Big Wedding, Small Budget

Spending Diet

on January 30, 2012

As soon as I put all of our guest lists together, I realized that some major saving would have to be done if we were going to pull of this wedding. Now, those of you who know me already know that I am really a tightwad thrifty. I don’t spend a ton of money on extra things, at least not compared to some people. But, of course, I spend more than I absolutely need to.

As far as I could see, there are two main areas where I could cut down my spending. The first: eating out. I love eating out. There is no way I could cut it out altogether. But, we definitely eat out more than we need to, and often, we don’t even really enjoy the food; instead, I’m just too tired or I worked too late to cook dinner. Now, on our wedding spending plan, I’ve cut eating out to no more than twice a week. This may seem like a lot to some of you, but it’s a big sacrifice for me. Especially when I’m aiming to keep at least 90% of our meals to 15 dollars a person. That means no appetizers and no drinks at dinner. And no grabbing a quick lunch while I’m working, because why would I want to waste an eating out opportunity on a smoothie?

The next area to be drastically downsized was buying stuff. And by stuff, I mean books, makeup, clothes, and other frivolous things. But especially books. I have plenty of books in my house and on my Kindle that I haven’t read, not to mention the friends I have that read and could lend me books. On the other hand, sometimes the Kindle Deal of the Day is too good to pass up. So, I’ve decided—no books over $2.99.

Giving up the other stuff is pretty easy. Do I really need another nail polish? Do I need to go to Old Navy just because or should I wait until I really am missing some important article of clothing? Should I buy another eye shadow when I really just wear the same one every day? No, no, and no.

It’s been almost a month now of my spending diet and the effect it’s having is interesting. I feel a little disconnected from normal, capitalistic life, but that’s not a bad thing. I’m not always looking for the next thing to buy. My money is not burning a hole in my pocket. I have fewer errands to run, since I don’t need to go check out what is new at LOFT or Old Navy. And the lack of eating out (and drinking) has been positive, too. I know it’s healthier. I’ve been forced to find some new recipes. And eating out at all, but especially at a restaurant with actual servers, feels more special, more exciting.

Also, I feel like I’m living up to my ideals a little more. I’m being more thoughtful with my resources. I’m not participating in this super-capitalistic, materialist society we have as much, which makes me less hypocritical when I complain about it.

Oh, and lest I sound too noble, I should reveal that I am actually a money hoarder. There is not much that makes me happier than watching the balance of my savings account go up, even without a specific reason to be saving. This spending diet will certainly up the endorphin quotient at the end of the month. So, there’s that.

I’ve been trying to find the balance between increased thriftiness and total self-deprivation, because the latter never works for me. If I try it, I know a future binge is inevitable. Right now, I feel a little uncomfortable, but not angry or resentful, so I think that’s a good sign. I’m stretching myself, and hopefully creating a new pattern that will continue long after the wedding day has come and gone.


4 responses to “Spending Diet

  1. Lauren says:

    Have you tried checking out books from the library on your kindle? It’s awesome!!

  2. michael says:

    Just stop feeding steve problem solved 🙂

  3. Stacey Hayward says:

    Hi Barbra loving the updates about the wedding. Just a thought outside the box have you looked at any beaches? Hotels close by for friends and family? Also liking the pin wheel idea as a great memory of the day and it will last a long time. Looking forward to more updates x


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