(Closed) How have you been smart with money?

posted 6 years ago in Money
  • poll: What do you do to save money?
    Avoid credit and or education debt/ Save first spend later : (48 votes)
    21 %
    Create detailed budget to track and plan for every dollar spent : (20 votes)
    9 %
    Shop around for the best deals : (55 votes)
    24 %
    Couponing/ Grouponing : (26 votes)
    11 %
    Haggling : (8 votes)
    3 %
    Live WELL below our means : (26 votes)
    11 %
    Roommates and or borrowing things you don't need to buy : (8 votes)
    3 %
    Time intensive meal planning : (10 votes)
    4 %
    Automatic withdrawals into savings : (31 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 4
    Hostess
    2634 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Asia:  what is retailmenot? please educate me. 

    My Fiance and I made a budget on excel and stick to it (harder for me then him haha). Also for my wedding…my centerpeices…I purchased my own vases at thevaseplace.com . I purchased a 12 pack of vases for around $60 and will resell after….I say I will save money from that over renting. check out the site!

     

    http://www.thevaseplace.com

     

    Post # 5
    Member
    1902 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    My money saving tricks are top secret!!

    To be honest, my biggest money saving trick has been strict strict budgeting. Right from when I finished uni with exactly $1.87 in the bank, I’ve been saving. My first job was minimum wage (for about 20 hours a week) and I told myself I wanted to save at least $50 a week. So as soon as my pay went in, I’d put my $50 into a separate account that I couldn’t access easily. After doing that for three years and putting every cent I don’t need into a higher interest account, I’ve got about $20K saved up. Obviously, I got higher paying jobs from time to time, but I currently only need $220 a week to survive (allowing a little for misc. expenses), so anything over that in my paycheck goes straight into my big account.

    In terms of saving money on wedding expenses – my wedding is a community effort. Getting married in my parents’ property; catered by a family friend, aunts, bridesmaids and a few neighbours, while alcohol is provided at cost by a neighbour that runs the local pub. With the most expensive items being donated, pretty much our only “splurge” on wedding stuff will be our clothes and photographer.

    Post # 6
    Member
    1511 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    @Asia:  I’m told by my fiance constantly that I’m really good with money, but maybe that’s because he’s not so good with it.  Haha.

    Right now we’re both automatically transferring money into savings accounts (we each have our own and we recently opened joint savings and checking accounts).  It makes it easy because you really don’t even miss the money … It just goes into the designated account at the designated time and that’s the end of it.

    I don’t know if I really have any other tips or tricks to share.  I think if you have significant credit card debt (I definitely did a few years ago!), the best thing to do is just pay off huge chunks at a time on one card until the balance is $0 and then continue doing that until they’ve all been paid off.  I also always tell people to pay more than the minimum … Otherwise you will literally be paying on it for years.

    Post # 7
    Member
    280 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    The biggest thing is to pay yourself first. Add up all of your income and expenses and set a realistic budget, making sure that a certain percent automatically, off the top goes directly into a savings account. I have it parsed out a bit: x% goes to my pension (pretax as a government employee) and x% goes to my 401K pretax. From gross, I have $x directly deposited into a savings account attached to my checking. Of that money, a portion goes into a “Santa Saver” for the holidays, a portion automatically transfers to a high-interest savings account for long-term savings (the wedding, travel), and a portion stays in that savings account for an emergency fund. My budget also includes some discretionary spending each month, so I know that I have that much to spend on, say, shoes or clothes. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of staying in the budget. Same goes for the wedding. If we’re overspending in one area, we know that we have to cut something somewhere else.

    I definitely look for deals and try to only shop at certain places with a coupon. For example, I know that Macy’s regularly sends coupons in the mail, so I won’t shop at Macy’s until I get the coupon. But to be honest, my time is at least as valuable, if not more valuable, than money, so I don’t have the time to hunt for deals and cut coupons. If I see them, I take advantage, but otherwise, I know how much I have per month to spend (or per item in my wedding budget) and that’s what I try to spend. Yes, sometimes I go over and have to dip into savings, but then I try to pay myself back, even if it takes a few months. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    2253 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    We paid our wedding without debt, and even after the wedding, we’re trying to save as much as possible. Here are some of my tips that worked for my Darling Husband and me:

    1) Stop buying non-essentials. If you want a new look, I try to spruce up the outfit with new accessories than to buy a completely new one. Better yet, I borrow an outfit from one of my sisters;

    2) We omit eating out. It’s been fun to cook together and since there is only two of us meals stretch longer than with a traditional family of 4;

    3) Sit down with your weekly store ads and plan your shopping list. Only buy what’s on your list. We usually always do a crockpot meal of chili or a soup at least once a week. Cheap and filling;

    4) We don’t carry revolving debt on our credit. We use our credit to rack up cash back points and then pay off the balance every week to make sure we don’t get caught up in temptation. With our wedding expenses alone that we charged, we got $500 back!

    5) We keep track of our receipts for big expenses. Since our state has no income tax, we decided to do an itemized deduction this year to claim the sales taxes instead. **crossing my fingers** for a sweet tax return;

    6) Switched to generic brands for things like body wash, paper plates, and some medications (has the same active ingredients as name brand);

    7) Buy in bulk for things you know you will need like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissue paper;

    8) Best tip: Do fun things every now and then to treat yourself! Since you guys are working so hard to save, you want to avoid feeling dragged down. Best thing Darling Husband and I like to do is instead of eating a whole meal at a restaurant, we go out for dessert like ice cream or boba drinks.

    Good luck! 

    Post # 9
    Member
    668 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @Olive12:  Those are great tips! So smart!

    I’ve been OK with my wedding purchases, I wouldn’t say super frugal. I bought all of our vases for the centerpieces, buy one get one free. All of our picture frames that will be displayed at the reception at the Dollar store (couldn’t believe it!). And I picked up our jar assortment for the candy buffet right here on Weddingbee! I sent back the really expensive shoes in favor of ones that were on sale (and more comfy anyway). Oh and our caterer is a gourmet food truck! Saved a ton on that!

    My biggest splurge was the photographer and the band. Although I feel that both are worth the price.

    Post # 10
    Member
    569 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    our goal is to save 40% of our paycheck (after taxes and other deductions).. with a wedding this year it has been a bit hard but at least i have a budget and as long as i have some savings each month it is better than no savings..

    here are few things that i have done to save on wedding expenses:

    1. negotiate price for venue

    2. negotiate price for dress and veil

    3. look for discount/coupons

    4. buy used wedding decorations

    5. buy things that i can reuse later on for instance wedding card box, i will be getting a set of luggage which i will be using later to store some vacation photos and photobooks

    6. cupcake tower insted of tiered cake in order to avoid cake cutting fee

    7. no limo, no favors

     

     

    Post # 11
    Member
    2253 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @RiverBride13:  thanks! When i realized how much money we had saved to actually pay for our wedding, I thought, “why not continue it to help pay off student loans?”

    Wanted to come back to add what we did to save money specifically on our wedding:

    1) Made our own invitations and got such great compliments on them. I think each one came out to a little under $2 per invitation. Most companies wanted $6-$8 per invitation for a similar look. 

    3) Hand delivered the invitations that we could. Since people knew our info from the wedding website, they didn’t mind if the invitations were delivered via a family friend a week later.

    4) Haggle with cash. We got discounts on our cake, photographer, videographer, venue, and DJ with the power of upfront cash. My mindset was that the worse anyone could tell me was no. If they were down to deal, I saved. If they weren’t, I was no worse off than before.

    5) Go to consignment shops for things like wedding jewelry. Usually you’ll save about 50-70% off retail prices for things people have only worn once and that you will probably wear only once.

    6) Borrow what you can from friends or family who’ve been married before or see what a vendor will throw in for free. I borrowed my sister’s veil, gift box, and cake cutter since hers wasn’t engraved, and I could care less to keep my own. I also borrowed floral vases she purchased at her wedding. Since I provided the florists with the vases, it cut the cost of my overall bill. The reception venue provided champagne flutes and a bottle of champagne for every table. Perfect come toasting time.

    7) Accept your friends and family’s help if they offer it. My sister/MOH is ridiculously crafty and is a mean baker. She made my ring pillow and dessert bar for my reception.

     

    Post # 12
    Hostess
    18637 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    @KingsDaughter:  Retailmenot is a website that combines all the online coupons and discounts in one place.  All you do is search the company’s name on the website and it pulls up any available deals for that site.

    Post # 13
    Member
    8041 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2013

    @Asia:  Well… we are eloping. That will save us thousands. Neither of us really want to blow $25K on a one day party.

    As far as travel goes, though, like honeymoon… we use credit card points for flights and take advantage of all the travel bonuses that the card has to offer (Amex platinum).

    Post # 14
    Member
    11747 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Automatic transfers weekly to a savings account.  I started off having $100.00 biweekly go into savings.  Then, I added twice a week I have $25.00 go into a savings account – you barely notice it’s gone when it’s small amounts like that and you see your savings build up very quickly!

    I also have $25.00 a week autopay onto my credit card, in addition to making larger monthly payments – this helps to see the balance go down a lot quicker without taking a huge chunk of money away all at once!

    Push your savings as far as you can go – you can always transfer money back out if you NEED to, but once it’s in savings if you are like me, you won’t want to see the account go down so you’ll be more mindful about your spending.

    Post # 15
    Member
    1381 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    • Hubz and I choose to do homecooking virtually almost all the time.  We like to cook together πŸ™‚  We rarely order out.
    • We both have accounts with mint.com to keep track of every single account, our checkings/savings.. This website calculates your usual budgets and tells you when you overspend!  It also keeps track of investments, stocks, student loans, etc…  I feel mint.com is like a My Fitness Pal app for the wallet πŸ™‚
    • My man negotiates everything (as everything usually is negotiable).  He probably saved us around 8k on our car alone (he knows his cars), our auto insurance, rent, wedding vendors…. 
    • I myself despise shopping, so I tend to stay away from malls.  If I absolutely need something, I order from Amazon Prime which saves me in shipping and I am fully aware of the damage I spend
    • I love retailmenot.com too πŸ™‚
    • I love hitting up dollar stores to find good cheapie finds (drain plugs, napkins, etc) that would otherwise cost at least double in stores like Target or Walmart
    • I love searching this site for good deals that other brides find!

    Post # 16
    Member
    732 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Last year just after christmas, we had a really rough time with money.. we had little to no savings, no money left for food and a little baby girl that needed food. That being said. Id like to let you know that 6 months before that we went from 6 different paychecks, down to 1 and had a baby, so we were trying to figure everything out. Looking back, we could have done better. But we had never had to think about it before, there was always money.  It was a very rude awakening. We ended up not paying some bills to have money for food..but after that I dedicated myself to making a budget, sticking to it, keeping track of finances and ALWAYS having some back up money. 1 year later I can say it was very successul! We have savings, cash on hand at all times, and enough money for the wedding next month =D Im so proud of us.

     

    As for wedding saving things, we’re doing alot ourselves, keeping it small, the budget is $4000, my dress was the biggest splurge, but invitations we are doing on our own, im making my own wedding cake, we’re just doing a cocktail reception which we’re also making the food for and then we’re taking our immediate family to a restaurant after for dinner. So.. DIY is the way im saving. Also I got alot of friends who are helping do things for the wedding at a fraction of the cost. Like my friend is a pro photographer ( just starting out) but shes good, doing the whole day with unlimited pics for 150 dollars, and my other friend just graded beauty school and is doing my hair for 30 bucks when i was quoated at other places for 100. so asking around really helped with that too 

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