How to financially survive wedding season

So the invitations have started rolling in and wedding season is nearly upon us. The average cost for a wedding guest is almost £343 and rising year on year. From gifts to travel almost everything, you need as a guest seems to have a price tag. Making it hard to know how to fit it into your budget. 





Prioritise

Chris and I have been invited to 3 weddings in 4 weeks, and as they all fall on Fridays it means taking time off work. Weddings also usually have several pre-events and all this combined may mean that you have to prioritise what events you can attend; perhaps consider either only attending the Wedding or the bridal shower (or other pre-event) as a compromise. 

Prioritising is hard and must be done in a way to ensure no feelings are hurt. Though things to consider are how close are you to the couple and how much will it cost you to attend the Wedding. For Chris and I one of the Weddings we have been invited to has a reception in Helsinki, Finland. Which the cost of flying there takes it well out of our already tight budgets. 



Top tips

- Consider car sharing travel and splitting the cost of petrol. Car sharing is a great option and if it is a long journey can mean you don't have to drive the whole way. It may also make it more possible to avoid staying overnight if you only have to drive a portion of the journey and are able to share it. 

- Book travel and accommodation early.  Often the wedding party will book a block of rooms off at their chosen hotel, but don't assume this is the most budget efficient choice, don't be afraid to book a room elsewhere. If you are traveling on your own consider sharing a room with a friend. 


- Consider a handmade gift (Pinterest is filled with cute personal DIYs). This is a great opportunity to give a truly individualist gift. You are not bound 


- Or make something for the wedding, i.e., the cake as your gift. For the couple this can be such an amazing gift,  knowing the vendor personally brings such comfort. Plus if they are on a budget gifts of help can help make the wedding of their dreams achievable. 


- If you prefer to shop the gift registry do it early as the less expensive gifts ofter go first. Generally the bride and groom will include items of a variety of price ranges in their registry to allow all guests to be catered for. 


- There is no need to buy a new outfit for every wedding try to find something versatile that can be worn again and again (this one is more for the ladies). Consider getting a dress in a neutral colour which you can switch up with different coloured belts and cardigans/jackets. 


Just remember it is about finding a balance between finances and supporting the couple who are getting married.



What are you top tips for staying financially sane as a wedding guest?

Save money on your electric bill

It is so easy for bills to creep up in cost and the electric bill is often one of the worst due to all the things that can change how much we use. Follow these simple steps to help reduce you electricity bill. I would alway recommend comparing supplier and don't assume your are with the cheapest option. In addition avoid pre-paid cards/keys as they work out much more costly, unless you are struggling with budgeting for bill then paying as you use (and topping up only when you have the cash) may be a better short term option. 



Turn off the lights when you leave the room and don't leave items on standby. I find that by using an extension cord it is easier for me to remember to turn of switches as I can do several in one go. 

Use big appliances like washing machine and tumble dryer in off peak hours (usually at night). Also try to run them on shorter/ eco cyces.

Avoid using a tumble dryer if possible. A good old fashioned washing line works great most of the time  or an indoor laundry maiden 


I don't use my kettle much but when I do I make sure to only fill up as much water as I need. So I am not using energy to unnecessary heat up extra water. 


If you don't already had energy saving lightbulbs these may a good item to invest in as in the long term it will reduce energy use or consider solar lights for outdoors. 


Keep your fridge/freezer in good condition, with no ice build up and 2/3 full (even if its just water bottles) for maximum energy efficiency.


Use energy efficiency appliances such as a croc-pot (slow cooker) as an alternative to other more expensive ones. Also look at the energy rating when purchasing a new appliance. 



How do you save electricity? 


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    If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
    • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
    • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
    • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
    • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
    • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

    Boost your income as a student

    So the summer holidays are here and classes are out, but your wallet is looking very empty from the last semester. Here are some great options for summer work that students can do that can boost you income. But not all of these options aren't limited to over the summer period and could extent to part time work during term time allowing you to supplement your income even further. 

    Server / Waitress - Depending on where in the world you live the pay will vary drastically. In Europe you will get a much higher basic rate and less tips where as in america the basic rate can be a fraction of those seen in Europe but tipping is considerably more higher. Things to consider is whether you want to work evenings and weekends as many times you will work those hours. In addition, being on your feet all shift long can be very tiring. However, if your bubbly and love talking to people then being a waitress may a great job. 

    Seasonal attraction work such as at summer camps and amusement parks. The hours for these CAN be more sociable but it you are work as a residential leader at a camp then you may have unusual hours. These jobs can be great fun and most of these types of employers will be looking for some summer only staff meaning that they are keen to employ students. 


    Babysitting / Mowing/ Garden work/ Car washing- For these types of jobs try advertising in your local community for work. Consider knocking on doors and handing out leaflets to get your name know. Perform well at your job and referrals will come in due to the community nature of your work. As people you work for, friends and family if they know anyone that may be in need of your services.


    Tutoring- Many parents will be looking for tutors over the summer to help their children especially if their child is preparing for important exams in the coming academic year. If you have good grades than this is a great way to make money and often pays very well (approx. £20 p/h). Make sure to take the time to properly plan lessons and listen to the need of the parents and the student. Tutoring is great because if a parent is happy with your work they will often refer you to their other parent friends making it easy to pick up lots of work. Consider adverting on a online bulletin board (such as gumtree) if you have not tutored before as many online tutoring posting sites will require a number of references. 


    Summer on campus jobs. These may include working in campus shops or as a cleaner during the move in/out period. These may also be a number of student academic jobs. I am currently working as a researcher in my law school over the summer (think mini PHD style job) and am loving it as it relates to my subject and pays well (approx. £18p/h)


    Summer Internships for big companies in certain sectors are not voluntary but paid (and is becoming increasingly common). This is a great way to garner industry experience whilst still not letting you bank account dwindle. Applications for this type of work often have to be made far earlier than the other previously mention due to the competitive nature of internships. 


    Etsy/Ebay- consider making and selling something online, though be aware of sellers fees on sites such as Etsy and Ebay and ensure you list at a price that makes it financially viable. This can be a great option to do in addition to another job until your business takes off. 



    What work did/do you do as a student over summer vacation?



    ______________________________________________________


      If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
      • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
      • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
      • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
      • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
      • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

      July Budget Cheat Sheet

      July is almost here (which means we're almost 1/2 way through 2015!!). Here are some things to factor into this months budget. 


      Summer holiday activities- So the kids are done with school. You may have to organise childcare to cover when you are working, or they may be going to summer camp.  You may also have them at home with you but are keen to keep them busy during the summer months. There are so many free activities you can do with children including, museums, Picnics in the park, visit national parks. Check out this great post on fun free family activities. 

      4th July- For those in the USA this is a massive holiday and often involves food, family, friends and fireworks all of which can work out expensive. If you are travelling be sure to factor in for gas and accommodation. For food consider a pot-luck. 

      BBQs- Summer months give a great opportunity to have friends and family over for a BBQ.  If you are considering replacing your BBQ,  look at 2nd hand sites such as Gumtree and Craigslist as there are lots of good quality second hand BBQs. Consider having a pot-luck BBQ where your guest all bring some food to either put on the BBQ or as a side dish. This is a great way to cut the food costs associated with BBQs. 

      Vacations- Holidays are just around the corner for many of us, though most of the expenses should have been paid/saved for already there may be still be a few expenses left such as luggage, clothes, toiletries and currency exchange to factor in for. Also if you are travelling abroad don't forget to let your bank know. Give your self a set amount that you can spend over the holiday (I find it easier to say how much I can spend a day) and stick to it. That way your holiday won't follow you home with a nasty bill.

      Air conditioning as the temperature begins to rise it is now the time issues with ac will show up both in your house and car. Be prepared for these expenses to occur.