Let’s be real, here. Weddings are expensive! Whether you’re paying for it yourself or you have amazing family members helping you. But no matter who is paying for it, you need to make and stick to a budget in your planning process.
Luckily, Mint has a budgeting tool and makes it easy to stick to your plans and set goals for yourself and your money.
Creating Your Budget in Mint
In the Mint app, click on “budgets” in the menu. You’ll see some suggested budgets, such as Transportation, which you can customize, you’ll see a categorization of all of your expenses, and you’ll be able to create a budget.
Click on “Create a Budget” and create your category. You set the amount, and Mint will let you know if you are staying within it! Mint lets you plan ahead and see how much you’ll save cutting back in any category. You can even plan for one-time-only expenses and recurring monthly expenses and show you exactly how your spending decisions affect the money you have at the end of the month or year.
Don’t Forget To Consider…
When it comes to weddings, there are so many different things that you’ll be paying for, like food, music, alcohol, flowers, decor, the venue, invitations, and more! In order to create a realistic budget, you have to do a couple of things:
- Discuss savings and money with your fiancé to decide a realistic amount you can afford to spend without going into debt
- Decide what TYPE of wedding you want.
- For example, if you have it at a hotel, you’ll save some money by having the ceremony and reception be at the same location, and not having to book separate venues or pay for transportation for you and your guests from one location to another.
- Another example is an outdoor wedding. Many people don’t realize that you have to rent those big tents, but also have to pay for generators or extension cords and lighting, in order to get electricity outside, as well as rent tables, flatware, chairs, etc, things that may come with indoor venues.
- Once you know how much you can afford to be the wedding budget, you will start deciding what percent of the budget goes to which part of the wedding. Typically, over 50% of the entire budget will be for the reception alone, because of the food, music, decor costs, along with the venue, any photo booth or anything extra you choose to do.
- You’ll be able to see at a glance “Ok, my dress budget is 5% of the total budget, so I am looking for a dress in this $ range.”
Weddings are expensive and it is easy to wrack up higher costs without even realizing how quickly things add up. Account for things like transportation, dress alterations, and a wedding cake (usually a separate cost from the catering).
To find a list of all of the things you should be accounting for or thinking about in your wedding budget, look at lists such as this one from The Knot or this one from Real Simple. You can find wedding checklists in many places, but they will give you an idea of all of the details.
Track Your Spending
Once you have your budget in mind and where you’ll be spending different parts of it, you’ll need to create a spreadsheet, use Mint, or another tool, to track your spending on each part so that you always know where you are with your money.
Part of being an adult is learning to really control your money and budget for the things you want. Mint can help you build and stick to a budget, but also save for it, too! Next time, we’ll talk about money after the wedding.
Jessica Naziri is the founder of TechSesh.co, a lifestyle website for women inspired by tech. She has been a technology news reporter for The Los Angeles Times, CNN and CNBC.com. Since then, her work has also appeared in TechCrunch, The Washington Post, Mashable, CBS, The Travel Channel, CNN, NPR, USA Today, Inside Edition, Yahoo!, and Business Insider.