My Wedding

So, I just realized while I casually chat about my day to day personal finances, I haven’t said much about one of the biggest events of my life, my wedding!

I had this goal way before I started on the current goal of getting rid of my personal debt: to buck the current tradition of spending a $#!* ton of money on one day. If that’s people’s prerogative, more power to them, but I have way bigger goals in my immediate future, such as selling our current home and buying a new one and having children, both of which require some major $$$.

So, how am I accomplishing this?? The break down:

My Dress: The Most Important Purchase of the Wedding IMHO

I have to admit, I was kind of ready to toss down $1300 for a dress because it made my butt look awesome! My fiance says the first thing he noticed about my physique was my butt, and that’s the thing most people envy… I can be self-congratulatory about my assets from time to time, so indulge me.

Anyway, I digress.

There I was, really loving that dress, and decided to sleep on it. Later that night, I saw the shop was having a sample sale a week later and decided to check it out. I went, and many dresses were on sale from $99-$499. The one I loved wasn’t, but no matter. I grabbed five beautiful dresses that were already in my size (in other words, minimal alterations needed, another money saver) and tried them on. I quickly whittled down the choices from 5 dresses to 2, and re-tried on the 2 favorites. I chose the dress that made all of the other girls in the shop jealous. Originally: $1290. Sale Price: $499. 62% savings. Score!

Accessories

Easy. Wearing Pearl earrings I already own, won a necklace that just happens to match them off of Facebook. Making my own veils (one traditional for the ceremony, the other a birdcage for the reception) which grand total are costing me less than $10. Why spend a few hundred on a simple accessory when you can make it uniquely you for a fraction of the price??? I bought the shoes full price, but they’re shoes I can wear anywhere, anytime, so I WILL be wearing them again, and regularly.

Venue

I put my foot down and refused to look at places that cost over a certain price point- fiance has some champagne tastes. And none of this ceremony one place, reception at another business- both portions are happening at the same property, which actually saves some money in and of itself. We found a place we love that was reasonably priced and put a deposit down. I scrutinized some math one night though and managed to get a couple hundred credited to the remainder. Double score!

Flowers

Again, I’m perfectly capable of making certain things myself, including my bouquet. I can get 100 roses for $80 through a major retailer. I will enlist my sister-in-laws to help with boutonnieres and corsages for the big day too. Making all that myself will save me over $200+.

Photography

I put out an ad looking for a photog. I made my ad cool and original. He’s going to charge me half of what the cheapest photogs in my area charge, a quarter of the starting price of my favorite photographer in the area. I’ve had too many friends complain that they spent way too much money on the photographer to get crappy pictures, so I refuse to do the same.

Food

This category is causing me the most trouble. I’ll get back to you. Some things I’m cutting to keep the cost down- cheap proteins (chicken instead of a steak for example) and none of this passed anything business, buffet all the way.

Paper Goods

Vistaprint.com. I’ll be making my Save the Dates for free using their free postcard template and the invitations are actually really nice and inexpensive. Groupon or LivingSocial also runs a deal at the beginning of the year for $35 worth of Vistaprint products for $17 and if you spend over $75 it’s free shipping. I don’t need the invites until next year, so I can be patient and wait for the deal to (hopefully, fingers crossed!) come out again next year. I’ll be able to get my invites, RSVP cards and a couple of other goodies to make me look classy even if I’m being a total cheapskate for less than $80. I already bought thank you cards on sale at Target for $0.98 for a set of 25. 4 sets, after tax, $4.12.

Most people dole out a few hundred on the paper goods. I’m spending less than $80. Boom.

Centerpieces

Another DIY task. Let’s just say I’ll be saving lots of Michael’s coupons. The centerpieces are super simple but gorgeous and since it won’t be a florist making them, I’ll save a few hundred dollars again in this category.
DJ

A professional one possibly for the cost of a few drinks and a dinner. This is not final though. If that falls through and I can’t find a lesser priced DJ, I may pull a card I have in my back pocket I’d rather not pull, but if it means saving a few hundred, I will…

I’m sure there are other details I haven’t thought of yet that will require careful financial planning. When all is said and done though, I’ll be coming in well below the $27,021 in average costs of a wedding and staying the happier for it!

 

And before anyone says it: Yes, we could just run off and get hitched at the courthouse and REALLY save. But that isn’t our style. We want a beautiful, traditional wedding day, and that’s that!

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Another Revenue Increase Soon to Come!

Every school year, from September until May or June, I teach dance. I primarily teach tap and hip hop and always teach two or three classes of each each year. Because of the setting where I teach, every year one of my classes does not run because of lack of interest (usually beginner tap). So, I was just banking on teaching my normal four classes this year. Imagine my surprise when ALL five of my classes will be running due to enough interest! This, I have figured out, will add around $400 extra to my bottom line. I am one happy girl!

Injury Update

What can I say but my calf muscles hate me. This injury is coming along more quickly than when I tore the other calf muscle at least. If you have ever torn a muscle, you will get what I’m saying when I say it has got to be one of the most painful, annoying injuries to have.

My private insurance sucks (last time it was on workers comp), and my old job can’t help me out in that way, so I have to teach my fiancé how to how me out and guide myself through stretching and exercises. I could be in a far worse predicament and be completely clueless on how to help myself, but luckily I’ve been trained well and paid attention.

When I found out my old job couldn’t basically give me free healthcare, I was so frustrated. I had to assess the depth of the injury and if professional intervention was really [financially] worth it. I’m pretty far from meeting my deductible and it would derail me from my financial goals. I decided to treat myself, but I discourage that for most. I happen to have the ability to call and get advice from professionals in the physical therapy field and was around it, every day, for almost two years. I have a higher level of knowledge than most.

The big hope, now that I’m sure the attachment to the tendon wasn’t affected, is that it heals like it should and won’t require further medical intervention.

And the hits keep coming

Now, remember when I mentioned the troll dolls I sold on eBay? Well, I shipped them out a couple of weeks ago at almost twice the cost of what I billed. That sucked. Well, I screwed up and did not complete the address correctly and it came back. So, today I had to pay AGAIN to ship it out, which means I netted a loss.

All I can say is, what a crappy day. 😦

Remember that disaster I was joking about?

I keep on saying that as long as some disaster did not come along, I’m on a good road regarding my finances. I started the new job the other day, and minus my trip next weekend, I have no plans to take any time off for a while- I have to be on board for 6 months before I get PTO. Well, I may not have a choice now as an injury, I guess you could almost say literally, hit me last night.

I was in my Krav Maga class and we were finishing class with a drill which included two attackers and one attackee per group. One of the two people would tap you in some way which let you know how to hit back. I was the attackee, and I had been tapped to do knee jabs. One knee, two knee, pop! I knew almost instantly what probably happened as I had done the same thing in my other leg two years ago.

I tore my calf muscle.

The good thing is at least it’s a medical emergency. I work for a doctor group so I have access to free health care, and when it comes time to rehab the leg, I used to work for a physical therapy practice and left on good terms. I (hopefully) won’t have to worry too much about co-pays. And I’m hoping that I won’t have to get an MRI (which can be really expensive, no matter who I work for).

So, dear readers, wish me luck that I won’t be too derailed from my journey to financial freedom because my calf muscles hate me!

Got My Mind on My Money, Money on My Mind

I have to admit, ever since I decided to tackle my debt and get out from underneath it all, I think about my money as I fall asleep.

(That isn’t me, just a stock image I found in my word processing program. 🙂 )

Any way, I wouldn’t say I count dollars signs as they jump over fences, or stay awake endlessly worrying and fretting over money, but I probably stay awake a little longer than normal because I want to succeed so badly! I want to just log-in to my bank account tomorrow, see a ton of money magically appear there, pay off all my debts and POOF! DONE!

But that isn’t reality.

I have to work hard for my money, and then I have to work even harder to pay down my debts using self-control, which I admittedly lack. I fall asleep thinking about my paychecks, when I’ll receive them, how much will probably come in them (I’m so excited that I will soon know exactly how much money I’ll get in my paychecks every period, as opposed to this craziness of working such varying hours every pay period), what debts and obligations the money will be delegated to and how much time that will shave off my timeline.

I’ll be happy for the days as they come along that I’ll hit the “Pay Balance” buttons on my accounts and know that I do not have to worry about that debts anymore (barring some disaster, knock on wood). I still don’t have a definite timeline- right now it’s looking good for the first credit card to be paid by December. But, as time moves along, life could throw me curve balls, but hopefully with the strategic planning I’m constantly doing, those curve balls won’t knock me out.

I GOT A JOB!

I’m excited today to announce that I HAVE A NEW JOB! I put in my notice with my current employer today and will start the new job in a couple of weeks. I will be making more money over all and the new job [supposedly] has far better profit sharing. I get actual benefits, I don’t have to travel as far to work (which will mean saving some money on gas) and I’ll be in a job that will allow me better earning potential down the road.

I’ll be sad to leave my current job, I really loved my coworkers and I have some patients I will miss, but it is time for me to move on. I look forward to a new challenge in something I actually feel passionate about. Onward and upward!