Are you planning an elopement? Great move! Keeping your wedding small and minimal is a great way to save money and avoid stress. Even if your guest list is on the shorter side, you can still expect to receive some cash gifts from friends and family. It can be tempting to use this money to splurge on a luxury honeymoon, fancy home furnishings, or a new car, but there are some other, smarter ways to use those extra funds. Here are some ideas from Best Elope Ideas to help you get the most out of your wedding gift money!
Save for a Home
If you and your new spouse want to buy a home one day, use your wedding money to start saving for a down payment! The earlier you start saving and the more you’re able to put away, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. According to Redfin, the median down payment on a home is 6 percent, but some homes can be purchased with just 3 percent down. Look at home prices in your area to figure out how much you will need to save.
Pay Off Debts
Do you and your partner have existing debt? Now is a good time to start paying it off. Your credit situation, as well as your debt-to-income ratio, will play a role in your eligibility for a mortgage. Not only that but holding a lot of debt can significantly hurt your ability to build savings. Use your wedding cash to start paying down your debt. One way to do this is by using the snowball method, paying down the account with the smallest balance first to give yourself a sense of progress.
Build an Emergency Fund
Starting an emergency fund is perhaps even more important than paying off debt. As you and your spouse start a life together, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen—the pandemic made this all too apparent! An emergency fund will ensure you and your spouse will be able to survive job loss, accidents, injuries, and illnesses without taking on debt or draining your retirement savings. If you have debt, Ramsey Solutions suggests starting an emergency fund of just $1,000 for now and beefing it up after paying off your debt.
Invest in Your Future
Speaking of retirement, this is another great use for that wedding gift money. Experts recommend saving about 15% of your income every year. While retirement might be many years away, it’s never too early to start putting money aside. Your wedding gift money will grow substantially over the next few decades—even if you never contribute another dime—thanks to the power of compound interest.
Purchase Life Insurance
Marriage is a great time to start shopping for life insurance. Many married couples combine their finances, sharing major purchases and debts. Buying life insurance will protect you financially should something happen to your spouse, and vice versa. Even if you don’t think you need it right now, Money Under 30 explains that locking in a policy now can save you a lot of money in the long run. Life insurance will only get more expensive as you grow older. Putting some of that wedding cash towards a life insurance policy is a no-brainer!
While there are many smart things you can do with your wedding cash, don’t forget to treat yourself. Spending some money on a fancy date night, a couple’s massage, or something nice for your home isn’t out of the question. After all, this money was intended as a gift to celebrate you and your spouse! Splurge a little and then squirrel the rest away for the future!
Eloping is a great way to save money that you can put towards a secure and happy future with your new spouse. Looking for inspiration? Best Elope Ideas can help you plan your perfect destination elopement ceremony. Give us a call to learn about our affordable elopement packages! 504-329-6759.