Saving for something big is easy — but only when you have something big to save for.
Putting away a few extra dollars a week towards your summer vacation is exciting. You can count down to the date you leave, and you know you’ll see it all come to fruition.
Saving for things out of sight is a different story — why save now for something you can’t see?
Here’s why: I’m at the height of wedding-planning madness. Which, as it turns out, is synonymous with draining your bank account.
Since January, I’ve been actively saving to afford wedding expenses, making sure to leave enough extra money in my savings account for unexpected costs — like the unexpected tuition fees that drained my emergency savings during my last semester of college.
Has it worked? Yes. Could it have been easier? Oh, yeah.
Here’s my advice to you: Start saving for your wedding now, even if marriage isn’t on the horizon for a while or you’re not in a relationship. You’ll be glad you did later on.
Why It’s Hard to Start Saving for a Future Wedding
Having to explain to someone why you’re on a tight budget while saving for your future wedding can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be.
Create a separate savings account for your future wedding — but call it something else. If you’re embarrassed you’re saving for what seems like a fictional wedding, don’t tell anyone!
Move $200 a month into your wedding savings account. If you use more than one savings account to manage your cash, you’ll be more aware of where your money goes, which will help you stay disciplined.
You’ll save with purpose, rather than staring at a whole bunch of unused money — and thinking about how else to use it.
Why You Should Start Saving for Your Wedding Now
If you save now, you have a better chance of getting exactly what you want — and being able to afford it. I’m having a beautiful wedding, but I’m being disciplined when it comes to spending because I didn’t save as much as I should have.
While I’m being practical, starting to save earlier would have relieved some additional stress now.
Saving helps you create a practical wedding budget. If you can manage your money now, you’ll be in a good place later on.
You’ll be able to begin your marriage in a comfortable financial situation, rather than starting out with a lot of money stress.
The more money you put away, the more interest you’ll earn. It’s not always a lot, but you might as well take advantage of it.
How to Start Saving
Saving money is easier said than done, I know. Expenses come up, and suddenly putting away $100 a month seems impossible.
So, start small. Here are a few tips:
- Make good decisions when eating out. Not ordering a drink could save you $2-$3 (or more). What seems like nothing in the moment could make a difference after just one month of dining out.
- Use additional income to pay your monthly bills, instead of using your checking account. I teach piano lessons, and that $30 a week goes toward my phone bill. That way, I don’t spend what feels like “extra” money on something that isn’t necessary.
- Evaluate your paycheck and determine what you’re comfortable saving every week and month. Make a habit of moving some of your paycheck into your savings account every pay period.
- Sign up for cash-back deals or rewards with your bank. You’d be surprised by how many opportunities your bank gives you to save, from opening new accounts to using “spare change” programs.
If you plan to eventually get married — whether you’ve met the other person yet, or not! — start saving now.
Your Turn: Would you create a savings account to save for your wedding, even if it’s not on the calendar yet? How did you save for your wedding?
Rachel Drummond is a University of South Florida alumna with a degree in Mass Communications. She’s currently trying to think of ways to make her cat Insta-famous.