Getting married and buying a house are some of the largest financial transactions in a couple’s life. Saving for one of these events can seem like a significant challenge, but saving for both at the same time can seem almost impossible. However, there are ways that couples can still afford both at once without breaking the bank. Mapped out below are some of our suggestions to get started on these two very exciting life chapters!
When Getting Married and Buying a Home, Consider the Budget
Budgeting for your New House
Most first-time homebuyers don’t need to put 20% down, in fact, that’s becoming less common. Finding out how much you need to put down on a home will help you understand how much you need to save. Setting up a meeting with an expert real estate agent is a great first step. Your REALTOR® will be able to give you an understanding of what to expect as a first-time home buyer, or if you are trying to sell your current property and move into a new house. Your real estate agent will be able to give you a baseline of what to expect and how much the entire process will cost.
Make a wish list of any features you want and need in a home and set a price point. There is no need to visit houses that don’t have everything you need or are largely out of your price point. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential BEFORE you start house hunting. Knowing where your budget is will give you a realistic expectation while browsing houses. Each person should write down their must-haves and must-avoids, and then come together and discuss with each other. This will help when deciding what kind of house you are looking for and where you are looking for that home.
Budgeting for your Wedding Day
Decide on the type of wedding you are going to have. In total, weddings can range from a few thousand to upwards of $100,000. Setting up expectations for your budget will be important. Will you be going to a destination area with a guest list of 200 people or will you have a party in a backyard with 50 people? Many couples have different visions of what they want their wedding day to look like, so it is important to decide exactly how much money you will need to allocate towards your specific event. Many wedding planners and coordinators will have budget planning guides to help you determine what you can realistically afford, especially when you’re also putting money towards a new home.
Tips on Saving Money for a House and a Wedding
Now that you have a better idea of your budget for both your future home and your upcoming special day, you will need to decide how and on what level you are going to save for both. Some couples may split their efforts 50/50 and both contribute a percentage or a set amount each month to each savings account. In some scenarios, a family member may offer to help contribute to either the wedding or a down payment. While it may seem awkward at first, it is best to sit down with them to discuss what is most appropriate to spend the money on and if they have any conditions to providing you the money. This will help clear any confusion and avoid potential conflicts.
Set up two different savings accounts! One for the wedding and one for the house. This will help you stay more organized and be able to track money better. Setting up separate savings accounts for each event will help give a clear understanding of how much money is being saved and by whom. This way, you also won’t be tempted to overspend in one area more than the other since the accounts will be split up. Looking at a large savings account may only provoke you to spend more.
While trying to save for two large life events at once, you and your partner will need to decide where you can make sacrifices in your lives. Perhaps you only need to make small budget cuts like not buying your favorite $8.00 coffee every, or you may need to make bigger sacrifices such as temporarily canceling one of your streaming services. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your partner!
Wedding Planning and Home Searching? Time Management is KEY!
It doesn’t matter if you have been engaged for 6 months or 3 years, couples will always fill in their time with wedding to-dos! Spending all this extra time planning for a wedding leaves little time for open houses. Planning schedules for wedding time, house hunting time, and then free time is essential! Be sure to look closely at your calendar. You may even decide to create time blocks specifically dedicated to wedding planning or attending showings. With home buying, especially in the current market, being timely is so important. Essentially, when you find your dream home, you want to be fully prepared to strike and win!
Looking Towards the Future
At the end of the day, saving for your future is important, but so is living your life to the fullest! Save aggressively but also make sure you are still having fun with your partner. Replace date night in the city with a homemade meal and movie night. If you’re looking for even more ways to save a few extra dollars? Consider applying for a small part-time job to put into your savings account or even pick up a few extra hours at work. Both of these things can help in the long run. And of course, don’t forget that some guests may put checks in your wedding cards! Congratulations on all you have happening! If you take everything one step at a time and stay strong as a team, there is no doubt that both your wedding day and purchasing your future home will be successful!