For the past two weeks, we’ve focused on the average wedding cost in Central Texas. This week, we’re exploring how to create a realistic wedding budget.
Sure, you now know that an average wedding costs at least $30K in Austin, Texas. But that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how you’re going to get $30K to spend.
I interviewed Alli Williams, money coach and owner of FinanciALLI Focused, about creating a realistic wedding budget. Alli first caught my attention when she shared on Instagram that she started wedding savings before she was even engaged.
Below Alli shares how to create a realistic wedding budget, whether or not you should take out a credit card or loan for your wedding, alternative ways to save for your wedding, and more.
Alli: First take a look at your financial situation.
By answering these questions you will then be able to decide on an estimate for a budget. You will also want to make a list of the vendors or aspects of your wedding that are most important and the ones that you don’t really care about.
Alli: I would try to do everything you can to avoid putting wedding costs on a credit card or taking out a loan. Can you push the date back? Or DIY some things? Can you keep it small? Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and costs add up fast. I would also see if you could start a side hustle so you can make extra money to put towards wedding costs. Can you sell things around your house? Open an Etsy shop and sell things? Do you have a skill you can teach people or help people? Can you tutor? Can you get a raise at work? Anything to make extra money so you can pay for your wedding.
Alli: Personally, I don’t recommend it. I wouldn’t recommend taking on more debt to pay for a wedding. We were able to pay for our wedding in cash but I did marry into $154k of debt (mostly student loans) that we are paying off so I can’t even imagine if we added wedding debt on top of that. Of course, personal finance is personal but I don’t think couples should take out loans or credit cards. Credit card interest rates are so high so if you have to (emphasis on have to) then I would take out a loan with a lower interest rate. I really recommend trying to pay cash if you have to pay for your wedding. You can always do something small now and then throw an amazing 5 or 10 year anniversary party.
Alli: Yes! I saved $17k before I was even engaged. Some people think that is crazy but we were able to pay for our wedding in cash. We were engaged for about a year. Start saving now. Even if you aren’t sure if you want to get married or when the sooner you save the better. If you know you will have to pay for your own wedding, you should start saving as soon as possible. The sooner you start saving, the easier wedding planning will be. It was so nice not to stress over finances while planning our wedding. We were able to splurge on the vendors that were important to us like photographer and videographer.
Alli: Start saving now. Honestly, there is no reason not to. Worst case scenario, you never get married and you use that money for a house down payment, a nice trip, or even invest it.
About Alli Williams: Alli Williams is a money coach and the founder of FinanciALLI Focused LLC. Her FinanciALLI Focused Framework helps women transform their money mindset and develop a flexible plan to spend, save, and pay off debt all at the same time (yes, it is possible). She does not believe in deprivation or barebones budgeting but spending intentionally and making your money work for you (no need to cut Starbucks lattes).
Alli and her husband paid off over $50k of debt while saving $40k for a down payment, saving for retirement, cash flowing their wedding, and still spent money on the things they value (which for her is college football season tickets). She currently lives in South Carolina but was born and raised in NY. She has her MBA in Finance from the University of South Carolina. Her signature program, Flourish FinanciALLI, has helped dozens of women pay off thousands of debt and save for their big money goals in 12 weeks (or less). You can find her on Instagram @financiallifocused or her website www.financiallifocused.com.