You’ve chosen the wedding cake, addressed the invitations, and decided between having the guests throw rice blow bubbles. Your wedding day is almost here and you’re ready to be a blushing bride and begin your new life with your husband. Thanks to the generosity of your bridesmaids, church, friends, and family, you and your future spouse are showered with gifts and money for your new home and life together.
Money is a common wedding gift nowadays. For one thing, its much easier than having to go to Dillard’s (or Target, or the store you’ve registered) and choose items off your registry. It’s the gift that they know you can use and won’t return. And, of course, it’s up to you on how you spend (or save) it.
You might get just a hundred dollars or less, or you might get several thousand. Here are five tips for how to handle your wedding gift money wisely.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #1: Save it For a Down Payment
One of the smartest choices you can make on how to use your wedding gift money is to save it for a down payment on a new home. I highly recommend opening a separate savings account with your husband, and save it to be applied to a down payment on a new home. Obviously, if one of you already owns a new home, then you won’t need it for that reason, but if you aren’t homeowners, now is a fantastic time to save for the opportunity to do so.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #2:Put It Into Emergency Savings
You never know, your spouse could be attacked by a shark on your honeymoon, resulting in extensive surgery and loss of time at work. That’s where an emergency fund could help out. It will also be there in the event of a loss of job, unexpected car repairs, a family emergency and much more.
If you don’t have an emergency fund already set up, this is an excellent time to do so.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #3: Pay Off Some Debt
Another option is the put the money towards debt. If you were frivolous with money in the past, and have accrued some debt, you could put it towards it to help save money on interest. You could consider putting it towards student loans – however, it the interest rate is very low, it might be wiser to put it towards something else.
If you are looking for advice on managing your finances and debt wisely, consider taking a Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. Click here for more details and information.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #4: Avoid Blowing It On the Honeymoon
Sure, you deserve a nice vacation with the love of your life! But, remember, that the honeymoon vacation is only temporary for a week or two, whereas other things (such as the type of the home you will live in) are much more permanent.
Now, if you don’t have any debt, own a home, have an emergency fund set up, then, I guess you can put it all towards the honeymoon. But I recommend taking a small vacation and using the money for something more important.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #5: Put it Towards Life Insurance
Life insurance is essential. While you may think you don’t need it if you don’t have children yet, you really don’t know what can happen. There is a chance you could have an accidental pregnancy, and then if the unthinkable happens to your spouse before you get insurance, you will have no financial security. Even if you don’t have kids, life insurance is still a great idea to have. The loss of a spouse could result in depression, leaving you unable to work, and that’s where the life insurance money can be very beneficial.
Remember it can take several weeks for life insurance become effective after you’ve applied for it. Even if money is very tight right now, its necessary. Say you receive $500 in wedding gift money. If you are in in excellent health, that should be enough for the payments for two years. Hopefully, after the two years are up, you will be a little more financially secure (higher paying job) to be able to afford the life insurance.
Wedding GIft Money Suggestion #6: Use it For Home Decor
While the decorations in your home are really more of a luxury than a necessity, there are many benefits to having a nicely decorated home. For one, you feel more comfortable in it, and will be happier and more relaxed. It can do wonders for your marriage if you are living in a nice environment.
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #7: Save it For a One-Year Anniversary Trip
Although this one is also definitely not essential, a one-year anniversary getaway is a fun way to spend the money. You could go to a bed and breakfast or even a cruise. It could be very beneficial to your marriage!
Wedding Gift Money Suggestion #8: Use it to Pay for a Housekeeper(Maid) for One Year
Who wouldn’t want to take a break from housework for the first year of their marriage? While its definitely not something you absolutely need, it can allow for you for more time to enjoy yourselves and your first year of marriage.
These are just a few suggestions on how to use your wedding gift money wisely. Be sure to read “15 Things to Do Before You Become Pregnant” for some additional advice.
Have a happy and healthy marriage!