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Perhaps saving for your wedding feels a bit more like scaling Mount Everest than, say, a steep incline on the treadmill. Who could blame you? Even the most simple, intimate fêtes have a way of adding up.
"Saving for a wedding might feel like an impossible task because people have so many demands on their budget — things they already need to pay for and save for," says Clare Levison, certified public accountant and author of Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. "In addition, saving can be hard work. It takes discipline, commitment, and good old-fashioned willpower."
The good news is that just as you'd climb a massive mountain, you can save for your wedding one step at a time. "Small, consistent changes do add up," Levison says. Here, the finance expert suggests six ways you can painlessly save for your wedding.
Break down your wedding budget into smaller pieces.
Who wouldn't bulk at a $20,000 price tag? But socking away $100 a week is a much easier savings pills to swallow. "Determine how much you need to save each day or each week instead of just looking at the total amount," says Levison, then put that money in a place you won't be tempted to touch it.
Limit your spur-of-the-moment purchases.
Repeat after us: Just because those stilettos are on sale does not mean you need them. "Spur-of-the-moment buying results in unnecessary spending," Levison says. Instead, "resist the initial urge, and see if you feel as strongly about it 24 hours later."
See More: Should Your Guy Know What You Spend?
Take advantage of direct deposit.
You've got two options: Set an amount to be siphoned directly from your paycheck and placed into savings, or set up a recurring payment from your checking account to your savings account. "This goes along with the out-of-sight, out-of-mind principle," says Levison. "If you never see the money, you will be less likely to miss it and less likely to spend it."
Be a savvy shopper.
"Look for less expensive ways to get the things you want," suggests Levison. "For example, rent a movie on iTunes instead of going to the movies. Buy a generic product instead of a name brand. Shop the clearance section instead of the new arrivals." The extra change? That goes into your wedding savings fund!
Yes, their lattes are reliably delicious. But cutting out life's little luxuries can lead to big savings. "Have one less drink at happy hour. Eat out one time less," Levison says.
Use big money events for your wedding.
"Big money events include bonuses, tax refunds, inheritances, and gifts," explains Levison. Rather than squander that cash infusion, "put the money into savings."