SA Weddings

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‘I Do’ Budgeting Tips With Pierre van der Merwe

Pierre joined the financial services industry in 2015 and in 2016 became the youngest executive financial advisor in Liberty Life and Stanlib's history, an award given to the top 50 financial advisors in the country. Pierre has established a large network of clients in Cape Town and Johannesburg specializing in working with creatives as well as salaried individuals and businesses. Pierre has immense passion for entrepreneurs having had numerous business ventures prior to financial services. Pierre has since expanded his practice to Johannesburg and abroad and focuses on building tightly knit relationships with clients securing and nurturing their financial wealth. Pierre is a “platinum achiever” of the Liberty Group, the top 25 financial advisors in the country as well as a qualifier of MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) the most prestigious financial adviser association globally. Pierre has formed his Fintech company, Future Financial Tech, with two current mobile apps in development to revolutionize the way in which we see financial services going forward.


Firstly, who on earth is Pierre van der Merwe?

I am a passionate entrepreneur and an accredited financial advisor for the past 5 years, being one of Liberty and Stanlib’s Platinum Achievers (the top 25 advisors in the country). My absolute passion is to help people with their financial development and financial planning. My goal is to help create a simple and easy to understand financial services’ world through my Fintech company, Future Financial Tech.

My wife and I were lucky enough to tie the knot in February this year and boy were there some eye opening experiences during the planning process. Many of the lessons we learnt along the way related to wedding customs and, more importantly, budgeting. Even as a financial advisor I didn’t realise how much actually goes into your big day and how easy it is to get lost and carried away during the planning period. My aim is to take you through a few simple topics, which might seem obvious, but trust me, with all the planning, emotions and excitement it is extremely easy to overlook the smallest of things.

1. Financial Transparency

Firstly, it is important to be crystal clear with your partner as well as your parents with regards to how much each of you can afford to contribute. Although, it is not a forced custom to have parents contribute, knowing this from the beginning makes it far easier to budget accordingly. Do not overcommit when it comes to your contribution, it’s important to be honest and clear to avoid overspending and it affecting your personal financial plan. Miscommunication amongst partners and parents can have devastating consequences both financially and when it comes to your precious time while planning. Rather be 100% honest with each other and do not get carried away, it's important that although you want your big day to be incredible, you do not sacrifice your own personal finances to the point where you dig in to long term savings or take loans.

2. What is important to you?

Secondly, decide on what is most important for your big day for both you and your partner. Some might find decor and flowers to be the most important component and others catering or well tailored attire, it’s important that all of these are written down and understood before you liaise with a wedding planner. Being on the same page is of utmost importance to avoid conflict and misunderstandings and it allows for a free flow of wedding planning. By doing so it also makes wedding planning far more enjoyable as both you and your partner are satisfied that one another’s special wishes are to be fulfilled which makes your big day even more magical.

3. Stretching your Budget

Thirdly, consider taking advantage of various specials that service providers offer. Winter weddings or midweek weddings often come with fantastic discounts which allows you to get more value for your money. Many of these specials can be found on the SA Weddings ‘Specials and Competitions’ page. By choosing these options it leaves you with more money for other aspects of your wedding or even your honeymoon. I didn't even think to consider a winter wedding or midweek wedding but when I now see the discounts that are available it really makes me think of what we could have done with the extra money that would have been saved. Remember, if you can be clever about your budgeting and commitments to your wedding, it provides you and your partner with a fantastic honeymoon and more importantly, it provides a financial runway leading into your marriage. The last thing you would want is to return from your special time away broke and in debt. You want to return with money available and ready to start your new life together. Plan, plan, plan!

4. Service Provider Communication

By being upfront from the start makes everything pertaining to your service providers far easier as they know exactly how much money is set out for each expense. Wedding planning is one of the most amazing experiences but can also become frustrating and confusing if there are miscommunications. Understanding the terms and conditions from each provider is important, as you can financially prepare yourself for when the various payments need to be made and the deposits that you might get back after your big day. This also avoids putting your planner in awkward situations. By keeping tabs on these it eases cash flow especially post wedding.

5. Married Life Finances

It's important, especially as you enter your married life, that an open discussions between you and your partner regarding your personal finances are had. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of overspending or going into debt for your wedding and this should be avoided at all costs so that you can maximise your income towards your financial plan as you enter this exciting time of your life. I work with so many couples and I always encourage all of them to be honest and upfront when it comes to financial planning. I like to see myself as a ‘team member’ to couples in order to help steer their financial wellbeing and to build them a secure and successful future. There are so many elements to comprehensive financial planning and personal finance, I encourage you to read my free e-book and it would be amazing to work with you and your partner, just get in touch. Download HERE

I wish you all the best during the magical planning period of your wedding.
Remember: be transparent, plan, do not overextend yourself and COMMUNICATE