I am definitely a saver. Always have been. Even since I was a little kid and put all my birthday and Christmas money into my piggy bank. I am wired to save (honestly, it’s in my family’s blood). 99% of the time, I’m thankful that I’m a saver and don’t regret saving. But there is one thing that I regret not spending money on.
When Jacob and I were in our wedding planning process, we were working our wedding budget. Giving every dollar a name, even then, and spending the money our families generously gave to help with wedding costs. The first item to be checked off our list when we got engaged was our honeymoon. Jacob’s parents have a Disney Vacation Club timeshare (#goals) and at our engagement party they generously said they’d like us to use their points to stay at Disney Aulani on the island of Oahu. Heck yes!! We were so excited and looking forward to a week of relaxation in Hawaii.
As the months went on and wedding planning was getting more stressful, we weren’t devoting as much thought and planning into the honeymoon, but rather the wedding itself. We booked a rental car ahead of time, but that was basically all the thought we put into the trip beforehand.
Our wedding was a beautiful, joyous, and warm day, and we were officially married!! The next morning, we got on a flight to Honolulu and were in relaxation mode. We had a wonderful time relaxing at our resort, going to the pool, beach, hanging with Mickey Mouse and visiting Pearl Harbor. But while we did have a wonderful week, I wish we would have spent more money.
Knowing that we were getting married and would be “poor” with $80,000 of debt, we were already cautious of our finances. We also hadn’t merged our finances yet and were uncertain how to navigate a budget as a married couple. In fact, when we got home from our honeymoon, we just figured we were so poor that we could literally only eat beans and rice. So we went to Winco and bought TONS of rice and beans from the bins section. Lol. So on our honeymoon, we did free activities of pools, beach and Pearl Harbor. We went out to dinner twice, but the rest of the time we snacked on food we bought at the local Target.
I am not saying at all that we didn’t enjoy our honeymoon. We TOTALLY did. It was seriously the most awesome vacation: combining my two loves of Disney and Hawaii. I just wish we would have taken a greater opportunity of the moment and soaked it all in to spend a little more on ourselves to enjoy this new season of life. To go on an excursion or two, and eat some more delicious Hawaiian food.
So here are my tips if you are getting married and going on a honeymoon:
1. Know Your Financial Situaion Before Marriage
While I do not recommend combining your finances before you’re married, it’s good to sit down and make a budget a few months before the wedding to see what your lives will really look like when all your income and expenses combine.
2. Budget For Your Honeymoon And Spend It All
Sit down and budget exactly what you’ll be spending on your honeymoon. If you’re a saver, this will be hard! But think of a realistic amount and plan what you’re going to do with it all. How much will you allocate to food? Hotel? Fun? Plan it out and spend it all! Now that we’ve learned, Jacob and I put cash in an envelope before we travel so that we can easily know how much we’ve spent and make sure that we spend all that we have allocated to our trip (this is also good to do if you’re a spender and think you might go over).
Also, one thing you should think about is all the amazing financial gifts that your wedding guests will give you. Use some of this for your honeymoon too! So many people were so generous to us financially during our wedding and it wasn’t until after the wedding was over that we fully realized it. Instead, when we got home we put all of it to our loans to make a large extra payment!
I am still so thankful for our time in Hawaii and it was the most amazing honeymoon! We can’t wait to go to Hawaii again and spend our budgeted money on some awesome experiences. If you are a saver, it might be hard, but give yourself the permission to spend and enjoy yourself in this new, awesome season of life.