Surviving the 20-something age weddings and babies

In the 20-something age range, it seems as though everyone around you is either getting married or having a baby, and sometimes both. “You’re at that age” people will say. Over the next year, I am planning to attend three weddings, a bachelorette party, two bridal showers, a baby shower, and will be celebrating four first birthdays. All of this while also planning my own wedding, trying to buy a house and putting some money away for a vacation I will be taking in a couple months. I hope you can feel my pain because while this is an exciting time for the ones we’re honoring, it can also be really expensive. Between buying gifts and paying for outings, it can bring some unwanted stress to what’s supposed to be a fun time. When I heard a bachelorette party I am invited to will cost almost $300, I nearly fell over.

It can be hard to figure out how to afford these extra occasions while also trying to pay for the regular expenses in your life. But, don’t lose hope, yet. With preparation and a plan of attack, you will be able to handle the price tags that come with celebrating some of your loved ones’ most significant life events.

Look at the big picture.  

Think about what exactly you have coming up. How many bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, etc. are you attending? Write them on a piece of paper or type them out on your computer in chronological order with dates. When you see everything right in front of you, it is easier to plan accordingly. Speaking of plan…

Make sure you have one.

What are you going to have to buy for these events? Gifts for the showers, a weekend away, plus dinner and drinks for the bachelorette party, wedding gifts and birthday party gifts? Don’t forget about the other expenses you might encounter like hotel rooms for the actual wedding nights, travel costs and new outfits for each event. And, if you’re in a wedding, for what exactly are you responsible for paying? It helps when you know what you need to prepare for ahead of time.

Set limits.

Once you know exactly what you have to get, set dollar amount limits on each of the gifts. Put things into perspective and be practical about what you need to buy. You love your little niece with all your heart and are so excited to celebrate her first birthday, but babies would rather play with paper towels and cardboard boxes than be bothered with that popular $75 toy; and I bet she really won’t care about the tutu with the matching headband you want to buy her. You already know all the required wedding expenses are going to be really pricey, and your best friend will actually be able to appreciate the Brita pitcher you plan to buy her. So, you’re probably going to want to allocate more money to your best friend’s wedding celebrations than to your nieces first birthday. It might make you feel a little bad, but it won’t hurt your bank account as much if you’re a practical spender. It might also help to get together with friends or family who are also going to these events and buy joint gifts. That way, you can give something really nice (within reason), but not pay hundreds of dollars to do so.

Don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you.

If after looking at what you can realistically afford, and there is just no way that you can attend the bachelorette party, or go in with a friend for a really expensive gift when you could spend a lot less by giving a gift of your own, don’t be afraid to say no (politely, of course). In the end, you’re the one that’s stuck paying for whatever it is you’re paying for, and no one else will have to deal with the aftermath of your overspending. You may feel a little guilty for saying no, but you’ll feel a lot guilty when you soon realize that you’re in over your head.

Spend wisely.

Now that you have come up with your plan, set your monetary limits, and know what you’re in for, it’s time to reel back on unnecessary spending. You can plan for these special occasions, but you definitely can’t plan for life’s unexpected events. You need to make sure you have the money to pay for your regular expenses, as well as anything else that may come up in between all the celebrations you have to attend. Track your spending and make sure you actually stick to your budget.

With parties celebrating life’s momentous occasions, comes hefty dollar signs. But, as long as you stay one step ahead and don’t “just wing it”, you’ll be able to handle it all and actually enjoy this stage of life.

How are you handling the 20-something age of weddings and babies? Let us know in the comments below!

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