Posts in the 'Budget' Category
In the short time I’ve been engaged, I feel like I’ve got a lot of the big stuff done. I’ve booked my venue (an awesome 1920′s theatre in downtown Greensboro), secured my photographer, found a DJ, my dress is hanging safely in my parent’s spare bedroom, and I’ve sent out my save-the-dates. My mom recommended I assemble a spreadsheet as to track my expenses. Now, to be honest with you, math and financial responsibility have never been my strong suits, so I was a little apprehensive.
She walked me through all the columns and rows, and everything looked good. I was well under budget and feeling pretty good about it. Then, today, I remembered the caterers (Apparently its in good taste to feed people when they’re coming 1,000 miles for your wedding). We’re having Carolina barbecue for our meal, which is damn tasty (and cheap). Since I don’t have to give them the final head count until 3 days before the wedding, I calculated as if every single one of our guests RSVP’d yes.
YIKES. If everyone shows up, I will officially have approximately $250 left for the following:
- Flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, etc)
- Any decorations
- Bridesmaid gifts
- Hair/make-up for myself
Now, I know every single person we invite will likely not show up, but it’s still enough to skyrocket my anxiety through the roof, and start freaking out a little about my budget. Before today, I was fairly confident that I wasn’t going to have too many problems staying in the lines.
It looks like it’s time to get creative, and I would love to enlist my fellow broke-ass brides in any tips, tricks, or things I can do to get my life together. Please help me!
Looking for a gift for your maids to thank them for their love, support, and maybe even holding back your hair at your infamous bachelorette party? Showing your thanks no longer has to break the bank, thanks to Initial Outfitters. Initial Outfitters has tons of stuff that make perfect gifts, from monogrammed totebags to pashminas to on-trend jewelry and more! Initial Outfitters doesn’t only have things that would be excellent for your maids. They’ve also got excellent groomsmen gifts: monogrammed pocket knives, money clips, tie tacks, and the ultimate dude-to-dude gift, beer koozies. Because when someone is your bro, you want his beer to stay cold, and that’s a fact. Initial Outfitters should be your first stop when looking for a tasteful personalized gift to thank anyone in your life!
This week, one lucky BAB will win a monogrammed cake topper from Initial Outfitters! Want it bad? Get an easy free entry by subscribing to our newsletter. It’s packed with contests, deals, and we’ll never spam ya!
After the wedding is all said and done, photos are one of the few things you walk away with, so it only makes sense that you’ll want to have those babies in a beautiful album on the coffee table, ready for anyone who happens over to your home to ogle. Unfortunately, lots of couples end up with sticker shock when they price out said albums. Never fear: Libby James has got your back. Libby James is a professional color lab and industry-leading album manufacturer, so that modern design you wanted? They have it. Luscious covers? They have it. The best quality paper? They have it. And they’ve got it all at a price that won’t make you weep into your hanky. How do they do it? By being one of the big guys and cutting out the middleman markup, Libby James can sell albums at a fraction of the price of other companies, with an average turnaround time of only two days. So splurge! Get a larger size! Add a few more page spreads! Upgrade to a leather cover or a velvety soft matte cover! And take comfort in the fact that you’re getting the best quality for the best price possible…which is the best of both worlds.
This week, one lucky BAB will win a 10×10 Libby James 20 page Diamond Wedding album! Want it bad? Get an easy entry by subscribing to our newsletter! It’s jam packed with the best deals, steals, and contests from throughout the web, and we’ll never spam ya!
Hi everyone! I’m super excited to introduce myself as a contributor to the Broke-Ass Bride team!
My name is Jess & I’m getting married in August at the Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, CA. My fiance, Michael, and I have been together for three and a half years; we got engaged at the end of September.
As far as the proposal goes, I ruined it for myself a little bit. Michael was in LA for two weeks for job training & asked me (on like, Wednesday) to come up for the weekend, to which I of course replied: no. I had to work that weekend, weekends were when I made the most money anyway (I was waiting tables), plus, what a waste of time and money to drive two and a half hours each way for just one day!
To which he replied: it would mean A LOT to me if you would come.
…Which kind of gave it away.
The proposal itself was super fun: we went to Santa Barbara, did some wine tasting, had dinner on the pier & then went down to the beach where he proposed!
Let’s talk wedding! What’s my wedding inspiration? I would call it “laid-back vintage” (you can check out my Pinterest to really understand). My color palette is lavender, mint, and yellow and the whole thing is at the botanical gardens- I basically want it to be the most kick-ass garden party ever.
I’m super duper excited to be blogging for Broke-Ass Bride & can’t wait to plan my wedding with you!
Win This: Get Back On Track With Your Resolutions With Yoga Download! + Five for Friday: Lovely Lace Bridesmaid Dresses
So it’s almost the end of January: have you been slacking on your resolutions already? The ones where you promised to work out more or take more time for you? BUSTED. Here’s something that will help you get back on track with both: YogaDownload.
We’re been working with Yoga Download for a while already, so you may know the drill, but I’m going to recap for those of you just joining us: Basically any style yoga you’d like to practice, they have available on YogaDownload. You can download individual classes to watch later (whenever you’d like, forever!), or with a subscription, you can stream unlimited classes from any device: your PC, your tablet, your phone…so you can’t even use old excuses like “I’m traveling” or “there are no classes around me” or “I just can’t fit it into my schedule”! How much more relaxed, happy, strong, and full of serotonin-y goodness would you be if all of the barriers to entry to regular exercise are removed? That’s what Yoga Download can do for you!
This week, one lucky BAB will win a one month subscription (one download, unlimited streaming) from Yoga Download! Want it bad? Get an easy entry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter! It’s full of deals, steals, and giveaways from around the web (plus some exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else) and we’ll never, ever spam ya!
Oh, we’re not done yet, BABs! In this week’s Five for Friday, I scoured the Interwebz for sweet, lace bridesmaids dresses. I dug up a variety of shapes, sizes and colors … and all under $75! Feast your eyes, darlings!
xoxo – Christen
What do you think, ladies? Are you going with beautiful lace for your beautiful ladies on your wedding day?
A reader wrote in recently that she’d been struggling to find the perfect dress…until she saw it walk down the carpet at the Golden Globes on Sarah Hyland. Perfect, except for the color and the couture pricetag, that is.
Let’s see what we can do–we’re looking for something with a bateau neckline, a dropped waist, and some frothy goodness at the bottom!
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Georges Hobieka Couture, $$$
GET OVER IT
Satin and Tulle Gown (For Her & For Him, $269)
Ksenia’s A-Line Bateau Chapel Appliques Wedding Dress (TBDress, $188)
Knee length satin tulle dress inspired by Audrey Hepburn (Light in the Box, $149)
Side draped sheath/column bateau floor-length chiffon wedding dress (Light in the Box, $127)
Skinny white belt (Amazon, $10.99)
Bateau necklines are definitely on the rarer side–there were exactly two dresses at David’s Bridal with a bateau neckline when I did my search! But if none of these alternatives tickle your fancy, I’d suggest talking with a trusted tailor–I’ll bet they’d be able to come up with something a little more spot-on. I hope this helped!
If YOU have a dress, shoe, accessory, or other wedding accoutrement that you need help getting over, hit us up!
The stars must have aligned! Kiyonna, makers of my most-complimented dress ever, the Retro Glam Lace Dress, are having a sale which is uber-rare for them. Save $25 off of a purchase of $75 with the code SECRET25 from now through January 21st. It’s sadly not applicable to bridal, accessories, or shapewear (which you know I’m a fan of!) but you should definitely take advantage of this rare opportunity to pick up something pretty (or slinky!) for your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, Valentine’s Day, or some just plain you time. I’m eyeballing the Luna Lace Dress, myself. Or the Duchess Dress. Or the All Hours Dress. Or…
Wedding photography is so important; it’s one of the few things you’ll be able to keep after the big day is over. But fitting a quality photographer into your broke-ass budget can be a challenge, especially in a major metro area. Luckily, LA Budget Wedding Photographer has your back!
LA Budget Wedding Photographer operates under the principle that being on a budget is no excuse for bad wedding photos, so they offer great flat-rate packages and ala carte add-ons to fit your needs, from two hours of photography to an entire day. With all packages, you’ll receive printing rights to print your photos at the photo lab of your choice, and with most, you’ll receive a USB stick of unedited images the day of your wedding, so there’s no agonizing wait until you can post the entire shebang to the social media sites of your choice! With these rates, you must be getting amateur photographers, right? Not so! The group of photographers that comprises LA Budget Wedding Photographer are internationally published professionals who use quality equipment, have plenty of wedding experience under their belts, and carry backup equipment. You may have a number of worries on your mind on your wedding day, but when you use LA Budget Wedding Photographer, your photography needn’t be one of them!
This week, one lucky BAB will win a six hour wedding photography package (travel costs included) from LA Budget Wedding Photographer (Greater L.A. area only, package must be used by December 31st, 2014)! Want it bad? Get a free easy entry by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter! It’s packed full of deals and steals and we’ll never ever sell your email address or spam ya!
Welcome to 2014, my savings-savvy chickens! Whether you’re saving for a wedding, or were just left budget-blitzed by the holidays, chances are you’re among the millions of us resolving to save more money this year. And believe you me, I know the idea of changing our financial habits can be as daunting as it is desperate. Lucky for all of us, there are plenty of great resources and ideas to make saving money and spending smart less painful, and (dare I say it?) more fun, than ever before. To make things easy, I’ve rounded up my favorite methods to share with you, and save for myself!
1. Become a student at the school savings
First, if you’re getting married, go buy my newly-released book, The Broke-Ass Bride’s Wedding Guide! It’s chock-full of savings tips, tricks and ideas that will make your wedding planning and savings as smooth as silk! But if you want more lifestyle-oriented reading, I highly recommend Life or Debt 2010: A New Path to Financial Freedom, and Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partnerto school yourself on spending smart.
2. Get your accounts in order
Mint is a superduper money management website that I use religiously. I’ve never been good at keeping records of purchases, balancing checkbooks, or knowing where my money goes, but now Mint does it for me! Just plug in your bank accounts, investments, loans, etc. and Mint automatically pulls in all your transactions to one place, and puts them into categories such as “shopping” or “fast food” or (eep) “late fees” – but you can customize it however you want. It even creates charts to show you what you’re spending your money on, helps create budgets to keep you on track, and suggests ways to save. It notifies me when payments are due, or if an account drops below a certain dollar amount. The best part? Its FREE!
Another great resource like this is Godaddy’s Online Bookkeping (formerly Outright), which I use to track my business accounts in much the same way as Mint. Also free, also easy. I love it!
3. 52 Week Money Challenge
It’s simple pimple. Every week, you deposit the number of that week of the year into a savings account or piggy bank. So for the first week of 2014, you deposit $1; the second week, $2; and on from there. By the end of the year, you’ll have nearly $1,400 toward your fun fund! Check out this great chart to help you along the way.
4. Spare Change Bank
At the end of every day, toss whatever pocket change you’ve accumulated into a mason jar or box or whatever receptacle you like. Keep your bills, just unload your change. Depending on how often you use cash, you can save hundreds of dollars without even noticing! I found a digital coin-counting jar at Walgreens a few weeks ago for $4.99, and filled it with the change we’d been collecting for the past couple of months, just stuff we found around the house – not even from our wallets – and it was over $20!
5. $5 Savings Plan
Whenever a $5 bill comes across your grubby little hands, save it in a jar or envelope, and watch your savings grow over time! The more you incorporate using cash into your spending habits, the more you will save, and using cash is a great way to watch your money habits more tangibly than using credit.
6. Push the envelope
Speaking of using cash to track your spending, if you prefer tangible accountability, check out the envelope budgeting method. Just create a hard-and-fast budget that suits your income and lifestyle, and then create an envelope for each category and fill it with the cash allotted for that category within your budget. Then, when it comes time to spend, you use the money in that envelope, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Read more about envelope budgeting here.
7. Become a prime-time mom, (or just play one on the internet)
First off, if you’re not an Amazon Primemember, you need to be. For $79 a year you can get free 2 day shipping from Amazon or $3.99 overnight shipping. The great thing is that your membership is good for up to 4 family members as well. The key is to pool with 4 other “family members” (friends can be family, too) to share the membership. Free 2 day shipping all year for less than $20 sounds good to me! To add a member: Enter the person’s name, relationship, e-mail address and birthday in the appropriate fields and click “Invite.” An invitation e-mail message automatically will be sent to the e-mail address you entered. Note that invited members will need to know the month and day of your birthday to accept your invitation.
Then once you’re a Prime member, get familiar with their Subscribe & Savefeature. For products you purchase regularly, pick monthly delivery date, and they’ll be automatically delivered on the schedule of your choosing, either once a month, two months, or every three or four or five or six months. This saves you 5% on your Subscribe & Save items, just like that – and up to 15% on your entire order when you receive 5 or more subscriptions on your monthly delivery day! Rachet it up to a clean 20% by signing up for Amazon Mom, which only requires a birthdate some other info about your baby (real or imaginary) and requires no extra membership fees or commitments. It’s a simple way to save 20% on your regular necessities, such as paper towels, soap, vitamins, detergent, et cetera!
8. Cash in on your style
Your closet might be hiding a whole new income stream, fashionista. And sites like Poshmark and Tradesy are an incredible way to offload your duds in exchange for dollars, from the comfort of your home. Simply upload a few photos and some info about the items you’re looking to sell, and browsers online looking to upgrade their style can purchase your castaways and breathe new life into them. It’s also a great way to shop for new or gently-used brand names in clothes, accessories or shoes for yourself – even wedding dresses!
9. Decode the codes
Never, ever, ever buy anything online without googling for promo codes or coupons for whatever site you’re shopping. Sites like retailmenot.com specialize in rounding up deals online and you wouldn’t believe how often there are discounts to discover and all you need is a simple code to plug in before you hit “check out”!
10. Forecast your fares before booking travel
Bing Travel, formerly Farecast, intelligently filters airfare data to reveal the best prices on flights. When you find the flight you want, you get redirected to the airline’s site to book your travel directly. Their handy dandy Travel Price Predictor can advise you whether fares are rising, holding steady, or dropping, and whether you should buy now or wait, to get the best deal possible:
11. Spend the night with Tingo
Use Tingo.com to book your hotel room, and they’ll watch your rates to get you money back if the price drops anytime after you book your stay! It’s like price insurance, for free.
12. Get rewarded for spending money
Sign up for a cash-rewards credit card, and start buying everything with it. We use the Capital One Venture Card, you know, the one with Alec Baldwin in all those funny commercials, and have earned enough miles to cover our honeymoon flights, round-trip, just by charging every possible living expense possible. But there are tons of options, so do your research and find the best one for you! With all the large expenses of a wedding going into it, creating rewards, you can put all that spending toward savings!
13. Bet on your health
I’m a big fan of Dietbet.com – in fact my latest game with them starts today, and it’s not too late to join! You simply buy into the game for $25, betting you can lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days – which usually equates to about 1-2lbs/week, so it’s a very safe and attainable goal. If you achieve your goal, you get to split the pot with everyone else who did, too – not only winning back your bet, but often making even more than that! In my last bet, the team of 512 players lost a collective 3,000lbs, and the winners won $40 each! It also provides a great community aspect via their cheerboard, with loads of opportunities for support amongst your fellow players. And you can join as many games as you like at one time, to increase your winning odds and dollars earned. So if you’re looking to shed a few pounds this year, DietBet can provide the motivation and accountability you need to succeed, while winning a few bucks in the process!
14. Stay In
My parents were trying to lean down a bit, and came up a brilliant plan: wine and cheese fridays. Instead of going out for dinner and spending a handful on wine, apps, entrees, and dessert – they stay in and linger over wine, cheese, and crackers for an in-home, inexpensive date night. If wine and cheese doesn’t quite light your fire, try picking a new recipe each week to cook together.
So there you have it – my top 14 savings tips for 2014! Please share your own favorite tips in the comments… I know I’ve only scratched the surface here!
Go forth and save, my friends!