Yes, you read the title right. No, I’m not advertising anything here. I’m not being holier than thou. I’m trying to be transparent here. Very. Credit cards are great ways to build credit, but if you are using it to pay for wedding related expenses you would not otherwise be able to pay off, you’re digging yourself into a hole. Debt is really hard on a marriage. Trust me on that.
And don’t say, “well, easy for you to say, you probably had the mon-” because I’m going to stop you right there.
I made the decision to save up for my wedding long before we officially booked vendors. I made sure to have at least $6k saved up before even dreaming up the idea. And I gauged our budget based on how long it took me to save that up. It was a few months, just so you know. So no, we are both very average people. And we had no help.
So how did I get to today, how did I manage to save up enough for my vendors, dress, and all details?
1. We Were Already Saving Money, Anyway
Like I said, I already had some savings. I wasn’t starting from 0. Obviously, if you have nothing saved and you get a credit card worth 20k, you’re tempted to just use that to pay it all. Which sounds great, in theory. Let me know if it’s still a good idea when you are paying around 29% interest for a 20k debt. I’ll wait. Not good, right? If you can’t afford it, you need to save up. And this all depends on if you’re getting financial help, how much you both make, who will contribute what, etc. These are discussions you’ll need to have to find out how much to save. I say don’t bother booking a venue until you have at least 5k saved up. Why? Deposits. Spaces fill up fast for decorators, venues, and DJs. And then say, “well, I can save ____ a paycheque and still have money left for bills/extras.” Is it $500 or $1000? That determines how long it will take. Plan accordingly.
Just practice self-control, really. Tell yourself you can only use your debit card for purchases. I know it sounds insane, but it really isn’t. The idea behind a credit card, if you’re trying to build credit, is that you are able to use money and pay it right back. So if you blow $1000 on your AMEX, you’re supposed to be able to just transfer $1000 or close to it from your debit account. Making minimum payments just contributes to your interest, realistically. My point here is, if you don’t even have that $1000 to repay, you should stop yourself. Did I mention plan accordingly? Because plan accordingly.
3. Just Getting Rid of Credit Cards
Most people who are rolling their eyes should take several seats.
Here’s what I did.
So I had some credit card debt. It wasn’t huge, but I wasn’t happy with it. And the interest was so high, I couldn’t really save up any money.
So I applied for a line of credit. I consolidated my debt, meaning, the bank saw I was in good standing, and gave me the line of credit in the amount of my debt and helped me cancel all my cards. I’m in heaven. The interest is lower, I have 0 credit card debt, and can still build on my credit. It’s basically just with my bank instead of Visa, or MasterCard. I’m happier, the debt is being paid, and I can save up.
I never miss credit cards. I never felt like they gave me anything except complete panic. The only time not having a credit card is annoying is at Chipotle (like, why don’t they take debit? Honestly the strangest thing ever.)
These are the basic 3 takeaways.
I’m less than 3 months away from my wedding.
Not a credit card in sight. Just a saving account and patience.
Pray for me.