בדרך התורה ויראת שמים וחסידות מתוך נחת והרחבת הדעת
It is well known to all of us that the financial strain of marrying off children in today's world is sadly the cause of much headache, heartache, and stress to the Mechatunim. A time that should bring us joy and delight can very often unfortunately be one of immense pressure. Most people talk about this very real problem with bitterness and angst, hoping and praying to find a solution.
The strategy of budgeting that is set forth here is one that has been tried and true. It has worked for anyone seeking financial stability in their lives in general and will B'Ezras Hashem also work to solve the problem at hand. We are here to help you ease your burden while supporting you all the way through from the moment the shidduch happens until the day the young couple gets married and beyond.
A clear chart will be your place to keep track of your wedding expenses, all in one place, at your fingertips. It will serve as a constant reminder not to spend unnecessarily. You will from the very beginning commit to a certain amount of money that you are comfortable spending and keep to it until the very end. Additionally, it will empower the young couple and get them used to budgeting and keeping track of their expenses once they move on and are on their own. The engagement is the perfect time to have the Chusen and Kallah involved not only in choosing the stuff that is bought but also a great opportunity to teach them the essential life skills of budgeting and finances. They will learn to differentiate needs from wants and what they can afford and when. As parents, we want to help our children where needed but that doesn't mean going into debt on their behalf or purchasing things for the future. A good example of that is getting a small dinette table for now versus a large dining room table that the couple will only need in the future, as their family grows.
You will see how the chart is divided into three categories. The first one shows wedding expenses for today's average Chusen and Kallah without going above and beyond or on a really low standard. The second part is for you to fill out your projected expenses, based on your priorities. The third section, the main goal, is to go through each and every item separately, together with the Chusen and Kallah and really deliberate whether or not a specific expense is absolutely necessary for right here and now or can be gone without. That's where the budgeting takes place and it's precisely where the magic happens. It's the area where the mindset shifts to focus on the here and now, as per your priorities. It will be different for every couple and family as everyone has unique tastes and opinions. Again, giving you freedom to do things your way as opposed to adhering to some preset "must-haves". One more point that calls for attention here, as a side perk of the solution, is that since the purchases will be strictly based on your priorities, as long as it within the committed budget, you will avoid judgement and criticism from friends and family who may be helping you out financially but don't particularly agree with your choices. (What is a shtreimel to you may be furniture for others.) They will know that you are committed to your promise of staying in the budget.
With this revolutionary plan, you will ensure that your children walk to the Chuppah comfortably and with all they need to start off life. Anything beyond that, will be bought by the couple on their own when they have the funds for it. This way, we will remedy the problem for the entire generation and for the generations that follow, one family at a time. On top of that, when you commit to joining this unified effort to save precious money and energy, you will be eligible to a $10,000 payment from the "Simcha V'Nachas" program towards the wedding expenses. At the same time, it will alleviate the heavy burden of community organizations that are put in place to collect money for Hachnosas Kallah as the need for large funds will be drastically lowered.
This solution will show you not only how to spend less but also how it is all the 'mindset'. Once the mindset of "i-must-buy-this" and "i-must-have-this" is changed and adjusted to one that makes sense and is more realistic, all parties involved can experience the joy of this truly wonderful Yiddishe Simcha. As well, the idea is to guide you to spend on what is close to your heart, as needs and wants are very personal and different for every individual. It will encourage you to learn how to prioritize transactions based on your own needs and preferences as opposed to following some "basic" list of "must-haves". This too is a great skill that the young couple will learn now and use for years to come. As long as it is within the budget, the purchase can be made. It will give them freedom. Other failed solutions (i. e. Takunos) were more about restriction. It will avoid the unnecessary debt that befalls most average Mechtanium today. As an added bonus, any money saved may be put towards helping the new couple buy their own home or any other bigger future purchases B'Ezras Hashem.
A Unified Commitment
We are continuously working with vendors who are more than happy to offer you great deals on quality merchandise and services when you join this wonderful movement. Once we have collected a list, it will be under the "Specials" tab coming soon. At the same time, we ask that you share with us and your friends and family any deals and special offers that you benefited from in order to expand this revolution even further. In addition, kindly check out the "Survey" tab and complete the questions. It will give us a better idea of what the agreed-upon amount should be, taking into consideration people from all walks of life and from every age, stage, background, Chassidus, and financial status. This is imperative to the success of this venture.