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Earlier this year, we asked wedding experts to share their best money-saving wedding tips. If you were in the throes of planning, you hopefully used those strategies to rein in the cost of the Big Day.
But once the fanfare dies down, you have a bigger challenge ahead: learning how to save money after your wedding as you merge finances and households and pay down wedding-related debt. Because, let’s face it, under the pressure of creating a shared life that’s truly special, it’s too easy to throw money at your new life.
The good news is, adjusting to married life doesn’t have to put a strain on your wallet. The two of you can create the life you want on a budget. It only takes a bit of discipline and some new habits. Below are 15 small and simple ways you can spend less in your new life.
15 ways to save money after your wedding
Follow these practical strategies to save on food, clothes, home décor, entertainment, and more.
1. Create Meal Plans
I’ve been working from a weekly meal plan for years. It saves me a ton of time and money since I no longer head to Trader Joe’s four times in a single week.
I plan out each meal and only buy the ingredients I need. So, there’s no food waste and no randomly grabbing things off the shelves simply because they look interesting. It’s also vastly easier to eat healthier foods when you take the time to plan them into your diet.
And here’s a bonus tip: Combine your weekly meal planning with online grocery shopping if it makes sense. I use the Walmart app to order everything I need, then pick it up when my order’s ready. No impulse buying for me!
2. Smart Grocery Shopping
You can boost the savings you get from your meal planning with some prudent with grocery shopping hacks. First, always consult your supermarket’s sale flyer as you prepare your meal plan. The more you can shop around the sale items, the less you’ll spend. Also, if you’re shopping groceries in person, be focused about shopping from your list only. Don’t wander aimlessly up and down the aisles. This puts you in the mood to buy something extra just because it’s on sale.
3. DIY Home Decor
Experiment with DIY home decor to save money and personalize your new marital space. A good starting point is to transform wedding-related items, like your personalized wedding photo albums, into decorative pieces. You’re keeping the memories fresh while being cost-efficient — which is a total win/win.
For more inspiration, see our tips on budget décor.
4. Reapply your wedding cost discipline to future events
Your wedding isn’t the only event you’ll host in your lifetime. Receptions follow weddings, and then there are birthday parties, anniversary parties, gender reveal parties, kindergarten graduation parties…believe me, life moves that fast.
Remember to apply the same cost discipline you used in wedding planning to these future events. That means everything from ordering your event flowers in bulk to serving potluck instead of catered meals. Remember that the human element — that’s you and your favorite people — provide the atmosphere. The decorations, food, drinks, etc. are secondary.
5. Go custom strategically
This tip is an add-on to Number 4 above. There are some occasions you’ll want to personalize, like the surprise first anniversary party you’re already planning or your dream baby shower that you’re not turning over to your BFF. For any custom decorations, party favors, etc., think about how you can make them both personalized and versatile.
It is possible to reuse, say, leftover custom baby shower invitations, if you approach the design process creatively — that is, focus on printing the artwork, but not the event details. If you can reuse leftovers later, you’ll save on design and printing fees in the future.
6. Shop used
When you decide you need something — clothes, shoes, home décor, tools, cars, whatever — look for it used first. This habit alone can save you three to five digits annually. Thanks to the proliferation of online marketplaces, it’s not too hard to find high-quality items in good condition at a fraction of their original price.
7. Cook in bulk
Bulk cooking is another effective way to save, especially if you’re a good cook and prepper. Try making large batches of chilis, baked pastas, or casseroles, then freeze them in portion sizes. You’ll have a freezer full of easy meals ready to go and you’ll save by purchasing the ingredients in bulk.
Some freezable recipes to try from our sister site Blog Chef include:
8. Brew your own coffee
Consider brewing your own coffee at home instead of buying from a café. This small change to your daily routine could save you $100 a month, assuming you’re currently getting brewed or specialty coffees from Starbucks.
You can pick up an affordable coffee pot from Walmart and brew your favorite Starbucks blend at home. You’ll save a bunch, which makes that morning cuppa so much more satisfying.
9. Schedule “no-spend” days
No-spend days work. Simply mark on your calendar a few days during the month that you won’t spend anything. To get the most impact, rotating your no-spend days throughout the week — including at least two weekend days monthly.
Over time, you’ll become more aware of what you’re spending and when, which improves your ability to manage money and make smart financial decisions.
10. Limit entertainment subscriptions
Sometime before your six-month anniversary, sit down with your partner and review the entertainment subscriptions you both brought to the union. Obviously, you’ll want to cut out any duplicates straight away. Then, of the subscriptions remaining, decide which ones you really need.
Paying $5 to $20 monthly for one subscription isn’t bad. But if you’re paying for Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Peacock, and Netflix at the same time, it’s time to cut back. There isn’t enough time in the day for you to make use of five or more streaming accounts.
11. Ditch unnecessary memberships
If you’re paying for memberships or subscriptions that you hardly use, it’s time to ditch them too. For instance, if your gym membership is gathering dust, consider cheaper workout alternatives like outdoor exercises or home fitness equipment.
You might also try using an app that tracks your subscriptions, like Rocket Money or Pocketguard.
12. Plan purchases around sales times
Consider planning your major purchases around the big sales holidays like:
- Black Friday to Cyber Money
- Boxing Day
- January post-holiday sales
- Memorial Day
- Amazon Prime Day
- Labor Day
With the right timing, you and your new partner can splurge in a financially healthy way.
13. Use more public transport
Lower your commuting costs by taking the train, bus, or riding in the bike lane. You’ll save on gas of course, but also on parking and car maintenance costs. Plus, this is a small step towards a greener lifestyle!
14. Make gifts
Express your creativity and save money by making DIY gifts. Homemade presents carry a personal touch that store-bought ones can’t match. Plus, they usually cost less. DIYing your gifts is a fun, thoughtful way to show affection while managing your post-wedding budget efficiently.
15. Visualize your goals
Regarding financial planning after your wedding, visualizing your goals can be beneficial. Whether it’s owning a home or taking international vacations annually, having a clear focus on why you’re saving keeps you motivated and supports smart spending habits.
Saving money after the wedding
Now that you’re armed with these simple and effective money-saving strategies, put them into practice. Engaging in careful planning, reusing resources, and monitoring your spending can help tighten the purse strings without restricting the joy of your new marital life.