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Debt Reduction 101: How to Be a Thrifty Wedding Guest

How much does it cost to attend a summer wedding? If you’ve been invited to one or more, you know that the wedding gift is just one of the expenses a guest must worry about. A new outfit, travel expenses, childcare, and parties can all put a sizeable hole in your budget. However, with a few debt reduction strategies, you can minimize the damage these extra expenses have on your financial goals.

How to celebrate in style…without breaking the bank

A Global News Ipsos Poll found that the average monetary gift is between $100-$200 depending on wedding size and the price per plate for each guest. And, according to a RetailMeNot survey, the average Canadian spends up to $800 as a wedding guest and more if they’re part of the wedding party. Since most Canadians may not have an extra $800 laying around, many of them might throw it on a credit card and worry about it later.

Instead, here are some ways to deflect the cost of attending a wedding and reduce debt without forfeiting the celebrations:

  • Start saving, months in advance. If you know you’ll be attending some weddings over the summer or a destination wedding in the winter, add it into your monthly budget. Use a financial goal calculator to get started.
  • Deal with existing debt. If you’re carrying debt, look into your options. If you need help dealing with credit card debt, consolidation can help. Instead of paying multiple, high-interest debts, you can combine them into one payment. If you’re looking for more options for debt relief, use a debt repayment calculator.
  • Buy a versatile outfit that can be accessorized to last through multiple weddings. This might mean a little black dress with a couple different shawls or scarves, or a nice suit with different coloured ties and dress shirts.
  • Shop around. Whether you’re booking a hotel near the event or looking for the perfect gift on the couple’s registry, look around for the best price. And, if you decide to give cash as a gift, only give what you can afford.
  • Communicate. If you’ve been asked to be in the wedding party but you’re afraid of the financial commitment, be up-front about it. You may be able to negotiate a way to make it work or you may need to politely decline. Either way, it’s better to be honest than resentful that you spent way over and above what you could afford.

Do you incorporate debt reduction strategies when attending weddings or paying for extras? What’s your best advice? Share your thoughts using the hashtags #DebtSolutions #SummerOfWeddings

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