7 Reasons to Slash Your Wedding Budget in Half

Check out what financial options open up by spending far less on your wedding day.

May 18, 2014 at 11:15AM

After the wedding-day euphoria dissipates and couples start seriously thinking about the rest of their lives together, many newlyweds wish they'd spent less cash on their big day. In a survey of 13,000 U.S. brides and grooms married last year, the average wedding cost a staggering $30,000 -- an all-time high. And that isn't even including the honeymoon, which runs about $5,000 on average.  

Wedding Day Walk

Source: Wikimedia Commons user micadew.

With money problems cited as one of the top reasons marriages fail, draining our piggy banks on our wedding day holds potential for starting our marriage on the wrong foot. Instead of plunking down a whopping $35,000 on average, let's see what financial options we open up by spending far less.

Saving now can buy you lots of options later
Let's assume you and your spouse-to-be spend half the average amount on your big day and save the rest. Regardless of your financial goals, $17,500 is a terrific head start. Consider how this hypothetical savings can make a huge dent in seven common financial goals of newlyweds.

Goal No. 1: "We want to buy a home."
The $17,500 saved secures half of a traditional 20% down payment on a $175,000 home. And with mortgage interest rates near all-time lows, getting in a house now as opposed to in a few years -- when rates may well be higher -- can also save you money in mortgage interest over the life of your loan.

Goal No. 2: "We have student loans to pay off."
The average student loan balance per U.S. household is roughly $33,607, according to Nerd Wallet. Assuming you and your intended hold an average level of student loan debt, that $17,500 savings could eliminate more than half this amount of debt.

Goal No. 3: "We want to pay off our credit card debt."
According to Nerd Wallet, the average credit card debt per indebted household is roughly $15,191, and the average APR on credit cards with balances is 13%. Assuming an average level of credit card debt, a couple could wipe this out completely with the above-mentioned $17,500 savings. 

Goal No. 4: "Someday we want to have a child. Ideally, we'd like to pay for our kid's college education."
One of the best ways to help your child with the rising cost of college is to get a head start on savings. By investing in a 529 college savings plan returning an assumed 7% annually for a future child, the $17,500 saved would grow to nearly $68,000 in 20 years. 

Goal No. 5: "Our dream is to travel the world."
A couple could use the $17,500 saved to take one $4,375 vacation every other year for the next eight years. A honeymoon on a scaled-back budget doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

Goal No. 6: "We want to start our own business someday."
Since 73% of small businesses are funded with personal savings, the more you've saved, the more likely you'll be able to fund your venture. Invested at 2.25% annually in a five-year certificate of deposit, $17,500 would give the couple nearly $19,600 start their business. This cash could be the difference between chasing a dream and letting it die on the vine.

Goal No. 7: "We'd love to retire early."
For a couple marrying when each spouse is 30 years old, that $17,500 savings could grow in a retirement account, assuming a reasonable 7% annual rate of return, to a remarkable $133,000 nest egg when the couple is 60 years old. If you love what you do for a living and want to delay retirement, your $17,500 savings could grow to $262,000 at age 70. 

Before shelling out any money on your walk down the aisle, consider fast-tracking your financial future with a portion of these funds. By doing so, you'll get an enormous head start on your financial goals.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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