The costs can add up…
but so can your savings account!
Congrats, you’re engaged! It’s one of the most exciting and joyful times in your life. After you’ve shown the ring to your family, friends, co-workers, and every barista at Starbucks, it will be time to get down to business and start planning. For many brides, realizing how much a Long Island wedding can cost (the average is over $60,000!) puts a damper on all that happiness. But don’t worry! After setting your budget, there are several ways you can start stockpiling your pennies to save for the big day. Here are 7 ideas:
#1: Take a little of the top
Payday is always the best day of the week! But rather than going to dinner or a bar to celebrate, consider taking the amount you’d spend on a night out and dedicating it to wedding expenses instead. Most banks will allow you to schedule automatic savings transfers, so you can set aside a few bucks before you’re tempted by that 2 for 1 ladies night.
There are also a lot of apps out there to help with saving. Chime offers customers the option of “rounding up” their purchases and sending the overage to a high yield savings account. So a $74.01 receipt from the grocery store means that 99 cents goes directly to your wedding fund! It may seem small, but those cents add up (especially if you’re planning on a long engagement). And Digit can analyze your income and spending habits, and then deduct a “safe” amount each month to go towards your goals.
#2: Workin’ for the weekend
If you find yourself with too much time on your hands every Saturday (you’ve watched all the episodes of “Bachelor in Paradise”….twice), a part time gig may be a profitable way to pass the time. Bartending, catering, or working retail can earn you enough cash for that incredible string quartet you saw last year!
#3: Start swiping
You buy nearly everything with your credit card, it’s time for your card to say “thanks!” If you tend to be a responsible spender, think about opening a card with cash back rewards. Watch your bonus dollars add up with each purchase, and then pack those dollars away for your DJ (or limo, or bridesmaids gifts…you get the picture). Many cards offer new account holders 0% APR for a certain period, so as long as you can pay off the balance in time, swipe (and save) away!
#4: Side Hustles
There’s nothing you enjoy more than tickling the ivories for a few hours. Why not share your knowledge and talent with the future Billy Joels of the world? If you’ve got the skills, consider teaching private lessons in music, art, or another field of study. Tutoring and sharing your expertise can also provide a steady money stream, as can selling handcrafted wares on sites like Etsy. Your Cricut can pay for itself AND your big day!
Natural gifts and abilities can open the door to a host of potential income sources. Just be careful- make sure you account for any overhead costs and tax expenses. You don’t want to spend more than you make!
#5: Clean out your closet
That impulse buy from Louis Vuitton is gathering dust on your shelf, and the Kate Spade skirt you wore once is hiding behind your Halloween costume from 3 years ago. Free up some space and bulk up your wedding fund by selling your gently worn designer wear on sites like eBay or Poshmark. You can also sell other items in good condition – like the elliptical that’s doubling as a clothes rack- on outlets like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and LetGo.
#6: Find your (re)purpose
For the creatively inclined bride, try saving some money with decorative DIY projects or by re-purposing items you already own. There’s got to be a reason why you’ve kept those vases from your birthday flowers every year! You can also search social media for former brides selling or giving away their used wedding decor. By spending less on some aspects of your day, you can funnel a greater portion of your savings towards other, more costly expenses.
#7: ‘Tis the season
The holidays are fast approaching, and with it brings tons of gift shopping and giving. If you’ve got a lot of family members, suggest saving some dough by starting a “Secret Santa” tradition. That way, instead of stressing about gifts for 5 or 6 people, you can focus on a gift for one. The money you save from not having to buy multiple presents can go straight into your piggy bank! If that’s not an option, tell your family and friends what you really want this year: a few dollars towards your dream day. Plus, writing a check or slipping some bills into a card will be a much easier and safer gift option for family members at high risk for COVID-19.