Most expensive times in life - engagements plus Christmas

3 expensive times in life, and how to deal with them

Not again.

Brian’s gone and got himself engaged.

That means an engagement party (plus presents) a buck’s night (travel, more presents), the wedding itself (an outfit, travel, a present). Then the inevitable – offspring.

It’s not that you hate partying, catching up and dressing up but it’s the seventh one this year, and those waffle makers aren’t getting any cheaper. There are a few times in life when you’ll encounter more expenses than usual on account of your friends. Here are a few handy tips to make it through unscathed.

Year of the 21st

Despite the widely ignored fact that Aussies have no real reason to celebrate turning 21, this American tradition has long been a milestone for young men and women throughout Australia and New Zealand.

So for anyone who’s gone to high school and uni and kept in touch with their mates, the year you turn 21 is most likely the year you’ll attend 21sts every other week as well.

For good friends, try going in as a group and purchasing a nice gift such as perfume/cologne or a good set of bedding together. For friends (but not, like, besties) consider books and photo albums as lower-cost, somewhat personal options. For people you don’t know very well you can easily fall back on a gift voucher or lotto ticket. Failing all of the above, a drink at the bar will never go astray!

Engagements in December

Love is in the air

Engagement parties, hen’s nights and buck’s dos, then the wedding itself, are all high-cost times of life.

Try not to overspend just because that’s the norm. You have been invited to share in the occasion for your presence, not your presents, so any additional gift will usually be a most welcome one. If you know others attending you can share costs with them on gifts, or try a car pool if you have to drive to the destination. Hiring – or even borrowing – a suit or dress is a great way to avoid another spend as splashing out on a new outfit for every matrimony could leave you in a loving relationship with your overdraft.

When there’s a gift registry, be sure to check it out early so you can nab the more affordable items, and pop anything on your rewards credit card, like a Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer or High Flyer Card, if you want to make the most of credit card points.

A bun in the oven

You probably won’t be as excited about your friend’s offspring as they are – but it’s absolutely vital you at least pretend to be. Gifts for babies can be super pricey (prams, cribs etc), but there are plenty of cute baby booties and hats that will be just as needed and appreciated.

And if you’re really struggling after all those 21sts, engagements and weddings, you can always offer your services as a babysitter instead.

How do you make it through these tough financial milestones?