To save or splurge | From your wedding day to everyday
Words by Megan Hutchinson, Wedding Expert + Blogger from She Said Yes.
My blog is predominantly about wedding planning and saving for the wedding is usually the topic of conversation, though these tips are equally applicable to apply for everyday life, getting you one step closer to the latest coveted Gucci bag, or whatever ‘it’ accessory is having its moment.
When it comes to wedding planning, my number one tip is to set your priorities and then really, strictly, stick to them. Budgeting, too is about priorities, and making smart choices on whether to save or splurge are ones you also need to be strict about.
So….McDonalds or Miu Mius?
Designer clothes and accessories are expensive, right? It’s all too easy to drop a grand on a pair of shoes, double that for a bag, or triple for the statement coat. However, when considered on my own version of the ‘Big Mac Index’, designer duds are well worth the investment.
If those shoes get just 100 wears, they’ve only cost you the same as a Big Mac combo the same number of times. Better still, once you’ve worn those shoes 100 times, provided you treat them with the respect Allessandro Michele merits, they’ll still be worth 1/3 of their cost price on resale. You can sell them, swap them with a friend, or keep them for another 100 wears. A Big Mac may not decompose, but it’s certainly not holding its value either.
It’s a question of priorities. For me, there is just no value in eating McDonalds, I see it as money completely down the drain – perhaps not unlike the proverbial $20 smashed avocado that millennials so “recklessly” buy.
Spend your Money Smarter
When it comes to wedding planning, there’s numerous ways in which you can spend your money smarter, but that doesn’t necessitate ‘saving’ or skimping on each of your wedding vendors – in fact that’s the opposite of what I’d advise.
Rather, like the shoes, consider what you’re going to get the most ‘wear’ out of – i.e. your wedding accessories may only get worn once in their lives. There’s little resale value, as many brides hold onto their wedding shoes, veils, etc, but for most brides, their wedding shoe style of choice isn’t one that’ll be worn over and over again. Therefore… either save, or choose a shoe you can actually wear again (I love the Dune London Mahikie).
To compare, what really lasts forever are your photographs (and your marriage, I should hope!). My husband and I spent a huge portion of our budget on our wedding photography, and have never looked back. There’s only so much you can do to fix bad photos, and knowing couples who have skimped on wedding photography only to regret it, this is a definite recommendation to splurge.
Beyond whether to spend or splurge, I also encourage ‘my’ brides to not just question how much to spend, but to consider not spending anything on elements that just aren’t important to them. My first suggestion when it comes to the financials is to go through the wedding budget pages of the little white book and start to prioritise straight away. Choose those elements which are most important and allocate them to be organised first. For each item that doesn’t jump out at you, actually ask yourself whether you need it at all. I’m pretty sure that the little white book is the only wedding planning purchase that can actually save you money in the long run!
If you’re not fussed on stationery, save thousands with a free electronic version; go sans centrepieces and flowers and instead decorate with a little green foliage or draped fabric; have your parents drive to you the venue instead of hiring transport; if you’re confident you can put together a banging play-list, save on music – whatever feels right to you.
If you were saving for a holiday, would you let the money gradually build in your everyday account, or start transferring to a dedicated savings account to stop you spending it? Hopefully you’d do the latter – this is proven to help you save faster.
So, how do you apply this to wedding planning? Once you’ve set those priorities, go forth and splurge! Actually do it, go and spend the money, take it out of your wallet and out of the budget. Spending the money on your priorities is like putting it away in a savings account – either way, you can no longer touch it.
Once it’s actually gone, then you can begin organising the rest – using only what remains. If you get this order wrong, you risk running out of money before you get to spend it on what’s really important – Miu Miu’s before Maccas, remember!