Paying for a wedding and saving for a down payment on a new home is no easy feat. While some couples can do both simultaneously, most do one or the other or focus on one task and put the other one off for a few years. If you want to do both, you’ll need to develop a solid financial plan and be ready to commit to a course of action.
According to CNBC, the average wedding costs over $35,000 (which is equal to making a 20% down payment on a $175,000 home!) If you’re ready to take the plunge, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you pay for the wedding (and home) of your dreams!
- Know where you stand financially as a couple.
Do you and your partner have similar financial goals? Do you want to allocate your money towards other long-term expenses, like starting a family or traveling the globe? These discussions should happen before developing a long-term financial plan, to help you set goals and determine the best way to budget and allocate money. Once you’ve figured out the details, you can implement a savings plan that benefits all your goals.
- Use financial gifts wisely.
If either of you have parents or relatives offering financial help for your wedding or a new home, keep track of the amount(s) gifted and if there’s any conditions attached. Can you keep the rest of the funds if you spend less than what’s gifted? If so, you may be able to allocate the money towards your other goals.
- Ask for cash in lieu of gifts.
Instead of a traditional wedding registry, have a cash registry instead. Nowadays, cash registries are becoming increasingly popular and are no longer looked at as “tacky” or “in poor taste.” In fact, most guests are happy to give couples something useful (who needs three toasters, anyway?)
- Be mindful of how much you’re spending.
Most couples wind up spending much more on their wedding than originally planned. If you’re planning to buy a home before or soon after you get married, your spending can affect your mortgage qualification, which is largely based on your income and credit. Taking on more debt than you can handle can hurt your credit score and influence the type of mortgage you qualify for. To avoid overspending, create a wedding budget and see where you can cut back. Can you trim the guest list? Book a DJ instead of a band? Focus on cutting back on expenses that are less of a priority to you and your spouse-to-be.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but purchasing a home can be too. If you’re gearing up to do both, the Housing Buzz team is here to help! Contact us today to start your journey to homeownership!