Weddings sure can be expensive sometimes. The Funnel Cake wedding, as you might be able to tell from our planning, was not easy on the bank either. So what did that mean for *my* personal budget?
Well”¦ just the act of getting married civilly in Switzerland changed my financial situation for the worse. In 2010 I lost 11% of my annual income when I switched to my new married tax status. 11%! The change was less of a shock for Mr. Funnel Cake, who as a Swiss citizen already “enjoyed” a much higher tax rate than foreigners here. (Don’t even try to make sense of that.)
With the loss of my income to the tax man, I also was disturbed to learn at the beginning of 2011 that as a citizen-level taxpayer you are supposed to pay your Swiss taxes for the year before you earn that money. So as this year began, I scrambled to gather my funds together to pay the upcoming taxes I would owe on money that I would be earning this year. Instantly I missed my monthly taxes I’d enjoyed as a single foreigner! Mr. Funnel Cake was used to this method, so of course he was all set to pay his part of the taxes. Hmmph.
It was this awful tax change that stopped my savings dead in its tracks.
I even changed jobs in an effort to alter my financial situation for the better before the wedding. But with wedding expenses coming left and right as we secured our photographer, ordered our invitations, planned our honeymoon and bought our wedding attire, the savings did not start back up again for seven long months.
We were extremely lucky to have the generous help of Mama and Papa Funnel Cake paying for the reception, and with our 17-month engagement we had the luxury of time to pay for all of our purchases without going into debt. We probably ended up spending a bit more with all the time to plan, but after the wedding and honeymoon were over we had everything paid off in full.
”¦but my savings are still hurting.
There is a noticeable dent in my savings plan where the money was diverted to wedding expenses and from now until the end of 2012, I plan on repaying my theoretical debt to reach my savings goal. Mr. Funnel Cake did not stop his savings payments, but he did take out some money to pay for his wedding suit so he would like to repay that and then re-pad his safety net for emergencies. We haven’t conglomerated our money yet and depending on our financial and job situations, we might not ever do that. We both earn and save individually at the moment, but don’t worry… we are still a “team.”
Overall, I feel pretty damn lucky that we were able to have the kind of wedding we did without breaking the bank, but I do feel sort of guilty that I neglected my savings for so many months. It was mostly down to the unavoidable tax pitfalls of marriage in Switzerland, but I feel a pressure to repay my “fake debt”. If all goes well, it will take me 15 months to repay seven months of missed savings.
What kind of impact did your wedding make on your finances? How did your financial situation compare to your SO’s while planning?