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Wedding venue costs are on my mind as I look at my March 2018 expenses. We’ve got a wedding coming up in a few months. That’s super exciting but with that come the costs. The 2nd of 3 wedding venue payments was due this month and will be a drag on my savings rate.
It’s really crazy how expensive wedding venues in the northeast are these days. They’re expensive enough to require multiple payments! One good thing about that is that it stills the impact of the big cost into more bearable payments. This isn’t a surprise so it’s something I definitely accounted for when I started the year.
I knew hitting my savings rate goals this year would be hard because I have so many wedding related expenses coming up. The venue is a big part of that but so are the food and alcohol for which I’ll be paying for later on the year. That’s on top of the honeymoon expenses that will come after!
I’m not sure what the wedding will end up costing us at least $15,000. That’s a tough number to swallow but a nice wedding is important to us as it’s the bringing together of our two families.
I know what you’re thinking. This is a blog about saving money so why are you spending so much on a wedding? Why not just have some BBQ in someone’s back yard and tie the knot while uncle Jim DJ’s. That’s definitely a way to go but for us, a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience so we want to make sure it’s special.
Saving money is important but so is living the life you want. The wedding is part of that as we step into the next phase of our lives with our family and friends.
The venue and food are the expensive parts but there are other costs too. There’s flowers, photography, a DJ, wedding favors and other things.
We’ve done a good job of keeping costs down but the truth is that weddings are expensive in the northeast. Our venue is just north of $5,000 just for one day which seems crazy to me. However, the price is actually going up $1,000 next year and it’s still one of the more affordable places we found.
Believe it or not, this is actually not a ton to spend on venue or a wedding in this area. I’ve heard of friends shelling out more than 50k which is just crazy to me.
There are definitely more frugal ways to go about it. However, my fiancee and I decided we wanted to make it a nice event for all involved.
The nice thing is that I won’t be paying for all of it. My gracious fiancee is picking up a good deal of the expenses. Plus, I’m sure we’ll get a good chunk of the cost back in gifts.
However, the costs will certainly impact my savings rate this year. That’ll mean rough sledding when it comes to goals as my expenses are expected to increase quite a bit.
Still, I wanted to make my 2018 goals hard to reach so that I would have to step it up in the other months.
Months like March will be a slaughter since I have large one time payments like the wedding venue. There’s definitely more to come as we still have another wedding venue payment and food costs to cover. There will be more months like this one to come as the year progresses. That’s why it was so important for me to kill it in the first two months.
January’s savings rate was just shy of 50% and February was a record month for me with a savings rate above 70%! That sets me up well for the year even if months like March will be a struggle.
That means that though March will be much worse than last year, I’m still on a good pace to start the year when it comes to my goals.
Let’s see where the gross income savings rate sits this month.
Gross Income Savings Rate
On a gross income basis, I saved 14.3% of my income this month. That number jumps to 19.27% when I add in employer contributions.
As expected, it’s not a great month. In fact, it’s the worst month I’ve had since last September. That was the month in which I traveled to Denver to see the eclipse; another once in a lifetime event that was worth every penny.
Saving money is great but sometimes you have to spend it on things you’ll remember forever.
Related : Going Places – Denver and the eclipse
Taxes are a bit higher this month as my 401k contributions have been reduced. That’s due to the fact that they were bumped up to 50% last month when I got my bonus. That means I have to keep the % lower for the rest of the year to get my employer match. That leads to bigger paychecks but higher tax bills. It also means more potential taxable account savings since my take home is bigger. At least in months where my expenses aren’t huge like March.
Let’s take a look at my savings rate.
My savings rate for the month is 19.03%! That’s a big drop from last year’s 49.1% which shows the impact of one time wedding venue costs. My savings rate would actually be above 50% if that expense didn’t exist.
That means my other expenses were actually lower than last year.
Adding in employer contributions brings that number to 25.66%.
March might not be a great month but it’s always nice to be able to cover a big expense like a payment on a wedding venue and still save money.
Wedding expenses aren’t always easy to reconcile when you’ve got a saver’s mindset but I’m never too upset about this one. I know we’ll have a great experience at a place we love with friends and families and that’s what life is all about.
It’s important to keep a balance in life and realize that some things are worth spending money on. A more expensive wedding isn’t for everyone but some certainly consider it worthwhile.
Speaking of expenses, let’s take a look at those this month.
As always, my primary job makes up almost all of my income. My book income made up 0.42% of my overall income.
I really have to get back to writing again and boost that income. After all, one of my goals this year is to raise my income at least 3%.
On the expense front, entertainment is first in a big way. Entertainment seems like the best area to track my wedding costs. However, I do have a separate category called entertainment(wedding) in my spreadsheets so I can track the full costs of the wedding this year. It’ll be interesting to see how much we actually spend on this bad boy.
It’ll be expensive for sure but I’m hoping we can stay a good deal under $20,000 between the two of us.
Next is rent and then comes the car payment. I still haven’t made any additional payments towards my car loan but do hope to pay that off fully this year.
Groceries include multiple visits to Trader Joe’s. There were also a few trips to Shop-Rite to pick up some keto friendly pizza for when I feel lazy.
Restaurants included a few lunches and some visits to Chipotle. Health includes some supplements and an old doctor bill.
Unfortunately, I don’t get free parking at work so it costs me quite a bit to actually get to work. Especially once you combine that with gas from all the time spent in traffic.
The gift category makes an appearance too. My mom’s birthday came around as it does every year. We’re not a huge gift giving family so we generally exchange small things or just give cash.
Health Insurance is next and that’s subsidized by my employer in a big way.
Household includes some key purchases for the home like this awesome storage container and some plastic cups. That should give you an idea of how much income my books produce. I can ALMOST get some cups and a storage container with those fat stacks of royalty cash.
Overall, this wasn’t a great month but I’m still in a good spot after an awesome January and February. I’m not too worried about my goals yet but everything depends on other wedding and honeymoon related costs.
I’ll have to make sure to hit some great numbers in months where I don’t have wedding payments due. Next month might be a good month for that as I’ll have my tax refund coming back and a lack of wedding expenses.
Also, as a side note totally unrelated to this. Why is it snowing and sleeting on April 16th? Where’s spring?
Hopefully you’re staying warm if your spring is missing too. Thanks for reading and let me know how your March went this year!