Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reality Sets In: The Budget

Mr. T and I are financing the wedding ourselves. We are not from rich families (nor poor, either, to be fair, but we have no desire to steal from our parents' retirement funds), but we are pretty fiscally responsible folks with no debt, and we have over a year and a half to save, thanks to the Halloween 2009 deadline.
Most weddings cost $20,000 these days. Did you know that? And that's not an extravagant wedding. That's not a wedding where you rent a mechanical bull, for example (there goes that dream...). That's your basic venue, food, cake, dress, rings, groom's suit, flowers, invitations, photographer, etc. kind of wedding. Mr. T was particularly appalled when we discovered that the photographer might end up costing as much as our food will. I guess the photos will last us forever, but still.
Mr. T and I are hoping that we get good bonuses the next 2 years. He is a crazy good saver (yes, I know that's not my best grammar), so I shouldn't be so worried, I guess. Since we got together, he's inspired me to pay off $30K in car, student loan, and credit card debt. Most Americans live way above their means, and we are encouraged to, as I think the current real estate disasters would prove.
Because I'm a girl with a goal, I immediately began plotting how to save money. My Maid of Honor said that her coworker got married recently, and was trying to lose weight for her wedding, using the mantra "A bride wouldn't eat that." We decided mine should be, "A bride wouldn't buy that."
I used this mantra right away when presented with the scorpion earrings at BrainDrops. The tail of the scorpion went through the ear. They were gorgeous! I put them right back on the shelf where they belonged, though.
I've also given up my latte-a-day plus lowfat scone habit (sigh...I'm still doing one a week). I'm doing whole wheat bagels, jam, and tea at work now. I have to label the crap out of it and hide it in the fridge so the vultures at work don't eat it. Seriously, who eats other peoples' food in the work fridge? It's like an episode of Friends or something.
I also (and my librarian friends would be proud of me!) got a library card for the first time since high school and used it to check out our book club book for this month. I was seriously impressed with the library's website. I've spent some time requesting all the latest titles I'm interested in. Books are a total addiction for me, so really the library card was long overdue...no pun intended.
Next month my company starts this benefit where we are allowed to take out money for our transit expenses pre-tax. I'm so excited about this. They will ship my train tickets directly to my house, and I have a pre-paid credit card to use for the days I drive into work. Not only am I saving money by taking the costs out pre-tax, but I get the train tickets at a discount, too.
As for other money saving ideas, I'm still brainstorming. We could definitely cook at home more. I've always taken lunch to work, because there's not much around my office. We also don't go see movies in the theater very often, not only because of the expense, but mostly because my super power is attracting the most annoying people in any public venue (Mr. T's is picking the slowest line at the grocery store). The last movie we saw had multiple families with noisy children, including one family that dropped what sounded like an entire change jar on the floor, kept rustling what sounded like a huge garbage bag, had a crying baby they wouldn't take out, and as a capper, the dad took a cell phone call mid-movie. Mr. T announced, "I'm going to see one more movie in the theater this year, "Iron Man". That's it."
I'll let you know what else I come up with on the money-saving front. (I know, it's fascinating, huh?)

1 comment:

Miss M said...

So when some of my "older friends" (read:not 25 and parents paying for the wedding)got married last year they did something I thought was rather genius. Instead of asking for gifts (they are 40 years old and already have 2 of everything) they set up PayPal money requests for the different costs: venue, the band, chocolate fondue dinner (that and champagne is what they served). You could donate whatever amount you wanted to the cause. It ended up costing them less than half of the original bill. Not very traditional but hey ...