Photo from AshleysBrideGuide.com
One of the first questions we asked ourselves when we got engaged was how much we are going to spend for the wedding. I thought setting up a budget was quick and easy. It actually turned out to be a long process that requires a lot of research for both of us who knew so little about wedding budgets.
There are many elements in a wedding. Setting up a budget not only requires coming up with a single number, but several numbers for each element. How much of your total budget will go to food and beverage, flowers and decor, photography, entertainment, etc?
There are lot of wedding budget tools on and offline that can help. But thereâ€™s one important feature missing on most of these budget tools. They donâ€™t factor in your priorities. I learned that setting your priorities is very important in coming up with a budget breakdown. While most tools recommend allotting around 30% to 50% of the total budget to reception, our reception (including venue fee) turned out to be almost 75% of our total budget. Crazy, isnâ€™t it? Well, to us, good food and a beautiful venue that requires minimal decor (one way to save) top our priority list.
These are the steps I followed to create our wedding budget:
Best cities to find a new job
Photo from Godlike Productions
With today’s economy and the rising unemployment rate, more people are open to other options in finding a job. Relocation is probably not one of the most attractive option, but it is a good one at this point. The Bureau of Labor Statistics posted a list of the 25 best cities to find a job where unemployment rates are the lowest. Six of the 25 cities didn’t even have any change in their unemployment rates.
- Sioux City, Iowa
- Pocatello, Idaho
- Odessa, Texas
- Provo, Utah
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Missoula, Montana
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Charlestown, West Virginia
- Great Falls, Montana
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Midland, Texas
- Lafayette, Louisiana
- Ames, Iowa
- Billings, Montana
- Casper, Wyoming
- Fargo, North Dakota
- Logan, Utah
- Morgantown, West Virginia
- Houma, Louisiana
- Bismarck, North Dakota
- Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Rapid City, South Dakota
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
CNN and Savvy Sugar
Cutting down cell phone bill
Photo from GeekSugar.com
I see myself looking at my budget worksheet all the time and trying to find a way to cut down on my living expenses.Â The highest bills that I could probably lower are the heating and cell phone bills.
I still don’t have my heater on.Â I just pile on pajamas and sweaters.Â So I’m hoping to get a lower bill this year than last year.Â But am I willing to cut down on my cell phone services?
I lived more than half of my life without a cellphone and a third of my life without any type of phone!Â I also read an article stating reasons to stop using cellphones.Â So I should be fine cutting some of my cell phone services or even cutting it totally, right?Â Â Ummm I don’t think so.
I’m sorry but I love the convenience of being able to call someone anytime.Â My friends text me all the time so I need to keep my texting plan or else my bill will be much higher if I pay per use.Â My internet access is definitely a big expense and unnecessary.Â I really don’t want to take that service away, but if need be I will.Â But for now while my contract is not up,Â I have a reason toÂ keep it .
How about you?
With unemployment on the rise in the US, it is more important now to have that emergency fund handy. Unfortunately, according to an article on CNN, a third of Americans have no emergency savings. And more than half of those who do, don’t have enough in it.
So how much do you need to have in your emergency fund?
That depends on your living expenses. The article suggests that you need three to six-month worth of living expenses in the bank. At a minimum, include the items below in calculating your living expenses:
- Property tax
- Utilities (i.e. electricity, heating, water, cable, phone, internet)
- Insurance premiums (add $400-$1000 for health insurance when health insurance is lost on unemployment)
- Car expenses (gas and loan payments) or commuting expenses
- Discretionary spending (for extra expenditures such as shopping and dining)
Click here to read the full article that includes steps to building an emergency fund.
As soon as I read the article, I rushed to my computer to check my budget worksheet and calculated 6-month worth of living expenses. I let out a sigh of relief when I found out that I have more than enough in my savings to cover me for 6 months.
Tax-free holidays for 2008
Before school starts, several states suspend sales tax for a few days on certain items like school supplies and clothing.
Below are the states offering tax-free holidays. Click here for details on the products the states are waiving sales tax on.Â I’m sorry this post is late for other states.
||July 31-Aug. 3
||Nov. 21-Dec. 2
*State tax only. Local taxes may or may not be waived, depending on location.
Click here to see a complete list of tax-free holidays.
Tax rebate arriving early
The IRS is sending out the tax rebates as early as April 28.Â See below for schedule.
|Last 2 Digits of SSN
||Check Deposited By
|Last 2 Digits of SSN
||Check Will Be Sent By
(source: Savvy Sugar)