When you are starting out or branching out in life, it is easy to find yourself in debt.
It starts in the college years. Student loans, credit cards begging you to accept their high-interest bounty, and learning to live without your parents standing over your shoulder directing you is difficult.
It is awful easy to pull out your plastic survival kit when you are facing another meal of Ramen noodles. Before you know it, the bills start coming in.
The Early Years
The first lesson we learn in our financial life is, hiding is a bad idea. Interest is tacked on. Late fees are added. That usually brings us to an over the limit penalty. That modest little credit cushion has turned into a huge debt that is growing out of control.
It is never too soon to tame the credit card beasts. Let professionals provide you with cash flow & budgeting options. They will work with you and show you how you can reverse the damage. They can show you the various ways you can do damage control and still afford to function.
It is wise to tame your credit now. In your early years, you have time to do some damage control. Credit grows with you. By the time you get ready to go into your career and begin the life you have been working toward, you will either have a handle on how to manage credit to make it work for you, or you will be a slave to it.
You will always be walking a financial tightrope. You will begin using one credit card to pay for another credit card. It takes all you can earn to pay the bills which means you continue living off the credit cards. This is at best tedious, but at worse, it is financial suicide.
Important Events In Your Life
Most people begin to prepare for the next phase of life in their mid to late 20’s. This is when most people get married.
You may have kept a firm grip on your credit until now, and you have basic core values regarding credit that your counseling prepared for you.
Do you have to sacrifice the wedding you want in order to stick to your budget? The answer is no.
You do not have to sacrifice unless you are being totally unrealistic about the wedding. If your idea of a perfect wedding includes an around the world honeymoon, live music performed by the Berlin Philharmonic and a wedding venue on a private island, then yes, you will sacrifice.
But if you want a lovely wedding in a beautiful gown surrounded by those who love you, then your budget wedding is going to be perfect.
The On-budget Events
Before you begin planning anything, you must know what you can afford to spend.
If you have to save or wait until a major expense is paid for, you will take those things into account before setting the date. Here a few considerations:
- Are you planning a destination wedding which will require travel?
- Are you paying for the entire wedding or will you have financial help from your parents?
- Are you planning an expensive honeymoon?
- How much money will it cost you, not just for the honeymoon, but for the loss in salary while you are away?
- How many people will be invited?
After you have these numbers down, you can realistically plan for your wedding. The first step is to make a list of what you will not be happy without. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes the smallest omission can free up money to pay for something you really want.
Enjoy Your Life and Make it Count
You do not have to follow anyone’s rules for your lifestyle.
By being open-minded and creative with your plans, doors of opportunity will open. Here are some examples of opportunities to create with much less expense.
- Baptism Of Your Child
Are you planning a baptism of your child? If so, is this the church you or your family attend? Churches have a lot of decorations in storage. They put out fall decorations, and spring flowers. There are often candles and decorations for church banquets and other celebrations.
Ask the ladies auxiliary for their assistance. There is a good chance you can decorate with items they already have and hold your celebration in their hall using their accessories for free.
Of course, you will have to arrange the setup and clean up when you are finished. But that saves you an enormous amount of money.
- Celebrating Birthdays
Birthday cakes are very expensive and so are the settings. More and more people are opting for a birthday candy buffet. The settings are beautiful and guests can serve themselves.
You will have no trouble finding supplies that are lovely and much cheaper than the cake setting. You can ask your friends and family for pretty dishes to stage the candy and table coverings.
It is convenient to go with some bulk candy in pretty colors that is delivered where and when you want it.
- Going On Field Trips
If you want to have an outdoor fun with your family, check out local parks. Many beautiful parks with gazebos and ponds will offer you and your family a beautiful day outside. You can bring snacks or dinner leftovers for lunch and a blanket – having fun has never been cheaper!
Borrowing timeshare property is a great way to enjoy a honeymoon without the high price tag. You probably know someone who has a summer home, a cabin, or a timeshare condo.
If they are close to you, they may make this a wedding gift. Maybe they will accept a small rental for the property that will pay for their expense for the month.
- Having a Wedding
Have an early afternoon wedding so you will not need a full meal service or a bar for guests. Consider an outdoor cookout instead of a formal and catered affair.
For ladies, having a DIY party with your bridesmaids and make paper flower bouquets for the wedding. They are beautiful and you can get step by step instructions on YouTube. Your bridesmaids can keep the flowers as a memento after the ceremony.
As for the music – ask around. You probably have a friend who throws a great party. Will he help with the music? How important is a DJ? Someone with a great music library may serve your purpose.
- Event Invitations
This is a small yet useful tip. Use social media to posts events about your celebration. It is acceptable to use your website to invite guests. However, make a list of people in your life who do not use computers and send them paper invitations.
- Resell Your Decoration
If you have to buy props for your celebration, handle them with care. After your event, you can recover some of your money by selling them.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/Olki5QpHxts