How We Saved Some Gold On Our Irish Wedding

Dreaming of a destination wedding to Ireland? Can’t afford to go kiss the Blarney stone and your husband at the same time? Think you need to chase a pot of gold to have an amazing Irish wedding here at home? Nope. We did it and had a blast. Here are some of the ways we saved and still had a great theme wedding.

Irish Wedding Attire.

The Dress. I found a quaint little shop that carried overstock dresses and previous season dresses, as well as two or three designers to order from. In the end, I wound up with the third dress I tried on (off the rack), which ironically had patterns on the bodice similar to an Irish Claddagh. Total cost for my dress with alterations: $632.38.

Groom’s Attire. We decided that my husband would wear a traditional Irish Grandad shirt, vest, black pants and black dress shoes. We found the shirt on the web site www.IrishInspiration.com. We found the vest on www.Gentleman’s Emporium.com. The pants and shoes came from Walmart. Total Groom’s attire: $140.00

Rings. In the grand scheme of things I didn’t feel like our rings were too over the top. I picked out a unique wedding set with a sapphire in the heart of the Claddagh and sapphire chips in my wedding band. My set cost around $1700. My husband on the other hand found a cool black and blue titanium ring on Overstock for $58. This is how we saved some gold on our Irish wedding.

How we saved some gold on our Irish wedding.

The Irish Ceremony.

Ceremony Music. We hired a lady to play the bag pipes for our ceremony music. My husband was referred to her by a customer where he worked at the time. She did an excellent job and we saved a lot of green. She only charged us $200. We used an iPod loaded with Irish music for our reception. Contact your local Irish Society to find connections to Irish musicians.

Time Of Day. We got married on a Sunday in the middle of the afternoon. We were supposed to have the ceremony on the square in the middle of town, but it started to pour down rain ten minutes before the ceremony started. So, we had our ceremony in the quaint, little room that was reserved for our reception. That was prearranged just in case of bad weather. We definitely got our money’s worth that way.

Traditional Vows, Blessings, Handfasting and Jumping The Broom. These were the most important heart of the matter and best of all, free.

A Great Reception.

Photography. Even though you want top notch photography for your wedding, it does not mean you have to go with the most expensive photographer in town. Ask friends and relatives who they use for just their normal family photography and weddings. There are lots of amazingly talented people who have studios out of their homes or just do it on the side. Our photographers worked with my Mom and did a fantastic job. You don’t need to get tons of pictures either. We got a smaller package of 150 photos with photo CD and also a slide show DVD. We paid less but we didn’t sacrifice on quality. Total: $200

Decorations. We used second hand china tea cups with flowers. The cups were found at local Goodwill stores. Imitation gold coins were scattered around to decorate our tables at the reception. We also had a Claddagh cake topper that we bought at our local Irish imports store. Our flowers we purchased at Michael’s at a discount when the fall season ended the year before. Cost: $122.50

Food. Since we were married in the mid afternoon, we decided against a sit down dinner. This allowed us to serve hor d’oeuvres, drinks and cake. We also didn’t serve alchohol, which also cut down costs. We had 40 guests including wedding party. Total: $500

So as you can see, there are lots of great ways to save on a theme wedding and make it memorable. My husband’s Irish eyes were definitely smiling once we tallied the savings on our Irish wedding. In a world where the average wedding costs $31,213.00, we only spent $3,552.88. That is the story of how we saved some gold on our Irish nuptials. Who knows, maybe we will get to take that trip to Ireland someday after all.

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How To Save Money On Holiday Baking Supplies.

We’re coming up on that time of year again. Halloween is fast approaching and after that let the holiday planning begin. If you’re like me and love to bake, you are going to love this post. Today I’m talking about how to save money on holiday baking supplies.

Save On Baking Basics.

Aldi– My favorite place to get my basics is at my local Aldi’s store. I can get flour and sugar for a under two dollars a bag. I can get baking soda for .49 a box and baking powder for about $1.99. Chocolate chips (various varieties) all run $1.79 a bag, marshmallows run from .89-$1.99 a bag (depending on size), vanilla extract runs $1.99 and they also have graham pie crusts for $1.19.

Baking Mixes-Once again, Aldi is my life saver. I can usually find boxed baking mixes for around $1.99-$2.49, depending on what it is. Usually around the holidays they have all kinds of specialty mixes like Snickerdoodle bars, Hot Chocolate cupcakes and Caramel Chocolate cupcakes to name a few. I don’t buy a lot of these, but it doesn’t hurt to have them in a pinch either. Just another way how to save money on holiday baking supplies.

How To Save Money On Holiday Baking Supplies

How To Save Money On Holiday Baking Supplies.

Leftover Halloween Candy- Every year, I raid the leftover Halloween candy the day after at Walmart. I tell you, this is a baker’s dream. I have gotten big, 48 oz bags of Hershey’s kisses and Reese’s miniatures for $4.50 in the past, and normal size bags of Twix, Butterfinger, Snickers, etc for $1.50. This definitely beats having to pay regular price at holiday time.  I just take it home and freeze it for later.

Foil Pans, Decorative Trays and Bakeware– I usually buy my 9×13 foil baking pans for $2.98 (2 pk w/lids). One year in the Christmas baking aisle I found a set of decorated, oven safe, cardboard baking papers (assorted loaf sizes and mini muffins)  for $8.98. Also, if I need any extra plastic trays to give things away on, I can get them for around two dollars.

(Tip:  Speaking of cookie trays, check this out for a money saver. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then take a bag of starlight mints and arrange them in a circle. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes and then let cool completely. You now have an edible cookie tray. I haven’t tried this yet but I definitely plan to this Christmas season!)

Cereal-If  I am making s’mores bars, I buy a big bag of Malt-O-Meal Honey Grahams for around $6.00.  I can make two 9×13 pans with one bag. I’m not sure if they have rice cereal or not in this brand, but you can always be adventurous and try something else.

More On How To Save On Holiday Baking Supplies.

Spices-Another holiday baking supply that can get really expensive is spices. I usually buy mine at our local Big R or also at Aldi’s if I’m out. A lot of it depends on what I need. Aldi has a decent spice collection but our local Big R store has a massive one. Many people swear by the ever popular McCormick brand but I do not. I have found that inexpensive works just as good as the big brands. I can get spices at Aldi for around $1.99 and at Big R for a little less than that. If you don’t have either of these stores in your area, take a look at your local Dollar General or Family Dollar.

 

Now that you know how to save money on holiday baking supplies, go start baking! 🙂 Feeling inspired? Tell me what you plan to make in the comments, I would love to know.

 

Photo courtesy of Stephanie McCabe via Unsplash.com.

 

 

 

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Why Have A Will?

Do you ever wonder, why have a will? Let’s face it, we’re all going to die. It’s a 100% done deal. No one knows how or when, but it is going to happen. It could be tomorrow or it could be 40 years from now. Regardless, of timing we all need a will. It doesn’t matter if you are 25, 35, or 85. We all have possessions, children or spouses, and ideas of what we want done with our assets. Are you single and don’t think you need to do this? Think again.  Still, there are tons of people who haven’t lined out their wishes. Still not convinced? Here are some more reasons why you need to put a will in place.

Why Have An Estate Plan?

You decide how your estate will be distributed- This allows you to decide how your estate will be handled upon your death. It helps minimize family fights and  clearly spells out the who, what, and when aspects of your estate. Without having this done, there is no guarantee your wishes will be carried out.

You decide who will take care of your minor children-You put in writing who is allowed to take care of your minor children. This way you know who will be raising them and, more importantly, put in writing who shouldn’t be raising them. Without this legal testament, the courts will pick  family members or state-appointed guardians.

Avoiding drawn out probate- Despite a common belief, all estates must go through probate, with or without a will. However,  a legal document cuts down on this process by having everything lined out about how you want your estate to be divided. Without a legal document, the court will decide how to divide your estate, which can cause long delays.

It can minimize estate taxes- A will allows you to minimize your estate taxes. The value you decide to give away to family members or charities reduces the value of your estate when it’s time to pay estate taxes. Are you still wondering, why have a will?

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Other Reasons To Have A Will.

You decide who will tie up the loose ends of your estate-Choosing an executor is important because this is the person who will make sure all your affairs in order. This includes paying off bills, canceling credit cards and notifying banks and other businesses. Be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy and organized.

You can disinherit people who would otherwise inherit-A lot of people don’t know they can disinherit individuals in a legal document. This is especially helpful if you have gone through a bitter divorce or have irresponsible children.

You are able to make gifts and donations-This allows your legacy to live on and reflects your values. Gifts up to $13,000 are excluded from estate tax, so you are increasing the value of your estate for your beneficiaries to enjoy.

Are you still asking yourself, why have a will?

You can avoid greater legal challenges-Dying without an official document may mean that your estate will fall into hands you didn’t intend.

You can change your will as your life changes- As births, deaths and divorces happen, you can include or disinherit individuals as time goes on.

Because tomorrow is not promised-No one knows if they will be here tomorrow. This is why it is important to get this set up as soon as possible.  It is important to spare your children and other family members as much added emotional stress as possible.

As you can see, there are many reasons to have a will.  There are many ways to obtain a will, either through an attorney or online. The following resources will help in obtaining a will online.

*Legalzoom.com

*Zander Insurance

Why have and estate plan?  To give your family the gift of peace of mind after you pass away. Why have a legal document? To give you peace of mind today. Why have a will? Because no one is promised another day. Why have a codicil? So your loved ones will have peace on your dying day.

Photo courtesy of geralt via Pixabay.com

 

 

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Does Your Mindset About Money Need To Be Checked?

Does your mindset about money need to be checked? How do you really feel about your finances and your financial future? There are many mindsets people have when it comes to money that just are not true.  Sure you have to be focused and gazelle intense to work your way past such mindsets, but the general principles I hear are complete myths.

Money Mindset Check 1: I Will Never Get Out Of Debt.

This is a toxic mindset that can set people back for months if not years. I truly believe that anyone can get out of debt. It may take several years to do so, but it can be done.  You have to get to the point where you are sick and tired of your situation. The pain of where you are at has got to outweigh the pain of change. Once you change this money mindset and get a plan in place, you have won half the battle. The first step is always the hardest and the battle can be long, but the other side is wonderful. I encourage you to change your mindset and find the financial plan/advice that works for you. Next, take a minute to imagine your life without debt. What would you do, where would you go, what charities would you help? Write it all down, make a dream board, do whatever it takes to motivate you toward your goal and never give up.

Money Mindset Check 2: I Will Always Be Broke, Why Should I Even Try To Do Better?

I used to hear this from a single Mom I used to work with and it would break my heart. I don’t like to see people so down trodden that they absolutely have no reason to try to better themselves. If this is you, chin up. You will always be broke because you believe you will always be broke. If you try to do better, you won’t always be broke. Once again, it may take some time, but your situation won’t stay that way forever. It will change. So I encourage you, go back to school or take a class or look into starting a business. Whatever it takes for you  to do better. If money management is an issue, take some classes on that or read some books. Your current situation doesn’t define you, only the mindset you have about it does. Does your mindset about money need to be checked?

Does your mindset about money need to be rechecked?

Money Mindset Check 3: I Will Never Be Rich.

I think this one drives me the most crazy. I believe that anyone can be rich.  There is absolutely nothing that separates us from the  tech giants, authors, sports figures, and other well off people of the world. However, there are two differences. One, they work in their passion and two, they go after what they want. Those are the only two things that keep you from getting rich. Sure, luck can play into it too. But as far as what you can do to put yourself on that path, I think those two things are key. You have to have the drive and the motivation, but I think anyone can attain any kind of lifestyle they want.

Does your mindset about money need to be checked?

Does Your Mindset About Money Need To Be Checked?

Our mindsets define a lot of areas in our lives.  Does your mindset about money need to be checked? I encourage you to take a minute and reflect on where you are and where you want to be. I truly believe you can be in that place/situation you are envisioning. Go get some information, a good support group and change that money mindset myth into the truth of what you see in your future. Change your mindset about money and you will change your life. I have faith in you, you’ve got this.

Photo courtesy of Peggy Marco via Pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of Maklay62 via Pixabay.com

 

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