Your wedding is probably the priciest party you’ll ever throw in your life. Actually paying for it yourself is a great feeling. In the Malawian setting however, the parents & relatives usually assist in some of the bills. But things are changing and most people would prefer you handled the financials while they help you with the coordination because you obviously cannot do everything on your own, especially on the wedding day
Starting planning early on means you have enough time to set your budget, save money, compare suppliers and are able to make your preferred choice before they are booked by someone else.
Here are a few tips on how to save for your wedding:
- Work out the cost of your wedding and set a budget
- Work out how much to save each month
- Be committed and save each month
Use this simple math equation; the earlier you start to save, the little the amount needed to save each month.
For example, if your wedding is going to cost you Mk3,000,000 in two years (24 months), you need to save only Mk125,000 per month. This is between the two of you as a couple so u can manage; maybe each puts in Mk62,500 or however you agree. Within 12 months, you will have Mk1,500,000 and can then start paying deposits to your chosen suppliers and continue to save the rest. Some may think 2 years ahead of time is rather too earlier, but trust me it isn’t because most suppliers are actually booked a year in advance, so having the money to pay the deposits will help you get the suppliers of your choice.
One way you can save some money from is by cutting back on any expenses that are merely wants and not needs like expensive brands or buying lunch every work day. Consider taking lunch from home instead. The amounts may seem insignificant at first but they add up. For example buying a Mk2,000 meal from restaurants for 22 days a month adds up to Mk44,000 per month and Mk528,000 per year!
This money you are saving should be in a bank account separate from your personal one so that you do not spend it prematurely. Limit your access to it; do not have an ATM card nor mobile or internet banking facilities assigned to it.
Malawi has a variety of banks and opening a savings account is not a complicated process. You can have an account opened from most banks within 2 hours provided you have all the documents requested. Most banks ask for you to fill out a form, have an ID, a recent utility bill and references.
You can use the following ways on a set day each month to send money to your wedding savings account:
- Set up a regular payment (standing order) with your bank to automatically transfer a set amount of money from your personal account to this special wedding account each month.
- You can request from your work to have a portion of your salary sent to this account to avoid bank charges.
- Send through mobile banking from your personal account as soon as you get paid.
- Walk in the bank and deposit. It’s for the wedding of your dreams so be committed, you won’t regret it.
No matter what your savings goals are, most banks and other financial institutions like Sacco have a way to help you reach your goals.
During the first year of saving, you should be scouting suppliers. The day you are preparing for is going to be one of the most important days of your life so starting planning early is a good thing. But don’t go for the first thing you find, look around and you can always come back to it if you still think it’s the best choice; because you started early, you’ve got time.
Saving is a discipline. It is hard in the beginning but like any new habit, when you are consistent, it becomes second nature and when you accomplish your goal, it’s the best feeling. Nothing good comes easy, so let yourself develop this good habit.
Once you have your wedding (that you paid for by the way, congratulations!) the saving habit will be instilled in you and you can now save up for other things you desire like buying land, a house, furniture, children expenses , vacations and so much more.