It’s no secret that weddings can be pretty hard on the wallet. According to The Knot, the average American attends two weddings per year, and just being a guest can set you back nearly $300.

“The cost of attending a wedding as a guest can totally vary based on lots of factors,” says Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot. “Do you have to travel to attend? Will you be splitting a room or getting your own accommodations? Do you have something to wear?”

Knowing how to budget your finances can help you be prepared and enjoy being a wedding guest without going broke. Not sure how to save? Check out the five foolproof budgeting tips below.

Make a list of essentials
“Wedding guests should plan for the biggies first,” Kay says. “This includes travel and accommodations, attire and accessories for the wedding, and a wedding gift.” You should also consider any additional events you may be invited to, such as happy hours, brunch, and anything else leading up to the big day. Non-wedding related activities can easily add up to $100 or more.

Start saving ASAP
Chances are, you’ll know way ahead of time when a wedding is going to be. So if you really want to attend, start saving. Brittney Castro, a financial expert for Investopedia, suggests starting a separate high-yield savings account for weddings and travel. It’s a good idea if you know you’re going to be spending a lot over the next year.

Don’t splurge
Think about what you value more – a comfortable place to stay or a new outfit? “If you’re facing a pricey wedding with sky-high hotel or travel costs, now’s the time to wear an outfit you already own,” Castro says. This is especially helpful if you have multiple weddings coming up.

Utilize travel deals and credit card points
Make sure to utilize your resources. “If you can score a free flight or discounts on a gift, you’ll feel better about attending and you won’t rack up debt,” Castro says.

Don’t be afraid to say “no”
If you can’t afford to stay at the same hotel as everyone else, that’s OK. If you can’t afford any gifts on their registry, give them a gift card instead with an amount that’s comfortable for you. “Be smart and take care of yourself,” Castro says. “Ultimately, it’s about celebrating the love of the couple, not a contest to show who will spend the most money on them.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team

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