There are a few times in a person’s life that are highlights, such as getting married, having a child, travelling the world, etc. These are momentous occasions and as such are celebrated in a grand manner. They also can be costly, and we need to walk the fine line and balance things between what we can afford, and what we cannot, while still being able to have that grand celebration, but not at the expense of being in debt and struggling to repay the loans.
Two things must first be said as a preface to making a statement as bold as “don’t go into debt for a wedding, a holiday, or a night out”.
The first is with holidays and weddings, you need to set a budget as to what you can spend for the event, or what you think the event will cost.
You can do this for a night out as well by just taking £20 out with you, and saying when it’s gone, it’s gone and the night is over. Unfortunately. after a few drinks and with cash points nearby, this may prove difficult.
The second questions to ask is this, if I do take out a loan to finance this wedding or holiday, how affordable is to for me to repay it? Can I repay the loan comfortably? If you can, then while not the ideal way to pay for these celebrations, it may prove to be an option.
In some instances when people finance a wedding or holiday, they tend to overspend. Especially if using credit cards. You just don’t see the cash flying out of your wallet or bank account.
Unfortunately, financing these events may take you longer than paying the loan off. You may still be paying the loans off after the marriage has split, the holiday memories faded, and the hangover well cured.
So let’s look at the three (3) things it is best not to put on finance.
The holy matrimonial bond between two people, who in front of their families and friends, are exhibiting their love for one another in the form or exchanging vows and having one hell of a party!
I recently read where the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £18,000! That seemed high to me, but when you take into account the cost of where you may have the wedding or reception, food, music, the dress, rings, flowers, etc, it does all add up.
I attended a wedding recently that had a band and a DJ. When the band took a break, the DJ played. So non-stop music, and non-stop costs.
Here’s an interesting study that was done. We know that one of the major causes of divorce besides infidelity is arguments about money; couples split over finances. The insurer Sheila’s Wheels did a poll of 1000 couples who were married in the past five (5) years and found that 16% had argued at least once a week as they were planning their wedding over finances.
They also found that 11%, or one in nine couples, almost broke up during the planning process due to financial issues!
The study also found that 21% had to use credit cards and take out loans to pay for their wedding, and 25% stated they had borrowed from family and friends.
Getting married can be stressful enough, and we know financial duress can wreck a relationship, so why go into a marriage with all this on your shoulders and wallets in the first place??
Even attending a wedding isn’t cheap. I read where the average wedding guest spends £600 to attend a wedding. I believe his to be a bit high myself, however there are some expenses to be considered. The stag and hen parties, clothes, transportation, and hotels, it does all add.
How to not go into debt for a wedding.
First, be realistic and sit down and look at what you want to do, research costs, and add it all up.
Can you afford this? In most instances the answer is no.
Set a budget of what you can afford, and work from there.
Once you have an idea of overall costs, save the money for the wedding. When you decide on a date, break down how much you need to save each month towards the wedding.
Some things require a deposit, so they will need to be paid first. Others like flowers, can be paid later on.
While saving for a wedding is the simplest way to not be in debt for your great day, it can also prove difficult to do. You can merge saving with other ways to finance the wedding, such as with family and friends.
Family and friends
When I mention family and friends, it is not in the context of borrowing or getting a loan from them, it is the form of a gift; gifting some money to the bride and groom.
I am not talking about large sums of money, but if both sets of parents help out in some way, it reduces the amount the bride and groom need to come up with.
I know there are those traditionalists out there that will say the brides family pays for the wedding. In all the weddings I have been to I have only seen this occur once. It does happen I am sure, but I believe it to be not the norm.
Another idea that on the surface seems to be obvious. You can eBay or Gumtree things you no longer need or use to come up with some cash.
We all want the biggest, fanciest wedding to be talked about for years and years, but scaling back a little can save you money.
Look at what you are spending on food, the dress, flowers, can you make some reductions, even if not in everything, but in some areas. These can add up.
Pay as you go
Many wedding vendors will require a deposit, but they also may allow you to make payments. Yes, this is a form of financing, but come your big day, it is paid for, and no debt.
What can be better than two weeks away, somewhere warm, sunny, just lying on a beach reading a book, thinking about what you want to drink and eat for your next meal.
What could be worse than returning from that holiday knowing you got a monthly bill to pay for the next 12-24 months to pay off the holiday.
There are those that will argue to take a once in a lifetime trip or holiday, or huge cruise that you will remember the rest of your life is worth going into debt for. If you feel that way, then that’s how you feel, but logically, borrowing to take a holiday doesn’t make good financial sense.
Saving for the holiday, selling stuff you no longer need or use, and scaling the holiday back to what you can afford are easy ways to not be in debt for a holiday.
A Night Out
A few years ago the worst that someone might do is get a borrow or lend off a friend or family member for £10 or £20 to go out and have a few drinks. Now the ante has been upped in the form of payday loans and other short-term lenders.
A short time back a payday lender found themselves in the spotlight and not in a good way. They were accused of trivialising debt and taking out the high interest rate payday loans as they advertised to students and young people to take out a payday loan for a weekend on the town.
Needless to say this did not go over well and they had to pull the advert and issue an apology.
Taking out a loan to go out for the night, weekend, whatever, is just plain wrong. It is a poor financial decision and needs to be avoided.