Considering the planning, time off, party, dress(es), suits, honeymoon and all the in-betweens, your wedding will likely cost you and your partner a pretty penny. It’s more and more common for young couples to request an investment in their future rather than a blender for a wedding present. After all, you might even already be living together and have all the household stuff you need.
Once you get the gifts, though, what do you do with them? It might be tempting to spend it all on fun new stuff like high-end televisions and fancy furniture. But if you’ve already got the basics, rethink that plan. The money isn’t intended for a good time, but for a good life. Here are some practical, but still fun, ways to invest your wedding gift funds.
Consolidate wedding debt
Paying off any wedding debt you acquired might not sound like fun, but in the end, it will be. Because with some of that debt gone, you can start working toward saving up (and maybe building credit together) to fund more exciting big purchases.
Buy a home.
Real estate is great investment for your wedding fund. Think about putting money toward a down payment on a condo, co-op or even a starter house. Since your home may increase in value, it’s a real investment, and if you choose a fixer upper, you’ll have the chance to get creative and express your personal style. If you’ve already got a house, then maybe put a chunk of money toward the principal balance, or consider buying a vacation home (ideally with income potential) if you can afford it.
Put aside money for your future offspring
If your goal is to have kids one day, then set some aside for them now. Even a small amount in a separate account that generates interest will be a great help for them when they - and you - are ready for it. Just think about how much those ballet shoes, T-ball uniforms and soccer cleats will cost. No time like now to start saving!
Take a trip.
Spend some quality time together and spring for a small trip away, or even a sweet staycation, during your first year together. We’re not talking honeymoon 2.0, but just some time during that hectic first year to reconnect as a couple.
Buy something that will save you money.
There are gadgets and electronics that can help you save money in the long run. For example, if a new home computer will help you be more productive in the evenings (or even allow you to work a more flexible schedule, with some hours from home), then why not buy one and set up a sweet home office?
Create a “life happens!” fund.
Nobody wants to think about things going wrong, especially after a wedding. In reality, though, you’ve got to be ready for it. Create a fund that is specifically for emergencies. Think car accidents, home robberies, things like that. Homeowners and renters insurance policies can cover some emergencies, but you will still be responsible for a deductible and might need to tap into your savings to cover it.
Buy a car.
A car may not sound like an investment, but it actually is. Especially if you plan on adding kids to the mix. This is a great time to take some of those funds and invest in your first family car. You don’t have to commit to a minivan right away, but you’re probably going to want to ditch the convertible or 200,000+ mile clunker and think about the future in terms of visiting in-laws, road trips, grocery store hauls and more.
For more advice on navigating spending and saving together, check out Allstate’s guide to finance for couples.