Large weddings or intimate celebrations – there's no doubt that the commitment to marry costs money. But, trust us, it's totally worth it!
Anxiety can be a common emotion surrounding finances when you're planning a milestone event and, for some, working closely with your partner on your future money management and goals for the first time as a couple
We got the experts at Kiwibank – a 100 per cent New Zealand-owned bank to answer some of your questions about money, saving, debt and interest rates.
COUPLE: "Where do we begin in terms of finding out how much we need to save for our wedding and how much time we'd need to accumulate the finances required?"
KIWIBANK: Everyone’s idea of their perfect wedding day differs – some choose to marry in a registry office with just their nearest and dearest present, while others choose a destination wedding on a tropical beach and invite everyone they know...
In order to understand how much you might need to save for your big day, we suggest first creating a guest list as this helps you to determine the size of the venue that you need.
Consider other things such as; a sit-down meal vs canapes, summer vs winter wedding (you can get some great savings by getting married in the off-season), do you know people who can help you with tasks such as baking the cake?
The big ticket items are always food and drink, so put real consideration into who you want to invite, because it has a big effect on the overall cost.
Most couples start wedding planning a year out from the big day, so once you have an idea of what you want to save, break this up into weekly chunks of what you’ll need to put away in order to achieve your savings goal.
COUPLE: "We already have some debt. Would your advice be to pay off any other debt first or to start saving separate wedding money? We don’t want to wait too long before we confirm a date. Is it possible to save for a wedding while already paying off debt?"
KIWIBANK: In most cases we recommend paying off your debt as much as possible, particularly if you’re paying high interest fees.
As a starting point, if you have multiple debts we suggest you write a list of what you owe, what the interest rate is and how much the regular repayments are. Then order your list in terms of what you’re going to pay off first, and how much extra you can afford to put towards it each repayment date.
Credit card debt is always a good one to knock off first as the interest rates are usually pretty high. Also consider consolidating all your debts into one understandable, manageable personal loan. This way you only have one interest rate, one repayment term and it’s easier to track.
Once you’ve made a good dent in paying off your debt, start putting aside some money each pay into an account that’s earmarked for your wedding.
COUPLE: "Our finances are already tight and we’re not sure where we can save money? Can Kiwibank help with budgeting advice?
KIWIBANK: It’s always worthwhile reviewing your banking products to check you’re in the right accounts for what you need. Kiwibank has tips to help you avoid fees as well as helpful ways for managing your money. If you prefer to talk to someone, visit your local Kiwibank branch and one of our team can review your bank accounts and the fees you’re paying to see where you could make some savings.
COUPLE: "Interest rates confuse me, can you give us some insight on getting the best rate?"
KIWIBANK: This will depend on where you’re at in your savings journey; if you’re just starting out you might like to consider our Fast Forward Saver account which pays bonus interest if you make no withdrawals and deposit at least $20 per month.
Once you build up over $2,000 then you could look to move the money to one of two places; an Online Call Account if you’ll need quick access to pay deposits or buy pieces for the wedding.
The other option is a Notice Saver account where you earn an even higher rate of interest (up to 3.25% on 90 days’ notice as at 10 September 2018) but you’ll need to give notice before making a withdrawal (32 days’ or 90 days’), so this account works best if you won’t need money until closer to the wedding and have more time.
You could always split money between account types as well if you have multiple needs (longer and shorter term).
COUPLE: "I want to save but I can't keep the momentum - help!"
KIWIBANK: We know that you’re more likely to save if you have a regular payment to your savings account on payday – you can’t spend what you can’t see.
Set up an automatic payment each payday and consider hiding your savings account in your internet banking so you’re not tempted to dip into it.
This strategy may work for some, but if you’re someone who likes to see their growing balance to stay motivated, then consider a savings account that lets you add to it when you want but makes it harder for you to withdraw money on a whim.
Check out Kiwibank Notice Saver – this account requires 32 or 90 days’ notice when you want to withdraw funds.
COUPLE: "What’s Kiwibank’s Goal Tracker all about?"
KIWIBANK: Goal Tracker is an online tool to help you stay on track to achieving your savings goal. You could be saving for your wedding, an overseas holiday, a new car or even a house - no matter what it is, Goal Tracker can help.
You can set it up within your Kiwibank Internet Banking, and it integrates with the majority of our everyday transactional and savings accounts. You can check on your progress every time you log into that account – easy! Visit Kiwibank.co.nz/goal-tracker for more info.
Note: This is intended as general information only. It does not take into account your financial situation and goals and is not personal advice. For advice about your particular circumstances please see your financial adviser.
Kiwibank Notice Saver rates of return are not fixed. Kiwibank Notice Saver is a fund within a Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE). Units in Kiwibank Notice Saver are distributed by Kiwibank and are issued by Kiwibank Investment Management Limited. Download the Terms and Conditions for Kiwibank Notice Saver, or pick up a copy from your local Kiwibank. Fast Forward Saver: Service fees may apply.