When I chose to share my wedding budget and how I saved for our wedding, I knew I’d face some backlash and dissenting opinions (and I’m okay about that!). Between being asked:
How can you even afford that much??? … both my fiance and I work full [time] and are saving like crazy… not that I’d ever spend that much on a wedding rather use it for a deposit on a house!!!
and being told:
Holy crap that’s alot we did ours on about $1000 not even that but didn’t get a honeymoon and married at home.
and of course, receiving comments like this:
55K for the wedding 10-12K for her dress???!
Fuck that!!! Holy crap!!!! What the hell!
It seems like many of you think I must live some sort of luxury life, be paid exceptionally well (or perhaps “married well”?) but there’s so much more to what I spend than what you see in the wedding budget.
Right now, we’re part of the ‘DINKY’ generation: Double Income, No Kids Yet – which allows some flexibility around budgeting, but I could never afford to spend on all the things I wanted to, if I didn’t also make savings elsewhere. I believe it’s more important to enjoy a few of life’s little luxuries, rather than always be spending unrestrained, and being unable to afford the things I really want in life.
Call it quality over quantity, or maybe you’ll call it vanity, but I’ve worked out how to buy the things I love, and work my budget better around things I can live without.
For example: Why I’ll buy Burberry but not Burger King
8 years ago, for one reason or another, Blair and I actually printed out all our bank transactions and worked out what we spent on takeaways. It was a nightmare. It looked more like we were buying shares at McDonalds than eating McChickens!
It was such a wake up call! I can honestly say I’ve been more aware of my spending ever since, and I’ve been to McD’s far, far fewer times because of that. You might think that the best effect of that change would be on my cholesterol, but actually it’s on my closet.
I buy Burberry shoes, Prada bags, Jimmy Choos (and Prada shoes), but I barely ever frivolously spend money on getting takeaway burger meals (etc!). If I can help it at all, unless I’m going out with friends, I’ll cook at home – I’d rather have a bowl of Special K than waste money on food that comes in a brown paper bag.
During wedding planning, when I wanted to buy a couture dress and designer shoes, but couldn’t really do so on my current salary and spending habits, I basically did the same exercise again, adding up what I spent on various aspects of my life and seeing where I could change those spending habits to get what I really wanted for the big day. I still think it was that exercise 8 years ago which helped me set my spending boundaries now.
Maybe I’d have come to this realization on my own, or maybe not. I’ve been a Westpac customer for 18 years, and I’ve just started using CashNav to track my spending, in almost exactly the same way as we did 8 years ago (though, much, much smarter, and much higher-tech!
Rather than being a ‘savings’ app, CashNav is a tool to see where your money goes, and therefore how you can redirect some of that money away from the mundane (towards Miu Mius?)
Of course, you don’t even have to be wanting to live a luxury life to want to know where your money goes and how better you could spend it. If you’re planning for your wedding, there will be things you’ve identified that you want to have, but perhaps can’t see how they can fit in your initial estimate (maybe you saw my wedding budget and have realised how much alcohol costs even when you can supply your own alcohol).
With the CashNav app, you can track where you’re currently spending: $10 on your morning coffee and scone; $50 on your fortnightly manicure; $70 on buying lunch during the week – it all adds up (that’s a shocking 7,500 per year) and make goals to cut back or cut out that spend.
That’s what I do (or what I did) anyway, and just think what you could do with $7,500…
I’m thinking shoes 😉