How to Track Your Actual Wedding Expenses

One of the first tasks that is required in planning a wedding is creating a budget. Included in creating your initial budget would be to figure out what categories you want to track. Then you need to figure out what amounts are realistic for those categories. But no matter how accurate your initial budget, it is not very useful if you do not track your actual expenses as you book venues and make purchases.
Decide on a way to track your expenses
If you created your budget in a spreadsheet, you may want to continue to track your actual payments in the same place. You can add in amounts with an associated category as you pay them. Set up a formula in your spreadsheet program to add up amounts in the same category. If you don’t want to use a spreadsheet, you could use an online check registry. Just make sure you have created unique categories for your wedding. One other option would be to look online for one of the many tools that are tailored for wedding budgets.
Account for planned payments
There are many situations in wedding planning where you have to make a deposit for a venue or service and then make the final payment after the service is rendered. An example would be payments for the flowers. You will know what you owe when you make your reservation, but you will not pay the full amount until closer to the wedding date. Make sure that however you track your actual budget amounts, you have a way to enter these planned payments. Adding in planned payments will give you a way to keep track of what, when, and to who you need to pay in the future. An additional benefit of adding future payments is that your actual budget amount will be more accurate earlier in the process as opposed to at later in the process when you actually pay the bill.
Adjust your budget
Now that you can track all of your expenses, you will know if you need to adjust your budget. If you see that you are going to be over in one category, you can decide if you need to adjust another category. Another option would be to choose a lower end package for one service instead of the higher end package. An example would be to go with a small photography package or a cheaper photographer. Your budget will also indicate categories where are under budget. Being under budget may mean that you can splurge in another category or just save the money.
Once you have set your budget tracking strategy up, make sure you stay on top of it and enter your payments in as you go. A busy schedule while planning a wedding makes it easy to forget about your budget for a few days. Make sure to review your budget on a regular basis so you can react to anything that is not going as planned. Half the battle of staying under budget is recognizing a problem early and fixing it. Once it is all said and done, you will be more relaxed on your wedding day knowing that you planned a great wedding and came in under budget.

See also  Remove The Veil! Here Are Some Great Wedding Tips!