Be a budget savvy bride and groom

The average American wedding costs $27,800.00 and the days of “dad” footing the entire bill are numbered. According to a recent study by The Wedding Report, in 2011 83.2% of U.S. couples made a contribution or paid the entire cost of their wedding, and only 51.5% of parents contributed to the wedding.  The more people contributing to your wedding finances the more confusing the budgeting and bookkeeping will end up being.

Here are my TOP 2 wedding budgeting tips to help all parties involved communicate effectively and stay on track!

Tip #1: Determine your budget

Plan a money date and figure out how much money you and your fiancé can spend.

  • Calculate how much money (if any) you have saved, and how much of that you are willing to use if you stick to a rigid saving plan.

Schedule a sit down meeting with all parties involved, and be mindful of economic differences.

  • Meet with everyone who is contributing to the cost of your wedding, to talk about the expenses.
  • Two separate meetings might be a good idea if those contributing come from different economic backgrounds in order to avoid potentially awkward and uncomfortable moments.

Pick your priorities.

  • Try using an online budgeter (like the one on to breakdown your budget item by item.
  • Decide what is most important to you and then dedicate your budget accordingly.

Be upfront and honest with your vendors.

  • Always approach your vendors with the budget you have allocated the service they will be providing you.
  • Have them create a proposal for you within that budget.
  • You might want to account 10% of your budget for extras and upgrades. 

Tip #2: Manage your funds

Open a bank account devoted specifically to your wedding so you can track your spending.

  • Make sure you don’t agree to frivolous upgrades without recognizing the economic impact.

Devise a secondary savings plan.

  • After deciding on a wedding budget, and figuring out how much of your savings you would like to contribute to this budget, open your “Wedding Bank Account.”
  • Once you have transferred money into this account, create an additional savings plan.
  • Creating an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your “wedding account” will help to manage the wedding budget and spending.

Reap great rewards: Sign up for a credit card with a rewards program.

  • Make your wedding costs work for you! Sign up for a new credit card with a rewards program, allowing you to earn points each time you spend.
  • You know you are going to be spending — make it work to your advantage.
  • Make sure you have the money to pay of your card in FULL each month!

The Bridal Budget Breakdown:

  • Reception: 50%
  • Attire: 10%
  • Photo and Video: 10%
  • Flowers and Décor: 10%
  • Music & Entertainment: 10%
  • Invitations & Gifts: 10%

When it comes to weddings and money, (especially other people’s money) it’s important to remember to communicate and take into account each party’s economic differences and needs. Hope these tips can help you or someone you know plan ahead before walking down the aisle.

Live Rich,

David Bach


The Five Crucial Questions You Need To Ask Your Partner Before You Say “I Do”

He popped the question but now it’s time to ask a few questions of your own. Even though fighting about money is the number one cause of divorce in America, many couples spend more time thinking about where to hold their wedding and which flowers to purchase than they do thinking about their financial lives together. With so many marriages torn apart because of finances, I created five crucial questions every bride and groom must ask (and answer) before they say “I do.”

  1. What is your partner’s credit history?
    The smallest mistake can cause big trouble for your financial future as a couple when it comes to your credit score. That one credit card with a $500 balance that your partner forgot to pay since college can seriously damage your credit history once you become legally married.
  2. Do we need to sign a pre-nuptial agreement?
    Not signing a pre-nuptial agreement can be one of the biggest mistakes a couple makes before they tie the knot. If one of you has significantly more assets than the other, it is crucial that you protect yourself against the legal repercussions of divorce, no matter how unlikely the prospect may seem at the time.
  3. Is your partner currently saving any money?
    The time to find out if your fiancé is financially clueless is before you get married. Ask them if they are putting any money away. Find out if they’ve ever taken a finance class or read a book on investing. This is a great way to suggest that the two of you take an investment class together. Couples that learn together… stay together.
  4. How did your partner’s parents handle their money?
    This is one of the most overlooked issues with couples today. How your partner’s parents handled money in their marriage can give you a pretty good inclination of how your partner will handle money in your marriage. If their parents were constantly relying on credit cards, for example, there’s a good chance that they have inherited this bad financial behavior as well.
  5. What are your partner’s plans and dreams for retirement?
    Don’t wait till you are both in your sixties and your spouse informs you that they plan to retire to the Carolina coast to go fishing every day, when you thought the plan was to go to Europe. Make sure you take the time to talk about your dreams for the future, and that you have the same plan for your retirement accounts.

You need to know exactly who you are marrying before you say “I do,” especially when it comes to their financial life. If you want to learn more about couples and money and how you can effectively communicate in your relationship make sure to listen to my interview from the teleseminar entitled “The Art of Love.”  You will have 24 hours to access the interview for FREE so SIGN UP NOW!  My interview will be airing at 6pm EST on Sunday, November 6th, 2011 – you won’t want to miss it!

Live Rich and Happy,

David Bach


the art of love

What Are We Even Fighting About?

Have you ever walked away from a fight with your spouse or significant other?  You’re absolutely fuming and your head is spinning. Finally, you calm down and realize you have no idea what you were actually fighting about? The fact is that couples fight an average of 4 times a month and oftentimes, they’re fighting about money and they don’t even know it!

One of the top mistakes a couple can make when it comes to love and money is to fight over “stuff” instead of the real money problem. Let me give you an example from my personal life to explain better.

The Fight:

The biggest fight I ever had with my wife over money started with nothing more than a new pair of shoes.  She came home, showed me the new black shoes she bought on sale—and I proceeded to lose it. 

“New shoes?  How could you need new shoes?” I exclaimed. I then proceeded to pull out all of her black shoes and count them, one-by-one. 

My wife in turn dashed over to my “tech toy drawer” and pulled out three old cells phones, three old Palm Pilots, and various other gadgets that were collecting dust.

“Who needs all this stuff?” she argued. “You are ridiculous, wasting all of our money on the latest, greatest gadget.”

Before I knew it, our fight was over items in the house, our purchases, and “stuff” that had nothing to do with the real problem….we were not saving enough money. We both knew it,  but we continued to spend our money on completely unnecessary purchases, when we could have been saving more for our future.

The Solution:

Fortunately, I was able to pull back from this argument and ask my wife if we could sit down and calmly discuss my real money concern with her.

I explained to her how important it is that we “pay ourselves first”—and we agreed to a goal together. Our goal was large (to pay ourselves first 20% of our gross income),  but we agreed that if we could achieve that goal we wouldn’t fight about the little ways we were spending money.

The result of our discussion was that we put our savings and finances on auto pilot—having our paychecks automatically deposited first into our savings account from our 401k plans, then into our emergency account and our dream account. We also set it up so all of our monthly bills were paid automatically. After this—the fights stopped!  Most importantly we built real wealth, together as a team.Talking about your goals and automating your finances can have a life changing effect on your relationship and on your financial security. Remember, a couple who plan their finances together stay together.

Live Rich,
David Bach

P.S. Make sure to share you thoughts and comments below, I love to hear your feedback and stories!