Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Budgets Help Keep Costs Down

When Matt and I were planning our wedding, we were really strapped for cash. We were trying to save up for a 20% down payment on a new house, I was getting ready to leave my current job and transition into independent educational consulting, and we were about to incur moving costs to trek from Denver to Houston. Plus, we didn't want our wedding to grow bigger than our relationship. We wanted to stay focused on what really mattered and not get carried away in a tidal wave of unnecessary details. We knew that a $2,000 budget would force us to stay away from the Wedding Industrial Complex completely.

That's why we set a really strict budget for ourselves. We managed to come in $38 under budget. More importantly, our budget forced us to prioritize only the most important things. We couldn't get everything we wanted (sorry, photo stamps). Our strict budget also forced us to get creative (hello, plain $15 dress from Target that we can embroider with our life story).

Two and a half years later, as we outfit a nursery for our upcoming baby, I'm realizing that we should have set a budget for ourselves, just like we did for our wedding. Without a budget, I find it so easy to spend a little here and a little there, without realizing how it all adds up, especially since our planning is stretched out over several months. When I want a cute new tape dispenser from Etsy for my desk (which is going to be in the baby's room for a while), I buy it. When I see the perfect mirror to hang above the baby's Montessori floor bed, I buy it (even though it's $80). I justify it by telling myself that it was 20% off! If I were working within a budget, I could easily get more creative by scouring thrift stores for frames and adding Plexiglass. Not only would that alternative be more economical, it would also be better for the environment.

I think it's time to reign myself back in. I might just need to whip out the receipt for the mirror and take a little trip back to World Market...

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win the Conscious Weddings E-Course! Today is the last day to enter.

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Katie Ready said...

I agree. I think there is something to be said of the "baby industrial complex". I do not think you have fallen victim to it lake many new moms do, but it's out there. With my first I had to have the perfect crib, the matching layette, cute carseat, perfect swing, meticulously decorated nursery and so on............. It's all so unnecessary and such a money trap. By the time my second came along, only 19 months later I had gotten rid of most of those unnecessary items and stuck to the basics to simplify life with an infant.

Sharpiegirl said...

check freecycle for a mirror. Shoot if you lived closer I would send you one of the mirrors I'm getting from my sister in OK. Don't think I could get it that far in one piece.

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