Budgeting for Big Life Events: Weddings, Babies, and More 

Updated on 06/04/2024

Budgeting for Big Life Events: Weddings, Babies, and More 

Life is full of exciting milestones—weddings, babies, buying a house, and more. Each of these big events brings joy, but they also come with significant expenses. Proper financial planning can help you navigate these milestones with peace of mind.

Financial planning for life’s big milestones doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can enjoy these special moments without financial stress by setting clear goals, creating a budget, and saving strategically. Start planning today, and you’ll be well-prepared for whatever life brings your way! Let’s break down how to budget effectively for these events.


Weddings are a celebration of love, but they can be pricey. On average, a wedding in the U.S. costs about $30,000. Start by discussing with your partner how much you can afford to spend on your wedding, taking into account any contributions from family. 

Once you have a total budget in mind, list all possible expenses and prioritize them, allocating more funds to what’s most important to you, whether it’s the venue, dress, or photography. Consider a smaller guest list, DIY decorations, or choosing an off-season wedding date to cut costs.

To save effectively, open a dedicated savings account and start saving as soon as possible. This separate account will help you track your progress. Break down your total budget into manageable monthly savings goals and automate transfers to your wedding savings account. 

Buying a House

Buying a house is one of the most significant financial commitments you’ll make. As of 2024, the median home sales price in the United States is approximately $406,700.

Homeownership often proves to be more expensive than renting due to these additional costs, like repairs, maintenance, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. Carefully consider these factors when budgeting for a home to ensure you are financially prepared for both the initial purchase and ongoing expenses.

Initially, you can expect to pay a down payment, which is typically 20% of the home’s price. Closing costs – such as fees for loan origination, appraisal, title insurance, escrow, and other related expenses – usually range from 2-5% of the home’s price. Additionally, moving expenses can add another $1,000 to $3,000 to your overall costs.

First, use online calculators to estimate how much house you can afford based on your income, debt, and down payment. Consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage to understand how much house you can afford.


  • Aim to save for a 20% down payment to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). 
  • Pay down existing debt to improve your credit score and qualify for better mortgage rates. 
  • Automate transfers to your house fund savings account to ensure consistent savings.

Having a Baby

Welcoming a baby is a life-changing event, but it comes with costs. Here’s what you might expect:

  • Prenatal care and delivery: $10,000 (with insurance)
  • Baby gear (crib, stroller, etc.): $3,000
  • Diapers: $900 per year
  • Formula: $2,500 per year
  • Childcare: $10,000 to $15,000 per year

Begin by researching the expenses associated with prenatal care, delivery, baby gear, diapers, and childcare. Create a comprehensive list with estimated costs to get a clear picture of what to expect. Additionally, plan for healthcare by understanding what your insurance covers and what you’ll need to pay out of pocket.

Start a dedicated savings account for baby expenses and contribute regularly to save effectively. Buying second-hand items, like clothes and gear, can significantly reduce costs while still providing excellent quality. Additionally, creating a baby registry can help you receive essential items from family and friends, further easing the financial burden.

Sending Kids to College

College costs are rising, and it’s essential to plan ahead. Here are some average annual costs:

  • Public in-state school: $10,000
  • Public out-of-state school: $26,000
  • Private school: $35,000

A 529 Plan is a college savings account that offers tax benefits and can help your savings grow over time. 529 plans have high contribution limits and can be used for various educational expenses, including K-12 tuition and certain apprenticeship programs. Also, the funds in a 529 plan can be transferred to another beneficiary if the original beneficiary does not use them, offering flexibility for families with multiple children.


  • Encourage your child to research and apply for scholarships and grants to reduce out-of-pocket costs. 
  • Set up automatic monthly contributions to your college savings plan to ensure consistent savings and make the process easier to manage.

Planning for Retirement

Retirement might seem far away, but it’s crucial to start saving early. By saving early, you can benefit from the power of compound interest over time. 

A good rule of thumb for your retirement savings goal is to aim for a retirement income that’s 70-80% of your pre-retirement income. Social Security can cover a portion of your retirement income, but it’s not meant to cover all your expenses. Regularly review your retirement plan and adjust your contributions as needed to stay on track with your goals.

There are several types of retirement accounts to consider. Traditional and Roth IRAs offer tax advantages, with the former providing tax-deferred growth and the latter offering tax-free withdrawals in retirement. 401(k) plans, often provided by employers, also offer tax-deferred growth and potential employer-matching contributions. 

Additionally, maintaining a regular savings account can provide a flexible, easily accessible option for retirement funds, though without the same tax benefits.


  • Maximize your 401(k) or IRA contributions. 
  • Take advantage of any employer matches to boost your savings—it’s essentially free money.

5 Tips for Financial Planning

  1. Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses to understand where your money is going.
  2. Emergency Fund: Aim to save 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in case of unexpected events.
  3. Reduce Debt: Pay off high-interest debt first to free up more money for savings and other goals.
  4. Invest Wisely: Consider speaking with a financial advisor to create an investment strategy that aligns with your goals.
  5. Review Regularly: Regularly review your budget and savings goals to stay on track and make adjustments as needed.

You can be better suited to achieve your financial goals for these major life events with careful planning and disciplined saving. Start budgeting today, and you’ll be ready to celebrate these milestones with peace of mind.

By Admin