5 Ways to Financially Plan for Retirement

As we get older, we like the idea of having fewer worries so that we can enjoy ourselves. We’ve worked and studied all our lives, raised children, and enjoyed many an adventure. So, when we retire, it’s time to sit back and relax without having to worry about being somewhere on time or having financial issues. 


You may be wondering how to go about this and what you can do to get your financial life on track to enjoy a happy retirement. Well, wonder no more. We’ve come up with the fundamental aspects you need to address to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

Become Debt Free

One of the best ways to make sure you no longer need to meet payment deadlines is to become debt-free before you retire. As long as you pay on time each month, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you can pay a lump sum of your debts all at once, we highly recommend it. The sooner you are without debt, the quicker you’ll feel the weight lifted off of you. 

Health Care

It’s no secret that as we age, we tend to fall victim to more ailments. This can be tough to handle if we don’t have the right insurance and health care in place. There are specific plans available now to the older generation. 


These are more aimed at the typical illnesses we tend to suffer, and they offer help to that particular age group. A quick search online will give you more info and a variety of options to read about and choose the right one for you.

Manage Expenses

Hopefully, you have paid off your debts and have more money from savings and pensions to be able to enjoy yourself. Now is an excellent time to sit down and write up a plan for your expenses each month. 


You’ll need to factor in how much you spend on groceries, bills, and any other living expenses. This way, you’ll be able to see how much you have left for leisure expenses. Even though now is the time to enjoy your nest egg, it’s still a good idea to keep saving if you can. 

Housing Expenses

This specifically focuses on whether you pay a mortgage or are renting. If you are renting, have a look and see if your savings will allow you to buy a small home. This way you’ll have no more monthly payments.


If you have a mortgage, make it a goal to pay it off before retiring, similarly to paying off your debts. 


If you didn’t have it before, now is a great time to get life insurance. You never know when you’ll have an accident or get ill. If you have a spouse, children, and grandchildren under your wing, having life insurance will make sure they are well cared for when you’re gone, and it’ll help to pay for any arrangements that need to be made when the time comes. 

Give Back

Perhaps you were very successful before retirement and have a lot of savings or a large pension. If you’re unsure of how to spend or enjoy all your earnings, why not give back to the community? There are hundreds of ways you can do so. 


You could donate money to a cause close to your heart, or if you don’t have much to give away, maybe help out at a local school or library. They are always in need of an extra pair of hands and will really appreciate your help. 

Be Ready When the Time Comes

After reading this, you should now be ready to enjoy your retirement to the fullest without money worries and prepared for whatever it throws at you. As long as you plan well, you will live a long and happy life after work. 


A New Standard in Financial Processing – Fujitsu’s ScanSnap and HubDoc Accounting Software


A New Standard in Financial Processing

When technology and (GAAP) – (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) work together in harmony, it is indeed a beautiful thing. Fujitsu continues to show a commitment to evolve each year and that is exemplified by their industry leading status of having the number one global image scanner market share for nearly a decade.

Working in the cloud creates more time to manage resources efficiently and increases workflow productivity. Deviceless scanning is even possible with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Cloud, as it delivers scanned data directly from the ScanSnap iX1500 to your favorite cloud services, without a computer or mobile device. ScanSnap Cloud automatically classifies your scanned images as documents, receipts, business cards or photos, and sends them to the appropriate cloud service based on your pre-set profile, all while reducing paperwork.

Enter Hubdoc, a software company that helps accountants save time, scale their practice, and build deeper relationships with the businesses they serve by automating document collection and management. Hubdoc’s ever-growing partnership with Fujitsu pays dividends to both technology users and financial software end users. This new software is based on basic accounting rules that turn “shoe box accounting” into a digital workflow that is both intuitive and user-friendly. Simply put – Hubdoc enables businesses to easily and securely scan and submit financial documents to their accountant or bookkeeper from anywhere using the cloud.

Hubdoc allows you to collect, sort, and file all your physical documents onto the cloud in a secured “digital filing cabinet” that is easy to access and search. No more chasing documents or conducting manual data entry. Hubdoc makes it easy for the finance and accounting departments to access their small and large business clients’ financial documents. It automatically collects bank statements, bills, receipts, and invoices from hundreds of suppliers and financial institutions. Clients can also upload documents via Hubdoc’s mobile app, desktop, and email.

With the integration between Hubdoc and Fujitsu’s ScanSnap, going completely paperless is painless. Ultimately, the ScanSnap iX1500 helps you save time and money without ever compromising on the quality of your work.

The convergence is here. Fujitsu and Hubdoc now share a partnership designed for accountants in need of a better, more efficient way to service their clients.

With Hubdoc’s intuitive software integration with Fujitsu’s user- friendly hardware, the usual setbacks are a thing of the past. To learn more about Hubdoc’s accounting software benefits, please visit: www.hubdoc.com. To learn more about Fujitsu’s ScanSnap iX1500, please visit: www.fujitsu.ca

Check out the full article in the next issue of Money Magazine or online at  www.MONEY.CA/fujitsu



3 Things To Teach Your Kids About Money While They’re Young

Part of being a parent is preparing your kids to live productive lives once they become adults. While this includes things like getting a formal education and learning how to take care of themselves, many parents neglect to give their children proper lessons in personal finance.

Whether this is an innocent omission or it’s glossed over due to talking about finances being taboo, it only does a disservice to your children is you send them out into the world without knowing at least a few basic principles of finance. To help you in teaching these things to your children, here are ideas to teach your kids about money while they’re young.

To Delay Gratification For Something They Want

Especially when kids are very young, they can’t understand or fathom the idea of delaying their own gratification for any reason. When they want something, they want it now. And while this often works out for them, this isn’t a trait that should be indulged for long.

Consequently, Laura Shin, a contributor to Forbes.com, recommends that, from an early age, you teach your children that it’s possible and sometimes necessary to delay their gratification for things they want. If you can teach your kids how to not buy something impulsively or spend money now when it should be saved, you can save them a lot of hardship in the future.

How To Earn Money

From a young age, your children can learn about earning their own money. When they’re little, you’ll have to be the one giving them simple jobs to do and then compensating them appropriately. But as they get older, it’s wise to encourage your kids to get jobs of their own.

According to Madison Dupaix, a contributor to The Balance, it can be even more beneficial if you can nurture any entrepreneurial spirit your teen has by helping them to start their own business. As long as their idea is safe and legal, like not pet sitting for animals that will harm them or using proper equipment for landscaping, your teen could learn so much more than just the basics of making money.

The Importance Of Saving

Not only should you teach your kids about making money and then wisely spending that money, but you should also stress the importance of learning how to save money for a future purpose.

To help make this idea stick more, DaveRamsey.com suggests that you have your children save their money in a clear jar so that they can visually see how their savings grows and grows as they add money to it and abstain from making withdrawals.

If you want to give your kids the best chance of finding financial success in their adult years, consider how you can best teach them some of the financial principles mentioned above.

3 Tips For Saving Money On A Trip To Nashville

While almost everyone loves to travel and get to know a new place in the world, no one really likes to spend the hundreds or thousands of dollars it usually costs to make this traveling happen.

If you’re a lover of music and a southern way of life, you’ve likely wanted to visit Nashville, Tennessee, at one point or another. So to help you make this dream come true without having to spend an arm and a leg on it, here are three tips for saving money on a trip to Nashville.

Go Out For Lunch Rather Than Dinner

Regardless of what city you’re visiting, you’ll find that the costs for food are markedly higher when getting dinner than when getting lunch. Especially in a city like Nashville, this can have a big impact on how much money you’re spending during your trip.

To save on these costs, Stephanie Sargent, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends that you visit the more well-known and higher-end restaurants for lunch rather than for dinner. By doing this, you’ll still be able to experience some of the amazing cuisine that the restaurants of Nashville have to offer without paying the higher sticker price of eating those meals for dinner.

Take Advantage Of All the Free Music

Nashville’s music scene is arguably what the city is most well known for. While most big names in music will roll through town when on tour, you can actually find a lot of free music all over the city without having to pay for an expensive ticket.

According to Caroline Hallemann, a contributor to Travel and Leisure, some of the best places to check out if you’re wanting to listen to some free music from up-and-coming artists include the bars on Lower Broadway, the Bluebird Cafe, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Centennial Park and more. Additionally, you can also find people busking all over the city, but keep in mind that it’s good etiquette to leave some money for them if you stop to listen for a while.

Do Your Own Exploring

Although the actual city of Nashville isn’t too big, there’s a lot of exploring that you can do on your own in the area without hiring a guide or taking a tour. According to Trip Advisor, some of the best places to get out of your rental car and explore include Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, Radnor Lake State Park, Natchez Trace Parkway, and more.

Additionally, walking all around the downtown area can also be fun, especially since it will get you out of any busy traffic and keep you from having to find a parking spot amid all the other visitors, which is often when many travelers get into car accidents.

If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Nashville, consider the tips mentioned to help you have a great time and save yourself some money along the way.

Traits You See In Every Successful Entrepreneur

Starting your own business is hard work filled with long hours, personal sacrifice and a daily array of new problems and challenges. Anyone who tells you otherwise has probably never started one themselves. If you don’t have the drive to navigate these things, your business could implode faster than it began.

Understand, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. To determine if you have what it takes to make it, you need to be able to possess a number of quality traits. Leadership is at the top of that ladder. If you can’t lead, chances are you won’t be able to guide your company and its employees through growth and on to success.

If you seek a challenge filled with risk but also with financial potential, then you may be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here are the most important traits I believe every entrepreneur should possess.

No one has ever gotten ahead by sitting back and waiting for opportunities to find them. Successful people go out and create success by working tirelessly to solve problems that get in their way.

Adapt to change
Entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to changing situations without unraveling. Also, they must be able to motivate their team by helping them reach new goals and opportunities. Often times, successful entrepreneurs are driven by a more complete vision than just the task at hand.

Ethics and integrity
It goes back to the old saying, “cheaters never win.” It’s important to maintain high standards of integrity because, if you don’t, nobody will want to do business with you, especially when you are working with clients or leading a team.

Be willing to fail, then move on
Starting a business is risky and doesn’t always work out. Successful entrepreneurs must be able to accept that things don’t always go according to plan. Do not be afraid to fail, put your idea out there and give it your best shot.

Serial innovators
The mind of an entrepreneur is always spinning with new ideas. There has to be a constant drive to develop new concepts and improve on existing ones. That’s where the term “serial entrepreneur” came from.

In almost every case, entrepreneurs never succeed on their own. You are only as good as the people who support you. Surround yourself with a network of knowledgeable people who are as passionate about your project as you are. It takes a network of contacts, partners and resources to thrive.

How Pilgrimages Are Increasing the Saudi Arabia Economy

More than 2 million Muslims from all over the world are gathering annually to complete the fifth and final pillar of Islam, which is the Hajj pilgrimage. Until the 1950s, the number of pilgrims coming from overseas was not bigger than 100,000, but by 2013 the total number passed the 3 million mark.

The cities of Makkah and Medina represent a major slice of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy, providing annual incomes of around $12 billion from food, transport accommodation and fees. But with these numbers looking to increase in the next years, how will the local population be affected by the on-growing development of commercial and accommodation sites?

Makkah And Madinah Pilgrimages

To better understand why these areas attract millions of religious visitors yearly, we must first take a look at the meanings behind the pilgrimages.

Makkah is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and hosts the Grand Mosque, house of the Kaaba. The Kaaba is Islam’s holiest ground, a stone structure clothed in black silk, built by the Prophet Abraham. Here, over 3 million Muslims gather once a year, on the last month of the Islamic calendar to complete the fifth and last pillar of the Muslim practice. The pilgrimage begins on the 8th day of the month and ends on the 12th or sometimes the 13th. All Muslims who are financially and physically able to make the pilgrimage, also known as Hajj, are expected to do so at least once in their life.

To complete the Hajj, every Muslim must first enter ihram (the sacred state of a pilgrim), wearing plain robes. Before crossing the outer boundaries of Makkah, the pilgrim must follow certain rules, such as restraining from anger or sexual activities. After entering Makkah, the pilgrims must follow an 8km journey to Mina, where they will be accommodated in tents. On the second day, they make a 14km journey from Mina to Arafat, where prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon. The second day of Hajj is considered to be one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar. The third days marks the longest day of the Hajj. Pilgrims return to Mina, where they perform the symbolic act of stoning the devil, by throwing seven pebbles at the Jamarat, the largest column. On this day, the men trim their hair and all pilgrims remove their ihram clothes. Many choose to return to Makkah to circle the Kaaba and walk between the hills of Safa and Marwah. Both actions are performed seven times. On the last two days, the pilgrims will stone the devil again, this time stoning each of the three pillars seven times. They will spend the rest of their pilgrimage days in Mina. Before leaving, the pilgrims return to Makkah to circle the Kaaba one more time.

Although not mandatory, after the pilgrimage in Makkah, many pilgrims chose to head to Madinah, where Prophet Muhammad is buried. Madinah is the place of another pilgrimage that, although not mandatory, is performed by millions of pilgrims yearly. The Umrah pilgrimage was performed by almost 7 million pilgrims in 2017.

While the Hajj is performed during a specific time of year, Umrah can be performed year-round and is much less time-consuming. It can be performed both in the Hajj period, prior to the actual Hajj pilgrimage, or separate. During the Umrah, similar rituals as those included in the Hajj are performed, such as circling the Kaaba and walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah.

Increasing Economy and Expansion Plans

One of the most important roles in Vision 2030, a development plan aiming to turn the focus of Saudi Arabia’s economy away from oil incomes, are played by Makkah and Madinah, as religious tourism represents 20% of the Saudi’s non-oil income. The plan, initiated by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, aims to increase the number of pilgrims traveling to Makkah and Madina, especially for the Umrah pilgrimage.

One of the important steps taken to increase the number of religious visitors was the ease of the quota system that was very strict until 2017. The visas were reduced by 20% in 2013, in order to ease the infrastructure works done at the Grand Mosque. By 2030, over 6 million pilgrims are expected to enter the gates of Makkah. Although the number of visas decreased, the demand for luxury hotels in Makkah increased, which left the Saudis confused. In 2016, the occupancy percentage in Makkah hotels was around 90% and if the expected targets for the following years are met, there is no wonder the hospitality sector is evolving at a rapid pace. But that is not the only sector expected to benefit from the increased number of religious tourists. Airline companies, telecom operators and catering firms are looking to expand their business, as the demands increase.

Another way of increasing revenue is the introduction of Umrah visa fees. While first-timers are exempt, future visits require a fee of around $500. There is also an Umrah Plus visa, which allows pilgrims to visit other non-religious sites across Saudi Arabia, combining religious and non-religious tourism. The number of Umrah pilgrims is expected to reach 30 million by 2030. Infrastructure upgrades are also ongoing, to facilitate the pilgrims’ arrival in Makkah and Madinah.

But as tourism increases and the demand for accommodation is at raise, another challenge arose. How is the on-growing population of Saudi Arabia going to fit in with the increasing number of religious visitors? A large number of both Makkah and Madinah residents found themselves overwhelmed by the extending number of developments made to meet the needs of pilgrims. The areas around both cities experienced a decrease in residential capacity, as various changes were developed, to make room for accommodation and commercial spaces. Vision 2030 appears to have a solution for this as well, as by 2020 home ownership is expected to increase from 47% to 52%. A solution is to utilize government-owned land to provide housing units at an affordable price. This is expected to decrease the price discrepancy between residential proprieties in the holy cities and Jeddah, the major urban center in the area.

James Dean of MONEY.CA and Money Magazine found this important link and website helpful https://www.saudiarabiavisa.co.uk/


6 Practical Ways You Can Save $250 Per Week

6 Practical Ways You Can Save $250 Per Week

If you’re like the average person, you live paycheck to paycheck. And if you have any money left over at the end of the month, you typically blow it on something frivolous. But what if someone told you that you could save $13,000 over the course of the next 12 months? Well, it’s as easy as stashing away $250 per week.

Try These 6 Money-Saving Tactics

People make the challenge of saving money more difficult than it has to be. At the end of the day, it comes down to two key ingredients: self-discipline and planning. The idea of self-discipline as it pertains to money management is a discussion for another day.

In this article, we’re going to show you how you can develop a plan for saving. In particular, here are six ideas that would, in theory, allow you to save a minimum of $250 per week (or $1,000 per month).

1. Stop Eating Out

The quickest way to save money is to pack your lunches each day and stop eating out. This one simple habit will save you substantial money in the blink of an eye.

Let’s say you currently eat a fast food meal every day for lunch. On the conservative side of things, each meal costs you $6. That’s $30 per week. Then let’s say you eat dinner out twice per week, with an average bill of $15. That’s another $30 per week. (We’re up to $60 total.)

Packing your own meals for lunch – whether it’s sandwiches, wraps, soup, or leftovers – costs just pennies on the dollar. (We’ll say it costs you $2 per meal.) The margins are even better with dinner. You could easily fix a dinner that costs you just $5 – especially if you cook in bulk. When it’s all said and done, you’re saving a total of $40 per week.

Potential Weekly Savings: $40

2. Use Grocery Delivery and Pickup Services

Simply grocery shopping for your meals doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to save money. It’s easy to go into a store hungry and have your impulsive personality drive up your bill. That’s why it’s recommended that you use a grocery delivery or pickup service that lets you shop online and avoid ever walking through the doors of the supermarket. On average, this will prevent you from buying four or five unnecessary items per weekly trip.

Potential Weekly Savings: $25

3. Shop With Coupons

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time shopping online, the best way to save money is by cutting back on discretionary purchases. But if you absolutely must buy something, it’s always smarter to look for a coupon. Bookmark a site like Coupons.ca, which curates coupons from companies across many different product categories, including health and wellness, beauty, travel, and electronics. If you spend an average of $100 per week shopping, 25 percent savings can really add up.

Potential Weekly Savings: $25

4. Nix the Gym Membership

Exercise is great. You should be getting physical exercise every single day. But a gym membership isn’t the only option. In most cases, it’s expensive and inefficient. The average membership is $60 per month. Add on things like gas, impulse purchases at the gym (shakes, extra classes, etc.) and the price rises. By working out from home – or simply jogging around the neighborhood – you can save big.

Potential Weekly Savings: $20

5. Spend in Cash and Save Change

There are many reasons to shop in cash – the least of which is the ability to save money by rounding up purchases and stashing away the difference in the form of change. For example, if you spend $7.13 at the convenience store, you take the $0.87 of change and put in a jar. Over time, all of these coins add up to something much larger.

Potential Weekly Savings: $20

6. Pick Up a Side Job

We’ve listed a handful of ways to save in this article. There are dozens more that we haven’t even touched. But if you really want to accelerate your savings, consider picking up a side job that you can do at your own pace. Something like driving for Uber or listing your apartment on Airbnb on the weekends works well.

Potential Weekly Earnings: $220+

Take Control of Your Finances

It’s time to eliminate to stop having a pity party for yourself and start taking proactive steps towards gaining control over your finances so you can enjoy financial freedom. As this article shows, it’s as simple as developing a plan and making smart choices. By tucking away just $250 per week, you can set aside $13,000 in one year, $26,000 in two years, and more than $100,000 in eight years. Consistency is the answer.

Transferring Your Skills From One Industry To The Next

Throughout an individual’s working career, they can have between 5 and 7 jobs. That means some professionals average a job change every few years.

Rather than leaving behind our experiences and starting fresh, we often take the skills we’ve developed into our new positions, which indeed proves an advantage for us and our next employer.

This doesn’t mean that every talent you have developed will be useful in your new job. But, more often than not, there are some basic skills that are transferable. These types of skills are often put into three categories: functional skills; personal traits/attitudes; and knowledge-based.

Functional skills are those that people use to accomplish tasks, such as writing. Personal attitudes or traits are those that make up your personality, such as independent, quick learner, etc. Knowledge-based skills are ones that you have developed with formal training, such as at business school or through accounting courses.

By having an idea – or better yet a list – of your strengths in each area, you will be able to see how you’ll fit into a new role.

Compare your talents and expertise to the new job requirements and see how you can fit into the role. This will help you sell yourself to the company or board by showing them you have skills that will be a boon to their business.

What are the must-have skills for today’s business leaders?

While most leaders come from various backgrounds, there are some basic talents they need to have developed to make them successful in any industry.

These include:

  1. Innovation: The ability to adapt and to think outside the box is crucial to many businesses. Oftentimes, we stick to what we know and continue to do things the way they have always been done. However, that is often not the best way to draw in new customers or to boost sales. By trying a fresh, original solution to a problem, leadership can advance the organization’s interest substantially.
  1. Technological acceptance: Needless to say, there have been major strides forward in the tech world over the past few decades and technology in many ways has substantially changed the landscape and environment we do business in. Moving forward into the 21st century, business leaders will need to implement – and be willing to implement – new technology to stay competitive.
  1. Human-ness: Despite an increase in automation of the workplace, managing people is still a major part of leadership in any industry. The executive who can demonstrate sensitivity, honesty and fairness will go a long way.

If the average person can expect to change their job every few years, it only makes sense to be prepared. By developing skills that can be useful in different industries and positions, leaders will be able to rise to new challenges no matter what industry they find themselves in.

How Social Payments Are Transforming Financial Transactions As We Know Them

In honor of arrival of the Year of the Dog in February, I sent my nephew in China a gift of money through a chat app on my phone. He pocketed it happily, using the same app to express his appreciation, thanks and best wishes back at me for the new year.

It was another day, another dollar, as they say, or the everyday sort of transaction that people in some countries like China don’t think twice about. For people in most Western nations, though, this sort of payment system is still something of a curiosity.

That’s changing fast, though. And as the social sharing economy continues to evolve, look for such peer-to-peer transactions over people’s social feeds to become the norm. It quite possibly may disrupt the traditional banking system as we know it.

Venmo, PayPal’s free digital wallet, was an early player in Western economies, launched in 2009, but really taking off in 2014 as Android Pay and Apple Pay made their much vaunted debuts. Other entries since – Facebook Pay, Google Wallet, Square Cash – speak to a concept whose time has come. Case in point: Venmo handled $17.6 billion in transactions in 2016; that almost doubled to $34.2 billion last year.

If there’s a model for the rest of the world to follow, it’s China’s. Its system was a response in a country that had no credit card use, and whose banks were inefficient and underused. In less than 10 years, two rival payment services, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s Alipay, have transformed China’s financial ecosystem by making mobile payments – especially social mobile payments – an easy and accessible option.

As social payments continue to catch on in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and other nations, it’s moving us ever closer to becoming cashless economies. In fact, Sweden may be an example today of how we’ll all be operating in the not-to-distant future. A mere 1 percent of the value of all payments made in Sweden are in coins or notes. Its citizens live for their bank cards, but over half Sweden’s population depends on the leading social payment smartphone app, Swish.

It’s not just the world’s more privileged societies that stand to benefit from this evolving financial ecosystem. Social payments stand to bring much needed financial services to countries with significant populations of unbanked or underbanked people. Financial inclusion, of course, is key to lifting them from poverty.

Even if traditional banking services aren’t available to such populations, mobile phones increasingly are. Their pace of adoption is on a positive trendline, at 37 percent of the populations of underdeveloped economies.

Not surprisingly, both Tencent and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial (formerly known as Alipay) see an opportunity to make inroads in countries where people may be unbanked, but not unphoned. Both are moving aggressively in Southeast Asia as part of that quest; at the end of last year, the Alipay service reportedly had 280 million users of its four local payment platforms in Thailand, India, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The sharing economy is real and expanding rapidly. By 2025, a PricewaterhouseCoopers study found, spending in the five components that comprise it (travel, car sharing, staffing, streaming and, no surprise, finance) may hit $335 billion – or half of total spending in those areas.

It’s not just social payments that will help to reshape the financial sector. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will be another facet, a means for settling payments directly and without much hassle or effort.

Either way, though, if this new social order we’re developing can advance those who currently have no access to things the rest of us take for granted like financial services, then it’s all to the good.

Wedding Bells—And Budgets

Congratulations! You’re engaged. Life is beautiful, life is fun, life is—suddenly full of financial worries, organization catastrophes, and endless planning. Don’t worry; you don’t have to spend 2016’s national average of $35, 329 for your day to be perfect. Below, you’ll find financial tips to help you save money and plan ahead, from that princess dress all the way to the guests’ plates.

Value in the Venue

Chances are, someone you know owns property. Why not have your marriage and reception at a relative’s? If this idea doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry: there are other options.

  • Parks, beaches, museums, and aquariums permit quite a bit of wiggle room for choosier couples. Prices fluctuate, but you can get married at Luthy Botanical Gardens in Illinois for $500.
  • Consider renting a cabin or boat, but be sure to anticipate a night’s stay.
  • Universities, theaters, and local eateries are all fantastic locations for a wedding. For an outdoor event at Ohio State, fees can start as low as $100.

The Dress

Let’s face it, ladies. You’re probably only going to wear it once. Is it really worth thousands of dollars?

  • Search young designer labels and mainstream retailers, such as Dreamers & Lovers or Lace & Liberty.
  • Talk to local seamstresses. Having a wedding dress made by professional design houses can be ruthless on the wallet.
  • Consider a white bridesmaid’s dress, cocktail gown, or secondhand dress.

Photographers, Catering, and Music

Photography and music typically comprise about 20 percent of a wedding’s budget. However, you don’t have to hire a weathered professional to get amazing wedding pictures, groovy music, or splendid service.

  • Students are fantastic choices, as they will work for less and be just as professional.
  • Hire a DJ. DJs can be hired for about $500, but bands typically cost $1000 or more.
  • Create your own music mix and transfer it to a CD. You can always ask someone to start and stop it throughout the festivities.
  • If you choose to have liquor, select a soft bar with limited alcohol or, if the caterer allows, bring your own liquor.
  • Keep the dining experience simple. Three courses are plenty, and savory entrees do not have to be expensive.

Legal Costs Many Do Not Anticipate

The Marriage License: You’re not married without this! Marriage licenses are typically between $20 and $100, but be sure to plan accordingly.

Attorneys: Yes, you read that correctly: attorneys. Prenuptial agreements have seen a fivefold increase in the last two decades. “Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are becoming very common,” says Simmrin Law Group Attorney Sherry Cross. “If you or your partner are considering a contract, it’s best to have it looked over by a professional.”


Don’t let the financial stress hold you back. This article is only the tip of the iceberg; there are many more ways to save money on your wedding. Take it one step at a time, consider cheaper alternatives, and get to your big day with a smile on your face.