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5 Wedding Day Timeline Tips

Wedding Day Timeline: Tips for a Mistake-Free Day

Wedding day timeline - Bride getting ready

Introduction

Planning a wedding can be a real stress-fest, but with the right wedding day timeline, you can ensure that everything flows seamlessly and you have enough time for all the shenanigans you want. In this article, we’ll give you an example of a wedding day timeline for a 4pm ceremony with first look. Plus, we’ll give you tips and recommendations for a mistake-free wedding day.

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Tip #1: First Look vs No First Look

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when planning your wedding day timeline is whether or not to have a first look. A first look is when the happy couple sees each other before the ceremony.

This decision impacts when pictures are taken, so choose wisely. I’m personally a fan of the first look, but if you don’t do one, make sure you have a 2-hour gap for pictures and be prepared to feed your guests during that time. Providing food and drinks during that time can raise the cost of catering for your wedding.

Tip #2: Ceremony Time

Another important factor in your wedding day timeline is choosing the right ceremony time. If you have a specific time you must adhere to, it may limit your options. But if you have flexibility, I recommend a 4pm ceremony. It gives you enough time to get ready and take pictures, and you’ll finish before your guests fall asleep from exhaustion.

With all the things happening in one day and on such a tight schedule you may need some help with keeping track of everything. While a wedding planner and organizer book will come in handy and I definitely recommend you get one, there are better tools for planning that you can use alongside it!

The best tools for planning are a calendar, such as Google Calendar, and project management software like Wrike or Asana. You can use these tools to plan all the different parts of the wedding and ensure that you keep all your appointments. You can also assign tasks to all those involved and track their progress.

Tip #3: Getting Ready

When planning your wedding day timeline, it’s important to consider how long it will take for you to get ready. Determine how long it’ll take based on your hair and makeup trial, but 2-3 hours is a good estimate. And don’t forget to pack a wedding day emergency kit the night before!

Tip #4: The Reception

The reception is the fun part of the wedding, but it’s also important to keep in mind that guests can get tired. So, when planning your wedding reception itinerary, include what you want, but also keep in mind the importance of keeping guests engaged.

Dancing and wedding games are key for me, so I would make sure to have lots of time for those. Follow the outline provided below for a proper reception program, or adjust as you see fit.

  1. The bride and groom make their Entrance
  2. Prayers, blessings, toasts and invitation for dinner to start
  3. If you’re doing a buffet: dismiss by tables
  4. Give speeches during dinner
  5. Cut the cake
  6. First dance
  7. Take some more pictures (during golden hour) and/or of the bouquet toss and so on
  8. Dancing and games

Tip #5: Timeline Example

To help you plan your perfect wedding day, we’ve provided an example of a wedding day timeline for a 4pm ceremony with first look. This example will give you a good idea of how to plan your wedding day timeline and how to make sure that everything flows seamlessly.

Wedding day timeline 4pm Ceremony With First look

10am – 1:30pm: Time to Get Ready

10am. The bridesmaids and the bride arrive to get ready.

12pm. Groomsmen and groom arrive to get ready.

12:30pm. The photographer arrives to take photos.

12:30-1:15pm. Pictures of the bride, groom, and their bridesmaids and groomsmen getting ready.

1:15pm. Drive to the ceremony if you aren’t getting ready at the venue.

1:30 – 3:30pm: Pictures

1:30-2:15pm. First look for the bride and groom.

2:15-2:45pm. Bridal party pictures.

2:45-3:30pm. Family pictures.

3:30 – 4pm: The Guests Arrive

The bride, groom and their party should stay out of sight until the guests are all seated

4 – 5pm: Ceremony

One hour should be enough time for the ceremony.

5 – 5:45pm: Bride & Groom Pictures

This is the best time to take photos, especially if the sun sets during that time. Try to align the shoot with the hour or so before sunset for the best lighting.

6pm+: Reception

6pm. Bride and groom enter at the reception. Anouncements are made

6:30pm. Speeches can be made during dinner.

7:15pm. Cut the cake and serve it after dinner

7:30pm. It’s time to Dance and for all the other traditional wedding games and activities.

Conclusion

With the right wedding day timeline, you can ensure that your big day is mistake-free and runs smoothly. Read this article by Weddingwire on some wedding day timeline rules to follow. We’ve provided an example of wedding day timeline for a 4pm ceremony with first look, as well as tips and recommendations for a mistake-free wedding day.

And, don’t forget to check out our other articles, firstly I recommend our article on how to save money on catering for your wedding.

Another way to ensure your big day runs smoothly and you stick to your budget is to ask yourself the question, “How many people should I invite to my wedding?”.

Frugal home cleaning Bible: 5 ways to clean on a budget

frugal home cleaning

Maintaining a clean and organized home is important for both our physical and mental well-being.

But, for many of us, keeping our homes clean can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to budgeting.

The good news is that it is possible to create a clean and tidy home without breaking the bank.

In this blog post, we will explore different strategies and techniques for creating a frugal home cleaning routine that is both effective and efficient.

From making your own cleaning solutions to prioritizing regular maintenance, we’ll share tips and tricks for keeping your home clean without spending a fortune.

So, whether you’re on a tight budget or just looking for ways to save money, read on to learn how you can create a clean and organized home without spending a lot of money.

The importance of maintaining a clean home

maintaining a clean home

Maintaining a clean home is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, a clean home is essential for maintaining good health.

Dust, dirt, and allergens can accumulate in our living spaces, leading to respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. A clean home also helps to reduce the spread of germs and illness, keeping you and your family members healthier.

Additionally, a clean home can improve our mental well-being. Studies have shown that a cluttered and disorganized living space can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.

On the other hand, a clean and tidy home can promote feelings of calm and relaxation. A clean home can also make it easier to relax, and make it a more enjoyable place to spend time with friends and family.

Moreover, a clean and organized home can also save you time and energy. When you know where everything is and you can find it easily, you will spend less time searching for things, and more time enjoying them.

Also, when you have a clean home, you can move around more easily and efficiently, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Finally, a clean home can also make a good impression on guests and visitors, and increase the overall value of your property. A clean home can be a reflection of your personality, and it can also be a factor in selling your property, if you decide to do it in the future.

Maintaining a clean home is essential for maintaining good health, improving mental well-being, saving time and energy, and making a good impression on others.

A frugal home cleaning routine can be an effective and efficient way to achieve this.

Making Your Own Cleaning Solutions

Making your own cleaning solutions is a great way to save money and reduce your environmental footprint.

There are many common household items that can be used to make effective cleaning solutions, such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and castile soap.

Vinegar, for example, is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant. It can be used to clean and deodorize surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, and it’s also great for removing stains and grime.

Mixing vinegar with baking soda can also create a powerful cleaning solution for removing tough stains and grime.

Lemon juice, on the other hand, is a natural bleaching agent that can be used to brighten and sanitize surfaces. It’s especially effective for removing hard water stains and mildew.

Castile soap is a versatile and eco-friendly cleaning product that can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. It’s made from natural ingredients like olive oil and can be used to make cleaning solutions for dishes, laundry, and even personal care products.

Instructions for making homemade cleaning solutions can easily be found online, and often include simple recipes that can be made with just a few ingredients.

One of the benefits of making your own cleaning solutions is that you can customize them to suit your specific cleaning needs and preferences.

Another benefit of making your own cleaning solutions is that you can avoid harsh chemicals that can be found in store-bought cleaning products.

This can be especially important for people with allergies or chemical sensitivities, and for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.

Making your own cleaning solutions is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to keep your home clean. There are many common household items that can be used to make effective cleaning solutions, and the process is easy and customizable.

Also read: 37 Ways to Repurpose Common Household Objects

Multi-Purpose Cleaning Tools

Investing in multi-purpose cleaning tools can be a cost-effective and efficient way to keep your home clean. These tools are designed to be versatile and can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. Some examples of multi-purpose cleaning tools include:

  1. Microfiber mops: These mops are made with microfiber material that can effectively pick up dirt, dust, and hair. They can be used to clean hardwood floors, tile, and even carpets. Microfiber mops are also reusable and machine washable, making them a more sustainable option than disposable cleaning products.
  2. Steam cleaners: Steam cleaners use heat and high-pressure steam to clean and sanitize surfaces. They can be used to clean floors, counters, and even upholstery. Steam cleaners are effective at removing tough stains and can kill up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
  3. Handheld vacuums: Handheld vacuums are lightweight and portable, making them easy to use and perfect for quick cleanups. They are also great for cleaning tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas.
  4. Cordless stick vacuums: These vacuums are lightweight and easy to maneuver, which makes them perfect for quick cleanups and for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like under furniture or stairs. They are also a good option for people with mobility issues.
  5. Spin mops: These mops use a centrifugal force to spin the mop head and wring out the dirty water, making the cleaning process more efficient. Spin mops are also reusable and machine washable, making them a more sustainable option than disposable cleaning products.

By investing in multi-purpose cleaning tools, you can save money in the long run by not having to purchase multiple specialized cleaning products.

Also, these tools often come with different attachments and accessories that allow you to use them for a variety of cleaning tasks, making them more versatile and efficient.

Multi-purpose cleaning tools are a cost-effective and efficient way to keep your home clean. These tools are versatile, easy to use, and can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks, saving you money and time.

Regular Maintenance and Creative Cleaning

Regular maintenance and creative cleaning are essential for keeping a clean and organized home.

Regular maintenance refers to the small cleaning tasks that are done on a regular basis to prevent larger cleaning jobs from piling up.

These tasks can include things like wiping down counters, sweeping floors, and doing laundry. By keeping up with regular maintenance, you can save time and energy in the long run.

Creative cleaning refers to unconventional techniques and tools that can be used to clean your home.

For example, using a squeegee to remove hair from upholstery or a toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach areas can save you money on specialized cleaning products.

Examples of regular maintenance and creative cleaning tasks:

  1. Wipe down counters and surfaces: Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down counters and surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom on a regular basis. This will prevent buildup of grime and bacteria, and will keep your home looking clean.
  2. Sweep and mop floors: Sweep or vacuum your floors on a regular basis to remove dirt and debris. Mopping or damp cleaning the floors will also help to remove dirt and bacteria, and will make your home look cleaner.
  3. Laundry: Do laundry on a regular basis, this will prevent a pile of dirty clothes from accumulating and making your home look cluttered.
  4. Use a squeegee to remove hair from upholstery: A squeegee can be used to remove hair and other debris from upholstery and carpets, saving you money on specialized cleaning products.
  5. Use a toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach areas: A toothbrush can be used to scrub hard-to-reach areas like grout, tile, and hard-to-reach corners, saving you money on specialized cleaning tools.
  6. Steam cleaning: Steam cleaning is a versatile and effective way to clean and sanitize surfaces. It can be used to clean floors, counters, and even upholstery, and can save you money and time.

Regular maintenance and creative cleaning are essential for keeping a clean and organized home.

By keeping up with regular maintenance tasks and using unconventional cleaning techniques and tools, you can save time and money while keeping your home clean and tidy.

Decluttering and Organizing

Decluttering and organizing your home can make a big impact on the overall cleanliness and tidiness of your living space.

Clutter can make cleaning more difficult and time-consuming, and it can also contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

By decluttering and organizing your home, you can make cleaning more efficient and create a more relaxing and inviting living space.

6 tips for decluttering and organizing your home:

  1. Start small: Decluttering and organizing can seem overwhelming, so it’s best to start with small areas or specific items. Pick one room or area of your home to focus on and work through it one section at a time.
  2. Ask yourself “Do I need this?” : When going through your belongings, ask yourself if you really need or use each item. If not, consider getting rid of it.
  3. Sort and categorize: Once you’ve gone through your belongings, sort them into categories. For example, clothes, books, kitchen items, and so on. This will make it easier to find a place for everything and to keep things organized.
  4. Create a home for everything: Once you’ve sorted and categorized your belongings, give everything a home. This will make it easy to put things away and keep your home organized.
  5. Make it easy to maintain: Once you’ve decluttered and organized your home, make sure to keep it that way. Make it easy to maintain your new organization by putting things away as soon as you’re done using them, and by regularly going through your belongings to get rid of anything you no longer need.
  6. Use storage solutions: Storage solutions like shelves, drawers, and containers can help you keep your home organized. Make sure to choose storage solutions that fit your space and your needs.

Decluttering and organizing your home can make a big impact on the overall cleanliness and tidiness of your living space.

By decluttering, sorting, and giving everything a home, you can create a more efficient and relaxing living space, and make cleaning more manageable.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is an important aspect of creating an effective and efficient frugal home cleaning routine.

By planning ahead, you can make the cleaning process more manageable and less time-consuming. It also allows you to focus on specific areas of your home and tackle the most important tasks first.

6 tips for planning ahead when it comes to cleaning:

  1. Make a cleaning schedule: Create a schedule that works for you, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Write down the cleaning tasks you need to do and when you plan to do them. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you don’t miss any important cleaning tasks.
  2. Prioritize: When making your cleaning schedule, prioritize the most important tasks. Focus on the areas of your home that require the most attention, such as the kitchen and bathroom, and tackle them first.
  3. Break tasks down into smaller chunks: Breaking tasks down into smaller chunks can make them more manageable. For example, instead of cleaning the entire house in one day, break it down into smaller tasks that you can do on different days.
  4. Use a checklist: Use a checklist to help you stay on track and ensure that you don’t miss any important cleaning tasks. You can write your own or use pre-made checklists that you can find online.
  5. Get everyone involved: If you have family members or roommates, involve them in the cleaning process. Assign specific tasks and responsibilities and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  6. Use a timer: Set a timer for each task and try to beat the clock. This can make cleaning more fun and less of a chore.

Planning ahead is an important aspect of creating an effective and efficient frugal home cleaning routine.

By making a schedule, prioritizing tasks, breaking them down into smaller chunks, using a checklist, involving others, and using a timer, you can make the cleaning process more manageable, efficient, and even fun.

Conclusion

In conclusion, keeping a clean and organized home doesn’t have to be expensive.

By implementing a frugal home cleaning routine, you can maintain a clean and tidy home without breaking the bank.

From making your own cleaning solutions to prioritizing regular maintenance, there are many strategies and techniques you can use to create a clean and organized home without spending a lot of money.

Additionally, by decluttering and organizing your home, you can make cleaning more efficient and create a more relaxing and inviting living space.

Finally, by planning ahead and involving others, you can make the cleaning process more manageable and less time-consuming.

Remember that a frugal home cleaning routine is an ongoing process, and it requires time and effort to be successful. But with these tips, you can create a clean and organized home that is both functional and beautiful.

Top 5 Cheap Catering For Wedding on a Budget Tips

Catering for your wedding can be a significant expense, especially if you’re planning a wedding on a budget. Follow these top 5 tips on cheap catering for weddings on a budget, and the stress over how you’ll afford to cater for your wedding will start to melt away.

There are a few essential things to keep in mind when budgeting for this aspect of your big day. When it comes to catering, the main things to keep in mind are the number of guests, the type of food, and how and by who the food will be prepared and served. That is basically what determines the cost of the catering.

First, we’ll get into the “how and by who” part of the catering and then we’ll address the type of food.

Who’s catering your wedding and how?

Tip #1: Determine who’s catering your wedding:

3 Options of who’s catering your wedding in descending price:

  1. Fully professionally catered wedding (Most expensive, least work)
  2. Ordering food from a restaurant or other food company (Cost is somewhere in the middle)
  3. DIY with help from friends/family (Least expensive, most work)

Now we’ll explore the 3 options above and how you can save money on each.

Fully professionally catered wedding

Person preparing food

Find a local catering company that can cater your wedding. Make sure that they are reliable, sometimes the cheap options are cheap for a reason. Look at their reviews online and ask friends, family, or acquaintances who got married recently for recommendations.

Be sure to discuss every detail with the caterer so there aren’t any unnecessary costs, hidden fees, or misunderstandings.

In addition to the cost of the meal package, you might also need to pay for a bar package per person, as well as other potential fees like corkage, slicing, delivery, set up, gratuities, and sales tax. Some caterers may also have minimum requirements for the number of guests or the total dollar amount.

To save money on catering, you can opt for a less expensive food service option like a family-style or buffet service, and consider bringing your own alcohol or closing the bar during dinner. You can also ask your caterer about substitutions or waiving certain fees in exchange for making adjustments to the package.

Ordering food from a restaurant or other food company

Many restaurants, food companies, and supermarkets cater events. You can order platters or a variety of dishes from them. If you’d like a wide variety consider ordering from multiple restaurants and food companies.

They are often less expensive than catering companies and the food is just as good. Just think how nice it would be to have food from your favorite restaurant at your wedding.

There are a few ways you can try to get discounts from catering companies, food companies, and restaurants for your wedding:

  1. Shop around: Get quotes from multiple catering companies to compare prices and see if any of them are willing to offer a discount.
  2. Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the catering company to see if they are willing to lower their price. You can try negotiating based on factors such as the size of the event, the day of the week, or the time of year.
  3. Consider alternative options: Instead of hiring a full-service catering company, you might be able to save money by hiring a food truck or finding a local restaurant that can provide catering services.
  4. Look for discounts or promotions: Some catering companies and restaurants may offer discounts or promotions for events such as weddings. Keep an eye out for these offers and be sure to mention them when you request a quote.
  5. Use your connections: If you have a connection to the catering company (e.g., a friend or family member who works there), they may be able to offer you a discount as a personal favor.

It’s also a good idea to be flexible and open to different options. For example, you might be able to save money by choosing a less expensive menu or opting for a buffet instead of a sit-down meal. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount outright – it never hurts to ask!

DIY catering with help from friends/family

Here are some tips for catering your own wedding on a budget:

  1. Plan a simple menu: Instead of trying to offer a wide variety of dishes, choose a few simple, affordable options that will still be satisfying to your guests. Consider having a buffet-style meal with a few main dishes, sides, and desserts.
  2. Shop around for ingredients: Look for sales and discounts at your local grocery store or shop at a discount store like Aldi or Lidl. You can also consider purchasing some items in bulk to save money.
  3. Prepare as much as you can in advance: Make as much food as you can in advance, so you’re not rushed on the day of the wedding. This includes things like making your own sauces, dips, and dressings.
  4. Consider a potluck-style reception: Ask some of your friends and family members to contribute a dish or two to the reception. This can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to the event.
  5. Use seasonal and local ingredients: In-season produce is typically less expensive than out-of-season items. Using locally grown ingredients can also be more affordable, as they haven’t had to travel as far to get to you.
  6. Use your own dishes and serving ware: Instead of renting plates, silverware, and glassware, use what you already have on hand. Or ask friends and family members whether you can borrow some of theirs. This can save you a significant amount of money on your catering budget.
  7. Keep the drinks simple: Instead of offering a full bar, consider just serving wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. This can save you a lot of money on alcohol costs.

By following these tips, you should be able to cater your own wedding on a budget while still providing a delicious and memorable meal for your guests. Be sure to ask your friends and family members who are great at cooking for help with the DIY catering of your wedding.

Many people would love the opportunity to help you prepare for your special day. It could be a great bonding experience and a chance for the two families to get acquainted. Just be sure to watch for arguments on whose meal will be served.

Try and find a strong-willed person to take charge and get everyone to work together.

If you’re not used to cooking for many people have a look at Cook for Folks’s website for food quantity guidelines, great cooking tips, and recipes.

Tip #2: Determine how your wedding is being catered:

Plated, all the food is prepared in large amounts, plated individually, and usually served to the guests by waiters. The exact amount of food is usually prepared with a few extras of each option just in case. This brings the cost of the food down a little since the exact amount is prepared.

However, this option is the most expensive since it is quite a labor-intensive option and requires more service staff. It is the most formal and professional style of catering weddings.

Buffet, all the food is prepared in large amounts and put in chafing dishes and other large tableware. Guests dish up for themselves, or there can be staff who dish up for the guests.

The food cost might be a bit higher than the previous option since more food needs to be prepared since you can’t determine the exact amount each person will dish up. The amount of service staff is far less, or nothing at all, which makes this option cheaper than plated service

Buffet chafing dishes Dishing up from a buffet

Family style is where the food is placed on dishes or platters on the tables and the guests help themselves. This option requires more dishes than the buffet and plated style so there might be extra costs if dishes need to be rented or bought.

Just as with the buffet style there needs to be more than enough food prepared and placed on the tables.

Bite-sized finger foods / canapĂ©s are another option where guests can walk around and mingle while sampling small bites of a variety of food that is either served on platters on tables or by waiters walking among the guests and offering them the hors d’oeuvres or canapĂ©s.

This option usually requires less food but more prep. And as with all the other options, your costs will vary depending on what kinds of food you serve. And whether you use service staff or not.

These are the 4 most popular types of catering for a wedding reception. Choose one or combine 2 or more of these options to create the wedding reception you want.

Tip #3: Have a bread table

Assorted breads

One way to reduce the amount of food that the guests eat is by adding a bread table. You can even have a bread table with cheese, jams, and other spreads instead of a sit-down meal or canapĂ©s if you’re on a really tight budget.

Add some fruit and other sweet and savory options that are affordable. This table will offer your guests a wide variety of options to snack on while you are taking photos and so on.

Tip #4: Let your guests know

Just let your guests know beforehand how your wedding is catered so they know what to expect. People are far more understanding if they know what to expect. If they pitch up at your wedding expecting a large meal they might be left hungry if you only serve canapés or bread and fruit.

Avoid unmet expectations by informing them beforehand.

Tip #5: Rethink the drinks

Rather than having an open bar and drink service which usually costs a fortune, think about serving one or two bottles of wine / sparkling wine per table. Have a cash bar if anyone wants something else or a few more drinks.

You could also tell your guests to bring their own drinks. This might not be a popular option, but if your budget is tight providing drinks for your guests might be difficult.

Something to consider if you’re on a budget is big-batch cocktails that can be premade in large containers and served at the wedding. They can be placed on tables where guests can help themselves. This can be done affordably by buying the ingredients in bulk. For some big-batch cocktail ideas have a look at these recipes on The Spruce. Make them mocktails to avoid paying extra for alcohol.

In conclusion

When it comes to catering your wedding, you don’t need to break the bank to have good food and a good time. In fact, sometimes the most memorable meals are the ones that come from the heart, not the wallet.

So don’t feel like you have to splurge on fancy cuisine or over-the-top presentation. Instead, focus on finding dishes that reflect your personal taste and style, and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Whether it’s serving up a spread of comfort foods or putting a unique twist on traditional wedding fare, the most important thing is that you and your guests enjoy the food and have a great time celebrating together. So don’t stress about the catering budget – just have fun and let the good times (and good food) roll!

For some more tips on how to avoid breaking the bank for your big day have a look at our 35 Cheap Wedding Ideas. To save some money on your venue consider having an intimate backyard wedding, read Ideas for an Intimate Backyard Wedding (On a Budget) for some great ideas.

Budgets for beginners: A guide to creating and sticking to one

budgets for beginners

If you’re new to the world of budgeting, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with managing their finances and sticking to a budget, but it’s an important skill to learn.

In this Budgets for beginners guide, we’ll show you how to create a budget, gain control over your spending and save money for the things that matter most to you.

Here are 5 key tips for creating a budget that works for you:

  1. Start by tracking your spending.

    algorithms, analysis, analytics

Before you can create a budget, you need to know where your money is going. Keep track of your spending for at least a month to get a clear picture of your income and expenses.

This will help you identify areas where you can cut back and make more informed decisions about where to allocate your money.

Also read: The 100 envelope challenge (with variations)

  1. Set specific, realistic goals.

    purchase, house, house purchase

When it comes to budgeting, it’s important to have specific goals in mind.

Whether you want to save for a down payment on a house, pay off credit card debt, or build an emergency fund, having a clear goal will help you stay motivated and on track.

Be sure to set goals that are realistic and achievable, and break them down into smaller, monthly targets.

  1. Create a budget that works for you.

    car accident, totalled, car

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting, so it’s important to create a budget that works for your unique situation.

Consider your income, expenses, and goals, and allocate your money accordingly. Be sure to include both fixed and variable expenses, and allow for some flexibility in case of unexpected expenses.

  1. Automate your savings and payments.

    dollars, currency, money

To make sticking to your budget easier, consider automating your savings and payments.

Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account, and arrange for your bills to be paid automatically.

This will help you save time and avoid the temptation to overspend.

  1. Review and adjust your budget regularly.

    triangle, quality, time

Your budget is not set in stone, so be prepared to review and adjust it as needed.

As your income and expenses change, you may need to adjust your budget to reflect your new reality.

Regularly reviewing your budget will also help you identify areas where you can make improvements and stay on track with your goals.

How to create budgets for beginners: Step-by-step instructions on how to set up a budget, including determining income and expenses and tracking spending.

coins, calculator, budget

  1. Determine your income: The first step in creating a budget is to determine how much money you have coming in. This includes your regular income from employment, as well as any other sources of income such as investments or freelance work.
  2. Identify your expenses: Next, make a list of all of your regular expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and transportation costs. Be sure to include both fixed expenses (those that stay the same each month) and variable expenses (those that fluctuate from month to month).
  3. Track your spending: To get a better understanding of where your money is going, track your spending for a few weeks or a month. This can help you identify areas where you may be overspending, such as dining out or impulse purchases.The easiest way to do this is to go through at least 3 months’ bank statements and categorize fixed and variable expenses, and input this into a spreadsheet.
  4. Create a budget plan: Using the information you’ve gathered about your income and expenses, create a budget plan that outlines how much money you will allocate to each expense each month. Be sure to account for both fixed and variable expenses, and try to allocate enough money to cover your needs without overspending.
  5. Make adjustments as needed: As you begin following your budget, you may find that you need to make adjustments. This could include cutting back on certain expenses or finding ways to increase your income. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your budget as needed to help you stay on track.

Also read: Ultimate cheap grocery list: How to Save Money on your bill

Common budgeting mistakes: 5 Common pitfalls to avoid when creating and sticking to a budgeting for beginners

mouse, lure, bait

  1. Not including all expenses: It’s important to be thorough when identifying your expenses and to include all of your regular bills and expenses, as well as any occasional or irregular expenses. Failing to include all of your expenses can lead to overspending and make it difficult to stick to your budget.
  2. Not leaving room for flexibility: While it’s important to have a plan for your money, it’s also important to be flexible and allow for some wiggle room in your budget. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or restricted by your budget and make it easier to stick to it.
  3. Not setting specific financial goals: Setting specific financial goals can help you stay motivated and focused when creating and following your budget. Without goals, it can be easy to lose sight of your long-term financial objectives and make budgeting less effective.
  4. Not reviewing and adjusting your budget regularly: Your financial situation and needs can change over time, so it’s important to review and adjust your budget regularly to make sure it still reflects your current circumstances. This can help you stay on track and avoid overspending.
  5. Not seeking help when needed: If you’re having trouble creating or sticking to a budget, don’t be afraid to seek help. This could involve working with a financial planner or counselor, joining a support group, or using budgeting tools or resources.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating a budget is a valuable skill that can help you gain control over your spending and save money for the things that matter most to you.

By tracking your spending, setting specific goals, creating a budget that works for you, automating your savings and payments, and regularly reviewing and adjusting your budget, you can set yourself up for financial success.

 

How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding on a Budget?

The question on every budget-conscious bride and groom’s lips: “How many people should I invite to my wedding?”.Woman sitting and writing. Guestlist. How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding on a Budget?

Ah, the age-old question of wedding planning: “How many people should I invite to my wedding?“.

Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are a few things to consider when deciding on your guest list. Since the guestlist influences almost every other part of planning a wedding you should take this part of your wedding planning seriously, especially if you’re planning a wedding on a budget.

First and foremost, think about your budget, and remember to be realistic. Weddings can get expensive, especially if you’re inviting a lot of people. If you’re working with a smaller budget, it might be wise to keep the guest list on the smaller side. On the other hand, if you have a more flexible budget, you might be able to invite a few more people.

Next, think about the size of your venue. You don’t want to overcrowd the space, so it’s important to consider how many people you can comfortably fit in the venue you’ve chosen. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to consider things like seating arrangements, tables, and dance floor space.

Finally, think about who you really want to be there on your special day. This is your wedding, after all, and you should invite the people who are most important to you. This might include close family members, friends, and perhaps a few colleagues or extended family members. Just remember to keep the guest list manageable and within your budget.

A few more tips to help you successfully create your guestlist.

It’s important to set boundaries and guidelines when creating a guest list. Something that helps is asking one of your strong-willed wedding party members to help you stick to the boundaries you set when you started creating the guest list.

Remember to take your time and consider every detail, such as venue size, available overnight accommodation, travel requirements, plus-ones, and any restrictions that are in place.

Make sure that you include the people who are most important to you and your partner. Don’t let your friends or family members influence you unless they are contributing to the wedding. Make sure to prioritize those who are closest to you.

Now, let’s look at some stats and quantities to consider.

What is considered a small, medium, and large wedding based on guestlist size?

According to Martha Stewart Weddings, a small wedding has a guest list size of 50 people or less, a medium wedding has a guest list size of 50 to 150, and a large wedding’s guest list is over 150 people.

These numbers aren’t exact, but they are a good guide to follow when looking at venues and budget guides for your wedding.

What is the average wedding size?

According to research done by The Knot, the average size of weddings in America was 105 guests in 2021, which was much higher than the small COVID weddings of 2020, coming in at only 66 guests on average. And slightly lower than the 131 average guest count of pre-COVID 2019.

Average wedding guestlist sizes are expected to increase in the years following the pandemic. Wedding trends are returning to normal as we come out of the pandemic. This is great news for those who dream of having huge weddings and can afford to have them.

Many people took their chance and had a small wedding during COVID and saved a lot of money thanks to the restrictions on event sizes that were put in place. Talk about making the most of a bad situation.

Unfortunately, that excuse is no longer valid, and you’ll need to think of what to tell the people that you’re not inviting to your wedding in 2022, 2023, and beyond. Here are some tips on how to break the news to the people you aren’t inviting to your wedding.

How to tell people that you’re not inviting them to your wedding?

It can be difficult to tell people that they are not invited to your wedding, especially if you have a close relationship with them. Here are a few tips for how to handle this situation in a kind and respectful way:

  1. Be honest and direct: It’s important to be honest and direct when explaining the situation to the person you are not inviting. Be clear that the decision was not personal and that it was simply a matter of space constraints on the guest list.
  2. Use “I” statements: When explaining the situation, use “I” statements to take responsibility for the decision. For example, instead of saying “you’re not invited because we don’t have enough space,” say “I’m sorry, but we had to make some tough decisions about the guest list due to space constraints and unfortunately we weren’t able to include everyone we would have liked to.”
  3. Offer an alternative: If possible, consider offering the person an alternative way to be involved in the wedding, such as attending the rehearsal dinner or being a part of the wedding party. This can help to soften the blow and show that you value their presence and contribution.
  4. Thank them for their understanding: Express your gratitude for their understanding and let them know that you value their friendship. This can help to maintain the relationship and show that the decision was not personal.

It’s also a good idea to be as understanding and empathetic as possible. Remember that the person you are not inviting may be disappointed or hurt, and it’s important to be sensitive to their feelings.

So, to sum it up, the number of people you should invite to your wedding depends on a variety of factors, including your budget, venue size, and the people you want to celebrate with. In the end, it’s all up to you, your partner, and your budget, but we hope this guide helped you determine how many people you should invite to your wedding. Just make sure to keep it manageable and enjoyable for everyone, and you’re sure to have a wonderful wedding day!

 

Ideas for an Intimate Backyard Wedding (On a Budget)

Are you ready to tie the knot on a shoestring budget? No problem, because with a little creativity and some DIY skills, you can have a beautiful backyard wedding that’s both intimate and budget-friendly. So first things first, let’s discuss the venue, the guest list, the catering, and the attire. Then we’ll get into some challenges that come with this venue and backyard wedding ideas.

Sparklers with text. Ideas for an Intimate Backyard Wedding (On a Budget)

Wedding Venue: Backyard

Firstly, let’s talk about the venue. Your backyard may not be the most traditional choice, but it can be a truly special and meaningful place to exchange vows. Plus, it’s free! You can dress up your backyard with some simple decorations like string lights, candles, and floral arrangements to create a romantic ambiance.

If you don’t have a backyard, you could ask family or friends who have a large enough backyard whether you could use theirs. You could also consider using a local park or beach as your ceremony location. Just be sure to check with the necessary authorities to ensure you have the proper permits.

How many people should I invite to my backyard wedding?

Next, let’s talk about the guest list. A backyard wedding is the perfect opportunity to have a more intimate celebration with close friends and family. This not only helps to keep the guest list small (and the budget low), but it also allows for a more personal and memorable experience.

When planning a wedding a larger guest list means higher costs. Having the wedding in a backyard allows you to easily reduce the number of people you invite without feeling guilty. Now, the only challenge with a smaller guest list is figuring out who you’re going to leave out.

There’s no right number of people to invite to a wedding, but the fewer the better in this case. The size of the backyard will determine the size of your guest list, but we recommend keeping it below 50.

Catering your backyard wedding

Now, let’s talk about the food. Instead of hiring a caterer, consider preparing the food yourself or enlisting the help of friends and family. This can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your wedding. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your culinary skills or your family’s traditional recipes. You can also consider serving a potluck-style meal where each guest brings a dish to share.

Trying to prepare food for a large number of people might be challenging, especially if you don’t do it often. For a guide to assist you in figuring out the quantity of the ingredients you need to cater for your backyard wedding, have a look at Cook for Folks’s website. They offer great tips, recipes, and food quantity guidelines.

What to wear?

Finally, let’s talk about the attire. Instead of splurging on a designer wedding dress or tuxedo, consider opting for something more budget-friendly. This could be a vintage or thrift store find, or even something you already own. The same goes for bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suits.

What are some challenges to consider when planning a backyard wedding?

There are a few challenges to consider when planning a backyard wedding:

  1. Space: Depending on the size of your backyard, you may need to get creative with the layout to accommodate all of your guests. Consider setting up a tent or using portable seating to maximize the available space.
  2. Weather: While a backyard wedding can be a beautiful and intimate setting, it’s important to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Consider renting a tent or having the ceremony indoors as a contingency plan.
  3. Noise: Depending on the location of your backyard, you may need to consider the potential for noise disturbance to your neighbors. Be sure to check local ordinances and be mindful of the volume of music and other activities.
  4. Restrooms: If you don’t have a bathroom in your backyard, you’ll need to consider how your guests will take care of their needs. Letting them into the house, portable restrooms or a nearby facility may be necessary.
  5. Power and lighting: If you’re planning on having music or other activities that require electricity, you’ll need to consider the power source. You may need to rent a generator or have extension cords running from the house. You’ll also want to think about lighting for the event, especially if it will be held after dark.
  6. Cleanup: A backyard wedding can create a lot of additional mess, so be prepared to do some thorough cleaning after the event. Enlist the help of friends and family to make the process go smoothly.

By considering these challenges and making appropriate plans, you can successfully plan a beautiful and memorable backyard wedding.

Backyard wedding ideas

If you’re short on backyard wedding ideas, have a look at 30 Ingenious Ideas for a Small Intimate Backyard Wedding on a Budget by Elegant wedding blog. Many of these ideas are incredibly easy, and most importantly budget friendly to add to your backyard wedding.

To conclude

Your wedding is yours, and not having thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on a wedding shouldn’t stop you from having your big day. There are many ways to still have a beautiful and special wedding day on a budget, for more ideas on how to save money on your wedding, have a look at 35 Cheap Wedding Ideas.

With a little creativity and some DIY skills, you can have a beautiful backyard wedding that’s both intimate and budget-friendly. So go ahead and say “I do” to a backyard wedding and start planning your perfect day!

 

 

Why Is It Hard To Save Money? (2 reasons)

The simple answer to “Why is it hard to save money?” is it’s easier not to… in the short term at least. We tend to follow the path of least resistance. Just as with most things we know we should do, whether it be exercise, eating right or drinking more water, saving money doesn’t just come naturally. It needs to become a habit, a continual practice, or better yet an automated system of doing the right thing for ourselves and our loved ones.

There are many things we intend to do or wish we did, but they are never done and that often leaves us feeling worse about ourselves. Continually not doing those things strengthens the inner voice of our self-limiting beliefs. That voice that says you’ve never been good with managing your money, that your parents never taught you, and you’ll never be good at it, so why even bother?

There are ways to overcome those shortcomings. So let’s look at the reasons why you find it so hard to save money and some ways to overcome those reasons.

All the reasons for not saving money come down to one of two things:

1) A lack of money (by this I mean you have absolutely no money to save, you aren’t earning any form of income). Or,

2) A lack of financial literacy or the application thereof.

Piggybank and coins on the floor - Why is it hard to save money

1) A lack of money

This is probably an obvious one. If you don’t have any money, how can you save? The only way to overcome this is to start earning money. Or if you already are earning an income, start making more by taking on extra work or starting a side hustle. Another article, 34 Ways to Make Extra Money, by Ramsey Solutions might offer a few options you could consider.

2) A lack of financial literacy or the application thereof.

You’re in too much debt

No one is omnipotent and what might have seemed like a manageable instalment to a student loan, mortgage or whatever commitment you took on stands before you like a mountain. A mountain made up of all the little instalments that just started piling up when you weren’t looking, and all of a sudden you start missing payments.

Getting out of debt can seem like an impossible struggle, but it is possible. Have a look at some of these articles on getting out of debt. The first, 27 Ways to Get Out of Debt, is by Ramsey solutions and it gives you many helpful tips on what to do and what not to do when trying to get out of debt. Another, Dig Your Way Out of Debt in 8 Steps, by Investopedia also offers great advice on what to do to get out of debt.

You don’t have a plan or budget in place

With no plan or budget in place, you are just moving through life in a state of wilful blindness. There is nothing stopping you from spending the money you have in your account, no voice in the back of your mind telling you to check your budget first. Having a budget won’t physically stop you from spending the money, but it adds barriers to mindless spending, it puts checks and balances in place, something to answer to.

I know that a budget can feel like an oppressive tyrant, but it doesn’t need to. Find one that works for you, I really liked this article on How To Budget by clever girl finance. It covers a few different budget categories and methods, and most importantly, how to stick to a budget.

You aren’t living below your means

Most of us aren’t living below our means, and it’s usually because we don’t have a budget in place. Living beyond your means is easier now than ever before since we have such easy access to credit. Banks and other companies have removed almost all the barriers to opening a new credit card or getting a personal loan. Even the credit score apps which are supposed to help us manage our credit scores are always advertising personal loans and other forms of credit to us.

Just look at online shopping, you don’t even need to leave your house, which is incredibly convenient, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with convenience, but it’s when we overuse it that we run into trouble. With the so-called consumer culture and lack of barriers in place, it’s no wonder we’re spending more than we should.

We often spend our money in a misguided attempt to impress our friends or significant others. There are many fun things you can do even dates you can go on that cost very little or nothing at all. This article offers 15 Affordable date ideas you’ll love. Have a look at them and take that special someone out without spending much.

With the cost of living constantly rising due to inflation, it’s getting more and more difficult to live below our means. Which makes living a frugal life a great idea.

In conclusion

It usually comes down to bridging the gap between our intentions (saving money) and our actions (putting money somewhere it’s not used for any reason other than its intended use).

The first step is to identify the problem, to measure, quantify and see for ourselves how much we are wasting. Don’t start by doing something about the problem, just become aware of it, and then measure it to see the full extent thereof. Then find ways of addressing it.

So the only way to overcome this shortcoming is to make it easier to save than not to. Our environment determines a lot of our behaviour, especially if we’ve become accustomed to it. Put the right environmental cues in place and watch your behaviours change. Remove the need for willpower, especially since that runs out quickly. Good luck with your journey!

Ultimate cheap grocery list: How to Save Money on your bill

For many people, grocery shopping is a necessary evil.

It’s a chore that has to be done, but it’s also an expense that can take a serious bite out of your monthly budget.

If you’re looking for ways to trim your grocery budget without compromising on the quality of your food, here are a few tips to help you get started.

4 tips for grocery shopping on the cheap

cheap grocery list

 

1. Make a list—and stick to it

Impulse buys are one of the biggest money-wasters when it comes to grocery shopping – whether you’re on a tight budget or if you just like to save on your grocery bill.

Before you even set foot in the store, take a few minutes to sit down and make a list of everything you need.

Not only will this help you save money by keeping you focused on buying only what you need, but it will also save you time by preventing you from wandering up and down the aisles looking for things you may or may not need.

2. Take advantage of sales and coupons

sales and coupons for grocery shopping

 

Most stores offer some kind of sale or promotion every week, so make sure you know what’s going on before you head to the store.

And don’t forget about coupons! These days, coupons are available not only in newspapers and magazines, but also online and through store loyalty programs.

Taking advantage of sales and coupons can help you save a significant amount of money on your grocery bill each month.

3. Buy in bulk—but only when it makes sense.

Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, but only if the item is something that you know you’ll use before it expires.

There’s no point in buying 10 pounds of chicken if it’s going to go bad before you have a chance to eat it all.

But if you have the freezer space and you know you’ll use it, then buying in bulk can be a great way to save money in the long run.

4. Stick to the perimeter of the store

The vast majority of grocery stores are laid out in the same general way: fresh produce, meat, and dairy are along the perimeter while processed foods and packaged goods are in the middle aisles.

In general, the items along the perimeter are healthier and less expensive than those in the middle, so if you’re looking to save money, stick to the outside of the store as much as possible.

Of course, there will be times when you need something from the middle aisle—just try to limit those trips as much as possible.

How to Create a Cheap Groceries List

grocery list

 

Grocery shopping can be a costly endeavor, with many people spending hundreds of dollars each month on food and household items.

But if you have the right approach and know how to make a cheap grocery list, it is possible to save money without compromising on quality or quantity.

One of the most important steps in this process is to plan your meals ahead of time.

This will allow you to identify which ingredients and foods are most important, and allow you to stock up on them when they are on sale.

Additionally, it can be helpful to consider items that have multiple uses or can be used in a wide range of recipes.

Another key step is to carefully consider what you are buying. Pay attention to the unit price and look for deals that come with discounted rates or additional perks, like free samples or loyalty programs.

Opt for a store brand over branded groceries (non-branded are generally cheapest) and always compare prices before you place an item in your cart..

Additionally, try to limit your trips to the store to once or twice each week, as impulsive purchases can be a major drain on your budget.

Ultimately, it is important to be mindful of how you are spending your money and to make smart choices when it comes to the food that you buy.

The Benefits of Creating a Cheap Grocery List

There are many benefits to creating a cheap grocery list when shopping for food.

For one, having a well-organized list of items that you need can help you stay on track and avoid making unnecessary purchases.

Additionally, focusing your efforts on finding discounts and special deals on the items that you need can help you save money in the long run.

Finally, by stocking up on healthy foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet and meal plans, you can ensure that you stay well-nourished throughout the year.

Tips for Sticking to Your Cheap Grocery List

Once you have your cheap grocery list in place, it is important to create a plan for sticking to it.

Making sure that you are organized before you head out shopping can help you stay on track and avoid distractions along the way.

Additionally, having a set budget and timeframe for your trip can make it easier to stick to your list without overspending.

Foods to Include on Your Cheap Grocery List

When deciding which foods to include on your cheap grocery list, it is important to focus on nutrient-dense items.

Some great options for healthy and filling foods on a budget include fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein sources like eggs and beans, and whole grains like oats and brown rice.

Additionally, incorporating plenty of water into your diet can help you stay energized and hydrated throughout your trip.

What to include in a cheap grocery list

Fruit

fruit

 

Fresh, nutrient-dense fruits are an affordable choice for healthy eating on the go.

Options like apples, bananas and berries are easy to pack and enjoy while traveling.

Lean protein sources

Eggs, beans, lentils, tofu, and other plant-based proteins are excellent choices for a filling, low-cost meal.

Seafood is also a good option, though it can be more expensive or difficult to find in some locations.

Whole grains

oats, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta

 

Whole grains like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta are staples of healthy eating on a budget, providing fiber and essential vitamins and minerals without breaking the bank.

Water

Staying hydrated is crucial when eating well on a budget, and can be as simple as carrying a reusable water bottle.

Keep it filled with filtered tap water, or consider investing in a pitcher-style filter to reduce contaminants in your drinking water.

Vegetables

Vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet.

Shopping for these items at local farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture programs, or even your own backyard garden can help you stock up on fresh produce without spending a lot of money.

Cereal

Cereals and grains can be great sources of fiber and other important nutrients.

Look for options that are low in added sugar, or consider making your homemade cereals using oats or quinoa, which tend to be more affordable than traditional boxed cereals.

Dairy

Milk, yogurt, and cheese

 

Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all excellent sources of protein and calcium, two nutrients that are essential for a healthy diet.

If you’re looking to save money on these foods, try buying in bulk or opting for store brands instead of name-brand options.

Bread , Tortillas, and Oats

Bread and tortillas can be great sources of carbohydrates, but they can also add up significantly to your grocery bill.

If you’re trying to save money on these foods, consider buying grains like oats or quinoa in bulk.

Cheap meat (chicken, beef, pork)

Meat is often one of the most expensive items in our grocery bills, and it’s easy to overspend on steaks or tenderloins.

When shopping for meat, opt for cheaper cuts like chicken thighs, ground beef, or pork chops.

Frozen fruits and veggies

While fresh produce is undoubtedly a healthy option, frozen varieties can be just as nutritious and much more affordable.

Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meals without breaking the bank.

Canned beans

Canned beans

 

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is by buying canned goods in bulk.

Canned beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making them an ideal addition to nearly any meal.

Look for soups, chili recipes, or salads that include beans as a staple ingredient to get the most out of your grocery bill.

Summarized Cheap Grocery List

  • Frozen vegetables: frozen broccoli, frozen spinach, frozen peas
  • Canned beans: canned black beans, canned chickpeas
  • Dried or canned fruit: dried cranberries, canned peaches, canned pineapple
  • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta
  • Cheap protein sources: eggs, deli meat, canned tuna, canned chicken
  • Snack foods: popcorn, crackers, nuts, peanut butter
  • Taste enhancers: pasta sauce, sour cream, butter and margarine
  • Baking: baking powder, cottage cheese, yeast, baking soda

In conclusion, grocery shopping doesn’t have to break the bank—if you’re strategic about it, that is.

By following these simple tips, you can easily reduce your monthly grocery bill without skimping on quality or quantity.

So next time you’re standing in line at the checkout lane in the grocery store, rest assured knowing that with a little planning, saving money on groceries and sticking to your grocery budget will be easier than ever!

Now read: How to save money and buy smarter following the 100 envelope challenge

The 100 envelope challenge (with variations)

You may have seen one of the most recent saving hacks on social media in the past year: the 100 envelope money saving challenge.

What is the 100 envelope challenge and how to get started?

100 envelope challenge

This savings challenge is both simple and a fun way to save money – $5,050 to be exact.

Essentially it’s as easy as gathering up 100 envelopes and marking them with dollar amounts from 1 to 100 dollars.

You then store them in a shoe box and each day draw a random envelope from the shoe box.

If you draw envelope 9, you put $9 in it; and the next day if you remove envelope 78, you deposit $78 in it.

And then, after 100 days you will have set aside $5,050 in extra money.

Also read: Best Rewards Credit Cards Reviewed for Saving Money

Obvious challenges of the 100 envelope challenge

money in a jar

Depending on your disposable income, the 100 day envelope challenge may have other negative consequences for you.

For example, with the original money challenge if on day one you remove envelope 97, you’ll be $97 down in your disposable income.

And if on day two you draw envelope 100, that will mean you’re down almost $200 in just two days.

There would be no point for you to participate in this challenge if you only end up digging yourself into a money hole.

One solution to the 100 envelope money challenge

Instead of committing to depositing money every day for the next 100 days, consider what am0unt of money you can afford to “lose” per week.

For instance, try extending the time frame from 100 days to 200 days or even 300 days.

If you do this, you will only be depositing money every second or third day – but you will still end up reaching your savings goal of $5,050.

A variation to the 100 envelope challenge

spend money on essential items like groceries

Just like the original challenge, the idea here is to gather up 100 envelopes. Label each envelope with a different spending category, such as “groceries,” “restaurants,” “utilities,” and so on.

Then, put a set amount of cash into each envelope, based on your budget.

For example, if you have $100 to spend on groceries each month, put $100 in the envelope labeled “groceries.”

Now, when you need to spend money in one of those categories, you can only use the cash that you have in that envelope.

This will help you to stick to your budget and avoid overspending. Plus, it’s a great way to track where your money is going each month.

How much should you put in each envelope?

lock box for your money

It depends on your budget, spending habits and savings goals.

However, a good rule of thumb is to put 50% of your income into long-term savings and investments, 30% into essential expenses (such as rent or mortgage payments), and 20% into discretionary spending (such as entertainment or dining out).

Also read: 15 Affordable date ideas you’ll love

If you’re not sure where to start, try using this percentages as a guideline for how much to put in each envelope.

For example, if your monthly income is $3,000, you would put $1,500 into long-term savings and investments, $900 into essential expenses, and $600 into discretionary spending.

Once you’ve determined how much to put in each envelope, it’s time to start saving! Put the envelopes somewhere safe—like a lockbox or safe deposit box—and only use the cash when necessary.

This way, you’ll always know exactly how much money you have to spend in each category.

Is it not better to save money in a savings account?

As fun as challenge it is, it may be better to create a separate savings account or fund and still participate in the challenge by transferring or depositing money into a bank account.

You can still use the envelopes, but rather than keeping your money in a paper piggy bank, rather let it gather some interest in a savings account or separate fund.

In conclusion, the 100 envelope challenge is a great way to save money and stay on budget – or set aside money. By allocating a set amount of cash to each spending category, you can avoid overspending and better track where your money goes each month.

Saving money and making money are two different activities, but each is as important as the other.

And while money saving challenges can be fun, it’s important that it still fits in with your financial commitments: like paying off debt, servicing your mortgage or rent, school fees and others.

So give it a try—you may be surprised at how much easier it is to stick to your budget when you’re using cash!

Cheap vs Frugal… Which is Best? (Part 1)

Even though these words are often used interchangeably, each has a different connotation. We might insult someone by telling them how cheap they are. Yet we praise them by telling them how frugal they are. And at times we may try to use both as slights or insults. Let’s explore the difference between cheap and frugal and why one has a negative connotation and the other a positive.

Cheap vs Frugal

Man thinking. Cheap VS Frugal

Now, when it comes to being Cheap vs Frugal I like to think of cheap as going for the least expensive (cheapest) option, no matter what, and frugal as going for the option that offers the best value for the resources you have available.

I might be slightly biased toward frugality, and I’ll admit that freely. That is only because it is the best long term habit or approach to spending your limited resources. I specifically use the word resources rather than money, for the simple reason that we should look at everything of value that we spend when making a choice.

We spend, among many other resources, our time, attention and energy on whatever we choose. The mere act of choosing something requires mental energy and time. Be mindful of the value of these resources and be frugal rather than cheap. Focus on what matters rather than just throwing your time and attention at whatever cheap distraction comes easily.

The philosophy of frugality

Frugality ties back into ancient traditions and philosophy. Sages have cautioned against overindulgence and intemperance. Both can lead to bad health and reckless behavior. Some examples of philosophers who advocated simple living and frugality are Lao Tzu, Buddha, Socrates and Plato, even the Roman emperor and stoic philosopher himself, Marcus Aurelius.

More recent examples include Benjamin Franklin, Nietzsche and Gandhi to name but a few. Now these were all great men who achieved remarkable things. The list goes on and even includes religious figures such as Jesus Christ. So if this common theme is present in all of their teachings, perhaps it’s a good idea to take note.

While some of these men lived lives none of us would want, they all made exceptional contributions to society and the way we think. We don’t all need to be philosophers to realize the value of leading a frugal life, just look at the practical benefits of delaying gratification, saving and investing. Rather than spending and being in bad debt we discipline ourselves and put plans in place to heed the words of these great men.

There were those who took this idea to the extreme though, Diogenes the Cynic lived in a barrel or ceramic jar on the streets of Athens and had almost no possessions. Such extreme adherence to this philosophy might be considered insanity. He did not live the way he did to lead a simple life, it was more of a dramatic critique of the social norms among other things. He was basically one of the first trolls.

There is no need to take things that far though. Take the concepts he lived out to their fullest, and examine them and implement the wisdom that he suffered to extract from hardship, in your life. By looking at the extremes and ideals we can often find some parallels to these absurdities in our own lives. Do what you can to identify the worst and best in yourself, be honest and take stock. Go and look at how the sages lived, or at least learn more about how they thought.

We can apply these concepts to our daily lives, both economically and psychologically. There are many benefits to spending your time, energy and attention frugally. This becomes easy once you’ve realized that these resources are both finite and incredibly valuable.

For some more info on the Philosophy of Frugality, watch this video and take a deep dive into the concepts. The sound quality isn’t that great, but the information is incredibly interesting and the delivery witty.

Let’s have a look at how you can use the word frugal in a sentence in its different forms.

Frugal in a sentence

  • She chose to be frugal and bought only what was necessary.
  • The frugal man spent his money wisely, and can rest easy knowing he has no bad debt.

Frugality in a sentence

  • I am always impressed by the frugality of some people, they could afford much more, but instead decide to live a simple life.
  • The stoic philosophers believed frugality was a virtue.

Frugally in a sentence

  • Shopping frugally can save you a lot of trouble caused by debt.
  • I decided to spend my hard earned money frugally and save and invest what I had left.

Being cheap

Being cheap and being frugal only have a few things in common. Both approaches are concerned with using your resources sparingly and saving what you can. Being cheap however is often at the expense of others, and your future self. Being cheap looks at one variable and one variable alone, and that is price. A cheap person asks, “How can I pay the least, no matter what?”

There is a good reason why this word has a negative connotation. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish”. It means that a cheap way out is taken to save a small amount of money now, but large costs will be due in the future because of this.

We ought to sacrifice the present for the future, not the other way around. So by doing something properly the first time, we get rid of the need to redo it in the future. Redoing things can become incredibly costly, not just financially but in terms of time and reputation.

Don’t be cheap do something right the first time.

Cheap in a sentence

  • Being his usual cheap self, he decided that working with protective gear was too expensive, he now only has one eye left to count all the money he saved.
  • She was so cheap that instead of paying for parking, she parked 5 blocks away, walked all the way, got mugged and broke a heel.

Now I’ll admit, these examples are quite harsh and obviously many factors contribute to the decisions people make. But I hope they get the point across.

In Conclusion

There is still much to discuss about frugality and the philosophies and practical wisdom behind the ideas that contribute to the concept of frugality. Applying these concepts to your life could be incredibly beneficial, not only practically and economically, but psychologically as well.

Cheap vs frugal might seem like an unusual topic to write about, and distinguishing between these terms might seem unnecessary and pedantic. But I hope that the differences between the two approaches are more apparent and that the different connotations clear.

For some more practical modern day tips on living frugally read 9 Frugal living tips for 2022.