You all know how important it is to plan your monthly budget, but what about the bigger things? How do you get your finances in shape if you’re planning a wedding, having a baby or buying a house? Here are some tips.
Tying the knot
Weddings can be expensive as heck and you don't want to start your married life in debt.
Start by setting a budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on the wedding and then stick to it. Remember, the most important thing is that you're getting married, not how much cash you’re blowing on a party for your friends.
Get creative. There are plenty of ways to save money without looking like a cheapskate:
- Wedding venues are cheaper on weekdays and during the off season.
- Skip the guest favours – those little gifts on the table that everybody throws away anyway.
- Limit the guest list. Only include the people you and your fiancé speak to once a month at least.
- DIY the wedding décor.
- Ask for money as a gift if you know you’re not going to need three toasters and four silverware sets.
Now is also a good time to start thinking about your long-term financial goals as a couple. Set up a joint budget and start saving for things like a down payment on a house, future holidays, retirement…
Let’s talk about the birds and the bees
There are big financial considerations if you’re expecting a bundle of joy, or if you’re planning on having one in the next five years. Just like weddings, those diaper-wearing cuties are expensive! Start budgeting for costs like education now so you're not caught off guard later. If you want to save for your kids, opening a tax-free savings account could be a great option.
Keep in mind that you or your partner might have to take time off work to care for the baby. Ask your company about parental leave, and any potential pay cuts, and include them in your budget. Do all of this beforehand, so that when the time comes you can focus on being the best parent you can be.
And don't forget about your own future! Make sure you keep contributing to your retirement accounts regularly.
Bricks and mortar
Thinking of buying a house? Use a mortgage calculator to determine how much you can borrow based on your income and expenses. Factor in costs like property taxes, insurance and maintenance. Use 22seven’s Future Budgeting tool to see how your month-to-month finances will change.
Don’t forget to plan for the hidden costs of owning a house: Repairs, renovations, and unexpected emergencies creep up on you.
Here are some of the top things to consider when buying a house. Remember to account for all the extra costs in addition to the price that you’re paying for your house.
Getting married and buying a house are wonderful events to plan for, but what about those less-wonderful events that can also impact your life? You need to start building an emergency fund. Aim to save enough money to cover at least three- to six months’ worth of living expenses. This will provide a financial cushion to help you through a tough event like a job loss or a medical emergency.
Make sure you also have the right insurance policies to protect you and your family: health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, home and car insurance… Chat to a financial advisor if you need guidance.
Adulting is hard, but you can do it. Good luck!