second look, how long it will take to get to a debt-free wedding date, and when you’ll be able to turn your other financial dreams into reality.

A debt-free wedding and a solid financial future = GREAT!

Talk to your professional advisor about these and other strategies you can use to achieve and enjoy a financially successful new life together.

 

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Qu?bec ? a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Qu?bec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns at mackenzie.jenkyns@investorsgroup.com or at 1-800-561-0659.

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