If you’ve ever attended a wedding, you know you’ve paid for much more than a gift for the happy couple. Hotel accommodations, transportation, shower gifts, a new outfit–those costs can really add up!
To curb the spending while celebrating a family member’s or friend’s special day, stick to these wedding season survival tips, courtesy of the non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC):
Plan ahead. If you have more than one wedding coming up, start a savings account to prepare for the upcoming festivities. Put your extra money into a separate savings account and draw as necessary. If you need a babysitter or pet sitter, ask a trusted friend in advance before you’re forced to pay someone out of desperation.
Don’t rush to book a room. Shop around for hotels. Don’t rush to book a room at the hotel the couple recommends—it may not be the best deal. If the prices are still too expensive, consider sharing a room with friends to bring down the cost. If the venue is close to home, consider commuting home rather than staying the night.
Consider group gifts. Instead of struggling to come up with the perfect gift that fits your price range, team up with a few friends to get a present beyond your budget. Perhaps each of you pitches in enough money to afford a getaway weekend or tickets to an expensive show or concert.
Skip the bachelor/bachelorette party. People are sometimes over-celebrating their life events, and bachelor/bachelorette parties are becoming bachelor/bachelorette weekends. If you can’t afford the festivities, cut them out completely.
Do some extra research. Find out where the couple is registered, and do some extra research by signing up for the store’s mailing list. You’ll be the first to know about storewide sales and receive exclusive discounts.
Make a vacation out of it. Instead of planning a vacation in addition to the wedding, consider extending your stay at a wedding destination. You’ll get twice the bang for your travel buck and have a little extra time to relax.
By using these tips, you’ll be better equipped to make it through wedding season without going broke.