Do you have a wedding fund (even if you haven’t yet met Mr. Right?) We all know weddings can be expensive. But the idea of saving for one before you meet the guy you’ll marry is more intelligent than it might seem…
In India, where I grew up, it’s very common to have a big, splashy wedding with anywhere between 200 to 2000 guests, with an average cost of US$ 24,000.
Families often save their entire lives to pay for their children’s weddings.
“Just to contextualise: our per capita income is US$7,130,” writes Akshat Shrivastava. “So this means, that people spend… years worth of their earnings on a 3-4 day event. All in the name of impressing relatives and friends.”
It’s also common for the family of the bride to fund the entire wedding – a modern spin on the ancient concept of paying dowry.
These days, things have changed, but only slightly. Families now share the cost of the wedding, but couples are still expected to spend lavishly on both guests and the event itself.
Personal finance author Ramit Sethi recommends creating a separate a savings account, and directing 1% of your monthly salary to your wedding fund, even (and especially) if you haven’t yet met someone. He got married at age 36, but began saving for his wedding fund (and an engagement ring) in his early 20s, almost a decade before meeting his now-wife Cassandra Sethi.
“Everyone spends more than they plan to on their wedding,” he says. “The average wedding is $35,000,” without frills. Many couples (or their families) choose to go into debt to pay for the cost of the wedding.
“I can’t imagine starting my married life with that much debt,” said my uncle, whose daughter did exactly that. They did not have a wedding fund before getting married, as the groom was still finishing his studies.
I have a savings account set aside for my wedding fund, and have been saving for it for a few years.
Would love to hear from you – do you ALREADY have a wedding fund?
Or would you need to meet someone to feel motivated to save?
(Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna).