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Web Design

October 12th, 2007 at 08:41 am

Tomorrow will be my first time marketing my web design services. Our church does an annual "Word in Busines" breakfast where someone shares about how they've utilized the principles in God's Word in their business/career. It's also an opportunity for us to pass out our business cards and sign up to be in the directory. So, I'm going to put my name in the directory! YAY!

I may also put together a quick business card as well. But, I'm not sure I'll have time to do that.

I'm super excited!

Budget Wedding

August 24th, 2007 at 10:58 am

Can it really be done?

YES! My DH and I spent ~$5,000 on our wedding. We had a full meal reception and 120 guests.

We don't have too many photos just yet, but here are a few:

Our ceremony & reception were held at a banquet hall that I worked at for 3 years. We received a good discount that helped with the food/facility costs. I cannot reveal our cost, but we did come out under $2500 for the food & facility.

Our ceremony was at 9:30am and our reception was immediately following. Our menu was as follows:
Apple Juice
Orange Juice

Here is a breakdown of our costs:
Bride's Attire
Wedding Dress: $109.60
Alterations: $35.00
Pressing: unknown, gift
Shoes: $4.24
Jewelry: $9.68
Undergarments: $47.68
Rehearsal Dinner Dress: $38.15
Hair Comb: $17.00

Groom's Attire
Suit: $159.00
Alterations: $10.00
Cleaning: $8.00
Shoes: ~$50
Tie: $11.40

Ceremony: $9.99
Reception: $46.70

Save the Dates: $10.60
Invitations: $235.85
Postage: $90.58
Thank Yous: $19.95
Postage: ~$20 (still in progress)

DIY Silk Flowers*: ~$145
DIY Fresh Flowers**: $88.98
Lollipop Bouquets: $14.24
Candles: $1.98
Flower Girl Basket: $2.64

*includes 2 large arrangements, 2 medium arrangements, 15 centerpiece rings, and arch
**includes 4 bouquets, 9 boutonniere, 5 corsages and a cake topper

Wedding & Groom's: $320, gift
Groom's Cake Topper: $2.99

Wedding Website: $7.20 and lots of TIME
Magnet Favors: $34.96
Cookie Favors: unknown, gift
Rings: $722.79
Gifts: $521.20
Guestbook: $16.95

Bridesmaid Dresses^: $38.15 each
Bridesmaid Shoes^^: $5.30 a pair
Bridesmaid Jewelry^^: $2.89 a set
Bridesmaid Flip Flops^^: $.80 a pair
Groosmen Gift Ties^^: $12.68 each
Groosmen Ties^^: $11.40 each
Flower Girl Dress^: $37.10
Flower Girl Jewelry^^: $2.89 for set

^Not including in budget b/c paid for individually
^^including in gift category

The only category that was WAY over budget was the Gift category. But, this included gifts to the shower hostesses, bridal party, parents and our photographers (who all did it for free).

We did not hire a DJ, Florist, Photographer, Videographer, Stylist or Transportation. Hair/makeup, music and flowers were DIY. We had friends do the photography. We did not do any videotaping of our ceremony or reception. We had a rental car for our honeymoon (included in breakdown below) that we used as our getaway car.

I did not include the rehearsal dinner in the budget because that was not a cost we covered. My MIL covered the cost and budgeted $1000 for 55 guests. Due to a last minute location change, I think she ended up going slightly over.

For details and pictures of all the things listed above, please check out this site.

That site will also explain how I was able to get a lot of things as inexpensively as I did. The site has not yet been updated, so there are some things not on there.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

I'm back!

August 22nd, 2007 at 10:31 am

Wow. It's been over a year since I've blogged here.

I definitely learned a lot my first time around at savingsadvice.com and it feels great to be back.

I re-read a few of my previous posts and I wanted to provide an update.

I did purchase a car. It's a 1996 Toyota Camry and I've had it for a year now. I bought it with 90,212 miles and it had a clean Carfax report. Unfortunately, the dealership lied to me directly regarding quite a few things and I spent two months in and out of the dealership every few days. I probably hit about 30-45 visits during those two months. But, everything got fixed and it passed emissions (which wasn't tested before I bought it!!). It's been running great since. I've put 23,000 miles on the car in one year, which is actually much less than I expected.

I also read about purchasing Stone Mountain annual passes. We did use them pretty frequently, but not enough to justify buying them again this year.

I am still attending the college that is 47 miles away. This summer and fall, my classes have been online, so I haven't been making the drive too often. So, that has saved a lot of money.

I just got married a couple weeks ago, so I've pretty much spent the entire last year planning our wedding. I'm happy to say that we were able to have a wonderful wedding for less than $5k and we did not have to go into debt.

Now that I'm married and no longer living at home, I feel the need to get back on the money saving band waggon. My DH and I have a lot of financial goals & obligations. We want to do things right from the very beginning.

My DH works for a bank that will be selling or closing in the near future. He took a significant pay cut to get into the banking profession. Last week, he accepted an offer with another bank and will be making what he was before the pay cut. He'll start 9/5.

I am still working with the medical malpratice wholesaler. I actually received a raise a couple months ago.

So, right now we are working on saving money wherever we can.

We do not have cable, internet or a land-line phone.

I'm going to watch our cell minutes over the next couple months and see if we can decrease our family plan.

I am starting to collect coupons and watch the sales flyers.

We don't use our AC unless we absolutely must.

Right now our bank accounts are still separate, but we are going to try a joint account approach. We are waiting until my DH gets things set up with his new bank before we start moving our accounts around.

Right now we have an EmigrantDirect account for our savings. We plan on opening an ING Electric Orange Checking account. Then, we'll keep a local account at my DH's bank. Ideally, those will be the only accounts we will have open come the end of September.

I know this post is long, but I wanted to give everyone a basic understanding of where we are.

I plan to keep this updated on a pretty regular basis. I really want to put a lot of effort into saving money.

Bit of an expensive weekend!

June 12th, 2006 at 06:28 am

I did sooo much this weekend. Considering all I was able to do, I don't think I spent that much money.

Friday night 2 of my sisters were going to get their nails done. My BF called to say he was going to work late. So, I decided to tag along with my sisters knowing that it would probably be a huge waste of money, but still an enjoyable time. My mom ended up tagging along as well. Smile We had lots of fun...plus, my sister ended up treating everyone! Smile

Saturday, I made invitations for my sister's baby shower. My mom is covering the costs of the shower and I'm in charge of planning it. (well, for the most part) The invitations took FOREVER...but they were sooo cute. My BF and I then headed over to Stone Mountain for the evening. (Stone Mountain is kind of like an amusement park but without the rides.) We decided to get a annual pass. It ended up costing $59. But, it will definitely be worth it.

Then on Sunday I had bible study, lunch with the family and then, my BF and I ended up going back to Stone Mountain. Smile It was fun. I bought dinner, so that cost about $16.

So overall, I only spent $75. But, the annual pass will allow us to go to Stone Mountain like every weekend and not have to pay to go to any of the attractions. It also gives my BF a discount of golf which will help him out in the long run. Smile So, imo, it was well spent.

For the week, I don't plan on eating out at all! (Except maybe Friday night...we'll see.)

For a quick update on the car situation, I carfaxed a car I liked and was NOT happy with the results. Looks like I'm back to looking again. I did however find many ads for the specific make & model I like using Carfax's classifieds section. I emailed the dealerships and I'm waiting for a response. Smile


April 28th, 2006 at 11:00 pm

I realized AGAIN tonight how much LASIK is really a NEED. It isn't even a want anymore. I really do need it. And in my opinion it is worth EVERY penny. My eyes are TERRIBLE! I mean absolutely horrible. To give you mind picture, you can stand two feet in front of me and if I don't have my glasses on, your face is a blur. That is TERRIBLE! I can't where contacts anymore because they were making my eyes so sensitive to the sun that I couldn't even open my eyes if they were in. Apparently as your eyes get worse, the more sensitive they are to the sun. Glasses for me are so outrageously priced. I have to get the thinnest lenses they make, thus equally at least $130 for the lenses alone. That's crazy. Then, I can't have just one pair, because if something happens to one...i'm screwed. I can't drive, I really, honestly can't function. So, I have to keep both pair with me at all times. It honestly is risky for my ability to function to rely on a small item that is made of thin wire or plastic. LASIK is a must. If it works for me, I will no longer be in this situation. I'm believing I'll have enough saved up to get LASIK by 2008, hopefully before I'm married. We'll see.

Sorry, random ranting. My glasses just got bent tonight (I haven't even had them very long) and it just reestablished the fact that need LASIK.

Cheap Entertainment

April 28th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Let me first start off by saying I got paid today! That was definitely needed. I also was able to pick up three extra hours at my regular job (which is the better paying job) YAY! So, that will add some fluff to next week's paycheck. It was definitely a blessing.

Secondly, I saved some money tonight! YAY! Our town does movies throughout the summer downtown, in the park. So, they were showing Robots tonight. My mom and sister went out to dinner before, but I kindly declined. Instead, my boyfriend and I packed a picnic (and saved some more money). It was definitely fun and Robots is a really funny movie.

Overall, I think today was a pretty good day. Tomorrow, my boyfriend is treating me to a few hours at the driving range. So that won't cost me anything. And then tomorrow evening, I'm heading to see the Braves play the Mets for only $2.50!!! That's what I call a GREAT deal.

Ok, I guess I can't just leave on that note and not explain how I'll be getting such a great price. Well, Turner Field (where the Braves play) has a $1 Clark Howard section (the seats are the worst and there is NO chance of sitting closer), and then the general upper level is $5. But, if you buy tickets on game day and you have student ID, you can get buy one get one free seats for any level (except the $1 seats). So, all my friends and I are going to head up there for a cheap night at the ball park.


April 28th, 2006 at 06:12 am

So, I thought I would elaborate more why my taxes were so high.

Last year I had three W-2s and one 1099. Up until October, I was a contract laborer with my company. And, three different people ended up paying me throughout the year. Then, working for the same company, I ended up getting hired by the staffing company that my company contracts with. It is all a bit confusing. But, to set things straight, I didn't get taxes withheld until October.

As a matter of fact, I've ALWAYS owed money. Every job I have had has been contract labor.

This year I paid over $1000 in estimated taxes, so I didn't realize I would still owe as much as I did. I just wastn't prepared. But I used a tax program to calculate my taxes. And I also did them by hand, because I thought it was high as well. But, it was correct.

When you are contract labor you are consider self-employed, so you have to pay 15% FICA. (The employee's portion and the employer's portion.) So, it adds up.

Sadly, I'll face the same issue again because with my second part-time job, which I started this year, I am contract labor again. Smile But, at least this time, I'll have money set aside.

Car Situation

April 27th, 2006 at 08:45 am

I thought I would elaborate more on my current situation with my car.

I have been saving for a year now for my car. My dad, in order to help me out, has agreed to match what I save up to $3000.

I currently have $2200 that I've saved. Plus another $500 that was given to me. My dad told me he will go ahead and give me the $3000. That leaves me with a total $5700 for my new car. Also, my dad has agree to buy $1300 of the car (which I can later buy back from him). This leaves me with a total of $7000 for a new car.

I'm very confident that I can get a really good used car for this amount of money.

Also, I've now figured out that I will not be needing a new car until June. This gives me some time to find the best used car for me. Smile

Once I get active in searching for a car, I will post more updates.