Trying to save for a wedding? It can be tough, we sympathise. That’s why we’ve come up with a guide to what to give up now to help you put away some extra cash towards your dream day.
If you’re feeling excited about saving money, don’t miss our edit of the loveliest budget wedding venues!
It can be hard in the morning when you’re rushing around looking for that earring you had five minutes ago, your train leaves in exactly 26 minutes and you haven’t even done your eyeliner yet. But by eating a good breakfast, you’re less likely to graze at work and impulse buy snacks. If you’re especially bad at this, keep cereal bars or oats in your desk drawer.
Your Takeaway Coffee
It is quite fun strutting down the road, sunglasses on, takeaway latte in hand. It makes us feel a bit like Kim Kardashian, sans entourage. But it is also quite expensive. We’re talking over £2 a time for something you can make from a £4 jar at home. Just carry the empty paper cup around like we do. No one will ever know…
Image: Amara Living
Sorry, we’re coming after your bottled water too. Ok, you can buy one. Then refill it! Or use some of the money you’re saving to buy a fancy re-fillable flask so you can save your pennies and the environment. You don’t need to spend £1 or so on a bottle of water each day.
That Supermarket Meal Deal
A sandwich, crisps and a drink for £3? And you can even get the fancy paper wrapped sandwiches in that? Wow, sounds like a bargain. Or is it?
£3 a day adds up to £15 a week, which is around £60 a month. That’s assuming you never buy a ‘till treat’ either (do those kinds of people actually exist?). We’re talking £780 a year approximately. Think of all the wedding treats you can buy with that, if you make your own lunch and take it to work.
Paying to Exercise
Be honest – how often do you go to the gym? If you do it a lot, look around for a cheaper gym to join. If you’re a sporadic visitor, scrap your membership and buy a work out DVD or watch tutorials on YouTube and work out at home. If you need the motivation, why not join a local running club?
Taking Your Cards Out
In fact – ditch your cards entirely (in a safe, secure place). At the start of each week take out what you consider to be enough cash to get you through, and only use that. You’ll be amazed at how much you spend when you can’t see it diminishing before your eyes.
Un-Savvy Online Shopping
We’re not telling you to give up online shopping – we’re not that cruel. But stop doing it in such an un-savvy fashion. If you love something, shop around for other places that might stock it for less, buy it through a cashback website and sign up for sites that will alert you when there are sales at your favourite stores.
That dress from four summers ago that you will fit back into one day…really? Is it even in fashion anymore? Be ruthless and ditch anything you haven’t worn in the past year and sell it on eBay or a local Facebook selling page.
Your Credit Card
It is too easy to waft your credit card over the contactless machine and waltz off with a new pair of shoes. We know. We also know how easy it is to have that one vodka-lime-and-soda too many and decide to buy everyone a tequila slammer on your credit card. Stop taking your credit card out with you. In fact, do what Becky does in the Sophie Kinsella ‘Shopaholic’ books – freeze it, literally. Use the defrost time to decide if you really need to make a purchase.
We’ve got on our best disapproval face. There’s nothing to be gained from smoking and with the cost of a pack of 20 set to rise to up to £15 by 2020 (according to the Independent Cancer Taskforce), you’re throwing money away. Think how that money could go towards designer wedding shoes, or the most glamorous wedding venue you can find…
Paying Out Too Much
Think of all your monthly direct debits – gas, electricity, your mobile phone bill…do a price comparison check to see if you’re getting the best deals, and if you’re not, switch. Same goes for internet, TV and insurance packages, as well as your bank – if you’re not getting the best deal, change it.
Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do
You know when you’ve agreed to go to post work drinks, and you sit there hoping and hoping someone will cancel so you can just go home…Give up doing this. Just say no to all the things you don’t really fancy and save yourself the travel costs and the drink/food expenditures. Saying ‘I’m saving for my wedding’ is the perfect excuse – if your friends don’t understand, just explain it means they won’t have to drink cheap wine and have horrible favours.
Talking of credit cards – give up buying stuff on a whim. We know it’s tough (a total shopaholic is writing this!) but when you want something, step away from it for a while. Can you live without it? Will you be miserable forever if you don’t buy it? Weigh up the important stuff before committing. Shopping using this method means you’ll have a wardrobe you’ll always love too!
A moment of silence for this. Give up your Friday night takeaway or your ‘two for Tuesday’ treat. It hurts, we know. But you’ll be healthier and richer so really it’s all for the greater good. In fact, try and cook your favourite dishes from scratch – you might uncover an amazing cooking talent too.
Shoddy Food Shopping
Always eat before you go food shopping. Shopping on an empty stomach means you’re more likely to pile up your trolley with things you don’t need but look delicious to your hungry eyes. Also, write a list before you go and do not defer from it. So what if it’s two for a fiver on a family size chocolate bar? It’s a fiver you don’t need to spend, isn’t it…
Take carrier bags with you too! 5p a time will add up…
If you’ve read the above and grumbled about writing shopping lists as how are you supposed to know what you fancy, well stop. Write a meal plan for the week and stick to it. If you know Tuesday is baked potato night, you’re less likely to stop off at the shop on your way home and spend a tenner on ready-made curries.
Being a Carnivore
Not forever – we’re not suggesting you go full on veggie to pay for your wedding, but meat is expensive and Paul McCartney said something about ‘meat-free Mondays’, didn’t he? Factor in at least one meat-free day into your meal plan to save some money.
Cooking Just One Meal
Fancy a spag bol or a stew? Don’t just cook enough for that night’s meal. Batch cook a huge portion and split it up and freeze it. That way you’ve got quick and easy meals to reheat for lunch and dinner – it’s amazing how far you can make a couple of packs of mince stretch.
Ouch. This one is tough, but try and impose a new rule. Alcohol is only for special occasions, not because it’s been a more challenging Wednesday than usual and the bus was a bit late on the way home. You’ll save money and be healthier.
Oh, we sound so miserable, we know. But your monthly get together with the girls doesn’t have to be four bottles of Prosecco at your local wine bar. Why not take it in turns to go to each other’s houses? Staying in can be the new going out – impress them with your new found cooking skills – just factor it into that week’s meal plan!
Your Streaming Services
Do you need Netflix, Amazon Prime, NowTV and Spotify? You can get the same music on Spotify without the monthly fees – what are a few adverts when you’re saving for a wedding? Commit to one TV streaming service and go for the most basic package that works for you – but only if you actually watch it more than once a week. If not – get rid.
If you have an expensive makeup habit, perhaps now is the time to reconsider? Many beauty bloggers will tell you about good ‘dupes’ – products that have the same effect as a more expensive one, but cost way less. Maybe it’s time to consider this, or look for magazine freebies and request samples from concessions.
Ignoring Your Loyalty Points
You know when the self-service checkout keeps bleating at you about your loyalty card? It does it for a reason. Your points will add up and you can use them to save money off your food shop, or trade them in for vouchers so you can treat yourself for less!
If you’re still looking for savvy saving ideas, don’t miss our 17 awesome wedding budget hacks.