Wedding Guest Woes: When to Say No to Save Money

Planning and paying for a wedding is a huge ordeal for thousands of young couples in love. Every engagement launches a massive list of decisions that are decorative, emotional, and inherently financial. Every wedding also comes with a laundry list of expenses—for the guest. Lisa Bonos at The Washington Post wrote an article detailing why it could be the right decision to say no to (most of) your wedding invitations to save money.

A wedding invitation comes with travel expenses, the cost of dressing up, and gifts. Bonos spoke with several financial planners who were well aware of the expense: they had seen clients go into debt over attending a wedding. Dayana Yochim, a consumer finance columnist, called the scenario an “irregular expense…most of us don’t think ahead and budget for friends’ weddings.” Furthermore, American Express conducted a study and discovered that, “79 million Americans will attend a wedding in 2015, and they plan to spend an average of $673 on each one.” That number does not include gifts or showers.

Bonos found a woman from Washington with a solution to these wedding guest woes: say no to save money. The woman, who spoke anonymously, buys the couple a gift and meets up with them for dinner or drinks to celebrate, but does not attend that happy day. You can offer your moral support and rejoice for the couple, but your activities can and should be dictated by the state of your finances, not the couple’s wedding budget.

Smart financial decision making starts with the most benign activities that help you save money. Avoiding unnecessary expenses, when possible, in favor of your wealth will help you reach your family’s goals in the long term. Meanwhile, if you are wondering what you could do with the $673 (or more) you saved, let an advisor at Apex Financial show you what that money could do when properly invested instead of spent on a weekend.