From engagement onward, getting married is an exciting time. But it’s easy to get so swept up in the wedding planning that long-term financial planning gets put to one side.

Budgeting for the ring

When it comes to buying engagement rings, it’s best to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford. This is where crafting a budget and creating a savings plan can really help.

The good thing is, engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes (and price tags). You might find that buying the ring takes longer than expected, or even no time at all. At least you’ll know you’re spending what you can afford – and what feels right.

Plus, budgeting will also help you figure out how much you can spend on insuring the ring, in case it gets lost, damaged or stolen.

Other options to buying new

Depending on your tastes and circumstances, you might not want to buy a brand new engagement ring. Online marketplaces such as Upcycled Bride and local shops are great for finding second-hand or vintage rings, which might be exactly what you’re looking for (minus the hefty price tag).

The same can be said about family heirlooms. Rings that have been in your family for generations can not only look stunning, they also carry sentimental value.

The proposal costs

Like engagement rings, proposals are different for everyone. Whether you decide to go all out, or keep it a little more relaxed, it’s a good idea to work the costs into your overall budget.

The celebration costs

Engagement parties can be as simple or as expensive as you like. It all depends on what works within your budget, how many people you’re celebrating with and where you want to host your party. Engagement party ideas are endless.

Typical things to consider include venue costs, meals and catering, decorations and entertainment. To avoid blowing the budget, it’s worth making your guest list more exclusive (saves on engagement party invitations!) or keeping the celebration local.

Like most big events, there are often hidden costs to plan for. These might include corkage, stamps for invitations, outfit alterations, overtime hours, meals for the photographer and other suppliers, post-party dry cleaning and more.

Searching for engagement party venues on your local council or government website is a smart move. You can often find venues that they hire out to the general public, some of which are more cost-effective spaces to have your engagement party, or even your wedding.

Online platforms such as WedShed bring together unique venues across Australia and New Zealand – some you may never have thought of and some that are cheaper alternatives to traditional venues.

Destination engagement on the cards? Then make sure you head to our travel page for some useful saving and planning tips.

Next step - your wedding

Your engagement is a big part of the journey, but in many ways, it’s just the beginning. With your wedding up next, there’ll be different money talks and planning days to have with your partner.

If your finances are in good shape after the engagement, and you’ve got a solid budgeting and savings plan in place, you might find that a personal loan can help make your wedding special, as well as help out with all the other costs.

Important Information

The information contained in this article is correct as of July 2018 and is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

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