While perusing the internet this week, I came across several advertisements for financing your wedding. Because there is nothing that says we are ready for the next chapter of our lives like starting it with a massive debt. Curious, I investigated more. Washington Times reported that the average price of an American wedding had reached a mind-boggling $35,329!
WHAT! On a party?
This amount could send that couple on good economic footing into the world. 35,000 dollars is a great downpayment on a home in most states or even a paid in full, flat-out cash price on some fixer uppers or condos.
It could allow that couple to house hack and cover all of their housing expenses!!! Why would anyone in their right mind finance a wedding?
Where are the friends and families not condoning excess and telling the perpetrators of such wastefulness what they are doing? TIME reports as of 2016 that 1 in 3 people have no retirement savings and that 72% of millennials have less than $10,000 in savings.
Where did we go wrong?
When did declaring our love for someone for our all our friends and families to nourish and protect become a pinnacle of American consumerism?
Does having the $3,000 dress instead of the $300 one say our love will last forever? Well it better, because that debt probably will stick around for a while.
But guess what, it does not, in fact quite the opposite.
On average, if you spend more money on your wedding ring and wedding, the marriage is less likely to last! The professors went on to hypothesize that it was possible that the economic stress of the debt from the wedding was what caused such outcome.
Do we need more reasons to be fiscally responsible, on this special day?
It goes on further to say:
“evidence suggests that the types of weddings associated with lower likelihood of divorce are those that are relatively inexpensive but are high in attendance.“
So if you want that marriage to last, go cheap, but don’t skimp on the people.
I didn’t know all this when I got married, but this is exactly what I had.
A big, cheap wedding.
This is what I did to get the wedding that I wanted without busting my budget, all said and done I think I ended up paying less than $2000 for 80 people:
Buy many of the things you would normally rent. And then sell them back on ebay.com, craigslist.com, or a Facebook group. Net after the sale will be a fraction of the cost to rent. It is usually pretty easy to do in bulk, but you can get more back separate. I got all sorts of things on Amazon.com: Wedding Fairy Lights, Table Runners, Table Cloth, Vases, and anything else you can think of!
Choose a cheap venue. We did a backyard wedding, and it was wonderful. Other places that are cheap are city parks, national parks, and some other public facilities.
Get a pre-owned wedding dress. Using an expensive dress for one day is wasteful. I bought something that I had tried on at a store for half-off the tag. And guess what you can sell it again afterward!! I used Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Many of the dresses offer returns.
Get a Birthday Cake! I went wedding cake shopping and was disgusted both with the level of quality and the price. Instead, I decided to go to my local bakery and ordered three all white birthday cakes. They were amazingly good and a fraction of the cost.
Rent the tables and chairs, make sure to shop around and don’t mention that it is a wedding.
Don’t skimp on the Wedding Photographer. This was the one thing I wish I hadn’t gone cheap on. Still, there are so many amazing photographers out there I would choose one that isn’t huge on the wedding circuit to get more value.
Food. This was my biggest expense. I had my favorite restaurant cater a buffet. The meal was my chosen splurge for my guests that made my wedding feel not low budget at all.
Get flowers in bulk. I ordered 450 roses in three beautiful colors from Sam’s Club.
Have family help out! Some family members will want to help share in your big day; this is an awesome way. Those flowers need to be arranged, the chairs set up and moved, maybe you have a cousin who would rather give some time than cash for a present!
How do you feel about the modern American wedding? What was your wedding like or what are you planning?
I have made a lot of money mistakes when I went traveling. I do not want to date myself but travel blogs were not as popular, and for the most part, was flying blind other than a Lonely Planet Travel Guide. I lost thousands that could have been avoided. So I compiled a list of my hard-earned tips and tricks, so you, would not make the same ones!
1. Go where your money goes farther! Choose destinations where the cost of living is low. Beer in Western Europe could cost you five times a beer in Eastern Europe. Check out https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp to get an idea of how much it costs to just be in a country.
2. Travel slowly! The longer you travel for, the cheaper it is. You get reduced rates staying places for a month or longer. The less jumping around you are doing, the less you are paying to get from one place to another. As you are there for longer, so you can take advantage of free days at museums and free festivals. Go to local parties.
3. Travel like you live there. Don’t go out to eat constantly, pick up food at grocery stores and markets instead. Don’t make every day an action packed day, learn to relax. Take local public transportation instead of the tourist option.
4. Work! Many places or business will give you room and board for work. It is easy to do, and you can even plan ahead with sites like HelpX.net, WWOOF.net, and WorkAway.info. Do not limit yourself; you can contact organizations or businesses you would like to work at and ask them directly too!
5. Cut down on fees. Get a checking account or credit card that does not charge you extra for out or country transactions and ATM withdrawals. Or even better, find a bank which refunds any fees you may incur at a bank that is not your own. I use a Charles Schwab Investor Checking account. They have been amazing while stationary and abroad.
6. Play the dangerous game of credit card rewards. I’m not a huge fan of these, as I always seem to end up giving them the cost of whatever they give me right back in interest. But they can be a powerful tool if you are disciplined. My husband and I took a trip to Nicaragua on points and only incurred a few airport fees.
7. Don’t have expenses at home! Want to travel for a long time? Drop that lease, rent or sell your home, and sell off all your stuff including your car. Travel while you have no at home expenses weighing you down. You may be homeless, but let me tell you it is freeing!
8. Pay attention to Visas! Know the status of the country you are entering and if you have to prearrange a visa, pay for a visa upon arrival, or can enter for free. I did not anticipate needing a visa, and it ended up costing me a lot of money in changing flights around as I could not afford expedition, and it would have taken a long time regardless as I was not in my home country. For United States citizens: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
9. Don’t be afraid of people! Hitchhike, find a travel buddy to split costs with, stay at someone’s house for free or through CouchSurfing.com. Try to network through social media to find friends and family in the area or their friends and family. Ask people who know more about the area than you to show you around. Not only does it help with costs, but it enriches the experience. Make sure to be kind and pass it on!
Let me first start out saying this is not an affiliate link bank; I am not going to tell you that doing all your searches through Bing or Swagbucks, or all your shopping through iBotta is passive income. Because it is not! Those are just incentive programs, to do your shopping through them, or to actually do work for them by building their businesses. Passive Income is income that does not come from trading your time for money; it is something that is sustained even when you are taking no actions. However, that does not mean there is no work involved!!!! Let’s get this straight; there is no such thing as money without effort. The closest thing is government cheese, but you still have to jump through a ton of hoops, live a very modest life, and be reliant on someone else. Passive Income streams tend to have a lot of work up front that yield a slow stream that takes only a negligible amount of time and maintenance later.
Stock Market: Dividend Stocks, Index Funds. The key for passive income in the stock market is only to take the interest accrued out or dividends. Dividends Stocks are single company stocks that have a good track record of growth in the value of the stock as well as give little kickbacks called dividends. The key with the stock market as a passive income is that you do not remove the money that is generating the interest or dividends. The catch for this is that it takes a significant amount of cash (Work) to make any real life changing amounts here.
Real Estate: Rentals, Owner Financing, Lending. The best thing about this category is that it all works together to allow for a lower point of entry. The bad part is it takes a long time or a lot working with many balls in the air to switch over from the person paying mortgages payments to the person receiving the mortgage payments. There are also so many different options for investing within the Real Estate industry. The baseline rule is getting someone downstream of you in the world to pay you a consistent cash flow.
Businesses: Franchises, Self Startups. These take a lot of upfront work and time; businesses vary widely from restaurants to vending machines to small-scale blogs. Your imagination and motivation is the only limitation. Entry point can be very low like a blog or require significant capital such as a franchise. For passive income, the goal has to be generating enough income that you can hire people to do all the work and still yield an income.
Creative Royalties: Inventors, Authors, Musicians. Usually taking a great deal of upfront work and marketing before any returns are seen. These once they are created passively create income. How much income mostly varies on quality, quantity, and marketing. For this not to be a business you have to hand this off to someone else such as a record company or a publishing house.
“People always need a place to live.” This was a statement made by my real estate investment mentor. He had been a real estate investor from the age of 20; he tried all manner of operations, land to single family homes; commercial store fronts to multi-family housing. Slowly and steadily he weathered the economic climates, and he worked his way to an early retirement at 45.
Countless people are investors in real estate, some small like me who own only seven units, some big who own apartment complexes all over the place. Some passive who have all their properties managed by someone else, some active who play the role of the property manager. Real Estate should be in your portfolio. When held for long times it is steady. When leveraged the return percentages can be very high. When fully paid off they are an amazing constant source of income.
An investment property is one that is purchased with the intent of making money. Your home can build net wealth, but it is not an investment property unless it is multi-unit and you are renting the other units out.
1. Leveraging yourself into a fortune.
Loans are still available at historic lows in the United States, when you compare our rates to the 15% of times past our buying power is stronger than ever. The advantages of using a loan to purchase real estate are you can take a smaller amount of money to purchase a large asset that yields more money and which puts more money in your pocket every month. It allows the little guy to get into the game and get great returns.
There are three ways to get tax deductions on investment properties.
Operating Expenses, these include but are not limited to property management, water bills you pay for the property, and repair costs.
Interest on Loans, your loan company will send you a tax form at the end of the year, and it will be a tax deduction.
Depreciation (Cost Recovery), this is only for investment properties, not your personal residence, this is an incentive from the government. This tax incentive is to help counteract the natural wear and tear your investment receives. They deem the economic life of a property to be 27.5 years; the deduction is the properties purchase value divided evenly over that time per year.
Real Estate does not have a static value, it changes with the market and time, however, over time almost all real estate in the United States has gained a great deal of value. This is a wonderful thing because it means that for long-term property investment keeps up with inflation and has the potential to yield you a great deal upon sale.
Two things of note:
When you invest only for appreciation short term, you are moving into a different investment strategy of speculation.
There can be significant capital gains taxes on home sales; please seek advice from a tax specialist for more details on this.
4. Cash Flow.
This is my personal favorite of the four ways I am making money from real estate right now. Cash flow is the reason people call Real Estate investing a passive income, and I would personally call it a mostly passive income. Cash flow is the money that is generated from your asset in excess of the costs. I use a conservative estimate of half of your rent going to losses, repairs, vacancies, and costs. Many people use this to pay off additional on the mortgage, save for another investment, or just fund their life.
Are you ready to buy an investment property? Get PreQualified before you talk to a Realtor!
Do you long to be out exploring the world? Or are you already out there making memories? Maybe you just like enjoying from afar within the comfort of your home. Our family has been on an extended stay in America while we build up the infrastructure to travel full-time with a family. As a person with the travel bug, who has not been able to travel for a long time, I find myself living vicariously through others quite frequently. So here it is, my top five travel videos that evoke some emotion or excitement out of me. I will not lie, I have shed a tear to a few of them.
I also have to give a nod to Where the Hell is Matt? 2005. Which while outdated with today’s standards of videos, was simply amazing and groundbreaking when it debuted. However, Where the Hell is Matt ? 2012 has better overall quality and message.
Stunning footage viscerally reminds me of what it is like to travel more than any other video I have seen.
A pioneer in the time-lapse film on Youtube, he uniquely captures what he went through in this video.
Silly personalities, breathtaking sites, and an amazing song make for an easy home run.
A relatively unknown video but it stands with the rest. Beautiful. Diverse. Shows how everything is different but the same at the same time.
Ready to make your video? Quality counts. GoPro HERO5 Black is one of the most popular choices for vloggers. It is durable, waterproof, auto-stabilizing, and comes with auto uploading easy video editing software.
Did I miss your favorite travel video? Drop a link down below!