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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Setting Up a Special Savings Account

A sketch of my big goal

I'm in the process of dreaming big (which is inspired by the Mondo Beyondo course I enrolled in), and I'm going to need to start raising money to make one of my dreams happen (see photo above).

First, I'm going to start a savings account. One of the most effective ways to save money for something (like a wedding!) is to set up an automatic monthly transfer into a special savings account. Matt and I do that to save money for vacations, a baby, our yearly property taxes, home improvement, etc. We use an online bank, which makes it super-easy to set up automatic transfers. I find that it's easy to spend whatever I have. Therefore, if I can funnel money into separate savings accounts as soon as it gets directly deposited from our employers, we don't really miss it at all.

However, we don't have extra money to divert toward the new savings account right now. I'm still setting up the account (it's free and easy through ING Direct--if you decide to open an account through them, please e-mail me so I can earn $20 and you can get $25!). I figure I might as well be optimistic by setting up the account before I actually have money to deposit in it...

I'm currently brainstorming extra ways to make money (without completely stressing myself out or over-committing to too many projects). I'm thinking about teaching some workshops about using Montessori strategies at home to cultivate independence in young children. If I end up publishing a book about planning a meaningful and memorable wedding without losing your savings or sanity, I will definitely direct any proceeds into The Dream savings account. Maybe I could also start selling our chicken eggs...

What other strategies do you use for beefing up your savings accounts?

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Anonymous said...

Although my fiance and I have a fairly modest wedding budget (of $8000), we decided to make some extra cash to put towards that, so it feels like we're not using our savings! Here's what we did:
1. I picked up a translating job (freelance at home). For those who speak another language, this is great, and it pays well!
2. I went through my clothes and picked out nice, once worn things (that I hardly ever wear) and sold them on ebay. Cleared out some closet space, made $90 selling 3 dresses (one of them, an old bridesmaid dress)! Putting this $ towards my wedding dress (which I will sell after the wedding)! :)
3. My fiance tutored math a few hours a week. Post your tutoring/guitar lesson offers on Craigslist (helps if you have references or are a teacher already).
4. If I was crafty enough, I'd make some things to sell on Etsy!

kathy said...

I travel in my personal vehicle for work and get a per diem when I stay over night. Sometimes my reimbursement checks are $500! I set up an online bank account and automatically deposit my travel check. It's kind of like money I don't ever see except in my savings.

Can't wait to hear more about this big dream!

brittney said...

What kinds of chickens did you get? I like the really dark brown eggs!

Randa said...

I actually write articles on associatecontent.com and demandstudios.com. Anyone can write for the first one but you have to go through an application process on the second one. AC doesn't pay that much but it adds up and is great when you have some free time and are good at writing!

Unknown said...

I love your big idea! You probably already know about this but there are communities like the one you pictured sprouting up around the country (there's one about an hour from where I live). Check out www.cohousing.org.
At the very least it will give you some ideas, inspiration and resources.
As far as money saving goes, we've found that eating at home at least 6 days a week has really helped us cut back on spending and thus helped our saving. I plan our meals on shopping day and list them on the back of the grocery list before I go to the store. That way I don't miss any ingredients. Then I post the list on the fridge and when we choose the meal we want no worries - the ingredients are there! This is especially helpful on busy nights when all I want to do is order in Thai food.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Randa: Interesting suggestion! I'll have to investigate a little bit more...

@ brittney: I think they are a mix between Barn Dwellers and Well-Summers. I'm not really sure. They were given to us by a little girl who was raising them for a science class. I think that's what she said they were...

@ Sarah: Yes! I am a big fan of co-housing. The area we're thinking about moving to someday (Austin) only has one co-housing community. I think we would go to route of creating our own intentional neighborhood so we could build our own house and not have to share a townhouse wall with anyone, but if we end up in another city, we will definitely consider co-housing.

jennybegoode said...

Hi Sara,

I've been reading your blog for a while and saw this link from The Guardian which might interest you:



Jeanne Woodard said...

It's so cool to see that someone else has this idea! Years ago (maybe 10, when I was just 12) me and a cousin dreamt up a plan like this! I didn't realize that others had this idea too; I'll have to check out that co-housing thing.

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