The Year of the Wedding...Budget
This New Year’s Eve started like any other: Scott and I packed up a cooler and some food and headed over to a friend’s house to get ready to ring in 2014. We were having a great time getting ready for the ball to drop when one of our good friends called for a toast, ending it with,
“Scott and Stacy, it’s your wedding year! Stacy, you will start 2014 as a Dannenberg and end as a Lewis!”
We smiled and cheered, the countdown continued and as the ball dropped, so did my stomach.
He was right. This was the year. We still had more planning to do. We still had more money to spend.
We’ve all made resolutions that were lofty and a big undertaking. I want to travel the world! I want to lose 50 pounds! I want to invent the next big thing! This year, Scott and I made the very conscious decision to make ours about getting through our wedding with our bank accounts (and sanity) still intact. We would start with the basics: where can we cut back on spending? Scott and I are both big savers, but there were still improvements we could make. For us, a lot of it centered around food, my favorite thing in the world…besides my soon-to-be husband of course.
- Eating Out.
This is simple: only one meal out a week, could be as simple as Subway or a nicer dinner out. My generation is so great at doing this… “Oh my, I just can’t afford to plan for my retirement or pay off debt, I have no money!” (As the cashier at Starbucks tells you your total,) “$10? Great! See you tomorrow! Where should we go to lunch today?” Prioritizing is the most important part of saving up and as hard as it might be to believe, we can all go without lunch out at work or the designer coffees each day. You’d be amazed at what you can save!
- Meal Planning.
Scott and I are now on a routine: Sunday afternoons we will devote 2 hours to meal prep for some of our lunches and dinners for the week. By making this a set amount of time we can be really deliberate and planned out, something that makes it easier and more routine. One of the most difficult parts of getting through the busy week is finding time. Time to sleep, time to work, to get home from work, to hit the gym, and still cook a good healthy meal. If we can plan in advance and have good meals ready to heat and eat we can save a ton of energy, time and money throughout the week.
Our favorite weekends include dinner and drinks with our neighbors and close friends, followed by catching a movie. For a fraction of the cost (but a little more planning) we can make dinner together, grab a Redbox® and still have a great time!
- Keep your goals and achievements CONSTANTLY visible.
Every time we don’t spend money, we are transferring it right into savings. With online banking we can easily watch it grow! We are also hanging a wedding countdown calendar on the wall and at the end of each month we will add up what we both saved just by making a few simple changes. Being able to constantly see the payoff of smart decision making is an excellent motivator!
By making a few changes to our routine, Scott and I will be able to give ourselves an additional buffer for wedding expenses and hopefully make these into permanent, money-saving habits. While there will always be days that I would prefer to start my morning with an incredible coffee, we know it’ll be worth it to get through the wedding without breaking the bank.
Written by Stacy Dannenberg
The ideas Stacy provides for savings strategies and for sticking to her wedding budget are specific to her situation. They are meant to give you a few ideas on where you could start saving for a specific event in your life. Be sure to implement the strategies that are best for you and your goals this year.
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).
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