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Live Chat Today
Do you have a personal finance question about your financial life? If so, join me at noon ET for my live online discussion. If you can’t join me live, send your questions in early or read the transcript later.
The Cost of Being the Wedding Guest
You do know that there are entry fees when you are invited to a wedding, right?
As Regina Lewis writes for USA Today, the spending expected for engagement and wedding gifts can be divvied up as follows, according to TheKnot.com:
• Engagement present: 20 percent
• Shower gift: 20 percent
• Wedding gift: 60 percent
In all, when you include other expenses, many wedding guests can end up shelling out hundreds of dollars to attend a wedding, according to American Express Spending & Savings Tracker. American Express found that the average guest spends more than $539 per wedding. Included: $167 for travel, $161 for new clothes and $108 for a wedding gift.
Weddings today aren’t jut about one big day but “the big days, plural, not day — engagement parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, the wedding,” Lewis wrote. “Be sure to look at the overall event schedule and related costs. If you’re in the bridal party, you can expect to pay more, because there are other related costs.”
The most priceless investment the bride and groom can get from you is your being a good guest, Lewis says. “Full participation is probably what the bride and groom want most. Mingle with the guests who look a little lost, dance when they’re looking to fill the floor and interact with as many people as you can.”
Cashing In on Vacation Time
Here’s a quick way to get extra money for your summer vacation, cash in some of your extra vacation time.
“Some companies allow their workers to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off,” reports the Associated Press. “The novel approach might help employees buy some extra days off to take the trip of a lifetime or spend more time with a newborn. Co-workers could sell off unused days to get some extra money.”
An upcoming survey to be released by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 9 percent of employers allowed workers to cash out unused vacation time. Five percent let employees purchase additional vacation days through a payroll deduction. An additional 7 percent allowed employees to donate vacation time to a general pool that can be used by other workers, according to AP.
“When times are a little tight, this benefit really doesn’t cost a lot of extra money to employers to provide,” Julie Stich, research director for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans told AP. “It’s offered by more forward thinking or flexible-type employers.”
American Public Media’s Marketplace had a very thoughtful segment by Scott Tong, a correspondent for its sustainability desk.
Tong is exploring what parents are willing to spend to ensure their children are successful. He says: “What people buy is often dictated by what everyone around them is spending. But today, keeping up is about more than a bigger lawn mower. For parents, it’s about kids. We all want them to get into college -- so we spend on tutors, sports and experiences to get them in.”