Why and How You Should Have a Big, Cheap Wedding.

You Should Have a Big Cheap Wedding why going into debt is a horrible first step in marriage. love, marriage, budget, tips, matrimony, husband, wife, spouse, vows, study, more, guests, finance, financing, downpayment, down, payment http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/why-and-how-you-should-have-a-big-cheap-wedding

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?

Related: 4 Ways Real Estate Investing Could be Making You Money Right Now!

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.

 

A 2014 paper by two Economics professors from Emory University found that “Controlling for a number of demographic and relationship characteristics, we find evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.

 

Wait.

 

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 Chose To Be Homeless For A Year!

I chose to be homeless for a year, minimalism, freedom, financial, travel, less, stuff, more, life http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/i-chose-to-be-homeless-for-a-year/

I often see these memes about adulting: the burden, the monotony, the reluctance.  When did we decide it was normal to hate what we do day in and day out.  Did we make a conscious choice to spend most of our time doing something we hate to get money?  Or did it just happen?  Why do people accept that the route to success is plodding away at a job for the majority of our lives, and the whole of our most productive ones at that?

 

 

So what happens when you say, F*** it! I don’t want to be a part of this system anymore!  Well, that is what I did, I quit my job, put in my 30-day notice on my apartment, and sold all my stuff. Everything that I owned could fit within the confines of one backpack.

 

 

I had no home.

 

I had no fixed expenses.

 

What I owned:
A Backpack.
Five shirts.
Five lightweight pants.
Five pairs of underwear.
Five lightweight Camis.
One pair of sandals. (Which at one point were stolen and replaced with 2 dollar thongs)
A jacket.
Airplane sized toiletries.
A brush.
A super pack of hair ties.
A Headlamp.
A small laptop.
My camera.
A water camelback.

 

THAT. IS. IT.
In the whole world!

 

I got a one-way ticket to Europe on the proceeds of my stuff and embarked on some of the best times of my life.  I did work trades for room and board,  which usually required around 25-30 hours a week of work to take care of all my needs.

I worked on a peace farm, the vineyard of a pair of circus performers, I lived with a British couple renovating an old castle into a B&B… which was complete with a haunting story and a dungeon.  I met interesting people, a villain from the old Bond movies who made a kick ass shepherds pie and referred to the local villagers as his “minions”. An old man who had traveled around the world by sailboat and had met Salvador Dali.  Peace activists who protested on the corner every week, I joined in! A man who got called away to advise huge companies during the 2008 financial collapse.  And I mentioned the circus performers, right? They juggled chainsaws! 

 

 

I found other kindred souls, and we would travel together for a month or two. People from all over the world who would give me a glimpse into life in their home country.

 

I learned about life in other cultures and saw things I will never forget.
I hitchhiked. I showered at many public facilities.  I got acquainted with everything free, libraries, festivals, public pools, and most importantly nature. I ate weird local delicacies and pub hopped with a few of my hosts.

 

 

 

My biggest takeaways:
Life is about experiences, not accumulation.
Love people, not things.
Material things only hold you down from true freedom.

 

You might be asking, well why are you not still doing this if it was so awesome!  My now husband and I ended up getting pregnant and could not live by the seat of our pants anymore.  The desire is still there, and now our family is close to going back out on the road again.  This time with a different kind of freedom.

 

 

At the heart of this is breaking out of the norm.  To create your system.  Which is what I’m trying to do now.  Or, you live outside of it, which is what I did when I chose to be homeless.  You can live a life where you choose how to spend your time.  You can do this the easy way by living outside and eschewing everything and live in the flow of the world.  Or you can put in some serious work and break the system!

 

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

I would also like to give a shout out to the homeless who did not get there by choice.  And while I would like to tell those who are capable, that there are options.  Some just are not and in my opinion are a symptom of a sick society. Homeless and Housing Charities.

 

What you need to know before you buy a home!

What you need to know before you buy a home, financial freedom, money, real estate, Tucson, AZ http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy-a-home/

Here is the honest truth about renting versus buying.  The popular line is you are just throwing your money away renting when you could be paying yourself! Right? I know all the investing books I read seemed to tout that line.  It, however, is so much more complicated than that.  So here it is the nitty gritty, no slanted views, pros and cons to owning versus renting.

Renting:

Pros:

You have more freedom.  Leases can somewhat limit this, but you are not tied down.  You don’t have to be in a good seller’s market to leave quickly.  If you get a new job and the commute is far, just move.  Want to take a three-month sabbatical traveling?  Just plan it between moves for no at home costs.

-Simplicity.  You get to pay one lump sum for many housing needs. Maintenance? That isn’t you.  Property Tax? Included! Sometimes even your utilities are included.  Does something need a repair? Just call! No stress for you, one less thing to think about.

-Amenities.  If you are renting an apartment, you get access to many luxuries through communal space.  Pools, Gyms, Lounges, and more. Houses with those amenities can increase price drastically.

-Low upfront costs. An application fee, a security deposit. These can be very small compared to the upfront fees of purchasing a house.

Related:  How to Buy a Property With No or Low Money Down!

 

Cons:

-You have no control.  A landlord can choose not to renew their lease with you, and you will have to find someplace new.

-Your rent will increase.  Your rent should keep pace with market conditions and likely will go up unless the property is in disrepair.

-Does not build net wealth. You are building someone else’s net wealth not your own.

moving boxes financial freedom minimalism real estate renting vs buying

Buying

Pros:

-You have control. While HOAs (Homeowners associations) if you are in one, lenders, and the government has some say on your property it is relatively minimal.  You can change things in your home.  No one can kick you out unless you are seriously delinquent and do not catch up in time.

-The mortgage does not increase. When you buy your house, if you chose a fixed rate mortgage, your mortgage payment is set at the market values when you purchased your home.  This means that your debt will become less significant as inflation increases.  Property taxes and Insurance which are lumped into your payment, however, can and will increase.

-You build net wealth.  Yes, you can build net wealth in your home, but you will also be giving a lot of other entities a cut. There is money lost to fees of buying and selling, and of course, the interest which is front loaded into those first years.  It takes a long time! The longer you hold the home the better.  I would suggest not buying a home, if you do not plan 100% on owning it for the next five years, even then you are gambling on the market to have been stable or good to be able to get out without financial harm so try to plan for ten years.

-You get options. You could rent out your home and make money.  In a tough spot (While generally not advised it is better than credit cards if done correctly.) you can take out equity from your home.  Paid off your home? You could Seller Finance out to get a nice high predictable rate of return that is secured by a property you know better than the buyer.

 

Cons:

-If you are not careful, it can end up a financial trap.  If markets dip as they have done before home value can go down and you could end up stuck in your house for a very long time.  My methods of protections are never buying a home that if rented the price fetched would not cover the mortgage, insurances, and taxes and still leave some wiggle room.

-You cannot control everything.  A methadone clinic could move in close to your house.  A large employer could go belly up.  Your neighbor could let their house go to pot.  All of these can tank the value and your ability to sell your home.  Bye, bye equity.

-It can be an expensive hassle.  Insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs.  These are all things you have to plan for and come out of your pocket.  Unseen, non-mortgage costs can sneak up on you in a house. Doubling your electricity bill, all those tools and stuff you end up buying, that urgent repair that comes up and costs three thousand dollars.