Daily Archives: April 17, 2008

Daily Accounting: Thursday 4/17

Earned: $0 Spent: $0 Saved: $0

Yes, today I finally had a spend-no-money day. Our college meeting provided snacks, so I didn’t need to buy anything. Tonight, I’ll make a salad and pasta. Then, I’ve got to pack for my little trip to see my family in Missouri. I’ll be posting over the weekend, but will save my accounting for Sunday after the trip. I think I’ll be able to resist the temptations of the airports, though I may budget in coffee for the early flights. We’ll see if my new-found distaste of junk spending lasts on my travels.  Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!


Wedding Invitations for Half the Cost

Originally, I was going to title this post “I Saved $1,762.94 on Wedding Invitations,” but that would have used some pretty tricky math. When I started thinking about wedding invitations, I found a really cute save-the-date card in InStyle Weddings. It fit with the theme I was tossing around for the wedding and cost $1,525 for 100 cards. Of course, I was never going to spend that much on save-the-date cards, so I can’t really say that I “saved” over a thousand dollars.

However, I can say that I’ve saved $287.89 so far on my wedding invitations. I found adorable invitations that capture the mood of our lovely day and picnic reception perfectly. For 50 save-the-date cards, 75 invitations, response cards, direction cards, and thank-you cards, and postage, the grand total would be $534.05. I bought the invitations and have only spent $246.16. How did I do it?

Think About Your Options
To save money on a wedding, I think it is really important to think through all your choices. For invitations, you have lots of options. Do you have to have the top of the line from a stationary store? What can you find online? Could you print your own? Do you like to scrapbook? Could you make your own? My budget for invitations is $420. I really liked that image I saw in InStyle for a save-the-date card. The image was clean, simple, and old-fashioned with just the right touch of whimsy. I spent about an hour googling keywords and found a really similar image. So, I went to iPrint.com, set up the cards, and ordered 50 cards for $49.95. Postage was another $20. I loved the cards and got lots of compliments on them.

Don’t Rush Into Purchases
Just because it is an once-in-a-lifetime event (you hope!), you don’t have to make decisions under pressure. In fact, because it is such a special time, you should go slowly and consider what will be the best thing for you. About a month after I mailed my save-the-date cards, I found those perfect little invitations on Wedding Paper Divas. Once I found them, nothing else seemed to do. I could have got swept up in wedding madness and paid $460.25 for the invitations, response cards, direction cards, and thank-you cards. Along with postage and what I’d spent on the save-the-date cards, that would have brought everything to $523.55, $100 over budget. I could have easily said, “I love them; I have to have them; it’s only $100 for my special day!” Instead, I decided to think through things and look some more.

Find Ways to Trim on the Extras
Like many things in life, wedding purchases get you on the extras. One of my soon-to-be-stepdaughters has a friend who must pick between a trip to Disney World and an American Girl doll. On the surface, a doll and a trip don’t seem comparable at all. However, while the doll is only $90, you could easily spend $500 on accessories, clothes, and doll furniture, so that choice isn’t all that unrealistic. The invitation that I loved was $140 for 75, well within my budget. I decided that none of my guests have seen the whole matching set of invitations and inserts, so they won’t know (or really care) if they don’t get that. I found a coupon code to save 10%, and, while I was waiting, the price dropped another $10, so this week I ordered my invitations for $117.36. I bought blank postcards and business cards to put in as enclosures for $15. I’ll print a nice reply script on the postcards and the URL for my wedding website on the business cards. People can go to the site for directions and details about the wedding. I think it will look clean and simple, and I’ll save $10 on postcard stamps vs. regular stamps for the replies.

And, whala, I’m at $246.16 for everything except thank-you cards. I may print those, buy more inexpensive ones, or order the $60 Wedding Diva ones online. In any case, I’ll still be at least $100 under budget rather than $100 over budget. I’m trying to be especially careful now, because who knows what variable expenses will crop up for the reception. You too can cut invitation costs in half but deciding what is really important for you invitations, and coming up with clever substitutes for everything else!