The more people age, the more it seems that every tomorrow will be the same as today. Days get repetitive. The problems you face at work or at home are mere derivations of the same problems you’ve faced for years.
One way to combat the duplications of daily life is to plan for and embrace the major events in your life. Some events—weddings, graduations, births, and bachelor or bachelorette parties—only happen a limited number of times, while other events—Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve—happen annually. Anticipating and remembering such events can make your days more exciting, but they can also put a dent in your bank account.
While it’s important to celebrate these life events, it’s also equally as important to properly plan for them. The following are some life events that call for celebration and some ideas on how to plan and manage them financially.
Here Comes the Bride
When most people think of weddings, they think of pretty, white wedding gowns, a band that plays the perfect blend of up-tempo and romantic songs, and four courses of food that leave even your mom’s overweight, fourth cousin feeling full. But many people do not consider the costs. What do the gown, band, and food cost? What does it cost to rent the wedding hall? What does it cost to fill the wedding hall with flowers?
Here are some ways to plan for wedding expenses:
- Make a list of your wedding needs. Instead of having a wedding catastrophe, figure out a realistic budget of how much you and your special someone can spend. In case of an emergency, you can always apply for cash loans to cover emergency or last minute expenses.
- Once you have a realistic budget, it’s time to prioritize your wedding needs. What’s number one on your list? The perfect band or the perfect chef? Or both?
- While you make a list and prioritize your needs, it is vital that you constantly communicate with your partner. By working together to plan your big day, you’ll not only have the wedding of your dreams, but you’ll make sure that there’s enough money left for a down payment on a new home or even to start a college tuition fund.
Last Day of Class
Graduation can mean many things. It’s a time to remember all the teachers and classmates you met along the way. It’s a time to appreciate the hard work and late-night studies that helped you pass the dozens of midterms and finals that you’ve taken. And, it’s a time to look forward to the adventures and experiences that lie beyond the classroom.
How do people recognize an event that has so many different meanings? By celebrating of course!
A graduation party’s beauty is that it can be almost anything, with almost any price range. Here are a few of the more important factors you must account for when planning a graduation party:
- Homeward Bound: One way to save some money while still celebrating is to have the graduation party at your house. You can borrow tables, chairs, a sound system, and an extra grill from family members and/or neighbors. With all of that taken care of, the only real cost left is the food, drinks, invitations, thank-yous, and decorations. This list of expenses might seem long, but just remember what you’re saving by hosting the party at home.
- Big or Small: The size does matter. Whether you have a graduation party with just family members and close friends or a party with dozens of acquaintances depends largely on your preferences. Just remember that as you invite more guests, the costs rise.
It’s a Girl!
One of the greatest joys a person can experience is having a child. Obviously, such an event is worthy of a celebration. But how do you celebrate the birth of a child?
Here are some cost-effective suggestions:
- Take as many pictures as possible without blinding the new-born. Friends, family members, parents and the child (particularly when he or she gets older) will relish the opportunity to see what the child looked like when he or she was born.
- Make your home baby-ready. Have the crib, baby mobile, stuffed animals, car seat and everything else ready before you return from the hospital to start your lives as a new family. And, it would be nice if your friends bought or made some signs to congratulate the parents and new-born.
Who Hired the Stripper?
While the pre-wedding party probably won’t cost as much as the actual wedding, it’s usually at least as memorable. Whether you’re throwing a bachelor or bachelorette party, there are many options with various price ranges to choose from.
- Stay Local: Having the party at one of the groomsmen’s or bridesmaids’ homes is an efficient way to save some money. With this option, you’ll likely be able to spend a little more on a catering service and/or a gift for the bride or groom-to-be.
- Rent a Venue: Going to a spa, pool, restaurant, or lounge for a bachelor or bachelorette party is a great way to make the event seem like a really big deal. Just be ready to spend a little more and possibly have to cut some people from the guest list.
- Travel: Vegas baby! Enough said.
While these events don’t happen every day, the memories they offer and the money they cost can be felt for years. That’s why it’s essential to go into every big day with a big plan. If you prepare and do your research, you’ll find that your money was well spent and your celebration was superb.