Getting married and buying a house are going to be the two largest financial transactions in a couple’s life. Saving for one of these events can seem hard but saving for both at once can seem almost impossible. Mapped out below are steps for a couple to take to be able to afford both at once without breaking the bank!
Most first-time home buyers don’t need to put 20% down, in fact, that’s becoming less common. Finding out how much you need to put down on a home will help you understand how much you need to save. Setting up a meeting with an expert real estate agent is a great first step. Your real estate agent will be able to give you an understanding of what to expect as first-time home buyers or if you are trying to sell your current property and move into a new house. Your real estate agent will be able to give you a baseline of what to expect and how much it will cost.
Make a wish list for what you want and need in a home and set a price point. There is no need to visit houses that don’t have everything you need or are largely out of your price point. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is essential BEFORE you start house hunting. Knowing where your budget is will give you a realistic expectation while browsing houses.
Each person should write down their must-haves and must-have-nots then come together and discuss with each other. This will help when deciding what kind of house you are looking for and where you are looking for that home.
Decide on the type of wedding you are going to have. Weddings can range from a few thousand in total to upwards up $100,000. Setting up expectations for your budget will be important. Will you be going to a destination area with a guest list of 200 people or will you have a party in a back yard with 50 people? Many couples have different ideas on how they want their wedding day to go so it is important to decide on where and what kind of wedding you will have.
Now that you have a better idea of how much your wedding will cost and how much you will need to save for a down payment you will need to decide how aggressively you are going to save for both. You may split your efforts 50/50 and both contribute a percentage or a set amount each month to each savings account.
Occasionally a family member will help contribute to either the wedding or a down payment. While it may seem awkward at first it is best to sit down with them to discuss what is appropriate to spend the money on and if they have any conditions to giving you the money. This will help clear any confusion.
Setting up separate savings accounts for each event will help give a clear understanding of how much money is being saved and by who. While trying to save for two large life events at once you and your partner will need to decide where you can make sacrifices in your lives. Set up two different savings accounts! One for the wedding and one for the house. This will help you stay more organized and be able to track money better. You also won’t be tempted to overspend in one area than the other since the accounts will be split up. Looking at a large savings account will only provoke you to spend.
It doesn’t matter if you have been engaged 6 months or 3 years, couples will always fill in their time with wedding to-dos! Spending all this extra time planning for a wedding leaves little time for open houses. Planning schedules for wedding time, house hunting time, and then free time is essential!
At the end of the day, saving for your future is important but living your life comfortably is as well! Looking for any creative way to save a few extra dollars. Picking up small part-time jobs to put into your savings account or picking up a few extra hours at work can help in the long run! Save aggressively but also make sure you are still having fun with your partner. Replace date night in the city with a homemade meal and movie night. And don’t forget, lots of people put checks in their wedding cards! Congratulations on all you have happening- take it one step at a time and it’ll be great.