Four Weddings and a Financial Funeral !

Over the last decade, my husband and I have spent more money attending other people’s weddings than we did buying a 2018 car in 2020 — $10,000 more.

We’re in the sweet spot of our early 30s, in which our friends and family members are caught in a constant cycle of having weddings and babies. Of course, these are joyous times, but they can also be stressful. The engagement party, bachelor(ette) parties, bridal showers, weddings, gender reveal parties and baby showers are starting to feel like a drain on our bank account.

It’s made me wonder why personal finance experts so often focus on skipping lattes and avocado toast as the best way for Millennials to save money. You know this “small leaks sink big ships” style of advice. But shouldn’t we really focus on the more significant financial ramifications that come with social pressure and friend and family obligations?

Sure, little expenses can add up. Let’s say I bought a latte, to the tune of $6.50 including tip, five days a week. That’s $1,690 annually. Alas, my husband and I have dropped more than that for just one of the eight weddings we’ve been invited to in 2021. Attending all of them would cost us easily $10,000. (We’ve sadly had to decline a few for both budget and scheduling reasons.)

This is not an outrageous number when you consider all the costs of attending, from flights or car rentals to hotel stays, a dog sitter (for us, childcare for some), food and gifts. And that’s assuming we’re not in the weddings or attending pre-ceremony events.