Getting married is becoming more expensive than ever. That’s the conclusion of The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Study conducted by wedding planning website TheKnot.com.

According to the study, couples spent, on average, $32,641 for a wedding in 2015. This represents an all-time high for wedding spending. Worse yet, the figure doesn’t even include the cost of a honeymoon.

While a wedding can provide memories that last a lifetime, at this price point, one has to consider if a traditional wedding is even worth it.

Consider, for instance, how else $32,641 could be spent:

  • According to a recent NerdWallet study, the average U.S. household owes $15,762 in high interest credit card debt. That $32K would more than free a couple from the stifling burden of such debt.

  • If a young couple placed $32,641 into a retirement account, earning on average eight percent return each year, and never contribute another penny, they would have more than $750,000 saved by time they retired

  • The U.S. median home price is currently $210,800. That means $32,641 could be used as a down payment on a home, jump-starting a couple on their journey to wealth creation.

Clearly, there are more financially-savvy ways to spend $32,641. But remember, $32,641 is the average amount of money spent on a wedding, meaning many people also spent less money and still fulfilled their wedding dreams.

So how can you keep wedding costs under control so that your marriage day doesn’t undermine the rest of your financial life?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to rein in costs by creating a wedding budget. A budget will force you to prioritize and identify what is most important to you as a couple.

Second, consider alternative wedding venues. According to The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Study, the most expensive part of a wedding last year was the venue (reception hall), which averaged $14,788 per wedding. Non-traditional locations such as a local lake, vineyard, public park, alumni college location or family member’s backyard can shave thousands off your wedding bill.

Finally, don’t be afraid to pare down the guest list. TheKnot.com reveals that couples spent $237 per guest last year. While not easy, inviting fewer guests could have a big impact on your finances.

A wedding is but one day in your life. You shouldn’t have to mortgage your financial future to enjoy the wedding of your dreams.

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Famous African-American success coach and motivational speaker Dennis Kimbro obsessed over one burning question:

Why do some people become wealthy while others struggle to live paycheck to paycheck?

To answer it, Kimbro spent seven years questioning more than 500 Black millionaires, and his research produced a startling conclusion. Extraordinary intelligence or being born into a wealthy family have little to do with becoming a Black millionaire.

In fact, most Black millionaires have lived in poverty at some point during their lives. As Kimbro points out, the average income of the parents of Black millionaires was a meager $10,000 to $20,000 year. No silver spoons here.

So what are the traits and habits Black millionaires used to rise from humble beginnings to millionaire status. In his book, The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires, Kimbro reveals nine success principles of Black American millionaires.

1. They love what they do.

Black millionaires have found their passion in life and that passion has led them to financial security. They embody the motto: Do what you love and the money will follow. It’s this passion which enables them to endure the long hours of work and numerous set-backs that are the price of success.

2. They are self-starters.

“The greatest waste in the world is the difference between who we are and what we could’ve become,” explains Kimbro. Millionaires push themselves, even when no one else will, in order to achieve their fullest potential.

3. They work hard.

“Millionaires love their work, and they love to work.” The average millionaire rises by 5:30 am and retires by 11 pm. There are no short cuts to success.

4. They recognize the power of ideas.

Creativity is the fuel for building millionaire businesses. People with the wealth mindset are constantly brainstorming new products, services, or ways to solve nagging problems. They understand that innovation is often the ticket to wealth.

5. They recognize failure as a necessary stepping stone to success.

The fear of failure has stopped many from realizing their potential. Kimbro argues that failure is to be expected, not feared. Because millionaires understand that failure is only temporary, they simply brush themselves off and get back up after encountering a set-back. “Failure is never fatal; it’s the down payment you pay for success,” explains Kimbro.

6. They value learning.

African-American households watch more than seven hours of television per day. Conversely, African-American millionaires, as Kimbro points out, read nearly two books per month. They understand that investments in knowledge and learning are the best investments that anyone craving success can make.

7. They constantly work on the ability to sell.

Learning how to sell is one of the most crucial skills for millionaires. They may, for instance, have to sell themselves to an employer during an interview, sell their concepts or ideas in pitches to investor, or sell their products to consumers. Regardless, of what they sell, Kimbro argues that developing the ability to sell is crucial to your success.

8. They understand the importance of saving and investing.

The wealthy understand that you have to live below your means, while saving and investing what’s left over. Kimbro repeats the warning first laid out by business magnet W. Clement Stone, “If you cannot save 10 percent of all that you earn, the seeds of greatness are not in you.”

9. They have faith in a higher power.

America’s Black millionaires overwhelmingly draw strength and guidance from a higher power. They value a close personal relationship with God which helps them weather the storms of life.

As Kimbro stresses in his book, most millionaires are not unlike you or I. They simply practice great habits on a daily basis in an unrelenting pursuit of their goals. Just as important, they believe that they will become wealthy. They understand that, “Wealth begins in the mind but ends in the purse.”

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