For many this isn’t the most fun of topics, but we can all agree that this is one of the most important pieces to your wedding puzzle. Funding your wedding can be overwhelming, challenging and for some, by going over budget, can leave years of debt.
This is such a lovely time in a couples life so it’s so important that the finance side is as seamless as possible. We must also remember that a wedding is one day out of a very big life picture and some may also be trying to save for a house or planning a family….all of which need just as much financial planning if not more.
I caught up with Paul Merriman of ‘Ask Paul’ who alongside his team, specialise in setting financial futures. They sit with many couples to help them map out a plan for the goals they have and I’m just raging that I didn’t know about this until way past my wedding. I thought financial planning was only for planning a pension but it’s so much more than that. I’m actually going to do a session as it’s never too late!
AND I’ve managed to nab you guys a little treat!
Get A 25% discount on a Financial Planning consultation with the askpaul Team using the code WEDDING25
Here are some of the tips we chatted about:
- Tax: Most couples may not even know that they are either overpaying or entitled to different credits. By taking a good look at tax affairs, you could be in for a tax back or reduction meaning more goes in to your pockets.
- Move payments around: Paul suggested that maybe during the period that you are planning a wedding, hold pension payments or other longer term outgoings to free up money.
- Monthly Outgoings ‘Lower ‘em’: When we look closely at what we spend in our monthly payments, whether it’s sky sports, a few too many curly blow dries, or that evening addiction to amazon….aim to hold yourself back and also cut non-essential items. Paul has an ‘envelope system’ which basically involves putting what you would have spent on a non-essential item in to an envelope and popping in to savings. I’m going to give this a whirl over the next few months.
- Day to day spending ‘The little creepers’: All of the ‘little’ dashes to the newsagents or coffee shops add up. The biggest one is always the coffee treat. Rather than cutting out, maybe reduce to half of what you normally have. If you tally up all of those little contactless taps up, you’ll be surprised at just how much you are clocking up. Moving your mindset to having a ‘treat’ less regularly will save you in the long run.
- Sneaky Subscriptions: I am always falling victim to this one! Signing up for free trials and forgetting that the payment kicks in after 30 days. I looked in to my subscriptions recently and found a monthly direct debit of €30 that I hadn’t noticed. Needless to say that was switched off straight away. You can go in to your subscriptions setting on your phone and you will see what you are paying for and can switch off. You can also see what has an annual renewal. Be warry of apps that you signed up for at a low rate which goes to over $100 in year two! Always read the small print.
- Shop around: I am always banging on about shopping around for the best deal on your wedding suppliers but from Paul’s perspective, he is talking about shopping around and comparing your utilities such as electricity, bins, broadband, TV etc. I know that I saved a lot myself by shopping around and there are platforms where you can do this comparison shop such as Bonkers.ie and Choosey. If you already have a mortgage, switching can save a bomb…we are talking thousands but I strongly advise working with a mortgage broker like Paul if this is new territory as there is a legal process involved and you will need your solicitor too. It’s not complicated once you have your ducks in a row. You could have signed up for a mortgage based on a cash back incentive and that lock in period is coming to an end, at this point look for the lowest rate in the market and take down your monthly mortgage payment.
- Live within your means: Most of us think that we have our finances are under control but in theory, 20% of your salary should go straight to savings, 20% on living your best life and the remainder on bills. By carving up your salary to this ratio, it gives you hard figures to work with and gives good habits for life. I also find having my savings direct debit come out the same day as I get paid a good idea as once out it’s not there to be spent. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Get a Financial Planning Appointment: By doing an appointment together as a couple, it focuses you both on reaching goals and being committed to achieving that. It can also throw up any potential issues. Money can be the deal breaker for many relationships and it’s better to be open and on the same page. Money is such a personal thing and once you’re married it really is 50/50. Through doing your financial planning meeting with a qualified financial specialist, you will save money which can be used towards savings or even a treat!
- Think carefully about getting a wedding loan: If you intend on getting a loan for your wedding, make sure you are clear on the repayment costs. Look at the APR% and the representative examples as you will always be paying back more than you borrow. The longer you have the loan, the more interest you will be paying. Most banks and credit union rates are from 5%-10% but there are a lot of quick cash type lenders and they can be over 100%. Also, you know our friend the ‘credit card’? There is also interest on that and in many many cases, the interest is higher than a loan and you need to pay back quicker than a loan. A credit card is great for booking your travel and big items as the payment is secured but if you don’t’ already have the funds to clear it, that money will cost you. There are also deals in the market that have 0% apr credit cards and they can come in handy but just watch out for what time period the 0% is valid for as most have a date that it increases. Essentially, you could easily be paying a third extra on your wedding day on interest alone!
- Reduce debt: There is no greater feeling than clearing a loan or credit card bill knowing that it’s out of your life for good. Aim to get as much debt down as you can and when you clear that debt, don’t embed in to your day to day expenses, push it straight in to your savings as you can already live without it so start stacking up those extra funds.
Paul has a savings club on Instagram which is well worth checking out as everyone is on the same path and proactively trying to save a few pennies!
When you think about the financial requirements for a wedding, an average wedding costs roughly €25k-€30k. If you don’t have a bank of savings already and want to get married within 1 year, you would need to save €2,500 per month or if within 2 years €1,250. For some this is no problem but for others they are probably paying rent amongst other expenses so being realistic in terms of what you can save and aligning your wedding accordingly goes a long way or go for the wedding you can’t live without but map out your timeline accordingly.
Also, another great tip! So many people end up being charged all sorts of bank fee’s that could be avoided. Take a look at when you have your direct debits come out and if you see that you miss payments regularly and get charged, just call up the company you are late paying and move the date to a lower risk date.
If you want to hear more from Ask Paul, you can visit https://www.askpaul.ie/ You can sign up for his newsletters which has tips and tricks to keep you financially fit! And don’t forget: Enjoy a 25% discount on a Financial Planning consultation with the askpaul Team using the code WEDDING25
Hope this helps!
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