It was a brisk morning in February 2017, and I felt like I had no other choice. I had four months left until my wedding, and I owed copious amounts of money to vendors, etc. I sat down with a Wells Fargo representative, signed my life away, and got my first credit card. Ever. My limit was $8,000 with the first 15 months no-interest.
I worked as an intern for a non-profit in Southern California and my fiancé was unemployed. I could have gotten married for a lot less money. However, I did not want to get married in a church. I did want to get married in May or June in California. I wanted to feed everyone a delicious meal after the ceremony. And I wanted to make sure I had the best photographer I knew. All that adds up pretty quickly. As the days drew closer to the wedding, my credit debt grew. The bank does a really good job of boosting your morale the more you spend, and soon they allowed my credit limit to $9,000; then $10,500.
Soon, the wedding arrived. I paid off everyone the week before, and made a lot of exceptions to make things work. The wedding ended up being perfect to me. Every cent was worth it, and I don’t regret a thing. The two months that followed the wedding, my husband and I had to use the credit card to pay for food and gas, since all my income was going towards rent. He also had his own credit card debt from his time of unemployment. Our prayers were answered when my husband finally got a job in August. We immediately changed the way we spent money:
- I paid for our rent, bills, food, and gas
- My husband paid for our school loan interest and credit card debt
- We put away the rest of our wedding gift money for investments and the start of our emergency fund
- We hardly did anything that wasn’t free
We focused on one paycheck at a time. We constantly repeated the frugal way we spent money. Whenever we ate out to eat, we felt the setback and guilt-tripped ourselves into spending as little as possible the next time. One by one, his credit cards were paid off. Soon, there was only my credit card: the wedding credit card.
And this weekend, on Feb. 23, we paid off the last huge chunk of it. We paid off more than $11,000 in seven months. Looking back, I don’t know how we did it. And I don’t know if our method would work for everyone. I think it was just a lot of consistency.
What are we going to do now that we are out of debt, you may ask? I’ll let you know when we pay off our school loans. Check back in 30 years.
P.S. – A future blog post will go in depth about the wedding itself.