We’ve all seen the magazines: two beautiful celebrities spend more than our annual salaries 8 times over in order to have the most beautiful wedding of all. That social pressure can get to us, convincing us that a gorgeous ceremony begets happiness. The truth is, being budget conscious can have its benefits, particularly when those benefits help the two of you build memorable experiences, follow your dreams, and put your future on solid ground.
Down Payment on a Home
Instead of paying down a wedding, why not make a down payment on your life? A home is more than just a place for your possessions; it’s a community, a place where your kids may grow up, and a blank canvas on which to write your story. From a financial standpoint, a large down payment can help with lending rates, saving you a great deal of money in the long haul. Consider passing on crystal butter dishes for one day and hang that crystal in the foyer of your new home.
If you have an existing home, a remodel can add value and represent a new life of opportunity together. Adding a garage, putting up new cabinetry or appliances in the kitchen, and improving the structural integrity of your home not only provides a visual facelift, it adds significant worth to your house should you choose to move later on. Furthermore, the opportunity to start your new life with a fresh look is a symbolically powerful gesture.
A marriage is more than just a partnership, it’s a journey. Beginning that metaphorical journey with a physical journey is an opportunity few have the luxury to enjoy. While a beautiful dress and a novelty ice sculpture can make the day beautiful, research shows that investing in experiences, particularly travel, is a crucial aspect to improving our happiness. The memory of saying “yes”, combined with the escape of travel will offer memories you’ll simply never forget.
The theme until now has been “new beginnings”; embracing the change that marriage represents. When it comes to jump-starting your life, education is a rich opportunity to explore your potential and the world of thought. In addition to offering the potential to break into the career of your dreams, the journey of education is one rich in discovery, delivering new insights, new perspectives, and new fulfillment on a regular basis.
When the honeymoon is over and the decorations are put away, your life begins and, while few want to think of the emergencies or shortfalls that may occur, being prepared is an important step to maintaining that happiness. A nest egg of three months worth of expenses can help protect against sudden medical costs, unemployment, and a broken down car. It may not be the most immediately gratifying way to spend money, but the net result is peace of mind and financial preparedness.
The joy you feel on your wedding day is an experience many may share, but to the less fortunate among us, that joy is hard to come by. Of the items on this list, few can match the profound satisfaction of doing good for another human being. Consider taking your luxury budget and paying it forward to the charity of your choice. You’ll find that, while your arrangements may not have the calla lilies you always imagined, your heart will feel no loss if that money helps a child find food and shelter.
Investment in your future and realizing your potential after the big day can come in many forms. For the more entrepreneurial, using the excess of your wedding budget to start a business can be a marriage of the two. Sufficient startup capital can fund a cupcake shop on Main Street or an IT services firm on the Internet. In either instance, the money saved by scaling back your wedding budget will help make another dream come true, and pay for itself in spades as the years roll on.
Between honeymoon expenses, new homes, new furniture, and new possibilities, the potential for financial debt after the happiest day of your life is a scary one. Borrowing to replace a broken car can particularly break the bank and truncate your euphoria. Take advantage of the opportunity to use your available funds and avoid another monthly payment by paying for a car in cash. A new ride will literally carry you through sunshine and storm, and the money saved each month can be used to build your life together, worry and debt free.
A monolithic wedding budget may seem like a good idea, but the potential for turning the happiest day of your life to the happiest life of all is made possible with a little frugality. Consider trimming the band budget and make an investment in your future with the options listed here, and you’ll find that your marriage is only the beginning of a truly beautiful life.