Your wedding will likely be one of the most memorable days of your life — and can also end up being one of the most expensive. More than a few soon-to-be-spouses have faced that stressful question: How do I pay for my wedding? And although a large wedding budget isn’t required to make your big day spectacular, if you have a big party in mind, saving money is an essential part of planning.
All those dollar signs can be a bit overwhelming at the start. Having a plan and the right tools can make all the difference. And with so many different categories to account for wedding saving is the perfect time to break out your savings buckets, a feature of Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account.
Not sure where to start? Try some of these simple ways to save for that special day.
Find your wedding budget style
No matter what kind of wedding you want, establishing a realistic budget early on will be essential to keep your savings buckets on track. Set clear spending limits for each category (flowers, dress, place settings, etc.) and make it a habit to deposit money in your Ally Bank Online Savings Account and corresponding buckets regularly. Or even better? Automate it! You can set up recurring transfers to make saving even easier.
A lot of details go into a wedding, and savings buckets can help you set aside enough of your budget toward each one. You can start by mapping out your top priorities (or the most expensive) like venue, attire and catering.
Ally can help automate this digital approach to savings with buckets that function like digital envelopes, allowing you to dedicate part of your savings toward specific goals without the need for multiple savings accounts. (And you’ll still earn interest on your total balance.) You can create up to 10 buckets that coexist in your Ally Bank Online Savings Account and track progress toward your goals, which is particularly useful if you’re saving for multiple goals at the same time. We’ve found that over a 12-month period people with Ally Bank Online Savings Accounts have saved, on average, two times more when they use buckets and other smart savings tools, compared to those that don’t.
Start a wedding savings account
If you want to take your wedding savings to the next level, you could consider opening a separate account. Creating an account exclusively for the big day could help keep you from mixing up funds for the wedding with other personal savings and it might help eliminate the temptation of using “wedding money” for other purposes (or vice versa). Accounts from online banks like Ally usually offer more competitive interest rates than traditional banks, which can help push your savings even further.
Think like a first-time homebuyer
First-time homebuyers start cutting costs to save money for a down payment months (and even years) ahead. If you can follow the same practice when saving for a wedding, you’ll be that much more prepared when it comes time to save for other purchases for your new life together.
Evaluate your spending closely. That extra pair of shoes that you really don’t need could be additional dollars in your wedding fund. Select a regular expense that you can part with, and monitor any “guilty pleasure spends,” at least until you save enough for the wedding. It could be that morning cup of coffee, a magazine subscription, a weekly dinner out, or your monthly cable bill. Focusing on the future and how wonderful your big day will be could help make these sacrifices a bit easier. Drop that extra cash into one of your wedding buckets, and watch your savings grow.
If you’re not sure where you could stand to tighten your belt, our Surprise Savings booster analyzes your spending to find areas where you could be saving more and moves those funds for you. Link your checking accounts and activate the booster to get started.
Go green to save
As you plan for your big day, you’re probably looking for ways to save some green, but what about being green? With some earth-friendly approaches and a little creativity, you could actually do both.
Reducing waste, buying only what you need, taking your lunch to work, biking or carpooling to save on gas — they’re good for the planet and good for your wedding budget. You could even dedicate a bucket to your green savings, a fun way to save and quantify how much you might be helping the environment in the process.
Save smartly for your special day
Sharing a wedding bucket with your betrothed may seem like a small matter, but it can be a giant step toward your future together. By both contributing as a couple, you can not only build excitement (and funds) for the big day, but also stay motivated to save together for years to come. Learning how to save together and effectively communicate about money matters while you’re engaged will set you up for success in navigating finances throughout your marriage.
No matter what your savings goals are, Ally has a way to help you reach them. Take a look at what we have to offer, including our Online Savings Account, Money Market Account and our full line of certificates of deposit (CDs).