Saving for the sunny days in life is just as important as saving for the rainy ones. Learn more about the importance of saving.
Here at The Budget Savvy Bride, we're all about saving money, being smart with how we spend what we've got, and still enjoying a fabulous life! Being budget-savvy in life (just as in wedding planning) is all about priorities, and everyone's priorities are different.
Why it's important to save for a rainy day
I'm sure you've heard the expression it's important to save money for a rainy day, but sadly the majority of people aren't saving much at all. A 2018 study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) revealed that 46% of households don't have suitable rainy day funds. This essentially means that they have less than 3 months' worth of savings in their emergency funds.
We all know that random things happen all the time, and unexpected expenses are bound to pop up. Get prepared for these inevitable surprises by building consistent savings into your budget. In the past, I've had several of these surprise expenses pop up in close proximity. In the span of a few weeks, the A/C units in our rental property broke down and our car engine needed work.
Luckily, when you've been saving for a rainy day, you won't have to worry about coming up with that money from your regular monthly budget. Saving creates peace of mind when accidents happen or unexpected bills arrive. It's a fact of life– these things happen! The best thing you can do is be prepared.
Make sure you're saving for the sunny days, too
But more than just saving for a rainy day, are you saving for the Sunny Days, too? Are you setting aside time and resources to experience new things, travel, and generally enjoy your life? Being on a budget doesn't mean you can't indulge now and then! This is why it's just as important to have a sunny day savings fund as it is to have an emergency fund.
I encourage you to sit down with your partner and discuss your goals and dreams. Everyone deserves to live a life they love, and getting clear about what that means to you is the first step. Whether you want to plan an epic honeymoon or buy a boat, you have to share your dreams and then make a plan to achieve them.
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of savings, you'll want to look at your monthly income vs monthly expenses. Pro tip: you should have money left over… otherwise you're going into debt. If you find yourself with little to no money left over after your baseline spending, you should look at ways to reduce your monthly expenses in order to allow you to save more.
What is your Sunny Day?
Want to take one big vacation each year? Start a savings plan for that. Saving up for your dream wedding? Start a savings plan for that. Want to buy your first home together? Start a savings plan for that. Everything you desire is within your reach if you just start saving for it. You deserve it, and you owe it to yourself and your partner to reach for these goals together! You could use an online banking tool like Mint.com to set up goals, and connect a bank account with an automatic savings plan to help you get there.
Select your goal, set a deadline and Mint.com will tell you how much to save each month. It makes it plain and simple to see what you need to do to get to where you want to be. And let me tell you, there's nothing better than that sense of fulfillment you will feel when you reach a goal and get to treat yourself to whatever you've been reaching for. Nothing is better than going on a debt-free vacation without having to worry about how you're gonna pay for everything when you get home. Budgeting and making sure to save for the sunny days gives you the power to enjoy your money how you see fit!
How to save for your Sunny Day
When I was planning my own wedding, we had to set a strict budget. Plain and simple: we couldn't afford more. Spending more would mean either going into debt or having an extra-long engagement– neither of which we were interested in at the time. Due to the economic recession at the time, neither of our families could help us out financially. So my fiancé and I made a plan, and I think it may help others to make their own.
- Come up with a max figure you want to spend as a target for whatever financial goal you have.
- Create a new savings account (I love using Capital One 360 to house my various savings funds.)
- Combine whatever savings that you are each able to put towards your goal.
- Then set up an automatic savings plan to put money aside every month towards your goal.
We used this method to save around $10,000 to pay for our 2009 wedding. In the end, we came in right on budget, thanks to lots of DIY projects and help from generous family and friends. A family friend made our wedding cake as a gift to us. My Uncle performed music for the ceremony and we used an iPod to play reception music. We used a local restaurant instead of a caterer. Our biggest splurge was the photography which is worth every penny because photos are something you can cherish forever.
Planning a debt-free wedding that we absolutely loved was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. We achieved our sunny day with a little extra creativity and elbow grease, on our terms and on budget. I hope the same for all of you, which is why The Budget Savvy Bride exists!
If you're looking for ways to save money on your wedding, we've got the tools and tricks you need!
What is your sunny day? Are you currently saving for it?
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Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.