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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Wedding Season is coming... is your wallet ready?

Ah, wedding season. The time of the year when we celebrate the love of two people to be bound legally together. Whether you're in the bridal party, parent, grandparent or friend... weddings these days can be costly! According to The Knot's 2016 Real Wedding Study, the average wedding costs $35,329 dollars (and that doesn't even include the honeymoon!) Even attending a wedding as a guest can get expensive, especially if you have to fly to the destination, get a hotel and a rental car, not to mention the food costs involved - you can easily spend over $1,000! To help with wedding expenses here are some tips to help keep your wallet (and spending plan) in check.

If you're a guest and planning on attending...
If you're a guest and you are planning on going once you get that save the date card in the mail (or online) plan on budgeting for those expenses. Usually the bride and groom have blocked off a set of hotel rooms for a discounted rate, or go off the beaten path and find a bed and breakfast for the weekend. Whatever you decide to do, put it in your spending plan now! Don't wait until the month or even week of the wedding to pay for those expenses. Another tip? Plan for that gift in advance too! Spreading your expenses out over a few months can help to make the costs associated with the wedding a lot easier to bear than putting it all on your credit card and paying it back later.

If you're a guest and cannot attend...
Depending on how well you know the bride and groom, if you're unable to attend to a circumstance, sending a gift is always a nice gesture. The most common gift is cash, but you can always send things from the bride's wedding registry as well. Again, spread out the cost in your spending plan. If the wedding is 4 months away, and you want to send $200, put aside $50/month until the wedding month.

If you're in the wedding party or family...
Once that ring goes on the bride's finger after the proposal, big bucks will be spent before, during and after the wedding! Go into the wedding with prepared expectations that if you're the mother or father, sister or brother of the bride or groom, lots of planning and coordinating will be taking place. If you're helping pay for part of the wedding, give that couple an estimate of how much you can help them with, If you're in the bridal party, be prepared to pay for your dress or tux, hair, makeup, bachelor and bachelorette party plans plus any bridal showers. Being apart of the wedding party may be expensive, but getting those plans in place and pacing your expenses will help.

Bottom line: If you're attending, not attending or apart of the wedding - plan for your expenses in advance and budget for them. It could mean the difference between seeing the lovebirds in person or not! (Plus your wallet will thank you!)

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