HERE ARE 7 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR WEDDING
All Images by Ilaria Petrucci Photography (See the full shoot here)
I have never had alot of money. I was a student well into my 20’s and I become self employed almost as soon as I took off my cap and gown so saving has never really been an option for me. Although it has always been a huge worry (I wrote about it here), I got used to living paycheck to paycheck and I try to combat any added stress by living within my means. However, that all changed when I got engaged. Suddenly I am now very aware that I have no extra money, no savings, no assets and no bank of mum and dad, so how on earth am I going to help pay towards our wedding? Let alone a future together?
Well honestly, I am still yet to find the answer but I have done alot of research on budgeting, money saving tips and looking at ways to get extra income. I have come to realise that it is important to have a goal to work towards, it helps you focus on the whys and hows of what you need to do, to get you to your final savings goal.
So these are my top tips on how to save for your wedding. I am trying every single one of these myself, so I will be interested to know how they work out for you!
1. Track all your expenses
Save all your receipts and enter them into a spreadsheet at the end of every day. You’d be amazed at how quickly those minor expenses add up – coffee, lunch, gum. By recording your spending you will soon begin to think of smarter things to do with your money.
2. Open a savings account with good interest rates
Set a certain amount of money aside each month to go into your savings. It might be useful to set up a direct debit for the set amount to instantly transfer to your savings account, that way you probably won’t even notice it’s gone and you certainly won’t have time to spend it.
3. Save on Food
Take a packed lunch to work, create a weekly meal plan, find the best deals and don’t eat out. These are all great ways to save money.
4. Stop Making Excuses
I do this all the time and am constantly finding myself saying things like “I need to go and buy an outfit for so & so’s wedding” or “I need to buy new shoes for the event I will be speaking at.” We all do it but really it is just an excuse. Instead of saying “I need…” start thinking, it would be nice to have a new this, that or the other but it would be nicer to be able to afford to get married. The more you practice saying no to what you think you need, the less you will ‘need’ much at all.
5. Use extra money as extra savings
Often when we come into more money, we see it as a reason to celebrate and end up splurging but when you’re trying to save this is a mistake. If you continually increase spending every time you finances increase, you will never get ahead.
We were very lucky to have been given quite a substantial amount of money when we first announced our engagement, a gift from our family and friends. Our instant thought was to buy stuff for the house with it, until we sat down and realised it would be better off in a good savings account and could be used towards our wedding.
6. Set a Savings Goal
This is honestly one of the best tips I have come across and it really changed my mindset about spending. Decide when you would like your wedding to be and how much budget you think you would realistically need for your wedding, then divide this by the number of days you would have save to get that amount. So for example, I want to save £10k by June 2017, which means if I start saving next month, I would need to save £27.39 each day to reach my goal.
Now I know to some people losing out on nearly £30 a day might sound impossible and it might be depending on your income and expenses, but when you think that many couples spend at least £15 a day on the work commute, lunch, dinner etc it really isn’t that unrealistic. So by saving on the points I made above such as taking packed lunches to work and creating a meal plan each week to save you eating out, it might actually be possible to save that every day.
7. Get a part time job
I totally understand that this might not be possible for everyone however for me it made a lot of sense. Almost as soon as we got engaged I was offered a small part time job in my local pub. I had worked their for many years when I was a student and the owner was looking for someone experienced and thought to ask me if I wanted to go back to do a couple of shifts. I was already working at least 9-5 Monday to Friday on the blog and then some, (when you have a blog you are pretty much expected to be working on it 24/7). So by taking on this job I knew it would be tiring but when I did the calculations and I realised it would almost be £100 a week extra into our savings account I was game!
A few months down the line and I am really enjoying the job and not only for the money. Being a blogger can sometimes be really lonely, so it is the perfect excuse to get out of the house and have a bit of social life, rather than just existing behind a computer screen.
So what it really all comes down to is being smarter with your money. Yes you may have to quit getting your nails done or turn down a couple of nights out, but if it’s not going to be any use to your future, is it really worth having? From now I know I will be treating any spending as an investment.
I hope you have found these tips as helpful as I have? What are your saving methods and strategies? I honestly feel money is a topic we need to speak about more openly, it can be a source of so many problems so if we are able to face up to them and starting making better decisions, why not start now, the earlier the better right!
Maybe we could start a group on Facebook to spur each other on whilst we save money for the wedding of our dreams. Any budget recipe ideas or offers your might have found whilst out and about? It would be awesome to see how you guys save money whilst giving each other the support I am sure many of us will need.