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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't Worry

I thank Bob Marley for my title, for one of the best songs ever and for our budget mantra. The budget is a very sticky situation for the Honey's, as it is for most couples planning/buying/saving for their wedding. We have set a rough budget that we don't want to go over; which is about a quarter less than the average wedding cost in our area, and while we are I am comfortable with that number, I typically say we don't have a budget. Is our budget limitless? The exact opposite actually. We don't have a budget because we simply don't have the money. It's like we are constantly adding to the account, breaking it and then fixing it and starting all over. 
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We have three parties contributing to our big day; my parents, Mr. Honey's dad, and us. We all contribute when we can, but it's that 'when we can' part that gets tough. My parents work their butt off to pay their bills each month and unfortunately sometimes there isn't excess. Mr. Honey's dad has the best of intentions but he lives a thousand miles away and sometimes the topic of giving us money falls by the wayside. And for us, well we aren't known as the best savers around, that's for sure. We have a wedding savings account that is growing as I write, but I find myself purchasing things from our joint account "because we have money in there right now, we might as well save the money in the savings account for larger purchases or when our own account is looking low". I keep every receipt in my wedding file, whether purchased from our joint account or from the wedding account. Currently we have spent pennies in comparison to our budget but I know with our wedding particular, a lot of expenses are going to occur in the month leading up to the day.

I wanted to address this for a couple reasons; one because I feel like I keep dropping the 'we can't afford it' line or the 'it's not in our budget' reason and also because I just talked to BM Fawn who is currently engaged and is in almost the exact same budget boat as we are...which made me think there must be other couples out there who are budgeting as they go, not budgeting with what they have. Sometimes I feel cheap, like when I talked about not wanting/able to pay for the photographer of our dreams. Other times, though I feel damn proud of myself, like creating the majority of our dessert table for under $30 (I say majority, because it is still a work in progress).

There's a lot we are scrapping or working really extra hard to find alternatives to, in order to afford not just a few important things, but the whole shin-dig. Our venue was so affordable, our photography is coming in for free, and we are doing a hekuva lot of DIY in order to accomplish the look and feel we want for the price we have to do it for. I'm envious of the brides who have the pot to grab from...not just the high-budget brides, but the ones who have the money already, whether that amount is two thousand or two-hundred thousand. Having the money available is our qualm with the budget. I'd be much more content if our budget wasn't dependent on what we put in this week or next, but rather the amount that is already there. Yes, we could have put off our wedding and saved, but that strategy just wouldn't work for us. We are the types that just go for it; plus it's giving us some great money management skills to work on pre-marriage. No matter how you cut it, budgets suck, and I do realize that even if your budget is on the higher end, it's still a budget.

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There are days that I panic and am ready to eat Ramen noodles for the next four months but that's when my mom chimes in and says "Don't Worry, it will be alright". We can't really go over a budget that doesn't exist, or when there isn't money to go over. This may sound disastrous or haphazard to others, and it is certainly not ideal, but it's working for us. Perhaps I find comfort in the fact that our wedding will be taking place just after the year ends (year end bonuses, cha-ching!) but I do have faith that we will have a wedding that we created at a price we won't loose too much sleep over. I have always found budget posts from previous Bee's really helpful and insightful, and I can't wait to share ours with you in the future, whatever our budget happens to be in the end.

Do you have a less than concrete budget? Are you going to create Platinum for Paper Plates?

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