Allison Baggerly, founder of Inspired Budget, joins The 411k to share her money story. After an unexpected pregnancy, Allison and her husband decided it was time to get their finances in order. They learned how to budget and came up with a plan to become debt-free. Now, Allison helps women get their finances in order with classes and printables through Inspired Budget. She will help you make a budget that fits your lifestyle.
We are so happy to see our friends get engaged and we are honored to be invited to celebrate their special day! It’s even better when we can do so without going into debt to do so. Therefore, we need to get a little more clear one what to budget for.
How much are we talking about?
In 2014, an American Express survey found that the average guest spent approximately $592 per wedding and in 2016, the average increased to $888 per wedding. This is obviously dependent on a number of factors. According to The Knot, guests attending a local wedding spent approximately $185, guests who drove out of town spent approximately $600, and guests who flew to a wedding reported an average spend of $1,440. The average total spent also varies whether you are in the bridal party! If you are in the wedding, the average is well over $1,000. Now imagine getting invited to 3-5 weddings in one year all across the country…
Wait seriously? Yep, that checked out. In 2018, Katie attended two weddings as a guest. Between bachelorettes, bridal showers, travel, hotels, food, dresses, and gifts, Katie spent $681 and $746 on each wedding. Then in 2021, Katie was a bridesmaid in two weddings which added up to over $1,135 each. But these are just examples.
How can I keep costs down?
- Talk to your friends and ask them about their expectations. Do they expect you to travel for every event with a top of the line registry gift? Are they requiring hair and makeup for everyone? Are they flexible with the dress costs? What costs are they paying for?
2. Use travel points, miles and cash back available to you to cover expenses. I love saving my credit card points to get gift cards as wedding gifts for friends. Travel can be something that really gets pricey so if that means not staying in the room block to say a couple hundred dollars, that might be worth it!
3. Be thrifty! Don’t be afraid to shop used dresses or re-sell your dress on Poshmark or any other resale market.
4. Start a sinking fund! Set a budget and start planning for it early. If you know that the wedding next year is going to cost you $1,100, start putting $100 away each month now.
5. Be honest with yourself and your friends! Don’t lie to yourself. You might not be able to fit 5 weddings into your budget. So be honest with yourself and your friends about what you can and can not commit to. Maybe you can only really commit to the wedding day but will not be able to travel for the engagement party, bachelorette and shower.
5. Say ‘No.’ This is the hardest of them all but it’s okay to say no to a wedding invitation or any other event. Don’t go broke trying to keep up with someone else. Send a nice gift to the bachelorette if you can’t attend or ask to contribute in other ways to the wedding or shower. A nice gesture will save face and money in your bank. If they are a real friend, they will understand. Some times this is a secret blessing to the bride and groom who are trying to keep their own costs down.
Jen Smith, creator of ModernFrugality.com, joins The 411k to talk about what it means to live a frugal life in the modern world. Yes, being frugal can mean saving $5 at the grocery store by shopping sale item but this conversation centers around the big frugal moves like moving to a more affordable city, buying a more modest house on one income, saving an old kitchen table instead of buying a new one. Big frugal moves can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You won’t want to miss this conversation on the benefits of a frugal life.
Erin Chase, founder of the blog 5 Dollar Dinners, is on a mission to help busy, overwhelmed home chefs learn to spend less money on groceries. Erin joins The 411k to talk food budgets and how to save money on groceries, so that you can do more with the rest of your budget.
You can find more information about Erin and her money saving resources at 5DollarDinners.com.
Britny Lawhorn joins The 411k to teach us how to make informed decisions throughout the home-buying process. Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision that a person makes and so it’s important to understand as much as you can about the factors that impact that purchase. In this episode, we are talking specifically about what a first-time buyer should know about mortgages.
Melody Wright understands that a financial plan isn’t one size fits all! In this live episode with Ithaca College’s Women in Finance and POC in Finance groups, she talks about her new book, Start Here, a personal finance guide to move past living paycheck to paycheck. When faced with $212K of debt that didn’t include their mortgage, Melody used the analytical skills learned from her time in science to develop a framework that helped her family pay off over $100,000 in debt in less than three years. Now she’s living her version of a Rich Life! Through bold conversations, coaching, and the creation of strategic money management systems, she has helped thousands of people stop being Aimlessly Broke and transform their mindset, behaviors, and practices related to money.
Scarlett McKnight is the founder of ThirtyEight Investing, a blog where she shares her financial journey. She is paying off over $50,000 in graduate student debt and working toward building passive income to achieve financial freedom by the age of 38. Tune in to learn more about the budgeting principles that have helped her along her money adventure.