Budgeting… It Doesn’t Get Easier.

If you’ve ever been in college, you’ve probably, at some point in your four years, referred to yourself as a “broke college student.” Whether it be because you spent all of your money on textbooks that just sit in the corner, beer that goes straight to your thighs, or in my case shopping for “big-girl clothes,” it’s safe to say cash is one of the most stressful parts of college.

That stress doesn’t stop after you’ve received the diploma (duh?). Wedding planning is, in my opinion, the true test of budgeting. My mom and Ian’s parents are kind enough to pay for our wedding, but even though the money isn’t coming out of my pocket, I’m walking on glass when it comes to spending.

Here are some of the best ways to make sure you stay on budget while planning your wedding:

1. Follow a timeline: Not only does this ensure that you’re getting everything done in time for the wedding, but it can also save you money. By accomplishing tasks over a stretched time period, you’ll be paying small amounts each time rather than throwing down a large lump of cash.

2. Price shop: This may seem like an obvious task, but you’d be surprised. Everyone wants the perfect wedding and sometimes that can lead to impulse buys. The very first venue that you see may be your dream venue, but if it costs $5,000 and your budget is $6,000, you’ll be left with almost nothing. Don’t settle, do get prices from multiple vendors. It may be stressful, but you’re saving yourself from thousands of dollars of debt in the long run.

3. Bundles don’t always mean deals: The first venue I looked at required me to use their caterer. To rent the space, it was less than $1,000 so I thought, “Catering can’t be THAT bad.” Boy was I wrong. For only three or four heavy hor dourves, china, and linens, I would be spending nearly $9,000. IS THAT NOT RIDICULOUS? I was immediately turned off from the idea of bundling my services.

Following your budget will be hard. Keep in mind though, the more money you save on your actually wedding means more money to spend on the honeymoon, a house, or a new car!

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