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Chris
Expert November 2018

How do you make a budget when you have no money?

Chris, on June 27, 2017 at 10:15 PM Posted in Planning 0 101

I'm new here and looking for advice on how to even begin making a budget. I've read through some of the material here and am still really shaky on how to figure out what's feasible for me to even think about doing. I know the wedding will have to be pushed out at least two years for financial reasons, and we will most likely be paying for everything ourselves. We're 26 and 29, and have been living together for 6 years so the concept of no money/financial issues are already no stranger to us. I think I want to take out a loan to pay for most things, however I had generally a negative reaction to this on my previous post. I'm planning on cutting costs by hopefully having the wedding on a Thursday, I know most of my guests would be able to make it with a proper amount of notice. We presently have no real savings, and I feel like to save for what we want would take literally a decade. I do however have excellent credit and know how to budget payments, that's why I'm leaning toward a loan.

101 Comments

Latest activity by Meet_The_Clarks, on June 28, 2017 at 10:10 PM
  • D
    Devoted July 2017
    dedodara ·
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    If you know how to budget payments, why can't you budget those payments to save up for the wedding? Instead of paying a loan payment, but it in your bank account? That's how you budget and save up the money....

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  • MTB
    Master May 2017
    MTB ·
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    You don't go in debt for a wedding.

    You first need to have an emergency savings built up and then focus on paying for a wedding. It's important in life to have a savings account.

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  • fallinthegarden
    Master October 2017
    fallinthegarden ·
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    Good lord, do not go into debt for an optional party, especially if you have money issues beyond just the wedding.

    Your budget is any savings you currently have that you can use for the wedding *WITHOUT TOUCHING YOUR EMERGENCY FUND* and whatever you can put away each month between now and your date.

    The best way to save money is to cut your guest list. Even in the most expensive of cities, you can have a nice ceremony with a photographer, flowers, and a restaurant reception in a private room for 20ish people for under $5k. That was our original plan.

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  • AdiósCollins
    Expert September 2017
    AdiósCollins ·
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    We calculated an estimate of what we thought we could save by the wedding date without missing monthly bills, and went from there. It has been fluctuating a little bit based on unexpected income & monthly bill changes.

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  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·
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    Honestly I would focus on starting an emergency fund before a wedding fund. Or else wedding fund will be used if there is an emergency. You should try to save at least two pays each. Then open up another account for your wedding.

    You also have to be realistic. If you don't have the money then maybe a reception is not for you. Elope and go out for an awesome dinner. You will still be married. Focus on your financial health. A wedding is just one day

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  • Acacia
    Dedicated April 2018
    Acacia ·
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    I would research venues and prices and get a feel for how much you want to spend on your wedding. And see how much you can save each month up until your date. If you don't mind having it a few years out then you can easily save a good amount. Obviously people don't advise taking out a loan. You should write down the important things you want at your wedding and around how many people you plan to invite. The more people the more costly. I'm sure you can figure out how to save money each month.

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  • Chris
    Expert November 2018
    Chris ·
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    Thanks everyone for all the advice, you're all a bunch of smarty pajamas. Smiley smile Sometimes I don't think of the obvious things, I come from a paycheck to paycheck family so the concepts of savings and security sometimes escape me. I think I'm mostly just super excited and am getting ahead of myself in a lot of ways. I do have a better idea of how to figure this out now, and can probably have the ability to pull this off in roughly 3 years if I don't put the screws to myself with money.

    Thanks!

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  • StPaulGal
    Master July 2017
    StPaulGal ·
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    You don't deserve a big wedding.

    It's not just you. I don't deserve a big wedding. The poster above me doesn't deserve a big wedding. NOBODY deserves a big wedding. A big wedding is a luxury item. You are not entitled to luxury items just because you think it would be nice/fun/memorable/etc to have.

    If you don't have many thousands of spare dollars saved up that you can spend without affecting other parts of your life, and nobody else decides to gift you those many thousands, then you don't have a big wedding. You can then choose to postpone the wedding until such time as you have saved up many thousands of spare dollars, or you have a small wedding.

    In my state you can get a marriage license for $40. If you want to be married and you have "no money," do some babysitting, get your $40, march down to the courthouse, and get married. If the party is more important to you, then spend the next decade saving up. Those are your choices.

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  • TheFutureMrsWalker
    Super August 2017
    TheFutureMrsWalker ·
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    Don't start married life in debt. Most all of us on here are paying for our own weddings. From what I've seen a lot have longer engagements in order to save for their big day.

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  • MnmsMonique
    Super June 2018
    MnmsMonique ·
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    Start by setting a strict budget for yourself and put any extra money in a separate account. Think about getting a part time job if you can. When venue shopping I notice that there were huge discount if you had your wedding in the off season. Hope this helps!

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  • M
    Devoted March 2018
    MsGem ·
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    I would have a small wedding. Like courthouse and dinner at a nice restaurant with like 10 people. So many people get tied up on the wrong things. Its not about having a huge gorgeous wedding. Its about marrying someone, committing yourself to someonr, starting a life together as a family. I have a friend who spent 26k on a wedding 5 years ago and just finished paying it off. Put your priorities in order. A house then a big wedding. You can always renew your vows down the road and throw a bigger wedding!

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  • muriel
    Champion June 2018
    muriel ·
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    Don't save what's leftover. Pay yourself first. Decide how much you need to save over what period of time and save enough per month to accomplish your goal.

    Set up automatic deductions from your checking account into a savings account. What you don't see, you don't spend. If you or your FI get a raise, don't spend it. Increase the automatic deduction by the amount of your raise. It will add up.

    The biggest thing though is have the wedding you can afford. You will be just as married, and your family and friends just as happy for you, as if you had spent a fortune.

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  • Veep
    VIP May 2017
    Veep ·
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    You take your pay checks, subtract all your typical expenses (rent, food, car etc etc). Once subtracted you take what's left and you leave it in your bank account and don't touch it. Continue each month.

    Second, you look at your guest list and you cut it.

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  • Chris
    Expert November 2018
    Chris ·
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    I'm not even looking for a big wedding, I actually don't even intend on getting a dress because that's just not my thing. While we have a rough guest list of about 80 people thrown together, we're hoping to significantly cut that down, like less than half, its just semi difficult with the size of our families. (If not for the fact my mother would literally die, I wouldn't even invite family) What we do know is that we want a nice time with the people we care about in a nice setting, and we would like a buffet dinner and a bar if possible. I really do want to go balls out with this, but fortunately both my tastes and my partner's are simple, so balls out isn't all that much. You've all been so helpful for the whole day I've been a member and I really appreciate it.

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  • Leelee
    VIP September 2018
    Leelee ·
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    Marriage can wait. Get yourselves in a better place financially. Seriously, your relationship is no less meaningful without the piece of paper and the party. Relax, get your lives in order, save money, and get married down the road when the time is right.

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  • Jay Farrell
    Jay Farrell ·
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    You work an extra gig.

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  • Stephanie
    Beginner September 2018
    Stephanie ·
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    I see a lot CAPITAL LETTERS so I'm going at this differently... Because I too have felt the same way you did. I thought there was never going to be enough time to save for this wedding and that I too was planning to get a credit card with a certain limit and pay it off... But my bankers mind took over... I sat my FH down and told him that if we don't fix this we are going to struggle and being newlyweds is certainly not easy as it is... Imagine with that debt lingering! So we budgeted... For instance we have a family plan, have combined auto insurance now, joint bank accounts bc I was not receiving direct deposit at my accounting job so I would get a monthly fee. We even got to where we only had dates of upwards of $40 maybe twice a month. We started car pooling and taking lunches even if it was just a sandwich... And we have $1391 on our balance and our wedding is not until May 20, 2018! So I know if I can do it, you can do it!!

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  • Chivy
    VIP September 2018
    Chivy ·
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    You shouldn't be planning a wedding. You should be saving for your future.

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  • Chris
    Expert November 2018
    Chris ·
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    Thanks for the sympathy Stephanie, it's appreciated. I don't mind taking a little bit of a verbal beatdown here, I know I'm like a man without a country in this situation. After thinking about it it's feasable, I just can't start truly saving until July of next year when my car is paid off, which is fine with me.

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  • Jess'sgirl
    VIP November 2018
    Jess'sgirl ·
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    Pay yourself - to a savings account. Do not go into debt over a party. Your financial future is so much more important. Plus - you're not entitled to said party. If you have no money for it, get married at the courthouse so you can reap the financial benefits of being married, and call it a day.

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