Getting engaged should be one of the happiest times of your life, but it can also be one of the most stressful ones. Determining a budget, and figuring out how to stick to it can be both challenging and in some cases, even depressing. Comparing yourself to others, or their weddings can sometimes be inevitable. Instead, fight those urges and work on what you can do instead of focusing on what you can’t. Once you have a plan, you’ll not only feel better, but can work on building towards it. Not everyone has the luxury of having their wedding paid for, and those that do are lucky. (Although they would certainly tell you they pay their own price.) Others have mostly each other and their own personal savings and earnings to work with when planning their big day. No matter what those numbers are, you can both add to and stretch those dollars with a few simple ideas. Even if some might seem minor, combining all these efforts together can definitely help you to curb spending and even earn a few extra dollars while you plan. You’ll find that with little details, you can actually save big and find some significant ways to save for a wedding.
11 Small (but Significant) Ways to Save for a Wedding
1. Cancel your gym membership.
Instead, work out at home, opting for a daily app or other ideas. To go totally free, head online where you can find thousands of challenges and fitness guides to do at home. Even better, go outside and make your surroundings your gym.
2. Start a savings plan.
There are lots of money challenges on Pinterest but not everything is accessible as it sounds. To start super simple, start throwing your extra change in a jar at the end of each week. If you’re comfortable saving more, try the $5 challenge, which essentially has you saving, instead of spending every $5 bill you get. If you don’t have the ability to save a large percentage each month, this is a fairly easy way to begin. Plus, it actually can make a small difference if you’re diligent.
3. Stop eating out.
This may seem difficult, especially in New York City, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, host your friends for a monthly potluck, or game night. It’s more affordable, and in many ways, a lot more fun. If you can’t bear to nix date night from the routine, find a way to make it work by searching Groupon or Pulsd for restaurant deals in your neighborhood.
4. Sell stuff you don’t need.
It doesn’t have to be spring cleaning season for you to clean out a closet. If you’re a bride-to-be planning a wedding and thinking of ways to save, looking inside your closet is one of the simplest places to start. Make piles of all the things you no longer need or want that have some value and start photographing and posting on various resale websites. Ebay and Poshmark are two great places to start. Open a Paypal account for your earnings and once you’ve made some money, transfer it to a savings account with a high interest and no debit card. This will help to keep it separate, organized and perhaps most important, difficult to take from for any reason other than wedding needs.
5. Forget movie night and opt for Redbox.
The best tip to seeing the latest films isn’t Netflix or on demand, it’s actually Redbox. The movie kiosks can be found in Walgreens stores and supermarkets across the U.S. and costs significantly less than its competitors. Plus it consistently features both older and new releases, so you have plenty of options depending on what kind of night you want to make it.
6. Use Rewards programs.
Don’t be embarrassed. This isn’t extreme couponing, and you don’t have a floor to ceiling shelf filled with tomato sauce and toilet paper. But, using multiple rewards programs certainly can help in small ways that add up. Most Programs like Walgreens, CVS, Regal, Starbucks and more offer points on every dollar and monthly rewards like free drinks, and $5 off coupons. In this case, adding a little ‘couponing’ to your life doesn’t take much work.
7. Always use Ebates when shopping for your wedding.
It’s literally free money. Create a profile on Ebates and use it every time you shop. As long as you go through your account, they’ll pay you back on your purchases, as much as up to 10 % on bonus days. Remember to utilize this when doing your online wedding shopping as much as possible. A special dress for your shower can earn you up to $50 which can go right back into your wedding savings. Who wouldn’t want their purchase plus extra money?
8. Add income streams to your bank account.
You don’t need to add “Barista” to your title. It can be as simple as signing up for Survey accounts and taking them while relaxing or watching TV. Earn points which can then be converted to cash. Love creating funny sayings or have a penchant for graphic tees? Sites like Skreened and BowandDrape allow you to start your own shops, and create t-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories, which you can then sell to the masses.
9. Have a small engagement party at someone’s home.
These days it seems like everyone has a big party to celebrate their engagement. But why waste money on a big party when there’s another one ahead that’s much more important. Instead, keep your money, save it for the wedding, and nix the fancy engagement party. (Unless someone is throwing you one, or paying for it, in which case, enjoy away!) But if you don’t, that’s perfectly okay. Instead, throw your own party to celebrate and suggest everyone bring a bottle. If that’s not quite your style, see if a close friend can perhaps host at their house. Offer to come prepared, and clean up, and treat them to a dinner (or gift card if not a close friend) as a thank you.
10. Forget unveiling bridesmaids with some big, expensive unveiling.
If you’ve already decided to have bridesmaids, or a bride squad, the next step is looping in those special people. If you just simply cannot do without a party to unveil the news, have a small brunch instead. Rather than spending a fortune on expensive or flashy presents, give meaningful gifts instead. Etsy is the perfect place for finding unique and fun ways to ask your girls the big question. Everything from custom boxes filled with chocolates and beauty items, to spa kits and accessories. I went with knot necklaces to help me ‘tie the knot’ and added wedding pop rings to create a fun vibe in a small, thoughtful way. It had a personal touch and was creative; two things that people always love. And you don’t need to put a dent in your wedding savings to do it.
11. Send “Save the Dates” via email.
This is an obvious way to save money, which also seems to be growing in popularity. Weighing the importance of smaller details is a great way to cut costs. For many, sending both “Save the Dates”, and invitations in the mail can be a high cost. Instead, head over to Paperless Post and create beautiful online invites that you can track. For Great-Grandma Sally who doesn’t have an email address, have a relative make her a copy of the email.
Originally published March 22, 2017
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