A wedding will challenge your planning skills like few things can. But if you really want to push your organizational abilities to the wall, how about buying a home and planning a move at the same time? It seems like a surefire way to end up with a nervous breakdown, but couples do it all the time, either because of a job relocation, the termination of a rental lease or simply due to timing. If you’re faced with this imposing double-whammy, don’t worry.
If you can plan a wedding, you can plan a move at the same time using the same organizational skills. The good news is you’re not doing it alone. Instead, you have a partner to help with the budgeting and scheduling and to hold your hand. Here are a few tips to help you both through what at times will feel like an emotional and psychological meat grinder.
Don’t commingle funds
From a budgeting standpoint, one of the most important things to do is to keep your home buying/moving and wedding funds separate. Nothing will throw off that carefully drawn up budget faster than pulling from one fund to shore up the other. Set it up so you have two distinct accounts that automatically draw from your checking accounts so your two great financial goals keep pace with each other. The more you can simplify saving and accounting, the more likely you are to achieve your goals on schedule and within budget.
The same page
Sit down together and make lists of what you do and do not want in a home and wedding. If you can’t agree on certain points, find a compromise so you can keep moving forward without getting bogged down in details. Beginning with a list of “must-haves” for your house and wedding will make both objectives easier to reach and without the arguing that can quickly turn the process into a nightmare.
Manage credit card debt
When planning for a wedding, it can be easy to run up credit card debt, but bear in mind that doing so will certainly impact your credit score and ability to get a good home loan. This is where your budgeting skills will come in super-handy. The point of following a pre-arranged budget is so you can avoid having to rack up credit card debt. If you can’t avoid using credit cards as you plan for a wedding, be sure you can pay off the bills every month.
Build in a buffer
Of course, there’s always the unexpected when it comes to wedding planning. If you’re planning an outdoor reception and/or ceremony, make sure you have tents standing by in case of rain or high winds. That means adding to your wedding budget, but that’s OK. This is your big day, and it’s the one time you want to be as prepared as possible. Build a buffer into your home-buying budget by having at least three months saved for living expenses on top of a down payment.
Moving on in
As if all that wasn’t enough, then there’s moving day to prepare for. Actually, if you’re having a professional moving company do the heavy lifting, they can take care of a lot of details. Comparison shop for companies and pay attention to customer online reviews. Declutter as much of your accumulated belongings as possible because most companies charge by weight. Above all, schedule moving day for after the wedding and honeymoon so you’re able to enjoy yourselves and avoid being on pins and needles during the most important time of your lives.
Buying a foreclosed home can be a great way to save money on such a big investment. But make sure to have a home inspection (usually costs about $300). In addition, you should look into the property’s history to determine whether there are any major defects. Always do a physical inspection of the big-ticket items including the roof, plumbing, wiring, foundation and any other structural issues that might make you think twice.
Careful, detailed planning and budget are keys to pulling off a home purchase and wedding. Begin planning early so you can make adjustments as needed. And remember that you’re in it together when you both start feeling the weight of all the stress.
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