Putting Wedding Debt Woes Behind Me

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Last year, I felt like money was just pouring out of me as we got closer to the wedding. There were certain vendors that Steve and I were paying for, and certain vendors/items my parents covered.

Anything extra or fun we paid for. It was great having the big one - the reception - covered by my parents, but a lot was left to us. On top of that, we had our honeymoon in Aruba immediately after the wedding. Even though our lodging was taken care of through my parents (yay!) and we bought our airfare 9 months in advance to get it out of the way (double yay!), I still had to buy things to get ready for the honeymoon, plus all of the wedding stuff, plus everything we did on the honeymoon.

In addition to my Visa card through my bank, I have a Victoria's Secret (VS) store card and an Old Navy (ON) store card. Leading up to the wedding, these cards were practically melting from over use. Bikinis, sun dresses, flip flops, you name it. I always carried a bit of a balance on them anyway ($100-$200 each on the store cards, more on my Visa) but with the wedding the debt ballooned.

I'm proud to say that almost a year after the wedding, my cards have recovered!


Today I scheduled my final $75 payment for my VS card that will pay it off. And, I think I've realized that I don't need this card for "fun stuff." It's a burden to make those payments each month. My ON card is just $150 away from being paid off. This is by far the card I use the most and I hate the thought of getting rid of it. But I know that I should.

And finally, my regular old Visa card. I prefer to pay everything through my debit card and use my credit card for "big ticket" items only. (On the flipside, Steve pays for everything on credit and pays it off at the end of the month. I just can't bring myself to do that...I'm a checkbook balancer at heart.)

The big ticket items seemed to pile on after the wedding. After the wedding payments and honeymoon purchases, then it was buying Christmas gifts, then plane tickets to Tampa (bachelorette party) and Vegas (Weddingbee get together), then bridesmaid dress...etc etc. I could never get ahead. I finally bit the bullet and "borrowed" money from savings to pay off my balance...it felt so good! And it felt even better this week when I paid back my savings account for the money I had borrowed!

It's really scary the long term affect the wedding had on my finances, but when I really think about it, we focused on spending within our means for the wedding and probably don't have nearly the amount of post-wedding debt that others have. We are truly fortunate for that! Being in control of things now feels soooo good and I'm psyched that soon I will have 2 less bills to pay each month!

Does the cost of your wedding still haunt you when you check your credit card balances?


A. Marigold said...

I suppose it was a blessing in disguise that none of our vendors took credit cards! The wedding does still haunt me when I check our savings balance, though... I know we had created one of the accounts just for wedding stuff, but I still have a case of the "what ifs" when I see it so close to zero!

A. Marigold said...

AND congrats on getting your cards paid down! That is always such a good feeling. :)

MayLove said...

We didn't accrue any debt from the wedding, but I still shake my head at how much money we wasted on that day. So many things were just so not worth it. Our biggest wedding related financial woe has been that nobody bought anything off our registry, and very few people even gave us gifts, so now we have to spend what little money we did get buying all the stuff we didn't get off the registry. We were hoping to put that money toward redecorating, and vamping up our house, but now that is all going to have to come from the $8K tax credit. THAT was going to go toward paying off my car loan and/or buying a new car, so now that either has to be put on hold or come out of our pocket. I know it could be worse, I can't believe how much some people spend on weddings, and I'm glad we're not carrying all that debt! Everyone told us how we'd be swimming in money after the wedding, so we made all these plans, and now have to rearrange. That's what we get for putting the cart before the horse I guess!

Married In Chicago said...

I totally feel you! I just got married this June and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who is working through this! One little teeny tiny note - it is actually *better* for your credit to keep your VC and ON cards. Using them once a month and paying off in full is a better option that closing the card. You probably knew that already so I hope this doesn't come off as obnoxious!

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