What to Do With Wedding Money: 5 Smart Ideas

Just got hitched? If you requested cash gifts, you’ve probably found yourself with a hefty chunk of change. While you may be tempted to splurge on some home furnishings or a lavish honeymoon, use this money to grow your wealth and start your life as newlyweds off right.

If you’re wondering what to do with all of that wedding money, here are five smart ways to use those cash gifts.

Pay Off Debt
Using your wedding gift money to pay off debt will put you and your spouse in a better place to achieve your long-term financial goals. Paying off your debt relieves you of a big burden and opens up extra money each month to save for the future. If you have several kinds of debt, use your wedding money to pay off high-interest debt first — think credit cards and loans with high annual percentage rates. Focusing on paying off debt with high interest will save you the most money in the long run.

Spend Some of It
Since that money was given as a gift, give yourself permission to spend some of it to celebrate your new life together. You might want to use some of it now or set it aside for a fun savings goal like a long-weekend getaway. While it’s perfectly OK to enjoy some of that wedding money now, be sure not to go overboard. Set an amount you can freely spend while devoting the rest to knocking out some of your other money goals.

Save It for a Rainy Day
With nearly half of Americans reporting that they wouldn’t have the money needed to cover an unexpected $400 expense, sock away some of your cash gifts for an emergency. You never know when you’ll be hit with a surprise expense like a major car repair or urgent dental work — or even a painful blow like a job loss.

If you don’t have much saved up for a rainy day fund, start saving by opening a designated savings account, depositing some of your wedding money and setting up automated transfers so that you’re saving on a regular basis.

Save for Retirement
While it may feel light years away, putting some of your wedding money toward retirement can help you set the foundation now for a solid nest egg for your golden years. It’s important to remember that while you can borrow for a house, a car or a return to school, the one thing you can’t take out a loan for is your retirement. So the earlier you can start saving, the better. If you don’t have a retirement account from your employer, you can set up an individual one such as an IRA or a SEP IRA.

Start a Nest Egg for a House
With the average cost of a house in the U.S. coming in at $368,100, consider putting your wedding cash toward a down payment on a home. The more you’re able to save, the smaller your monthly payments will be. And if you can afford a down payment of at least 20 percent, you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance.

When it comes to what to do with your wedding money, being savvy will help you and your new spouse build a sound financial foundation for your life together. While you don’t necessarily have to put all of your wedding gift money toward your future, putting away part is a good step in the right direction. Your future selves will thank you.

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