How We Saved More Than $1,000 For Our Wedding…In A Month!

Me And Ana

So, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably read something on this blog about Ana, my fiance. We’ve been engaged now for a few years. Although we’ve had the money to get married time and time again, we always seem to find other ways to use that money. Whether those ways be spending on ourselves, investing, up-scaling our lifestyles from apartment life to a house, etc… No matter how much money we made, our wedding for some reason seemed to take a back seat. So, of course Ana and I discussed this and decided to make a change. The neat thing is that within a month, we were able to save more than 10% of our goal! Today, I’m going to share with you how we did it…

Set A Goal With A Time Frame

Although we set goals for all kinds of things; for some reason, we hadn’t set a goal for our wedding. We just kept saying that we’ll save. Well, I’m here to tell you that the idea of saving without a goal simply doesn’t work…at least, not in my household. So, we sat down and realistically discussed what we would need for our wedding and how long it should take us to get there. We came up with $10,000 as a reasonable budget. It would be enough for my tux, Ana’s dress, and everything else included in the wedding (I know about the dress and the tux, Ana’s going to have to fill me in on the rest, but she assured me 10K should be enough).

Once we decided how much money we should save, things got a bit discouraging. After all, we’ve got savings goals for other things, and after all of our goals each month are left, there’s really not too much money left over for day to day expenses and activities. So, we set the goal to a modest level of $350 a month, which would be enough to get the wedding paid for in just over 2 years…not accounting for interest.

Things We’ve Done To Reach Our Goal

As I mentioned above, our money is allocated to different things already. So, even though we had a goal, meeting that goal was going to be tough…well, at least I thought it would. Because I thought it would be so tough, I made a few changes to the way we spend and save money; and surprisingly, those changes were incredibly effective. Here’s what they are…

  1. Save Those Singles - Every time we go shopping and pay in cash, we take the singles and change that we’ve got at the end of the trip and throw it into the wedding fund. At first, I thought this would net us around $50 to $60 a month. Believe it or not, last month alone, doing the dollar and change savings netted us more than $100! We don’t really miss the singles, but they add up much faster than we expected.
  2. Put That Away! - As a freelance writer and entrepreneur, my income can be incredibly spotty. There’s never a month where we can’t make ends meet, but I don’t necessarily have a weekly pay schedule either. So, to make sure we save, when money comes in, we discuss how much we think we need until the next payment and put the rest of the excess directly into our wedding savings. It’s amazing how much less we spend when we don’t look at all of our excess beyond our normal bills and savings as spending money.
  3. A Change In The Way We Think - After our savings goals were met and bills were paid for the month, if we wanted something and could afford it, we would go get it….why not, we’re young twenty somethings with savings, bills paid, and we usually have money to spend on riff raff…so spending is what we would do. That spending was the number one thing that was holding us back in the past, we just didn’t realize it. So, now when we want something that’s not necessary, we ask ourselves, “Is buying this item worth prolonging our wedding?”. I’m not sure the answer has been yes yet. The reality is, we’ve come to the conclusions that very few things are worth prolonging our wedding. Because of this, our spending habits have changed drastically.

The End Result

As a result of the drastic changes we’ve made to our spending and saving habits, we’ve been able to save far more than expected. As a matter of fact, we’ve got until the last day of the month, and have already saved $1,118 so far! When we got done counting the ones and adding everything up, that really shocked us. Instead of more than two years, we can have the money for our dream wedding in under one year! Talk about the value of frugal life decisions!

Great Posts From Around The Blogosphere

6 Strategies To Keep Your Focus On What’s Important – Natalie is absolutely awesome, and so is her blog. This post is a great way to get into it, so go check it out!

Investing In Your Children’s Safety And Their Future – Glen wrote this incredibly compelling post that talks about the unfortunate reality of children drowning. He shared a couple of videos that were a little tough to watch, but in the end I really enjoyed the post and in all reality, the babies in the video were in no danger at all! This is a must read for any parent!

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32 responses

  1. Thanks so much for the love, Josh!! And more importantly, congrats on those savings! Every dollar really counts. I’m happy to hear you were able to save that much in just a month. For me, I get the biggest savings when I change the way I think. Like you, asking whether the purchase was worth prolonging your wedding, now, I ask “is that purchase worth paying longer on my student loans”. Thinking this way helps me put as much as possible on my loans and all of it really adds up.
    Natalie @ Financegirl recently posted…8 Ways To Prepare Financially For A BabyMy Profile

    • Hey Natialie, my pleasure…keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep showing love! Anyway, it is crazy how much you can save by changing the way you think. I would have never thought I had an extra thousand dollars lying around in my budget.

    • Hey Kara, thanks! I was really excited when I finished counting everything a couple of days ago… I would have never thought things would add up that fast.

    • I couldn’t agree more Aldo, how close are you to your goal? Do you have a time limit set for yourself? Anyway, thanks again, I’m glad you’ve found a way to save too!

  2. Congrats Josh!!! That is such a cute pic of you and Ana by the way. Your steps to success are a great lesson for all of us. Setting specific goals with timeframes was one of the best practices I started incorporating into my life recently. And I just had this conversation with a client where she wants to go away for her birthday. We laid out the numbers and figured out that she could do it, but she had to be committed to this goal, otherwise, she is going to be homebound for the big day. It’s all up to her.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…You Can’t Win Them AllMy Profile

    • Hey Shannon, thanks! I’m glad you liked my steps!Hope your client reaches her goal…I’ll be checking in on your blog to see the updates! Thanks again!

    • Hey The Stoic, thanks for swinging by. It’s true, we didn’t change much at first, but the change of asking if purchasing that is worth prolonging the wedding snowballed and really changed a bit of what we spend on. Thanks again!

  3. Talk about progress! It’s crazy to see what a little determination and planning can do. Saving for a wedding is still far into the future for us, as we have to wait to pay down our student loans a bit more, but it will be motivating to see your progress!
    E.M. recently posted…Do You Learn Lessons the Hard Way?My Profile

    • Hey EM, thanks! I really didn’t expect for it to be possible for us to save so much, but we proved me wrong. Good luck on paying down your student loans, I’ll definitely keep you updated on the wedding! Thanks for swinging by!

  4. Love that pic, Josh! It’s hard to be frugal without a goal and a good one at that! So I guess we’ll be hearing about a date being set sometime in the future. I can see little JR’s running around already… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. ;-)
    debs@debtdebs recently posted…Debt Debs Super Duper AdviceMy Profile

    • You will definitely be hearing about a date in the future….hopefully the near future!lol, I can’t wait for the little Jana’s to be running around…they’re going to be sooo cute!

    • I would love to just go to Vegas and get married life started, but then you think of family having an opportunity to be there and it just wouldn’t work…womp womp…We’ll keep saving and we’ll be there soon though!

  5. Excellent. More about how much you budgeted rather than what you saved. I just read on another blog that the average wedding bill is $26,000. That seems absurd to me. Glad you can do it for only ten. My ex-wife and I did it for $7,000 and I thought that was overboard. I hope you end up getting hitched sooner rather than later, and good luck to you when you do.
    Brad @ How to Save Money recently posted…Start eating leftovers for lunchMy Profile

    • Hey Brad, I think I read that same post. It kind of scared me as I thought maybe I under budgeted. But, it looks like I should be able to have a beautiful wedding for what we’ve got. Thanks for the kind words, I’ll see ya around!

  6. That’s great! Congratulations with that. It is really better if you have save anything you have when you are single so when you get married you won’t have to struggle for the expenses that you went through. Having goal motivates you a lot. Great job with that saving skills. (Y) :)

    • Hey Holly, thanks! We’re definitely going to pay cash, neither one of us want to finance something like that.

  7. We felt the same way about our wedding last year. We kept saying we need to save up for it but it wasn’t a priority. Now that we have a date set and money saved our motivation to save has improved too. I’m pretty impress with how much you two saved. Great job! Keep the motivation going. The dollar saving idea I’m so going to give a try. Thank you.
    Brit recently posted…52 Week Saving Challenge Week 26My Profile

  8. Great job on saving for your wedding! I used to be really bad about saving too, even though I had the income to do so. I just spent it. Boo! One of the things I did learn from that was not having specific goals made it very, very easy to say YES to everything else. I’m glad your wedding is motivating you and Anna to easily save. I know nothing about planning a wedding, but I believe you can make any wedding amazing at any price because the most important thing is two people who love one another. And it’s clear you and Ana do!
    Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr recently posted…A Recommitment To Getting Healthy and FitMy Profile

  9. Josh,

    Great job on exceeding your goal for the month. It sounds like changing your mindset was the biggest key to success. When you break it down to “do I want this enough to prolong the wedding” it really puts expenditures into the proper perspective. Sounds like you’re on track to get hitched in no time!
    Derek recently posted…How to Save Money on Your Fourth of July PartyMy Profile

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