How to Pay Off Your Wedding Debt
Posted on June 07, 2013 by Michael Martin Leaño.
Your Wedding should be one of the most memorable days of your life, but it certainly won't be a cheap one! Couples often find themselves deep in debt even before they start their life together—and we haven't even factored student loans into the equation. Here's the thing: debts can put a lot of strain on your marriage. To help ease the pressure, here are a few tips on how to pay off your wedding debt.
Tip #1: Reduce wedding costs to minimise debt
It always pays to think ahead. In terms of wedding debts, find ways to reduce your expenses before the wedding. That way, you don't have to deal with massive financial obligations when you start your married life. To slash your wedding tab, you can:
- Limit the guest list.
- Avoid hiring a wedding planner.
- Schedule an off-season wedding.
- Hold your reception during lunch instead of dinner.
- Use flowers that are in season.
- Rent the gown and tuxedo.
- Send wedding invitations via e-mail.
Tip #2: Establish realistic goals
You've probably already heard that to pay off your debts more quickly, you'll have to make extra payments. However, instead of randomly trying to add a couple of fivers to your instalments, you should establish realistic goals so that you can develop a concrete plan for making repayments. For instance, you need to decide on a reasonable time frame depending on the size of your debt, then use an online calculator to calculate the amount you need every month to settle the debt within that time frame.
Tip #3: Keep track of your expenses
One of the ways to help pay off any debt is to reduce your expenses. To do this, you have to keep track of literally every dollar by saving all your receipts. This would allow you to account for each expense, monitor where your money goes, and decide where you can cut down spending. The savings you get from reducing expenses can then be used to make extra payments for your wedding debts.
Tip #4: Set up automatic payments
Want to make sure that you never miss a payment? Then set up automatic payments. It eliminates paper bills and writing cheques; improves your credit score; and makes payments much more convenient. Just make sure you still monitor the money that goes out of your account to avoid overdraft fees and other possible charges.
Tip #5: Divide up the debt
One approach to to paying off your wedding debt is to divide it between yourselves, depending on income or who wanted what. For instance, since the bride takes home 15 per cent more, she can handle 15 per cent more of the obligation. Or maybe the groom insisted on holding the reception at the more expensive venue, so he can take responsibility for paying it off.
Tip #6: Live below your means
The smartest way to pay off wedding debt—or any kind of debt, really—is to live below your means. Living within your means gives the impression that you're spending all that you earn. Instead, find ways to spend less than what you can afford so that you can set money aside and pay your debts.
More importantly, living below your means will help you stay out of debt, create financial security, and help your marriage. Since financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce, having your finances in order means theres one less thing for the couple to worry about.
Tip #7: Get professional help
The problem with wedding debt is that it may not be the only financial obligation you have to deal with. There may also be existing credit card debt, a mortgage, and student loans. If you're having difficulty paying off your debts and it's starting to affect your relationship, then consider consulting a financial planner, who can help you develop a more efficient strategy in controlling your expenses and ultimately settling your debts.
Tip #8: Keep at it
If you're not smart in dealing with your debts, you and your spouse can become a statistic, even if you think your relationship is different. To survive, you have to be patient with each other, establish a financial plan, and simply keep at it. Always stick with your budget, keep putting money aside, and if you persevere, you will be out of debt before you know it.