November 21st, 2017 4:32 PM by Dana Bain
The cake has been cut, the thank you notes written, and the last vendor has (finally) been paid. Depending on your budget and style, getting married may be one of the most expensive events of your life. The average wedding in the United States in 2016 cost $26,720, and even if you had help from family and loved ones, you probably had to save up quite a bit for the big day.
After spending a lot of money on a major life milestone, it might be hard to know what to save for, or to even want to save. While you can certainly give yourself a breather, don’t neglect your savings account.
If you built up good saving habits in preparation for your wedding, like paying yourself first or utilizing automatic savings, you don’t want to lose steam, particularly if you want to move towards other important life milestones. Here are 5 things to consider starting to save for:
It’s great to take some time off after your wedding to relax and recharge. But it’s becoming more popular to put off the honeymoon, which some have coined the “later-moon.” There are a lot of reasons it might make sense for you to put off your honeymoon. One of our favorites? More time to save. If you’re already spending a lot of money on a wedding, it can be hard to save up for the honeymoon you want to take. You don’t have to compromise just to get away the day after you say “I do!” Once the pressure of paying for the wedding has passed, you can devote some more dedicated saving power to your dream vacation. Plus, you can take some time to rest from any wedding craziness, helping you fully enjoy your delayed honeymoon.
We know not all couples follow the “traditional” milestone track – get married, buy a house, have kids. But even if you already own a home, getting married means you might be reprioritizing. Your current living situation might not be ideal anymore for a variety of reasons, like needing more space or having different tastes. Whether you already own or you’re first-time homebuyers, consider saving money for a house.
Are you still driving your college clunker? Channel your new-found saving skills into saving for a new ride. You may be combining finances for the first time, which could help you afford an upgrade. If you’re a two-car household, talk to your partner about which car will need to be replaced first. You may also want to consider varying what kind of cars you own. If both of you own smaller cars, you might want to save up for a vehicle with more cargo space for big purchases, or to fit more people. Which leads to…
Before the wedding bells finished ringing, you probably already had one nosy family member ask you, “When are you going to have kids?” But even if they aren’t on the direct horizon, if you plan on having kids it doesn’t hurt to start saving now. According to the USDA, the average cost of raising a child born in 2015 was $233,610, and that’s without any college expenses. While those costs will be spread out over 18 years, planning ahead of time could ease the financial burden of starting a family.
If you’re enjoying the early days of wedded bliss, you probably aren’t think about retirement. But now’s actually a great time to consider how much you’re saving for retirement. In addition to banking on good savings habits, you likely need to swing by the HR department at work to update your marital status. While you’re there, get a refresher on any retirement plans, like 401ks, your company offers, as well as if they’re willing to match your contribution.