How To Successfully Juggle Graduate and Marriage Debt
Over the past century, both education and marriage have shifted towards the demographic of people in the group aged 25 to 34. If you think about it, the number of people getting graduate degrees and the number of people getting married coincide when we're talking about the general timeline of a person's life. According to a survey by SoundVision the average age of a bride is 25.3 while the average age of a groom is 26.9, and these ages correspond with the average time most people take to complete their graduate educations. So, after burdening yourself with undergraduate and graduate debts as well as daily living expenses, how will you scrape together enough of a budget to fund a decent wedding?
Be Thrifty: Start Budgeting and Saving Early
When it comes to saving money the standard platitudes like "It's better late than never" or "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure" find incredible relevance. That's to say that you need to begin setting up a budget as soon as possible and that solving the issues of student loan debts and similarly large debts (i.e. credit card or vehicle) should be the first step towards a successfully funded wedding.
Did you know that the average college graduate is saddled with around $28,950 in debt ? That's even before they get into graduate school and before they have the pleasure of paying another round of college tuitions and fees. Don't forget that you have to live as well. With all of these mounting financial expenses, what do you do to offset some of the pressure of some of these loans so that you're able to get on your feet and start moving forward towards life milestones like weddings?
To start off, you need to get a good program or app to track your spending habits - You Need a Budget or Mint are some of the most commonly used budgeting tools and trackers that offer you nice breakdowns of where your money gives every week and month and helps you visualize your spending overall. Budgeting not only allows you to have more insight and control over where your money goes, but it gives you a better ability to plan for the future, align priorities, and reduce stress.
Be Proactive At Saving and Earning
Cut down on the number of times you eat out with your friends or significant other. Work a few side hustles so that you're able to claim multiple income flows. Invest in a ton of different ventures so that you can diversity your money and have it work for you instead of having it sit and vegetate in a savings account. Take calculated risks, explore, and adapt in your saving and earnings strategies.
The first part of the strategy which involves saving in order to address debt is simple, just go out less often. Remember that the house always wins whether it's a casino, a bar, or a restaurant. You can save something like $2,600 by just choosing not to eat out, and if you put a little bit of investment into planning out your meals to be cheap, healthy, and effective, you can tack on a few thousand more to your overall savings.
The second part of a proactive strategy involves earning to lighten the weight of existing debts. You'll want to ask yourself, "How much more work can I be doing in my free time comfortably?" and then search for side gigs that will allow you to make full use of that idle time. Time is money, and you could be losing out on tens of thousands of dollars in opportunity costs simply because you didn't put the time into researching how to make more money on the side or how to leverage the financial power of your existing assets.
Holding An Extravagant Yet Frugal Wedding
There are a ton of ways that you can save on costs when it comes to your wedding without sacrificing the quality of the experience that you'll get out of the occasion. Based on a survey from The Knot the average wedding now costs a staggering $35,329 nationally, and biggest points where you can save often lie in the new digital possibilities available to you.
For example, instead of going into a brick and mortar store to get your measurements taken and going through the tedious and time-consuming process of trying on and fitting a limited number of dresses, you can now do everything online and get a stylish, modern bridal gown delivered to you. Technology has simplified the planning and organizational process for weddings significantly, and much of the costs of weddings come from individual choices to spend more money.
Final Thoughts on Successfully Juggling Graduate and Marriage Debt
As long as you are reasonable and conscientious about managing your debts as they appear, active about reducing them, and careful in your financial plans for the future, you'll be able to juggle the immense burden of graduate loans and marriage debt well.