How to tie the knot – on a budget

*a guest post

It’s thought the average UK wedding costs between 15 and 20 thousand pounds. That’s a significant amount of money to find for one day, but there are ways to tie the knot cheaper. Take a look at these five money-saving tips and start your married life free from debt.

Keep borrowing to a minimum

Every couple deserves a lavish wedding, but it’s essential to keep your borrowing to a minimum. Most loans don’t come for free, so always read the small print and try to make payments on time to avoid high charges. If you do need to make a few significant purchases, use a low interest credit card as this will keep your outgoings down. Many banking groups offer 0 per cent on payments for a set period of time, but always find out what the rates will return to when the promotional window ends.

Set yourself a budget

Whether you want a glamorous dress or an extravagant ceremony, you must set yourself a budget. This might sound dull, but it will stop you from falling into the red unnecessarily. To start with, do some research and work out how much you want to spend on the venue, outfits, wedding breakfast, transport, flowers and entertainment. Leave some money for smaller purchases like the favours and decorations and use this as a rough guide. Don’t be afraid to change the figures from time-to-time, but make sure everything balances out at the end – using a spreadsheet could help!

Reduce the guest list

If you want a big celebration with everyone you know – prepare for a high bill. A large guest list means more expense, so you might want to reduce it where possible. If you’re worried about leaving people out (or there are plenty of family politics), invite your nearest and dearest to the wedding breakfast and create more invitations for the evening do. You might not be able to please everyone, but this will certainly keep your costs down. Remember, if your list keeps growing, it might be wise to apply for a credit card with a low interest rate to keep your borrowing costs as low as possible.

Get married in the week

Have you set a date yet? If not, you might be able to save money by getting married in the week. Venues are usually cheaper off-peak and you should be able to get caterers, entertainers and even drivers for a reduced fee. Of course, many people have regular 9-5 jobs, so why not book your wedding on a Friday to make things a little easier? They can enjoy a long weekend without worrying about work and might even be able to stay over – depending on your venue.

Don’t rule out charity shops

Many women dream about their wedding dress from a young age. Diamonds, sequins, tiaras and veils are a big deal, but you don’t have to pay the earth to look good. There are many affordable outfits in charity shops these days, so take a look around and see what you can find. Oxfam has an extensive wedding collection and even The British Red Cross has a selection of bridal charity shops. Second hand dresses, jewellery, bags, hats and shoes are readily available and there are bridal magazines to help you choose.

Weddings aren’t the cheapest things in the world, but there are ways to reduce your costs – so give these tips a go!

*thank you for contributing to my blog!

Start Your Own Crunchy Garden

~ a guest post from Dave

 

One of the reasons that many people want to buy land is because they want to live a more sustainable lifestyle and grow their own food.  It is quite easy to get started – it’s not even necessary to have a lot of room, as a great deal of crops can be produced in a relatively small space.

Green living is not just beneficial for the person growing and using the plants.  It is also beneficial to the environment and over time can save the gardener a great deal of money.  There is an immense feeling of satisfaction when eating something that has been homegrown rather than bought in a store.

Getting started

 For a truly green garden, it is important to use natural products such as composts and fertilizers.  Don’t waste time looking at artificial products – compost works brilliantly and can easily be made at home with scraps from the kitchen and some garden waste.  As an added bonus, it will cost no additional money to create.

When first starting out, it is best to begin in a small way with just a small patch of land, but those who feel ready for the commitment may decide to turn over almost all of their land to growing vegetables.  Different types of vegetables can be grown at different times of the year, which will ensure a constant supply of fresh produce.

Plants to grow

 Careful planning means that the grower can produce an array of vegetables to feed the whole family.  This can include potatoes, onions, carrots, peas and many more.  It is a good idea to assess the soil type and work out which plants will grow best in which areas of the garden.

 A crunchy garden can contain all kinds of edible plants.  Herbs are a fairly straightforward choice for most people, as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  There are plenty of types to choose from to satisfy many different purposes.  Some people grow herbs for medicinal uses, while others want to be able to add some different tastes to their culinary creations.

One of the best ways to get started with herbs is to use plants that have already sprouted, as some herbs are difficult to grow from seed.  These can often be planted as soon as the warmer weather arrives in the spring.  If there is still a chance of frost, then it is a good idea to wait.  Gardeners should also be prepared for the plants to take a year or two to grow to their full size.

Mint is a must for any herb or crunchy garden.  It can be used to make tea or added to a variety of recipes for a fresh and sweet taste.  Mint is also very resilient and has a tendency to spread if left unchecked, so planting it in a pot rather than in the ground is recommended.

Going green is easier than many people believe, and no matter how much or how little space is available, it can be put to good use.  With only a small amount of effort, delicious food can be added to the family table without great expense.

 

 Thank you Dave!