Turns out weddings are freaking expensive. Who knew? By the end of 2017, the average cost of a wedding in the UK had reached a whopping £27, 161. That’s about 11,000 lattes, and quite a lot of avocado toast…
Even if you’re planning a wedding on a slightly less insane budget, chances are, you’re going to have to do some saving up first. It can seem daunting, but lucky for you, I’ve road tested some easy ways to save a little extra cash that you can then spend on your nuptials.
- Use online banking? Every time you check your bank balance, move any odd amounts into your savings account. For example, if you had £83.70 in your account, you’d move the £3.70 into your savings. It takes moments to do, and it’s unlikely you’ll miss those odd bits of money, but it builds up surprisingly fast.
- Keep the change. Lots of people throw out small change, which seems insane to me. Once a week, I sort my purse out and empty out any small change (anything less than a 20p for me, but whatever you find keeps your purse a sensible weight) and it goes into a fish bowl by the front door. When the bowl’s full, I take it to one of those Coin Star machines (or you could ask the bank, but some don’t like to do it) and cash out the coppers for notes. This bags me on average about £40 a time, which can go in the savings, or is a ‘free’ treat, from money I wouldn’t otherwise have had.
- Set up a standing order for your pay day. Choose an amount you can afford to save every month and set up that standing order so it moves over as soon as you get paid. If you never have the money, you won’t miss it.
- Ask yourself if you really want an impulse purchase. Lots of us find money burns a hole in our pocket, but interview yourself a little bit before buying on a whim. Do you really want that £50 jacket, or would you rather that £50 bought your wedding shoes? When you actively weigh a purchase against what it would buy for the wedding, it’s amazing how little you suddenly want it!
- Switch up your coffee habit. When I worked in the city centre, I used to spend a fortune on takeaway coffee (partly because I had to walk past no less than 10 coffee shops in my ten minute walk between the bus stop and my office). Now I’ve changed jobs and work in the middle of nowhere, there’s nowhere to buy coffee, and instead I make a nice coffee at home with my Nespresso Pixie machine, pop it in a thermos and enjoy a bargain coffee on the bus. If you really can’t give up your morning coffee shop treat though, you could switch brands. A latte from Starbucks or Costa could set you back almost £3, whereas if you swap to somewhere like Greggs, a latte is only £1.75, and the coffee is really not that different. Bag yourself a free MyWaitrose card and claim a free coffee with a purchase. There’s no minimum spend, so you could buy loose fruit to add to your breakfast for less than 50p and end up with a serious bargain latte. Every little helps, after all.
- Stop buying lunch. If you’re working in an office, it’s easy to get into the habit of popping out for lunch, and dropping at minimum £3 a day on a supermarket meal deal, or spending nearer £8 for a coffee and a crap panini in a coffee shop. Instead, make lunch at home (I’m lazy and just make double portions of dinner and take leftovers) and save yourself a fortune.
- Do an outgoings audit. What are you spending on that you don’t need? Do you have a gym membership, but only go once a month? Cancel it and buy a good exercise DVD or take up jogging instead. Got magazine subscriptions and don’t get time to read them? Now’s the time to cancel them. Paying for a hefty Sky package but only watch a handful of channels? Downgrade your package (often just calling and saying you’re doing this means Sky will offer you a discount). Subscribed to several streaming services? Pick one or two you watch most and cancel the rest, or game the system and share accounts with friends. I know people who share Amazon Prime and Netflix accounts, and split the cost.
Good luck! Any other great saving tips? Drop them in the comments.
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