How to Set Up a Wedding Savings Account
Weddings are expensive -- costly enough to put newlyweds deep in debt.
That is not the financial footing on which couples want to start off their marriage.
To avoid taking out loans to pay for a wedding, begin by saving now for the big celebration. Set up a wedding savings account now so that you have control over how you're funding the big celebration.
You might find it easy to get started on this financial goal. Here's a quick glimpse of the approach to setting up a savings account for your wedding:
- Where to hold your wedding fund
- Setting a budget and goals
- How to stay on track
Grow Your Wedding Fund With Higher Savings Rates
If you want to start saving for a wedding, the first thing you need to do is decide where you’ll keep your savings.
Online savings accounts
Online savings accounts are a great place to keep your wedding savings.
Here's the deal:
Top notch savings rates
Online savings accounts can pay out 100 times more interest than your typical local bank.
Online banks don't have to pay the operating costs of running branches. They don't have to pay people to staff those locations.
As a result, your deposits grow much faster -- which would surely be helpful if you're establishing a wedding fund.
Not much needed to get started
Online savings accounts are very easy to open thanks to their low minimum deposits.
While many banks will force you to deposit as much as $100 before allowing you to open a savings account, most online banks will open an account with a deposit as low as a dollar.
Some don’t have any minimum deposits at all. That makes it very easy to get started with saving for your wedding day.
Avoid the fees
Another benefit of online savings accounts is that they tend to not charge fees.
The last thing that you want is to have your wedding savings eaten away by fees.
By using an online savings account, you can feel confident that you’ll get to put your savings towards its intended use rather than fees.
Staying focused on saving
Finally, don’t discount the fact that having money in an online savings account makes it harder to spend.
You won’t be able to just go to your bank and make a withdrawal, or take money out of an ATM.
That can help you avoid the temptation to spend your wedding savings before your wedding comes.
And now, another great option...
Certificate of deposit (CD)
If you have a set date for when you’ll need to start paying for wedding-related expenses and won’t be adding to your savings, a CD can be a good place to keep your wedding savings.
CDs offer higher interest rates than savings accounts do, at the cost of flexibility. You won’t be able to withdraw money from the CD until it matures.
You also won’t be able to make additional deposits.
While the extra interest is valuable, only use a CD if you can commit to one and don’t plan to add more to your savings.
Don't forget this key strategy: CD ladders.
They can allow you to earn the optimal CD rate while leaving regular access to those funds.
Having a separate savings account that is strictly for your wedding savings sounds like a good idea.
And, some banks help you with that strategy.
Many banks will allow you to open multiple savings accounts. This is important because you’ll want to keep your wedding savings segregated from your regular savings. That will help you avoid spending your wedding money without meaning to.
If your bank lets you, take advantage of the option to give your accounts nicknames so you know which account is which.
Seeing the balance of your wedding savings account rise will also offer some encouragement as you continue to save.
Set a Budget So You Know Your Goal
Once you’ve determined where you’ll keep your savings, you have to actually start saving.
The important question to answer first is:
How much do you need for the wedding?
One of the most important steps is to set a budget and a savings target.
Work with your partner to determine how much you’re willing to spend.
Knowing whether you’re aiming for an intimate, inexpensive wedding or a huge extravaganza can help you predict how much your wedding will cost.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, you’ll have a better idea of how much you’ll need to save.
Some couples get financial assistance from their families and won’t need to save for the full cost of the wedding.
You might also plan to take out some loans to cover your wedding cost.
Just make sure to consider the true cost of these loans, and the interest you’ll have to pay when making that decision.
How Long Do You Have to Save?
Once you know how much you’ll have to save, you’ll want to think about how long you have to save.
The fact is:
All of the bills won’t be due on the day of your wedding. Many will be due beforehand.
Plan to have paid for everything a month or two before the date, that way you will have a buffer. If you wind up having longer to pay for everything, there’s no harm done.
Once you know how much you have to save and how long you’ll have to save, you can calculate how much you need to save each week or month.
Setting periodic savings goals that force you to save on a regular basis can make it easier to reach your goal.
How to Automate Your Savings
What many people ignore is that:
The best way to save money on a regular basis is to automate the process.
It doesn't take much effort.
Once you’ve opened a savings account and decided how much you need to save each month or week, set up a recurring transfer.
Most banks will let you make automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account.
By doing this, you can save over a long period of time without having to think about it. This is a great way to build your savings if you have trouble remembering to make a transfer each month.
Partial direct deposit
If your issue is more spending your money before you can save it, consider signing up for direct deposit to your savings account.
Employers allow you to split your paycheck into multiple bank accounts. By having some of your pay bypass your checking account entirely, you’ll never be tempted to spend that money.
Instead, it’ll arrive directly in your savings account, accumulating interest over time.
Set Rules for Use of Funds
One thing you should do is set rules for how you’ll use your savings.
For example, you may think that spending the money on a night out with your bridal party before the wedding is a reasonable expense, but your partner may disagree.
Make sure you both know what expenses you plan to cover out of the account and which will be covered with other money.
That can help you and your partner stay on the same page regarding how much you need to save and where the money will go.
Reach Your Savings Goal Faster
Once you’ve built your savings plan, the last step is to implement it. Here are a few tips to boost your ability to save.
One obvious way to boost your savings rate is to cut your expenses.
Think about it:
If you take home $3,000 per month and spend $2,500, the most you can save in a month is $500.
If you manage to cut $100 out of your monthly expenses, by skipping a few restaurant meals, for example, you can boost your savings rate by 20%.
Of course, you shouldn’t completely deprive yourself to increase the amount you can save towards your wedding.
Still, take the time to really think about where you spend your money and if you are able to cut back anywhere. As a bonus, if you do cut back on spending and find that you don’t miss it, you can put the extra money towards other forms of saving after your wedding.
You can also accelerate your progress towards your savings goal by planning to spend less on your wedding.
Try to find deals to cut down on the total costs.
Increasing the amount of money that you make is another clear way to increase your ability to save for a wedding.
If you’re close to a promotion at work or think that you have a chance to negotiate a raise, put in a bit more effort than usual. Increasing your income from your day job has the benefit of continuing after your wedding, giving you more money to spend or save in the future.
You can also consider finding a side job or profitable hobby in the lead up to the wedding.
Then, put all of that income towards your wedding savings. If you enjoy the work, you can continue it after you get married.
Otherwise, you can stop when you no longer need to save as much.
Weddings are expensive, so you should start saving for yours well in advance.
Create a budget, set goals, and make sure that you use the right account to make sure you can reach your goal and quickly and easily as possible.