Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Ever sat in an exam and thought, if only I had revised more, I could have smashed this?

Let’s face it, most of us have been there.

Soon after I proposed, my fiancé and I began the research and planning phases to make our dream wedding a reality.

This was not just any wedding, I am of Indian origin so, we go big.

We had to plan:

  1. the civil ceremony
  2. the Indian wedding and reception party
  3. the pre-wedding events including a 3-week trip to India for shopping.
  4. And of course, I was planning the surprise honeymoon.

A logistical planning nightmare!

A financial planner by career, I looked at this monumental task as if I was planning & advising on a client’s retirement options, which might seem strange but planning a wedding is a bit like retirement planning.

Let’s look at this as if we are planning for your first few months at university or when you decide to buy your own house.

Making the dream a reality.

But with what money?

You might be young now, but it is never too early to think about what you want in the future. It is all about planning and preparation

So, back to the wedding preparations.

We discussed the wide range of different styles of wedding venues, the theme of the table centrepieces, even down to the tablecloths.  You name it, we researched it ready for the ‘big day’. Little did we know how much Covid-19 would impact our plans.

For me personally (not so for my wife), we were fortunate to have the civil ceremony (legally married and all). With the arrival the ‘lockdown’, implemented just six days before my Indian wedding, all plans were cancelled. All those months of planning, preparation, stress and we didn’t even see our dream become a reality.

However, knowing that no-one has a crystal ball, nor could have predicted the future, I felt that, by making my first purchase of wedding insurance and also having travel insurance during the wedding planning stage, everything will still work out well in the end.

Having that back up plan of insurance, we knew we could have the Indian wedding we dreamt of eventually and with limited financial impact to ourselves.

Just like a wedding, planning for a big life event should involve the right level of planning and preparation.

Want to go to university? What are student loans? How much money will I need? How much will things cost?

You might get a student loan but that doesn’t mean it will cover everything; you will need to budget.

Knowing the cost of everyday expenses and producing a simple budget to live within your means is crucial. You do this by calculating how much money you have each month, what you need to pay out for rent, bills, passes, etc. and anything left over is for you to use.

Heard of students living off beans on toast because that is all they can afford? Yet, they still manage to have their luxuries and nights out. Well, that right there is budgeting (unless they are living beyond their means and in their overdraft).

Want to buy a house? How much do they cost? How much do I need to save? What is involved in the process?

Buying the first house might seem like a long way away but you will need to build a deposit to be in with a chance of getting on the property ladder. 

Putting money aside here and there as soon as you start earning will help you immediately rather than thinking about it 2-3 years before you are ready to buy. But there are other costs involved; solicitors fees, moving fees, lenders fees, not to mention all the furniture you will need.

For any big life event, chances are that you will need to plan and prepare for it and set out how you will get to your final goal.  It might take time but with a good plan you are more likely to succeed than fail. Just like If I had not planned for potential hurdles in my wedding, I would have set myself up to fail, and not just financially.

A blog post by Kris Amliwala

Kris is a Chartered Financial Planner and Mortgage Broker at Designer Wealth Management. Kris has delivered a number of financial education workshops to students aged 15-18.