This is a guest post written by Money Supermarket, a UK based comparison site.
Everybody loves to celebrate special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and graduations. To do so in style often means the costs can creep up and up, although with some careful money management, the process can be much easier than you may think.
Whether you choose to use savings, credit cards or a loan, there are many advantages in each case and your individual circumstances will dictate which is the most beneficial for you.
With the average cost of a wedding around the $27,000 mark, according to research from the Fairchild Bridal Group, the sums involved can be significant. Other occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and bar mitzvahs can also reach into the thousands when good hospitality and great entertainment for your guests is factored into the equation.
Many people find that using their savings can be the best way to pay for the expense and this can also provide a certain sense of pride in having the resources to do so.
If you are planning to celebrate a special occasion in the future, begin saving now and try to place your money into a product that offers you the highest return within your time period.
The use of savings means that taking out loans can be avoided and this is a particularly good option if you prefer not to borrow money.
Most people will need some financial help to fund a special occasion and both credit cards and loans are available for this purpose. Specific types of loans are available for certain uses, such as wedding loans that can initially show a low interest rate, but there may be closing fees or other clauses you need to explore before signing on the dotted line.
There are many types of loan and credit card available which you can use for any purpose, so compare the available products at sites such as Moneysupermarket.com and read the small print thoroughly so that you understand the terms and conditions.
Using credit cards is a popular way to pay for special occasions, particularly with the competitive rates available as banks and companies battle for your custom.
Many credit card companies offer 0% interest on balance transfers and also give a set time of interest free lending, which can have advantages if you are able to pay the debt off when this period ends.
Companies will also wish to keep your loyalty, so may offer extended interest free periods should you suggest you will be moving your debts to another firm.
Credit card companies also encourage loyalty by offering schemes that provide customers with benefits for using their card and these benefits range from everyday items to protection against fraud.
Reward vouchers for shopping, dining and travel can be used to purchase items for the special occasion, such as wine and champagne or some new designer outfit.
Whilst these items may be more glamorous, the online fraud protection and fraud protection guarantee that some cards offer can prove most valuable should you unfortunately become targeted by criminals.
In summary, when paying for a special event, firstly consider if you have any savings that can be used and if you have time to spare, make any savings you can with a product that offers the highest return in your circumstances. Supplement this money or fund your event entirely through a loan or credit card, but bear in mind that loans can charge you more for borrowing although.
However if you are prepared to do some shuffling, credit cards can be used at zero or low percentages but stay aware of time limits. Most of all, however you pay, enjoy your special occasion!