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Debt Help: How to Attend a Wedding on a Tight Budget

Paying for a wedding in Canada now costs an average of $30,000, but the bride and groom aren’t the only ones coughing up a lot of cash. Each wedding guest can expect to pay almost $900 for travel, accommodations, gifts and parties around the wedding day. For anyone living within a strict budget, this is simply impossible. Instead, here are some ways to save money and help avoid debt while attending weddings this year.

4 ways to avoid and reduce wedding season debt

When living on a tight budget or reduced income, extra expenses can quickly derail your finances and cause you to turn to debt to supplement your income. Use these tips to reduce debt and get back on track:

  1. Track your spending. Knowing what you spend will keep you accountable and less likely to overspend. Make a budget that you can easily follow so you can predict upcoming expenses and save all receipts.
  2. Start an emergency fund. Contribute any extra money to an emergency fund. Even $20 a week can help. This will save you from dipping into debt in a pinch.
  3. Consolidate your debt. High interest credit card debt and loans can eat into your monthly budget. Speak to a debt professional about a consolidation loan, debt counselling or a consumer proposal. Compare your options here.
  4. Put yourself on a cash diet. Leave your credit cards at home when you shop and use strictly cash. Allot a specific amount to groceries, transportation and entertainment each month and use cash to stay within the limit.


4 ways to save as a wedding guest

There’s no need to pay big bucks to attend a wedding. Try these thrifty solutions:

  1. Shop the registry early. Find a gift you can afford and buy it from a discount source such as Amazon or Retailmenot. You can also split the cost of a gift with another attendee to save more.
  2. Carpool to and from the wedding. You can also share accommodations with another guest if you must stay overnight.
  3. Shop outlet or clearance stores. Your outfit doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Find a simple dress or suit and accessorize with a funky tie or colourful scarf. You might even score an amazing find at a thrift shop.
  4. Do your own hair/makeup. Search YouTube to find hundreds of hair and makeup tutorials. Look online for discounted makeup or check the clearance section at your local drugstore.

Want more debt help tips? Join the conversation by using the Twitter hashtags #DebtSolutions #SummerofWeddings

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