Saving Money…On A Move

I am beyond tired. I wasn’t sure I could reach this level of exhausted, but here I am. Moving is the worst. Getting all your affairs in order is probably one of the most difficult things.

Our latest challenge: can you fit 1,100 square feet into a 16 foot moving van? I really hope so, because I’m pretty sure we can’t afford the 24 footer. It might mean trashing some furniture, but the difference in price is huge.

A few tips on saving money for a move:

1) Do the hard work yourself. It sucks. It’s stressful. But it’s also cheap. Buy some pizza, invite your friends, and you have instant movers…and it will only cost you about $40. Movers help take the stress off you, but to me, the lifting of stress isn’t worth the $3000 the movers would charge.

2) Get quotes from all the truck company rentals. Budget seems to be the cheapest for us.

3) Look up coupon codes. It’s really easy, just Google “Truck rental coupon codes.” Different sites can probably provide you with different coupon codes. We got a coupon code for AARP…and of course we have AARP…yup…

We have to take a look at the 16 foot truck to make sure we can actually fit our stuff in it. Fingers crossed!
Pinspiration

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Mason Jars & Saving Money

I cannot have a rustic wedding without Mason Jars. It’s like an unwritten rule or something. The good thing is we’ve been able to *acquire* mason jars and have had to buy very few of them. We are using some as aisle decorations, but I think the best use for them is as drinking glasses.


If we do it this way we could end up saving some money in the long run. In order to have glasses for everyone at the wedding, we’re having to rent them from the venue. But I think we’ve acquired enough jars for everyone at the wedding to have their own, eliminating the rental expense. It’s not a huge drop in price or anything, but every little bit helps!

Now I’m not sure if any of you remember college parties with all those red cups? You would set your cup down, and since they all look the same, good luck finding it again! To eliminate such problems at the wedding we are going to have everyone put their name on their glass. I know this isn’t a new idea, but it is really simple.


We can even get some Martha Stewart chalkboard labels for each glass. They aren’t too expensive and since we don’t have as many guests, it’d be an easy thing to do.
Now to decide whether or not to get the colorful spiral straws…

Truth Time: People Apparently Judge Your Wedding

A mutual friend of ours was (rather rudely) inquiring about why we were spending so much money on one day and decided to offer that they thought it was ridiculous. First of all, thanks for your input and so glibly bashing what I’ve been working so hard on for months. Secondly, this is not about anyone else but us. We want to throw a big party and promise our love in front of our family and friends, that’s important to us and it’s worth spending the money on.

When I first started planning a wedding I had NO IDEA how much a wedding costs. I think my fiancé had even less of an idea. We’ve had numerous discussions on the looming costs of this wedding and I’m pretty sure sometimes he was sure that some of the stuff I was getting was totally superfluous or an exaggerated cost.

I have to say, being a total penny pincher, I looked for every way possible to keep down the cost of this wedding. I found a relatively inexpensive venue, my mom is making gorgeous flowers, I am creating the decor mostly on my own and any vendors I hired I made sure to shop around to the best price. Even with all of that work, a wedding is still a very high cost and there really isn’t a way to get around it unless you have lots of favors you can call in.

Suffice it to say I worked my butt off to keep costs low and our wedding fun for our guests. And yet, people still judge the cost of our wedding. The fact is people who look at the money you are spending on a wedding have never had to plan one before.

I don’t want to discourage people from having the wedding of their dreams. I started this blog because I wanted to figure out how to keep costs low and share my journey with others, but at no point did I want to lie and tell you that “Oh you can definitely plan a wedding for $5000.” It is possible, but many times unrealistic for the masses. I want to be the voice of the middle-of-the-road, and what a realistic budget looks like.

At any rate, our wedding may not be the cheapest but it is not the most expensive either, it’s just right for our life and our budget. As long as you are spending what you are comfortable spending, don’t let anyone make you feel weird about it.

Ok I’m super sorry I don’t know how to end a rant…so now this:

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The results of Maine Maple Sunday! So okay has anyone else caught flack for the price of their wedding? What did you do about it?

Something New On The Blog! AND The Most Important Wedding Planning Tip I’ve Learned So Far

Ok, is it just me, or are there now like 8 gagillion social media apps we are supposed to keep up with now? Does anyone else blog, and want others to read what they’ve blogged? I know that I don’t pay for my own domain or anything, but I’d still like my content to get out there to brides that are dealing with the same things I am. But, in order to do that, market myself (which is a very uncomfortable thing to do, as I am finding out more and more how much of a private person I am), I have to be on all these different social media outlets and use them regularly. Ok, maybe some people’s’ lives are so interesting they always have something to tweet about or a picture to instagram (which is now a verb?), but my life is nowhere near that cool. You either get my cats, or the Maine woods…that’s pretty much it. I’d love to tweet more…I just have nothing funny, witty or cool to say every moment of every day. I envy the people who can come up with fun things every few minutes.

Alright, rant over. It was only sparked by this new “Vine” app that seems to be taking off. To be honest, it’s cool, but yet again, I have nothing in my life worth making a stop-motion video about, nor do I have that much time on my hands.

So I guess you are all aware that January is over? And at the end of the month what do we all do? Pay bills…yay. Bill paying is always the most stressful thing for me! I am the finance manager in our house, which seems to be a thing now. More and more women are managing the household finances now a days. I grew up with my dad as an accountant, so he managed everything. I inherited some of his flair for finances so I guess that’s why I do it now. But, as my sister is always quick to point out, I am a very high-strung individual, and worry unnecessarily about, like, everything, so you can imagine why bill paying sucks for me.

Lately though, it hasn’t been so bad! My hubby-to-be got a promotion at work and so he is making a little bit more than he used to, leaving…EXTRA. :::gasp!::: So now I have a little extra to throw around.

So here it is: THE MOST IMPORTANT PLANNING TIP I’VE LEARNED SO FAR:

Pay people as you go! Every time someone says “Oh, you’re saving for a wedding.” In my head I’m thinking, “Yeah and very poorly.” That was because we would get a little extra money, and spend it immediately on deposits or crafting supplies, which is for the wedding, but that meant no money was saved. I didn’t see us as making progress because we kept depleting our savings.

Here is the thing, you are saving for a wedding when you don’t plan at all, you just put money away until you have enough then you plan. If you are in the process of planning you are no longer saving because, as I’m sure those of you planning have noticed, the money comes in, then goes right out. So when you do get a little extra at the end of each month, DON’T save it! Find a vendor you’d like to pay down and send them a check! Make sure to include a note with the total you owe them, and then the new remaining balance after they cash your check. You’ll be amazed what you can pay off a little at a time, and what once seemed like a daunting task is now a little bit easier.

AND I have a few bonus tips for you! (I feel like I’ve learned a lot)

1) If you are a bank account nazi like me, and want to send your vendors the money but not have to wait (sometimes up to a month) for the check to be cashed, then send a money order. Almost all business accept them, it’s a safe way to send money, and the total comes right out of your bank account. I discovered this with the last round of checks I sent. I’m still waiting on one to be cashed. I hate having to subtract that amount from my bank account every time!

2) Tax Returns are a wonderful thing. For most of America, tax returns are a happy time, when we receive a bunch of money back for doing our duty to the country. First I would suggest if you have the extra money, get an accountant. My daddy is a great one, if you want his information, just contact me! Really, though, get someone who knows the biz and can squeeze every last bit of money you deserve out of the government. Then, when that money comes into your account use ALL of it to pay for your wedding stuff. Not some, not half, ALL. If you budget each month as usual and don’t count your tax return, you won’t miss it when it’s gone!

But really, biggest thing: Pay as you go! When ever there is extra money that isn’t going to a bill, pay a vendor. Trust me, you’ll thank me when your wedding day comes!

AND NOW: THE NEW THING! 🙂

Pinspiration

I know that sometimes I post on here with inspiration pictures, most of which I get from Pinterest. So I thought I would start something new! Every Friday I will have a new Pinspiration for you! Most of the time it will be wedding related, but sometimes it might be something I just find really cool or beautiful! I hope you enjoy this new Friday special!

This comes courtesy of a blog called PaperVine and it’s a DIY! I thought that with this being the month of Valentines, why not make your hubby an adorable gift like this! Happy Friday all!

Wedding Websites!

This is a techy sort of week I guess! Believe it or not, even though I run a blog about weddings, it hadn’t even crossed my mind that I’d need a wedding website. But this is, in my opinion, a technology must have.

There would be no way I’d advocate this as a must have if it wasn’t free or ridiculously cheap. But before I show you the cheap option, I’m going to tease you with the complicated, more expensive option…just because they are super cute. 🙂

When we talk about EPIC wedding websites, we have to include this:

It’s probably the coolest wedding website I’ve seen! It totally draws you in and makes you want to read everything. The story is just too cute!

My second favorite website has to be this one:

The information in this site is a little sparse, so it’s more of a Save-The-Date announcement, but probably the most adorable concept ever!

Here are a few others for you to look at! Get inspired!

Are you inspired yet? I am! I may just spend a few hours in Photoshop tinkering around, maybe make a kooky wedding website! However, the above wedding sites took lots of time and/or money. It’s not impossible to do, if you’re a graphic designer (or marrying a graphic designer), but for us hum-drum folk, it’s a little more difficult to achieve. Fear not! There are options so that you can get a free wedding website, that has all the important information that your guests will need.

These sites offer a free service, and you can upgrade if you want to spend the money, but essentially you just plug in the information it asks, and you have your own personalized wedding website!

For the hell-of-it (or maybe as a permanent fixture), I made one:

What you see is just the little intro page. This site was made by Wedding Wire. It was so simple to do, and you can even add little apps so your guests can RSVP, find flights and hotels.

Having a wedding web site isn’t just to be cool and flashy either. It can also save you money. If you have internet-savvy guests (so probably not for grandma & grandpa), you can have everyone RSVP via the web site, so you don’t need to splurge the extra money on those RSVP cards. In addition, since you can add maps and locations to your site you also don’t have to send out little map cards in your invites either. AND excluding all the extras in your invitation will make your invitations lighter, saving you money on postage! How is that for savings? Every penny counts!

Have you all made wedding websites? Were yours epic like the above few, or did you do the plug & and publish (quick and easy)? Did your guests actually RSVP via the site?

 

 

 

 

My New Relationship With Newspapers

I am in budget hell. We are not spending beyond our means, but we are instead spending ALL of what we have on bills and living expenses. As we are not in massive debt and don’t owe lots of money, complaining is irrelevant, because while it is frustrating, we are not as in trouble as most people in this country, and are very lucky to be employed at all.

The fact of the matter is, saving money, in any capacity, is an impossibility as things stand right now. I started looking into many different forms of another income source that also wouldn’t tear me away from spending quality time as a couple. We are saving for a wedding, but we shouldn’t have to sacrifice our relationship. Believe me, when you are looking for another income source that won’t cut in on your free time, it’s a little bit of an oxymoron, however I am all about creativity and thinking outside the box. Combine that with a lucky break and you get the part-time work I settled on: Paper Carrier.

This is actually perfect for us, I get home from work late, we don’t go to bed to even later, so we would already be awake to pick up the papers, and we’d only have to stay up a tad later to get all of the papers delivered. Solve the staying up later by sleeping in later the next day, and it sounds like a good idea! The best part is, we can do it together, so it wouldn’t be taking any time away from our relationship.

As to every job there are drawbacks. The sleeping thing will probably get rough, and we cannot take a day off or a vacation, unless there is someone to cover the shift, and since we are each other’s cover, that could make things tricky. The other thing is, we’re in Maine so driving in snow will probably be horrible…so, he’s driving… 😉

Now I that I have this new newspaper gig, I thought it might be fun to look up what I could do with any extra newspapers. The first one I found was actually quite interesting…how far will they take haute couture anyway?

Image via 100 Layer Cake Blog

Well, if I have plenty of newspapers left, and it doesn’t rain, perhaps I could make this little…ahem…beauty. Alright, it’s not all that bad, but I think me saying that is because the model looks so into it.

Here are some other, cuter, newspaper wedding ideas:

I’m really hoping this new endeavour will help take some of the stress off saving. No one ever tells you how hard it is, so I am: saving money is hard! Has anyone else had a tough time-saving for their wedding? Or for anything else for that matter!  Got any tips or tricks?

Scrimping and Pinching

Saving money is kind of my hobby. Sounds weird right? I always am looking at ways I can squirrel away cash. I kind of love to look in my savings account and see all the money I have saved. I am quite proud of it usually. Now, with a wedding in my future, you would think that it would be easy to save large amounts of money in two years. Wrong.

Being an adult is hard! Every time I turn around there is another bill. Sometimes I think the bill collectors get together and plan it so a bill comes out every week for the whole month.

So I had to get creative, and make the bills work for me. I have opened up a cash rewards credit card. I am pretty sure this is one of my genius moments. The first thing I did was research. Never ever assume someone is going to give you cash without some sort of catch.

The first thing to look for in a cash rewards card is NO annual fee. You may look at the percentage you get back and think it’s awesome, but then realize you have to pay an annual fee of $50 or more. You don’t want to be charged to have a credit card. After you’ve eliminated the cards that have an annual fee, it’s just a matter of picking the card with the best percentage cash back offer. After some comparison shopping, involving my mother, who always has good tips and advice for me, I settled on the Chase Freedom Card.

Chase Freedom offers unlimited purchases with 1% cash back and 5% cash back on certain purchases on different months. For instance, right now I am getting 5% back on all my gasoline and Amazon.com purchases.

The drawbacks to this sort of thing are the penalties should you miss your payments. The interest rates on these types of cards are astronomical. Since I am entirely too anal retentive for my own good, I am always making payments on the card and am constantly monitoring my statements. If you are not a person who is diligent in keeping track of your finances, this method of earning cash is not for you.

It has really paid off, right now I have made $109 from the card and that check is on it’s way to me! So in addition to never going out to eat, only buying what we absolutely need and working as much overtime as we can, we are making our credit card pay us for things we would be spending our money on anyway. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.