Tag: Budgeting

How to Throw an Intimate Dream Wedding on a Budget

Do you want a large and extravagant wedding? Or would you rather only invite your family and closest friends?

A wedding is a time for love and celebration. There are plenty who go all out for their wedding. But some would rather say “I do” in front of the small select they love most.

Are you inviting only a few select people for your wedding? There’s another benefit of an intimate wedding: they’re cheaper. But weddings are still expensive. You may still be surprised at the high costs you still have to pay.

Are you prepping for your intimate dream wedding? Here’s how to have the best wedding while working with a tight budget.

Factor Everything Into Your Budget

When planning a wedding, it’s easy to go minimalist on the d?cor but splurge on the catering. Factor everything into your budget.

This is what a wedding requires:

  • Ceremony and reception space
  • Marriage officiant
  • Bridal gown
  • Grooms tux
  • Bridesmaid dresses
  • Groomsmen tuxes
  • Photographer
  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Catering
  • Cake
  • Alcohol and beverages

And this doesn’t include all of the small details that will make your wedding unique.

Have a set budget for each aspect of your wedding. Cut down on certain areas if needed.

For example, if the bride spends a lot on her gown, then keep accessories at a minimum. Instead, dress up the bridesmaids with lovely but affordable jewelry such as rose gold. Read more here.

Use Leftover Money Toward Your Guests

Let’s say you budgeted hard and spent less than you expected. It’s easy to spend the extra cash on a lavish honeymoon. But gifts are better when you give rather than receive. Instead, treat your guests.

Book a hotel for all of your guests from out-of-town. Buy a complimentary bottle of wine or other alcohol for your guests. Choose the fanciest restaurant for your rehearsal dinner. You can even schedule a limo service to pick up your guests.

What if you spent all of your budget? You should still treat your guests. Find little gifts to include in a gift basket. You’ll also be surprised what a box of chocolates and a fresh flower bouquet can also offer.

Never Forget the Details

When planning the location and dress and all other wedding necessities, it’s easy to overlook the details. When couples plan a lavish wedding, they hire a wedding planner who takes the details into consideration.

An intimate budget-friendly wedding doesn’t require a wedding planner. But you should still think like a wedding planner and include all of the little details.

Surprisingly, these details can make your wedding more affordable. Minimalist d?cor, such as flowers, beats out anything lavish. Do as much DIY as you can. Create your own wedding invitations and thank you notes.

Entertainment Matters

When you invite a couple hundred guests to a wedding, they can easily talk amongst themselves and be entertained.

But what if you only invite a small group of people? They get bored pretty easily. This is why entertainment is more important at a smaller wedding.

But you can still save money on entertainment.

There’s always the classic DJ. But rather than hire the expensive local celebrity DJ, find a newbie DJ or even just a close friend with a great sound system. Create your own playlist so you don’t have to use one of theirs.

Another great and affordable option: hire a band. You can easily find a local band for cheap or even a young musician who needs some gigs.

Is music still expensive? There’s no reason to skip out on the entertainment. Affordable alternatives include a fireworks show, animals and pets, bouncy castle, make-your-own-cocktail bar, comedian, karaoke, and fire breathers.

Only Splurge On the Ceremony

Who needs a wedding reception? Actually, you don’t need a wedding reception. Sure, doing the chicken dance with grandma after getting cake smashed in your face sounds like fun.

But you’re tacking on more costs for a wedding space, food, and entertainment.

Instead, splurge on the ceremony. After you say “I do,” everyone briefly mingles and the wedding is over.

Afterwards, you can host a house party with you and your friends. You can play your own music, buy cheap alcohol and beer, eat snacks, and spend the next part of the night with your amazing friends.

Don’t Choose a Basic Wedding Venue

When you search for a wedding venue, you probably come across a variety of different places. But they’re all pretty expensive. To save money, don’t settle for a basic wedding venue.

Who knew the warehouse the groom owns would be the perfect place for a wedding. What about the off-the-beaten-path parks and forests? These are lovely and cheap (or free!).

Other ideas include a local restaurant, bar, brewery, nightclub, concert venue, or an art gallery.

And worst come to worst, there’s always a family home or a backyard. If your home isn’t glamorous, you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to rent out their luxury home.

Have a Timeline

It’s easy to be burdened by surprise wedding costs.

The easiest way to stick to your budget is having a timeline. Make sure your cake is made by a certain time, you pick out all dresses and tuxes at a certain time, and arrange to have everything paid for during a certain timeframe.

A timeline not only saves money. It helps keep you organized. To ensure everything is paid off and documented, keep a document or a spreadsheet.

Time to Plan Your Dream Wedding

Everyone has different reasons to plan an intimate wedding. Some would rather not go over-the-top. Others only want their closest relatives and friends involved with the ceremony.

It’s possible to have a small and cheap dream wedding. You just have to plan and budget well. Think outside the box with a wedding venue and entertainment. Skip the reception and all of the fancy d?cor. Only spend what you need.

You’ll be surprised how amazing and easy a minimalist wedding is.

For more ways to save on a wedding and other aspects of your life, visit our blog.

How to Build Your Own Personal Monthly Budget

personal monthly budget

Building a personal monthly budget is a piece of cake. Get your slice of the action now.

An average of 40% of American families have a monthly budget. You can become one of them!

If you want financial security, creating a budget can change your life. It gives you the knowledge you need to handle your finances appropriately.

You, too, can enjoy the benefits of a budget.

The following information will help you create a budget of your own.

Identify How Much You Make For a Personal Monthly Budget

In order to make a personal monthly budget, you have to identify how much you make. To determine how much you can spend, you need to know how much money you have coming in.

Remember all the details. Subtract your taxes, Social Security, and any other things you need to pay. Be sure to also subtract fixed expenses like rent, bills, car insurance, and other payments.

It’s important to maintain financial awareness. You should always know what’s in your checking and savings accounts as well as any other accounts you have. This reduces your chances of overdrawing your account or making a major financial mistake.

Determine your net worth. To do this, you subtract the amount of money you owe from the amount of money you have. In the end, you should have a number amount you can work with.

Once you know how much money you’re making, you have to know more.

Identify Where Your Money Goes & Set Goals

Now, you need to find out where your money is going. What do you spend your money on?

There’s a lot of ways you can become accountable for your expenses. For instances, you can start tracking your spending by writing down your purchases in a diary or spreadsheet.

You might have a habit or hobby that’s taking up more finances than it should. You might be surprised once you take a closer look at your purchases.

You also need to set financial goals. Paying off debt or saving money are only two of the goals you might choose. These goals can be short-term or long-term.

It matters that you have a plan for your money instead of spending it.

Become a Responsible Spender

Once you’ve set financial goals, it’s time to start achieving them. Put your financial plan into action by becoming a responsible spender.

You can become a responsible spender with the right life skills. See more!

In order to become a responsible spender, you need to be able to tell the difference between needs and wants. For instance: You might think cigarettes are a need, but you’ll find that quitting can save you a lot of money you can spend elsewhere.

Once you have a personal monthly budget, only buy what you can afford. Can you actually afford movie night or can Netflix do the trick? Try doing date night on a budget instead of with frivolous spending.

You need to ask yourself these questions in order to reduce your spending.

Be conscious of every transaction you make. Make sure all of your spending is within the limits of your budget.

Your Budget is Counting On You

A personal monthly budget can bring you a sense of financial security. The more you save, the better off you’ll be.

Learn more tricks about how to budget, save, and lead a more fulfilling life. You won’t be sorry.

Top 5 Reasons to Use An Expense Tracker

Expense tracker

Think of an expense tracker, and two emotions will likely pop into your head. You either feel intimidated, or you see how it can add value to your budget and keep spending on the right path.

We know how people view technology can vary depending on generational barriers or an absence of financial literacy. But in much the same way smartphones had a small learning curve when you first bought one, these tools are no different.

The make the complex intuitive, and they add several life-changing benefits. Let’s look at the top five.

1. They Isolate Spending Problems

Low-income households spend a higher percentage of their budgets on the necessities of life. This makes tracking each dollar of the utmost importance.

Four-dollar lattes just aren’t as appealing when you realize the same amount of money could feed the entire family for a night. Using an expense tracker helps you identify such problems and regain control.

The good news: you can make your dollar stretch further by bulk-purchasing wholesale items. It may take planning and a few weeks of sacrifice while you stock up, but once the routine is in place, you don’t have to look for the money you’re saving.

2. Help Maintain the Household Budget

Any budget breaks down into five essential categories. They are as follows:

  • Income/revenue sources: how you meet every other goal; easy to calculate because sources are usually more limited than they are on the debit side.
  • Spending and expenses: things you don’t necessarily have to buy, but you feel compelled to (health insurance, grocery bill, entertainment, for examples).
  • Bills: what you either have to pay if you wish to enjoy civilization, or what you’re legally obligated to pay (taxes, water/sewer, utilities)
  • Planning for future purchases: boats, homes, braces for your kids, etc.
  • Long-term savings

To keep it all running smoothly and to meet your life goals, you have to know where each dollar is going. Or else, you could end up getting the electricity turned off.

3. Get You Back on Your Feet Following Missteps

The key to staying on budget is to understand failure is part of it. You must have a contingency for when that happens, because it will.

Using an expense tracker motivates you to do better. But to get the most out of it, find one that’s easily accessible and incorporates with the cloud.

This Tiller Money review highlights a budgeting tool that links to Google Docs, so you can work with one of the most widely supported systems you’re probably already using. Other worthwhile trackers include Personal Capital and Mint.

4. Make April Easier

Tax season is the most stressful time of the year. But it’s much worse if you wait until the last minute to locate and add up a year’s worth of receipts.

Using a tracking tool to do it eases the pressure. Most of the good ones allow you to log receipts as you get them (with images), categorize in compliance with IRS reporting regulations, and easily retrieve the necessary numbers when you need them.

5. Detect Fraud

If you bank online, then you have sensitive data on your email accounts. If your email account is set up through Yahoo, then you’ve been compromised at some point.

To what extent, who knows? The important thing is being aware of it and taking appropriate action.

An expense tracker will bring awareness to fraudulent activity. It also will enable you to act before too much damage occurs.

After Your Expense Tracker Is in Place

Once you’ve got a tracker you can trust, we encourage you to take positive actions with your budget. You can start by making these 10 healthy money-saving choices.

In the meantime, which of these budgeting tools do you use, and why do you prefer it? Drop us a line in the comments section.

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