You really need to take a look at your budget and see where your money goes and what is NECESSARY and what is not. Here’s stuff I recently cut back on:
Mani/Pedi is $14+tip – I now do my own nails and go maybe once every 2 months (or longer even) for a mani/pedi.
Dye and Highlights – I used to get my hair dyed and highlighted. It’s too expensive. I now go to a local place that sells professional dye for $10. They match the color for you. I do one solid color for $10 instead of a single process at $60-70 or highlights at well over $100.
I take the train and subway to work instead of drive (I do live in NY so this really isn’t as big of a hassle as public transportation is elsewhere, I’m sure).
My Fiance and I walk almost everywhere and I just bought a bike ($88 from walmart) for myself.
I have a gym membership that is $60/month for a Zumba studio, but I get $500/year back from my job. Otherwise, it would be groupons and living social deals and being creative with running outdoors and do workouts at home.
We cook as much as we can at home over eating out.
I haven’t purchased ANY new clothes in over a year and I refuse to for a long time. I don’t really NEED new clothes. I’ll buy new clothes when I need it – like $5 t-shirts or flip flops from Old Navy.
I told my friends we weren’t exchanging bday or xmas gifts. It went over really well. We saved over $1000 in christmas gifts this past xmas. We all went out as a group for a brunch instead and it was a lot more fun. You should consider telling family to hold off on bday/xmas gift exchanging until after the wedding is over, as well.
If we do eat out, go out, buy clothes, get extra gym things, etc – check out groupon, livingsocial, lifebooker, bloomspot, ideeli, shopittome, hautelook, slickdeals, dealoftheday, etc. there’s tons and tons of deal sites. never buy something full price, it always goes on sale.
We shop at places like Walmart and Target and we get some REALLY nice things. I really really really hate to pay for shipping, but sometimes shipping is cheaper than the time and gas spent to go to the store and sometimes the online deals are better.
Check coupons online and in circulars. I’m not a big couponer, but always always always google for coupon codes before buying anything.
I don’t know about other drugstores, but my Fiance and I get 20% off everything at RiteAid. You sign up for a free wellness card and once you hit $1000 points, you get 20% off all future purchases (or the sale price, whichever is cheaper). We let people use our card all the time to quickly rack up the 1000 points and then you get 20% off for the full year next year.
If you don’t have to buy a new car, don’t. Shop aruond for cheaper insurance rates – I heard of some people increasing their deductable to get cheaper monthly rates. If you can buy an older car, do so.
I learned a lot of these little things by reading the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It’s life-changing.
When it comes to wedding dress shopping, you can always ask if they will work with you on the price – especially in the smaller boutiques. Ask if they’re offering any incentives, any deals, etc, or what kind of deal they can offer on the sample dress. And, don’t be fooled into buying an expensive veil (they should NOT cost $400 – you’re only wearing it for an hour!).
Time is money. Do your research! Good luck!