Receiving wedding invitations is exciting – the first two or three times. (Other than bills, it’s really the only way you receive snail mail anymore).
But once you get four (or more!) wedding invites per season, the financial burden starts to add up. With multiple weddings in a short period of time come numerous expenses.
It can feel like a crushing weight as you add up all of the costs and look at how those factor into your money goals for the year.
And now some good news.
You don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats, wondering how you can balance the cost of traveling to four weddings, buying presents, another dress to wear, or heaven forbid – being in the wedding!
Planning early, even before invites start rolling in, can help you offset the financial panic attacks and avoid racking up wedding-induced credit card debt.
Start a Wedding Fund
Once you hit the age of 25, it’s important to start a wedding fund. Tweet this
Don’t panic guys – this fund isn’t for yourself – it’s for funding all the weddings you’ll be attending in the next five to 10 years.
Set up an entirely separate savings account, preferably one with at least 1 percent annual percentage yield, and start automating a portion of each paycheck into your new savings account.
A good way to get started is to set aside $25 per paycheck. This way, it won’t feel like such a burden to book flights, pay for a hotel and buy presents.
Any side hustle money can also help quickly pad this fund. Got multiple weddings coming up? Put 25 percent of all your side income into a wedding fund.
No Shame in the Re-Gifting Game
Maybe you got married recently and ended up with two sets of kitchen knives. Or maybe that juicer you bought a year ago is just sitting on the shelf – unopened – collecting dust.
There is no shame in saving yourself $50 to $100 on purchasing a wedding gift (or bridal shower present) if you can re-gift an unused item you already own.
Just make sure it isn’t personalized in anyway or originally from the new recipient!
Use Cash Back Portals
Using cash back portals is one unique way to put a little money back in your pocket during wedding season.
Brides and grooms notoriously register with places like Macy’s, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Pier 1.
For instance, if a purchase from Macy’s yields 8 percent cash back through Ebates, buying a $100 set of plates will put $8 back in your pocket.
You can even stack cash back rewards by combining cash back portals with your cash back credit card to get even more money back.
Sure, it might only be $5 to $10, but multiply that by every wedding gift you buy and you could recoup the cost of one or more gifts. You can even put the extra money back into your wedding fund.
Consider Using Credit Card Bonus Offers
Traveling for weddings adds up fast. Diligent credit card users can use travel hacking or credit card churning to help offset the costs by using sign-up bonuses to cover flight expenses.
You can apply for an airline credit card or for a travel card from major companies that offer big sign-up bonuses.
Usually credit card churning works like this: spend enough to get the bonus being offered – usually around $2,000 or $3,000 in the first three months of being a card holder. Then, you automatically get enough miles for a domestic round trip (or two).
If you use this strategy, just make sure you can hit the minimum balance targets without increasing your spending.
Also, make sure to pay our credit card bills on time. If you’re very careful, credit card churning can be a creative way to fly the friendly skies for “free.”
Learn to Say No
It’s never worth going into debt for a wedding – your own or someone else’s. Tweet this
If you know you just can’t financially afford to attend, send a gift along with your regrets.