Congratulations on your engagement!
If you’re planning a wedding, you have an amazing opportunity to start your life together out on the right foot – and the way to do that is to plan and pay for your wedding in CASH.
In fact, the skills you develop doing this will help set you up for financial freedom in your marriage.
You likely are carrying hefty student loans and auto loans. While you’re excited about planning the wedding you’ve been dreaming of, you’re not sure how to do it without borrowing money.
I get it.
You’ve graduated into a job market where wages are rising sluggishly and you’re at the beginning of your career, so your salary isn’t as much as you’d like for it to be to begin with, leaving you with more debt than you can pay off.
The good news is if you’re feeling this way, you’re NORMAL, and you’re not alone.
The bad news is if you continue the path of the average American, it could spell disaster for you and your new family financially.
Here’s a quick look at the reality of the American lifestyle:
- $59,039 – the median household income of Americans (source)
- $137,063 – average debt load of the average American household (source)
- 11% of that total load is in student loans alone (source)
- 40% of Americans would have difficulty covering a $400 emergency (source)
“The fear is that ballooning debt from student loans — and from auto loans and credit cards — could put many Americans back into a hole, prompting a new wave of defaults, much like the one that accompanied the mortgage meltdown a decade ago.” Michael Corkery and Stacy Cowley, The New York Times
You’re not the average American.
You’re going to do this differently.
You’re going to start this new chapter of your life in the right direction – toward financial freedom – for you as a couple and for your future.
This blog, Cheap Ways To, can help.
I began this blog in 2005 after I planned my wedding in under six months for $5,000, paid in cash. My tips have been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, Colorado Brides, Chicago Bride Magazine, Destination I Do Magazine, St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine and many more.
I’m a Certified Content Marketing Specialist by day and frugal blogger by night! I’m also became a Certified Financial Coach in August 2018.
CheapWaysTo.com gives you the inside scoop on planning a wedding on a budget and setting up your first home together on the path to becoming debt-free.
Here’s what you need to do to get started:
- Create a household budget – TODAY. (download here)
- Plan your wedding budget. (get a free template when you sign up for my emails)
- Start paying for expenses with cash/debit – not credit. (here are tips)
Maintain your minimum monthly payments on your current loans, and as soon as you’ve hit your wedding budget, start pouring that same amount into your debt snowball to begin attacking and eliminating your debt.
We’ll be here every step of the way with tips, inspiration, tools and resources to help.
Let me know your story, and what your #1 biggest wedding planning challenge is. Click here to respond, and I may address your specific situation in an upcoming email or post.
In the News
- Hawaii Wedding on a Budget (USA Today)
- When Family or Close Friends Miss a Milestone Celebration (New York Times)
- Tales from the Bride: How to Have a Wedding on a Shoestring Budget (CBN.com)
- Podcast #232 Title: Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot (VickieandJen.com)
- The Rise of the Rustic Wedding by Weddings Expert Cara Davis (Amaze magazine)
- Show and Tell: Re-create a Downton Abbey-style Wedding for Less (Fresh Style magazine)
- For cheaper wedding, tie knot off-season, do more yourself (TampaBay.com)
- Going Broke Paying for a Wedding? 4 Tips to Help Cut Costs (CheatSheet)
- Big Day Budgeting (Columbus Monthly)
- 12 Things Your Weddings Can Do Without (Budget Fashionista)
Ten years ago, I was working as an editorial director of a startup publishing company. Our target market was twenty-somethings.
On a whim, I came up with an idea for a series of articles on our website called Cheap Ways To …
The idea is that different writers would tackle different topics and how to do them on the cheap, like travel, entertain, go to school, etc. The series went pretty well and we ended up publishing a book by the same name (Cheap Ways To … ), featuring the writing prowess of Jason Boyett, Margaret Feinberg, Josh Hatcher and Katie Meier. It was picked up by Urban Outfitters and a few other retailers and sold more than 10k copies.
A year or so later, my boyfriend proposed, and I found myself planning a wedding on the cheap. At the time, there were very few resources that gave me tips and ideas on how to plan a wedding for under $5k. So, with the help of family and friends, we did just that.
I polled our publishing company’s readers and compiled their feedback with my own experience and wrote a book called Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot. It was published on February 14, 2006. Three months later, the publishing company shut down its book division and I was left with a box of books and a blog that would lie dormant for a long time.
After a few years of marriage, baby #1 came along, then baby #2. Somewhere between those, I decided to update my wedding resource, write a couple more and sell them as ebooks.
But I still had little motivation to keep my blog updated, as it wasn’t bringing in any money.
As I mentioned in an earlier email, once I realized my wedding venues post was blowing up, I invested in creating a download that would serve that audience, and the rest is history.
My blog is bringing in a little income, I’m happy investing in it by writing and creating resources, and now that you’re in the picture, things couldn’t be better. I feel like I’m just getting started and I can’t wait for us to solve money challenges together.
Thanks for following my story and reading the blog. Please let me know what I can do to help. I’d love to get to know you. Leave a comment on the blog or connect with me on social media at the links below.