6 Simple Ways to Avoid Common Wedding Budget Busters
While planning the wedding of your dreams is certainly exciting, it can also become stressful once costs start adding up. Luckily, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to avoid common budget busters as you work on bringing your beautiful vision to life. Here, Cari Izaguirre, the planner behind Glee star Heather Morris’ charming rustic wedding, shares six tips for hosting a spectacular celebration without breaking the bank.
1. Create your invitations online. Since hiring a custom designer can be expensive, Cari suggests creating the perfect invitations online. We’re big fans of sites like Wedding Paper Divas and Greenvelope, which offer printed or electronic options in many unique styles. Of course, we’re also HUGE fans of the talented couples who decide to DIY their own one-of-a-kind creations.
2. Don’t go overboard on transportation. If you really want to reserve a limo or some other type of vehicle, “Try and make full use of the hours you hire them for or what’s required by them,” says Cari. We like the idea of having a friend act as a chauffeur throughout the day, or even using a family member’s boat, motorcycle or vintage car when making your getaway.
3. Reuse flowers. Ceremony flowers can be reused during the cocktail hour or displayed throughout the reception space, explains Cari. Depending on the venue, you might not even need to add much else to the natural decor. “If it’s at a ranch with lots of flowers already, it’s not necessary to bring in a ton,” she says.
4. Skip the full bar. “Offer beer and wine, and maybe a couple signature drinks, rather than a full bar, which can get pricey,” Cari advises. Need some inspiration? Check out a few of our favorite ideas for signature cocktails, then choose one that’s a good match based on your color scheme and theme.
5. Be realistic. “Create a realistic budget, and itemize everything to try to keep on track,” says Cari. We suggest prioritizing what’s most important right from the start, and using helpful tech tools like Wedding Mapper or WeddingWire to keep tabs on how much you’re actually spending.
6. Watch out for expensive extras. Heather Morris and Taylor Hubbell’s wedding was one of Cari’s favorites, “mostly because it wasn’t a typical celeb-style wedding.” She loved that these two went with a simple and elegant rustic theme instead of the usual uber-glam wedding most celebrities do. When envisioning your own special day, make sure the celebration truly reflects you and your partner, and that you aren’t going overboard with expensive extras and add-ons simply because you think they’re expected.
How will you avoid overspending? Share your favorite cost-saving wedding tips below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com