The trick to saving money is earning more and spending less. Although this sounds pretty basic, it’s surprising how many people just can’t seem to do it.
But if you and your honey are ready to tie the knot and take on everything that comes with it (house, kids, etc.) you may be looking for ways to sock away the money you’ll need to get the wedding underway and still have enough left over for a down payment on your dream house (before you hit the age of retirement).
So here are just a few tips that will help you to scrape together the cash you’ll need to get your married life started, stat!
When it comes to saving for two major expenses simultaneously, it is all too easy to get overwhelmed. After all, it’s hard enough just to manage a savings for one thing at a time. But with a little planning you can get it done; there are just a few things you’ll have to think about.
First, you need to set a budget and a timeline. In truth, you’ll need to set multiple budgets before you can even think about the timelines. You can start by looking at your monthly income and expenditures (including a breakdown of anything you pay annually or biannually, like car insurance for example).
If you have never created a budget before, it’s no wonder you’ve had trouble saving in the past! Tracking money coming in and going out is necessary to understand where you’re spending unnecessarily (and where you can start to make cutbacks).
We all have regular monthly expenses that must be paid, but most of us also spend frivolously to some extent (some more than others). It is from these expenditures that cuts must be made. But before you can determine how much to cut back in order to save, you need to plan budgets for both your wedding and your home.
Suppose you want to spend $10,000 on your wedding and you would like to save a down payment of 10% for the purchase of a home. And further say that you are looking at homes that cost around $200,000. That means you’ll have to save $30,000 in order to reach both goals. It may sound impossible to the couple that is struggling to make ends meet, but the point is to give yourself a starting point.
From here, there are two ways you can go. You can either look at what you will reasonably be able to save in order to set a timeline (although it could take you a few years to reach your goals) or you can compromise on the budgets you have set, trimming them down in order to hit your target savings faster.
Of course, you can also look for ways to cut back on your monthly expenses (move into a cheaper apartment for a while in order to get into a house more quickly) or take a second job to earn some extra money on the side. And you can find ways to save money (use an FHA mortgage calculator to figure out whether or not you qualify for this type of low-cost home loan and figure out what your interest rate might be with a lower down payment).
But as long as you take the time to plan your budgets and timelines you can achieve the joint goals of saving for your wedding and your first home at the same time.