If you are about to get married, credit tips are probably far from your mind right now. This is one of the most special days of your life and you will remember this day forever. It is, after all, the time when you will finally be one with your significant other. Thinking about your finances might remove the romance in the experience. But if you are figuring out how you will pay for your wedding, this is an important consideration at this point.
You should know that your finances should always be considered while you are preparing for the big day. It is understandable that you will feel all sorts of emotions. But this is the very reason why you need to be cautious when making financial decisions. Experts warn against making financial choices because feeling emotionally high can compromise your ability to make logical decisions.
Paying for a wedding can be an expensive expense – probably the first that you will do as a couple – unless you have bought your house already. According to The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding will cost $32,641. This is 21% higher than the average cost 5 years ago. The most expensive are the reception venue – which saw an increase of almost $2,000.
Based on this study, 44% of the expense is shouldered by the parents of the bride while 43% is contributed by the couple to be wed. Although the parents contribute a lot, that leaves the budget of the couple to be quite high. It is still around $14,035. Where will you get the money to pay for your wedding?
Some couples opt to borrow money.
Credit mistakes to avoid before you get married
The truth is, there is nothing wrong with using credit to pay for your wedding. However, you have to make sure that you get to know important credit tips that will help you keep the debt from piling up. As mentioned, you are in a high emotional state right now. Try not to let your emotions rule over your financial decisions.
Here are a couple of credit mistakes that you can commit and the tips that you need to follow when using credit for wedding-related purchases.
Using your credit card for purchases.
We are not saying that you cannot use your credit cards – but we strongly advise against it. This can lead to a high-interest debt. Unless there is no other way to pay for the wedding, try to avoid using your card. It might end up being too difficult to pay off. You do not want this debt to cause tension in your marriage.
Of course, there are times when using your credit card to pay for wedding expenses is okay. According to Nerd Wallet, if you can maximize your credit card rewards, it might be a good idea to use it for your wedding needs. For instance, if the purchases can help you earn travel miles, you might be able to save money on your honeymoon. Or if it will help you get a great deal when you book a hotel for your reception, this is also helpful. Just make sure that you will use the rewards wisely. Not only that, you have to ensure that you have payment plans in place so you know where to get the money to pay off the credit card debt.
Applying for a wedding loan.
Getting a wedding loan to finance your big day seems like an unnecessary move. However, there are couples who cannot wait until they saved up enough to finance their wedding. This is why they end up borrowing money. The reason why we discourage this practice is because we want to keep your debts low when you enter your marriage. Debt is capable of ruining your marriage. You want to have as little of it as possible.
In case there is a sense of urgency and you have to get married soon, you can consider borrowing money – but make sure you consider these credit tips. First of all, you have to create a payment plan that you and your partner will commit to. Not only that, make sure you have a good credit score so you will be given a low interest on this loan.
Failing to be honest with your credit situation
Of all the credit tips, this is probably the most important. Since you will be getting married to the love of your life, it is important for you to get used to being honest with each other. According to an article published on Bloomberg.com, a third of couples getting married today do not know the financial situation of their partner. This is a mistake – especially when it comes to your debts. It is best to establish a sense of trust and honesty early on in the marriage by revealing any financial problems that you may be bringing to the marriage. Any credit card debt or student loans should be revealed to your partner. That way, you can come clean with them and you can support each other as you try to get out of your credit situation.
While there may be instances when using credit for your nuptial party is unavoidable, make sure you understand the repercussions of using debt. Set a concrete payment plan and make sure you commit to it. Hold off any major purchase until you have paid this off.
How to be smart about your wedding expenses
The thing is, you do not have to use debt just so you can get married to the love of your life. You do not have to bother with these credit tips and just decide not to borrow money. All it really takes is to practice some smart spending habits so you do not have to deal with debt.
Here are some tips that will help make your wedding expenses manageable – and debt free!
- Set a realistic wedding budget. Do not throw caution to the wind just because you are feeling emotionally high. Set a budget for your wedding. Sit down with your partner and discuss your finances. Whatever amount you come up with – stick to that amount. Having a budget will give you direction and help you make the right decisions about your expenses.
- Concentrate on the experience, not the price tag. It is not really about how expensive your wedding is. Sometimes, you can have a very frugal budget and still end up giving you and your guests a great time.
- Lengthen your engagement. If you have the option to wait, then just save up for the marriage. A lengthy engagement will not only give you time to save, it will also allow you to find the best deals when it comes to suppliers. Some of them give discounts if you book with them early. You can also come up with DIY projects that will cut the costs even further.
- Make it intimate. Do you really want to invite 200 people to your wedding just so you will not offend anyone – especially your relatives? This is the wrong mindset about getting married. Choose the people you want to be with. The more people you invite, the less time you have to spend with them. There is beauty in having a short guest list. According to the study done by The Knot, 21% of couples opted for a destination wedding to cut back on the guest list. 1 out of 5 hosted a post-nuptial party after they got back home – that appeased the relatives and friends who weren’t able to come to the actual wedding. The second party is usually not as expensive.
- Trade wedding gifts for talent and skill. If you have a friend who takes great photos, you can ask them to cover your wedding as a gift. If your sister loves to back, you can ask here to create your wedding cake. The people around you are quite talented – use their expertise and talent to your advantage. Having your loved ones contribute to your wedding will make it even more special.
- Do-It-Yourself. Finally, you need to start doing things yourself. There are a lot of arts and craft videos that will help you come up with great wedding souvenirs. Doing these things yourself will make the wedding day quite memorable.
Think about all of these credit tips before you get married. While it is not a mortal sin to borrow money for your nuptial party, there are better ways to find the funds that will finance this very special day.
Common questions about the use of credit
Question: How to use a credit card wisely?
Answer: Using your credit card should be done with the intention of paying it off in full when the billing statement comes in. This will help you avoid the finance charges that can make your balance grow over time.
Question: How can I borrow money for my wedding?
Answer: There are many ways to get the funds for your wedding. You can borrow money from family and friends. You can also take out a personal loan. It is also possible to use your credit card – but make sure you have a concrete payment plan in place.
Question: Can I use credit to my advantage?
Answer: Credit can be used to build up your credit score – as long that you keep your balance low and you pay it off regularly. For credit cards, you can also benefit from the rewards program that credit card companies offer.
Question: Why use credit cards for weddings?
Answer: Sometimes, it is wise to use your card for wedding expenses if that means you can earn rewards for it. Just make sure you understand the rules and you know how to maximize it.
Question: Should you use credit or debit to pay for wedding expenses?
Answer: Ideally, you want to keep your debts low – this is why you should use debit. Of course, that means you should have enough savings to cover the expenses. If not, then you need to use your credit card to pay for expenses.