Ways to Use Credit Cards to Help With Wedding Costs

According to recent surveys, individuals are now spending a lot less money on their weddings than they ever did before. Even with this more conscientious spending mentality, your dream ceremony can cost you a significant amount of money. The large number of expenses involved with a wedding makes it difficult to save up that money. This is especially true if you are hoping to wed in the near future. The most common tendency in these instances is to turn towards a card to help with the payments.

Now, most people have had a rather negative experience charging large expenses to their credit cards. Many individuals feel that paying for an important occasion such as a wedding is a surefire way to get into credit card debt. For the most part, they would be right. However, there are several ways that you can actually make credit cards work for you. At the very least, you will be able to pay off your charges without incurring a loss. At the most, you may even be able to save some money. Take a look at how to use your card without getting into debt:

Cash Back Cards

Cash back credit cards are exactly what they sound like. For every dollar you spend, you are actually receiving some of that money back. This is why it such a great option for using these cards to pay for your wedding. This way, you will actually be making some of that money back. Thus, you will not be spending as much on your wedding as you initially thought you would have to. Of course, there are a few stipulations involved with such cards. For instance, they can only be used in specific locations and stores. However, as long as you stick to these specified stores, you will be able to receive a portion of your money back. In fact, most credit card companies assure their customers at least a one percent cash back reward.

Zero Interest Cards

Typically, it is not only the charges to the credit card that can drown you, but also the attached interest rates. To make sure that you are not spending any more money than you need to, get a credit card with zero interest. This way, when you are paying the wedding charges off later, you will not have to part with any additional money. Zero interest cards are only for a limited time, however, so you will need to pay off the debt within that period of time. Calculate the costs and choose a credit card that allows you time to pay back the amount. If you have already charged your wedding costs onto your current card, you will be able to transfer the amount to a card that requires zero interest.

Receive Travel Rewards

Even as you are planning and paying for your wedding, you also need to make arrangements for your honeymoon. Depending on where you want to go, you may be looking at some considerable expenses here as well. All you have to do, in this case, is to pay for your honeymoon with your wedding. You can do this by getting a card that offers you travel rewards. Therefore, for each dollar you spend on your wedding with your credit card, you will be awarded a certain number of points. This can be translated into free airplane tickets or even hotel stays. When opting for a travel rewards credit card, make sure that there are no restrictive conditions attached.

These are a few ways to use cards to your own advantage. Remember that while these are helpful tips, you are still going to have to pay off your monthly bill in a timely fashion. This is the only real way to make sure that you avoid accruing debts.

Tips for Merging Finances as Newlyweds

Newlyweds usually think of everything else but finances, and this is understandable. If you haven’t been together for ages, however, it is important to go over financial matters to avoid problems in the future.

Merging Your Finances as a Couple

Debt

Debt is the major cause of problems and stress when merging finances. Be honest about your financial situation, especially if you have multiple outstanding balances. Go over all accounts, including car loans, mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards, and so on. List all of your debts and look at interest rates, finance charges, terms, and other details. Then compare your household income with your monthly expenses, including basics, debt servicing, and others to assess your financial situation. If any of you has multiple, excessive debts, look at different options to improve your financial situation. There are different solutions, including debt settlement and consolidation and more.

Joint Accounts

It may be a bit difficult for newlyweds to merge their finances right away but it doesn’t hurt to open a joint account and use it for daily purchases. You may want to develop a monthly budget and then decide on the expenses to meet using the joint account. This can be child care, car maintenance, mortgage payments, gas, electricity, phone, internet, and other utilities, and so on. It is important to discuss whether you will contribute equally or based on your income level and other responsibilities.

Some expenses are fairly constant on a monthly basis – personal money, utilities, insurance coverage, energy, grocery shopping, car payments, and rent. The only exception is unplanned expenses and emergencies. Aim for a balanced budget that allows you to save toward long- and short-term goals. To this, all expenses and purchases, especially big-ticket items, should be planned ahead of time and as best as possible. Discuss your financial goals within a period of 6 months, 1 year, and 10 years, whether it is paying student loans, buying a new car, or saving toward your child’s college education. This way you will be on the same page when you need to make joint decisions and solve problems together.

An Emergency Fund

Emergencies do happen and it pays to have an emergency fund for a rainy day. You may want to open a savings account to meet urgent expenses such as medical bills, utilities, credit card payments, and others. Having an emergency fund can help in between jobs and in other difficult situations. This is especially important if you have small children.

Discussing Finances

Separate finances work just fine if you are still dating but looking down the road, it is best to discuss and merge your finances at least to some extent. Be transparent and learn to communicate on a regular basis. This can be weekly or monthly, depending on the issues to be discussed. If you find it difficult to work out your finances, then it pays to discuss your situation with a financial advisor to make sure you are on the right track.

Finding the Best Wedding Dress for Less

If you plan a budget wedding, there are ways to cut down on major expenses and find a beautiful gown for your special day. The good news is that you can get a great wedding dress for less. From sample sales to trunk shops, retailers offer special discounts on formal wear, and you will find dazzling wedding gowns for up to 50 percent off.

Shopping for a Wedding Dress

Trunk shows are a good place to shop for designer dresses, and you can get a discount of about 10 percent. If you are lucky, they will mark down alteration changes for you. Another option is to buy a used version for less, and there are websites and networks where past brides post listings. Ask whether alterations have been done before you buy a gown. If you choose to hit sample sales, you will find that they offer sample sizes only. Check with traditional retailers as well and ask whether they are willing to sell you a sample size (if it fits). Some retailers are happy to sell and make room for new collections and inventory. The best part is that many retailers offer sample sizes for 20 – 50 percent off. Ask whether dry cleaning is included in the price. If not, dry cleaning is a major expense. Expect to pay between $180 and $350, especially if you choose to use the services of an experienced cleaner. And if you are on a tight budget, then you may want to buy a simple dress and add accessories such as sashes, brooches, and belts to make it look more expensive. Finally, you may want to check with a professional dress maker. This may come as a surprise, but you are likely to pay less than the cost of a designer wedding dress.

dressFunding Your Wedding: Financial Tips

If you have money in your savings account, this is the perfect timing to go wild and shop around. Don’t fret even if you are running low on money. There is plenty of financial advice here. One way to finance your wedding and find a great dress is to buy on credit. If you have a low-rate credit card, you can use it to buy a dress for your special day. And if you don’t have a credit card yet, this is a good time to get one and put it to good use. Major banks offer specialty cards with affordable rates and low fees to customers with good and stellar credit. Another option is to apply for an unsecured consumer loan to cover your wedding expenses. The cheapest option is to get a secured loan but banks usually require collateral, and you risk losing a valuable asset in case of default.

Borrowing Solutions and Financial Advice for Newlyweds

Throwing a memorable wedding can cost tons of money, from marriage license and meals to accessories, beauty treatments, welcome bags, transportation for guests, and a lot more. Many couples look for ways to finance their wedding, and this can be a challenge if you are already indebted or working a minimum wage job.

Borrowing for a Wedding

This is a joyful and very special occasion, but it is also an expensive one. One way to finance your wedding is to apply for a consumer loan to make up the shortfall. Many banks offer low-interest loans as an inexpensive solution and a way to access extra funds. Read more on the topic here at lifeoncredit.ca Couples usually go for personal loans with fixed payments, which makes budgeting and planning easier. The term varies from one issuer to another and is usually from 1 to 5 years. The main benefit of short-term loans is that borrowers save on interest charges. A longer time frame means lower monthly payments but the total interest bill will be considerably higher. Some financial institutions also offer payment holidays of 2 – 3 months to attract new customers. This is a great option if you need some breathing space or have unexpected expenses to meet. Another way to finance your wedding is to apply for a secured loan. In this case, you’ll be asked to offer some asset or valuable item as a guarantee of repayment or collateral. The interest rate is usually lower because financial institutions take less risk. The rate will vary based on the amount borrowed and your credit score. If you apply for a small loan, the rate will be higher. A third option is to use your credit card to cover the expenses. You may also apply for a low rate card or a credit card with zero percent during the introductory period. If you have bad credit you can take a look at the credit cards listed here. This is a cheap way to finance your wedding provided that you pay the full amount. wedding

Newly Wed Financial Advice
Even if you used money in your savings account to finance your wedding, it is now time to start planning and organizing your life as a married couple. There are some handy tips for newlyweds. To begin with, it is financially irresponsible to hide any assets that you have. The same goes for any debts (credit card debt, personal loans, student and auto loans, etc.) Sit together and bring all financial statements, accounts, insurance policies, pay stubs, and credit reports. Look at all accounts and assets, including collectibles, valuable assets, real estate, money market and savings accounts, retirement accounts, and so on. Subtract your debts from your total assets to calculate your net worth as a couple. Be honest about your income, financial situation, and financial habits. It is also a good idea to talk about your lifestyle and financial goals. Are you afraid to spend money? Or you tend to overspend? Do you live paycheck by paycheck or always have money in your savings or checking account? These are important questions. Discuss your money habits, dreams, and long-term and short-term plans and goals. Don’t worry if you discover that there are differences. This is normal. It is more important to develop a setup that will work well for both spouses. It is also a good idea to set financial goals, whether it is buying a new home or repaying your debts faster. Talk about your long-term goals as well (saving toward retirement, your child’s college education, etc.) It is also a good idea to have an emergency fund for rainy days and emergencies. You may also want to discuss your expenses, including utility bills, grocery shopping, housing, cable TV, transportation, entertainment, etc. It pays to develop a budget to see whether you need to downgrade or find a better paid job. Track your spending for several months, including bills and discretionary expenses. If you want to buy a big-ticket item, it is important to discuss it. Helping family members and friends in need of money is another topic worth bringing for discussion. Obviously, this depends on many factors, including your budget, debts, lifestyle, surplus income, etc. Look at your insurance policies as well, including your home, auto, life, and other policies.