Post # 1
I know there are posts about loans and how people can people possibly afford weddings, but I wanted to start a thread about how the people who didn’t take out loans actually saved up.
Now, I know when you look at the LARGE final number, it can be quite scary. We are wanting to save up $10k for our wedding before 2012. It doesn’t seem possible with when you factor in what you have to pay for every month like rent, gas, food, ect.
What we did was set up an account through http://www.mint.com where we could set up budgets for things and actually stick to it. We also set up a savings account through http://www.smartypig.com
So now that we can see what we are spending and have a high yield savings set up, it was time to talk numbers. It wasn’t like we could say, “lets save $500 a month” with our current expenses. So we decided the only way we were going to save up was to sacrifice.
Example: I’m a Starbucks whore. Yes. I use to go to Starbucks 5 days a week, twice a day. Doesn’t sound bad until you add it up. $10 a day turns into $50 a week and turns into $200 a month which turns into $2,600 a year. HOLY CRAP! That can pay for a photographer! So I have given up Starbucks and decided to make coffee at home every morning and night. One $10 bag of fresh roasted beans is lasting us about a month. So every week I put the $50 into our savings account.
Example 2: SO is giving up soda. Every day he spent $1.20 at the vending machine for Pepsi, but he’s ready to give it up. That’s $438 saved in a year.
Example 3: SO is trying to quit smoking and has cut back a lot. INstead of spending $6 every day on cigarettes, he is now only spending $6 every other day. So that money is being transferred over.
Now these are just some examples so far. We will be getting back two years of tax returns before our wedding also, so there is the large chunk of it.
Other things we are doing:
- Only going out to eat once a month. (That includes lunches)
- Only going to the bar with friends once a month. (Those pints of Guinness add up!)
- Downgrading our cable package. We figured we are not home enough to watch 2000 channels. Why are we paying for them?
- Decreasing our 401K contributions to 1% for just one year. It might not be much savings, but it’s something! Every penny counts!
So that’s how we are saving without taking out loans. We are planning as if no one is helping. ^_^
- We are also trying to skill swap as much as we can. SO if a graphic/web designer and we are going to try and barter as much as we can to save.
Share your tips!
Post # 3
I too, have become a saving fiend! I now save up around 60% of my earnings — I stayed away from malls, Ebay, and Etsy! Haha!
Post # 4
It was pretty easy for us because I am a HUGE shopoholic! Between Gilt, Ideeli, Haute Look, Rue La La, Groupons, Lifebooker, and all the other “discount” websites… I can spend hundreds a week so I just reigned that in a little and was able to save an extra $500 a month.. Plus we like to go on vacation every 3-4 months so we cut back on that…Kind of, I went to NO twice this year, the Dominican republic, L.A. twice and Texas once. This for us is a light travel year. So here we easily saved another $1000.
Lastly Mr got another job copy editing in his free time which gives us an extra $800-$1000 a week.
We are pretty lucky and have been able to save about $15,000 in just six months 😛
Post # 5
Luckily my parents are covering the wedding but that doesnt mean im free of expenses! rings, gifts, (we are covering the church) among other things. My lease of for my apartment was up in june so i moved home and started putting my rent money in savings…i have a good chunck of change now 🙂
Post # 6
My daughter will start kindergarten next year so I will be saving $600 extra a month for not paying for daycare/pre-school. Can’t wait! lol
Post # 7
SO and I have been trying to save as well since we are paying for the wedding on our own. I’m currently working 2 jobs and SO has picked up some extra work at his current job. Right now he’s in the works for a possible promotion. I’m crossing my fingers he will get it!!!
Post # 8
we’re having a cheap wedding, and we’re paying for it ourselves. we got the venue for free, the chapel for free, the reception place for free (we just have to buy food). we got pretty lucky with that…
Post # 9
We mainly used our tax return from this year. Originally I didn’t realize that weddings were so expensive, and I didn’t want anything over the top. I was happy just to get married in a local park and find a place where we could make and bring our own food. So we saved $2000 from our tax return. When I actually started researching vendors such as a photographer (top priority!) I was floored and when I had a really hard time finding a venue that would allow us to bring our own food, I knew that $2000 wasn’t going to go far. But I was still willing to do it because that is what I had told my husband that I would spend. Luckily friends and family came through unexpectedly…
- My mom offered to pay for the food at the reception ($2000- $800)
- My brother offered to pay for the photographer ($500)
- My grandparents offered to contribute $1200
- My good friend/bridesmaid offered to pay for the majority of the ceremony venue after I saw it and instantly fell in love and couldn’t afford it. ($750)
- Then my Mom decided to get a harpist ($275)
So we didn’t really save, and we didn’t spend over that $2000 (or at least not by much, just little bits here and there). And neither of our families have a lot of money so it was a stretch for these wonderful people to contribute. The total cost ended up being somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000 for the entire wedding.
If we had to save, we probably would have waited a year or so and put back a couple thousand dollars from each tax return in addition to saving each month. My husband is a server so he brings home cash every day that he works, 5 days a week. He would have taken $20 per day out of his tips which would ad up to roughly $400 per month, which is $4800 per year. After one year of waiting and saving we would have had about $7000.
Post # 10
we just cut back on everything. going out, eating out, traveling, etc. we’re also reducing the gifts we’d buy for each other and i’ve been a lot more careful about grocery shopping and sticking to a budget. and just in general NOT buying other stuff. and we set up an auto-transfer from each of our checking accounts into our joint wedding savings account so that we dont have to DECIDE to save that much every month, it is just done for us.
Post # 11
How do you like using SmartyPig? I have been debating setting up an account there for a while. I am pretty good at “paying yourself first”. I put the money into my savings account and ear mark it for different things (vacation, etc) but I think it would be easier if I had a website to keep it all seperate.
Post # 12
Well we certainly had some creative ways of saving money!
- I sold 28″ of my hair last March, and that is covering our catering ($1,750)
- I get a lot of meal money for when my band travels, which is basically free money because it more than covers food on those trips. So far I have saved almost $300, which is going to alcohol
- My cousin, who is an amazing photographer, is doing our photos as a gift
- We are not having a DJ or band–just making our own playlist
- My parents are covering the cost of renting our ceremony and reception venue (which saved money just by having both in the same place), the cost of my dress and all alterations, and the flights to and from our honeymoon
- M’s dad is paying for the boys’ outfits and the rehearsal dinner
- Which leaves M and me to spend about $1,250 out of pocket for the remainder of the wedding, plus the rest of the honeymoon expenses
Whoo! When I lay it out like that it barely seems like we’re spending anything!
Post # 13
We really didn’t wanna go into debt because of the wedding so we have decided to save at least $1200/mo of our combined paycheck. That plus two tax returns and bonuses and we are hoping to get close to the projected wedding cost a month before the wedding. Our projected cost is actually pretty sizeable…I’m still trying to think of ways to cut that back. I’ve also picked up a second job and currently trying to rent one of the rooms in our house.
Post # 14
@caszos: The only thing I would say about the smartypig is check where they are investing the money (or loaning it to). With the housing market the way it is I fully expect to see a plunge in the bond market. I see alot of these savings plans heavily invested in bond markets. Just something to check out first.
Post # 15
I think the best thing to do is look at what your main splurge is – and see how you can cut back on that.
The biggest way I cut back was to cut on spending on food/drinks/dining out. We love to cook, and I would find myself going to the grocery store easily 5-6 days a week and its nearly impossible to get out of there for under $40 (impulse buys while shopping when hungry), especially if you are also buying wine/beer.
We set up a weekly meal plan, and sticking to that really helped save $. We started buying our wine by the case from the liquor store which is cheaper by the bottle than the grocery store, and they give us a 10% discount if we buy by the case.
Eating out – this was the “big winner”. We used to go out to lunch every Sat (typically $50), and then brunch on Sunday (typically $60). We would also go to dinner every other weekend, sometimes with friends (average $150 for just us). We cut that down to once a month for each, instead of weekly, and had more friends over, instead of meeting out at restaurants.
Additionally, I just had $500 from each paycheck directly deposited into my savings – out of sight, out of mind.
Post # 16
We didn’t cut back, but instead increased our income. Both of our jobs allow us to do overtime and we decided to do 20 hrs OT every two weeks until the wedding. All of our OT funds go straight into a wedding savings account.