Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Budget

Ugh! Money! We have 10 months until the wedding and a million things to pay for. My parents are extremely generous and are taking care of the majority of the wedding, which I am so unbelievably grateful for. But, there are some things J and I have committed to taking care of, like our wedding bands, our honeymoon, gifts for the wedding party and other little things here and there. Turns out all those little things add up quite quickly. We have been putting money away since we got engaged (thank you Coffee Buzz tip jar) but we really need to start putting more aside if we're going to be able to do and get all things we want.

I figure now that a new year is starting, this is a perfect time to try and change some habits to help save some money. This will help us out now with the wedding and hopefully these habits will stick and help us save for a house, fun trips and other big expenses in the future!

I started out by making a monthly budget for myself. I added up all the bills I must pay (stupid bills) and then approximated all the other things I spend my money on each month, like groceries and gas. Well, unless I want to give up eating (which may not be a bad idea) I am not left with much money for fun or savings. Let's face it I have to have spending money. As much as I want and need to save I need to be able to spend money for my sanity. I've come up with a couple of ideas to help me save more and spend less. Some of them are coming from a website I found and some of them I came up with all on my own....

-Eat more meals at home! Heck, I'm spending all that money on groceries might as well eat them.

-Host more Saturday night game nights instead of spending the night on the town (get it...spending the night....going out is expensive!) Plus, this will help me to keep our house clean! Double points!

-Switch gyms! Right now I belong to LA Fitness and I love it because it's less than half a mile from Coffee Buzz but I'm paying $29.99 for the membership and another $56.00 for two personal training session a month! J works at Lifetime Fitness part time keeping stats for their basketball league and gets a free membership because of it. Now that we're engaged I get a free membership as well! That's almost $100 a month I will be saving!

-Work more hours at Mary Kay's. I am working part time at Mary Kay's Bridal to pay for my wedding dress! Once it's paid off I will be able to bring home that money and believe me, it will be going straight in to savings! The more hours I work, the quicker my dress will be paid for and the faster our savings account will grow.

-Each paycheck I am going to withdraw a set amount of cash and this will be my spending money until my next paycheck. My card will be used for bills, gas and groceries ONLY! This will be a huge challenge but will really help control my spending, if I can pull it off.

-Write a list before shopping and stick to it. This would help me soooo much, especially at Target. I can go in to Target for advil and mittens and come out with $150 worth of stuff. I really need to take advantage of my love for list-making.

-Drink more water! First, I need to do this anyway and second, I buy so many damn Powerade Zeroes it's not even funny. If I just drink the free water I have I would save a ton....I wish there was a way to see how much I've spent on Powerade Zeroes over the last year, actually I take that back. I don't want to know.

-My poor hair is going through a lot right now, that's for a different post. So, I'm not coloring it until before the wedding. This will save me money too!

-Buy in bulk. We have a Sam's Club membership for Coffee Buzz, but I should really use it for personal stuff too....like toilet paper, garbage bags, dish soap, and other household items we go through pretty quickly.

Now, this is where you come in. What money saving tips do you have?


Katie said...

ahh I remember these days. We did the same thing and paid for our honeymoon, gifts, and bands. It adds up! Just make sure you set a certain amount of what you want to spend on each bridesmaid/groomsmen and don't go over it. For the honeymoon, all inclusive is the way to go :) Do you have any ideas where you want to go for your honeymoon yet?

I drink the Blue Powerade Zero's like everyday..they are great!! and I belong to Lifetime Fitness - I am obsessed with it! I love it there :)

Kelly said...

Best of luck with your resolution to save more and spend less!! That is AWESOME that you get a free membership to Lifetime! And working at a bridal shop to pay off your dress is just genius ;-)

Nicole-Lynn said...

All of your ways to save sound great! Weddings are so expensive! It is definitely challenging, but we are making some adjustments as well!

CMae said...

Hang in there! Like you said, stick to your lists and you should be ok!

Domestically Deficient said...

Those are great money saving ideas. It's just the hubs and I at home, but I cook for an entire family. I figure it's good practice and having leftovers is key. It means I only have to cook 2-3 nights a week. Plus, I pack us lunches for work. It's crazy how much that saves and you end up eating healthier, which is always good for the waistline pre-wedding.

Samantha said...

You have such a good idea for using your card only for the essentials. groceries. and gas pretty much. I think Im going to try this also. Our wedding is Oct 9,2011 and we have a lot we need to be saving for.

steph c said...

It sounds like you already have really great ideas for saving money! We are in a similar spot; our wedding will be entirely self-funded and we REALLY don't want to go into debt for it. One thing we ended up doing (and I know this isn't for everyone) is getting rid of cable (big sad). It's seriously saving us over $100 a month! We're also cooking more at home and having home date nights and game nights with friends. Good luck!

Young and Fabulous said...

Hey girl!

I wish I had some advice for you :( I haven't had to save for anything this big before (like a wedding), but from the looks of it, you're well on your way to becoming a savvy, money savin, bride! i think your ideas are GREAT and will help in the long run :)


Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints said...

BB - wedding budgets suck. Life budgets suck. But at least we have each other! LOL

Miss K said...

You can totally do it!! Matt and I are paying for the entire wedding by ourselves. Thankfully, my mom bought my wedding dress, but I'll be buying everything else that goes with that. Our entire budget is $10K (not including the honeymoon) and I'm pretty sure we'll be able to stick to it bc of some of the sacrifices we've made both personally and with choices for the wedding.

For the honeymoon, if you book before January 1st, so by Friday at the latest, Sandals resort is having some GREAT deals (well under $5K depending on your room). That's where we'll be going, we're looking to get it all taken care of this week. I've heard nothing but good things about the resort and it's completely inclusive so that will help save money while we're there.

If you're interested, I can send you the budget we're using. I found it online based on percentages, so using those you can find out how much you can spend on each item based on your budget. It's working really well for us and really puts things in perspective.

Good luck girly!!

Krystal Sandoval said...

I hope all goes well, and things will fall into place. I love your blog!


Kristen @ All In My Twenties said...

I can only imgine having to save for a wedding!!! Your ideas seem like good ones so stick to them and youll be set!!!

Hope your holidays were amazing!!

Jessica said...

We go to Costco for all our meat. When we get home, we split it into one pound ziplock baggies and freeze it. Saves us a boatload!

Switching to a free gym is gonna save you a ton! So lucky!

every little kiss said...

Have you tried using mint.com to track your spending? It really helps you see where you might be "bleeding" money by showing you how much money you spend in different categories. I have a Target problem too, which became very evident once I started using mint.com!