Saving For A Wedding With One Income
To say the least, weddings are expensive. Honestly, LIFE is expensive. Add-in the fact both of us moved to an extremely expensive housing/renting market within the last year AND we are *currently* only living with one income. It can be stressful in more ways then you might think. However, we have a found a couple of ways that work for us on how we save money with only one income. Hopefully at least one of these ideas works for you too!
Put $28 in your savings account every week
I saw somewhere to save money everyday of the week like so: Save $1 on Monday, $2 on Tuesday, $3 on Wednesday etc. and the total added up to $28 (if the first style works so you, then go for it!). By the end of every month you KNOW you have at least $112 saved up and if you have a bomb savings account with high rewards (which we don't) you can make even more money every month.
Meal plan your weekly meals
Both Mark and I LOVE to eat out. I'm not a huge fan of cooking, and he's usually too tired after work to want to whip up anything. But eating out is expensive and adds up FAST. Now I meal plan + prep for us. I try to get Mark involved as much as possible, however, I usually lose out to his computer games when I battle for is attention. So I picked up a weekly dry-erase board from Target that was on clearance for only $2 (it's still on clearance by the way...) and hung it up on the wall so he can see what we're having for dinner on what day.
Go to the grocery store on a full stomach and list in hand
Going back to the last step, when you meal plan you know exactly what you need to make those recipes. Although it can be tempting to want to snag all of the new Pringles flavors, your bank account will thank you for sticking with your list.
Use coupons whenever you possibly can
I used to get made fun of throughout college for "always having coupons." BUT those coupons can help you save SO MUCH MONEY. Do your research before going to the grocery store and see if the store offers a card or online coupons you can automatically load onto an app or their store card. If you get coupons in the mail for restaurants, hang onto them just in case you want or need to eat out at some point. Little by little, you will start to notice a change in your bank account.
Use apps such as Ibotta and DOSH
Honestly both of these apps are TOO easy to not use consistently. With Ibotta you can scroll through items and plan your list according to what will give you cash back (this is what I do) OR you can go and purchase the items you already know you love and come back to the app to see if they're available for cash back. The items that are eligible just requires a scan/picture of the receipt or a bar code. Once they have been proven through Ibotta's systems, you will get cash added onto your account. The only downfall is you have to reach $20 before you can pull out cash which can take longer than you think.
You can sign up for Ibotta here and earn a $20 welcome bonus!!
DOSH is even easier to use. Select the places near you where you love to go. They have the hottest restaurants, coffee places (including Dunkin' Donuts), and even local shops! All you have to do, is link your card(s) to the places you love to go and every time you make a purchase using that card, cash back automatically gets added back onto your DOSH account.
You can sign up for DOSH here. Plus get a $5 welcome bonus with referral code JENR27.
Unsubscribe from tempting emails
Mark and I are reallyyyy needing to save money for the wedding, but we have quite a bit of leftover income over the month which makes it hard to save versus spending it on clothes. Granted both of us do need new clothes so hold off on the jokes until we're married please and thanks. Unsubscribing from the stores I love shopping from was huge mentally. I stopped feeling like I needed to buy something all. the. time.
Create no spend weeks/weekends
We did this last week for the first time to test it out. It actually went a lot better than I thought it would. See Mark is the spender, and I'm the saver. I'm in charge of the finances but I know Mark can feel uncomfortable when he "can't spend money." He brought leftovers to work every day for lunch. We both found ways to have fun without spending a dime. We lasted until Friday and that was only to hang out with his fam bam outside Denver. No spend weeks and weekends don't have to be hard, you just have to keep yourself busy.
Figure out the best way for YOU on how you purchase items
Credit cards can be great when they have the perfect rewards program. Cash is easy to save the change and is a tangible object to keep a hold of. Find what works best on how you purchase items and how easy it is to save at the same time. Maybe you're like us and it's mix of everything! Everyone's different. Everyone qualifies differently for cards and bank accounts. You have to find your own saving groove.
So Mark is actually new to budgeting. I've been teaching him how to set up an Excel sheet (just type in "monthly budget" in Excel and the form I use will pop-up). The template is super nice and I add-in/remove sections that pertain to our own lifestyle. All of the formulas are already there for you which makes it super easy for anyone! When you notice where you spend the bulk of your money, it's easier to find out where you need cut back.
Do you have any other saving tips that work for you? Mark and I are always looking for new ways to save up! What is your weakness when it comes to spending and saving your money? I'd love to hear from you! You can always shoot me an email, leave a comment below, or reach out on social media!