I’m not going to lie, this wedding season was rough- 7 weddings, 3 engagement parties, and a few rehearsal dinners, and let’s just say that I’m looking forward to staying home for the next few weeks to allow my bank account to catch up.
While I love my friends, and am thrilled that they asked us to join them for them their special day, going to wedding with dates can take a toll on you relationship and your wallet- especially if your partner doesn’t really know the couple really well.
In fact, the research into wedding guest cost by Experian shows that one in 20 (5%) guests have had to borrow money in order to attend a wedding. Yes, you read that right- people borrowed money in order to go to someone else’s wedding. This includes using their credit cards, taking a formal loan, going into overdraft, and tapping into saving.
While on its own it that might not seem like a huge deal, imagine being the plus one and having to tap into your savings to go to a wedding.
No wonder people fight so much when it comes to wedding season.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
All you need to do is a have a plan that you and your partner can follow along. Here are some tips from Experian to get you started.
- Set the ground rules. Do you want a joint account for regular expenses and separate bank accounts for personal spending? Or do you want everything to go together?
- Work out who does what. The more frugal partner could look after the budget, while the more extravagant works out the ‘treats’, like meals out or trips away
- Agree on short and long-term goals and how you’re going to achieve them, and review regularly together
- Be honest about your past. If you have a less-than-perfect history of repaying money you owe, this could affect both of you in the long-term if your credit reports become linked
- Take time together to understand if you need to improve one or both of your credit reports. Do this well in advance of applying for credit together
- Spend all your time together talking about money
- Keep secrets. Research from Experian shows that 29% of people in the UKdiscovered that their partner was keeping credit card debt from them
- Dig yourself into a hole. If you find yourself in debt, don’t borrow more in the hope of putting things right. Ask for help and be open about it with your partner
- Talk about money issues when you are angry. Arguing about money is never going to be productive
- Expect your partner to completely change. It’s unlikely an extravagant spender will do a complete about-turn and suddenly become frugal
And there you go. It’s not that scary.
All you have to do is keep the lines of communication open and find mutual priorities that you can agree on.
Wedding season is supposed to be the time where you celebrate the happy moments with your friends and family- don’t let money get in the way of that.