How to Keep Track of Expenses and Budget for Your Wedding - Pretty In Bronze

Thursday, March 05, 2020

How to Keep Track of Expenses and Budget for Your Wedding


Hello!

I have a very different type of post for today. This is purely related to wedding planning and budgeting, so if that's not your thing, that's ok! Keep an eye out for future beauty and lifestyle related posts coming soon!

One of the most stressful parts of a wedding is how expensive they can be. Even the best budgeters will have trouble not going over in any categories and unexpected expenses seem to pop up every now and then.

The Government of Canada actually has a very useful spreadsheet available on their website, free of charge. I modified the spreadsheet a lot to cater it towards my wedding. Here's a screenshot with some of the totals blocked out for privacy reasons.


If you open up the original, you'll see that I've made quite a few changes based on categories we do and don't have. We mainly moved rows around to different categories (For example, decor is all one category). We also eliminated many selections and added a few that pertain directly to our wedding. The numbers include tax and shipping costs as well.

If you look close, some of the boxes under the 'Actual Expenditure' section have a small black triangle on the upper right. These are notes that I inserted to break down the expenses that led up to the total cost. And example of this is the 'Makeup' row. In the notes I included the total price, including the gift cards I used to purchase makeup. The main number is what came from out of pocket. The 'Suit/Accessories' section was edited for you not to see the total numbers, but I broke things down by total cost of each item. The suit, shoes, bowtie, socks, etc. were all added up.

Steven and I are actually considering starting a YouTube channel together that focuses on finance and budgeting since it's something we take very seriously compared to most people our age. Because of that we're obsessed with spreadsheets. Once the wedding is over and we have the final costs, we'd be open to walking through each category with full transparency on how much each item costed us. We'd also like to share our gift/money tracker, which is the next image in this post.


A gift tracker is always a good idea to make life easier when writing your thank you cards. In my opinion, it's a bit impersonal to order a bunch of cards that say the same thing. Our plan is to order cute cards with some pre-determined text, but write out a personal thank you to the guest, and include mention of their gift so they know we're putting effort in.

We have a small registry for those who don't feel comfortable giving cash, but we know a majority will give money so we've made an estimate of what we'll receive from each guest or family unit based on what point of life they're at. By this we mean that we wouldn't expect a teenager or student to give as much as an older family who is in a good financial situation. We also added a notes section in as there are a few guests that we specifically told not to worry about getting us anything at all.

 We under-estimated for the most part (and I blocked out the total guess vs the actual amount so far) so it'll be interesting to see how much we do get! Some family members have already committed to giving a certain amount, or providing help (for example, making a wedding cake and a bunch of sweets for the night), so we count that as a gift and still added it. So far a large portion of the venue and food costs have been provided by my Aunt, so I tweaked the total 'planned" and 'actual' amounts to subtract that number, since that isn't money we're physically receiving after the big day.

Spreadsheets are an amazing way to keep track of expenses. While Steven and I both know how to create formulas on excel/sheets, it was much easier to use a free spreadsheet and tweak it to what we want. Even if you're not Canadian, you can use the free spreadsheet provided by the Government of Canada and erase the flag and notes in the first row in case it would make you feel weird!

That's it for this post! I hope this helps anyone who is currently planning a wedding or at least gave you some ideas on how to get started. Please let me know if you would be interested in an update surrounding the budget once the wedding is over, and especially if you might be interested in a channel that focuses on budgeting. We thought it'd be cool because we're both in our early twenties (well, I'm basically mid) and have very ambitious goals that we've worked hard towards since we were still teenagers due to living in a very expensive part of Ontario (Yes, Im talking about Toronto and the GTA housing prices).

I hope to see you soon!

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