Money, money, money…

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Life is expensive.

I have big plans for the next few years. Which is why I decided it was time to map out a rough savings plan to the end of 2012.

  • At least $10k for one big overseas trip
  • At least $3k for the South Island
  • At least $5k for a wedding (less would be ideal, of course…)
  • And a yet- to-be-specified honeymoon amount (obviously a trip to New Caledonia would cost a lot less than a trip to the Greek and Italian coasts…)

Beyond that, we’re looking at $60k for a down payment. If we can get away with 10 or 15 per cent, then you know what? I’m going to take it. But I’m running on a 20 per cent assumption here, and really, the more we can put down, the better.

Also, further travel. Maybe another $15k for a couple more big international trips?

Right now, I don’t want to say this is doable. Or that it’s not. We may both have some changes coming up career-wise. All I can do is keep saving as much as possible. Hustling as much as possible. $1000 a month…

Key Points:

I still don’t know what we’re doing for our first big trip. I had plans to do a US road trip this year, but it’s going to have to be pushed back till next Aug/Sep (that’s the season I’m aiming for). Or maybe we’ll do Europe, or do a bit of a round-the-world trip.

In the meantime, this year I think we’ll try for a roughly two-week summer trip around the South Island.

As for the wedding, I’m still not planning on starting serious planning at all this year. But as always, starting early on research. Of course I’m paying more attention now to any wedding posts on the blogs I already read, but if you have any favourite wedding-specific ones, let me know! Budget-minded ones are even better. Someone on Twitter recently linked to a really neat wedding site, devoted to kind of quirky/unique weddings, but stupidly I didn’t bookmark it. I do have a few thoughts though, mainly on music (the playlist is the thing I’m most pumped about, and it’s actually the one thing I put any thought into pre-proposal).

$5,000 isn’t much, I know, but I would really like to not go over that if possible. We’ll see. I already know I won’t be doing much – if anything – in the way of favours and decorations and flowers. They’re not at all important to me, and the people I care about won’t care about them either. I’m totally happy with a custom playlist off an iPod, and I may ask T’s mum to make my dress. I don’t intend on having a big bar tab, either – I’m repeating myself, but my side don’t really drink, while his side are a bit too fond of it sometimes. Limits are key. Which is also why we’re thinking a daytime do, and not necessarily on a weekend.

I am so grateful at this point for blogging! Imagine if I had never discovered the blogosphere. I would probably waste money on bridal magazines (or borrow them from my one engaged friend) which would in no-way help me, a frugalista on a shoestring.

19 thoughts on “Money, money, money…

  • Reply Sarah March 29, 2011 at 10:25


    If it hasn’t been suggested already…

    …might be just your type of wedding website ;)!

  • Reply Scribbles March 29, 2011 at 11:29

    http://www.2000dollarwedding.com (USD of course, so close to the $5K wedding you are after :D)
    The boards at http://www.weddingbee.com and following the blogs on there of people like Miss Mary-Jane (trust me, will make sense when you get there)

  • Reply fabulouslyfrugirl March 29, 2011 at 11:43

    I’m really interested in how your plan out your wedding! I’m always amazed at how creative and resourceful people can be. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough patience to see them through.

  • Reply Laura at Red Lips & Academics March 29, 2011 at 13:15


    I’ve never been married or close to it, but I check this site at least on a biweekly basis. I would consider it sad, but the photography and ideas are too good to pass up. Hope you love it as much as I do.

  • Reply Serendipity March 29, 2011 at 13:28

    I loved this idea of sitting down and writing out your big money goals for the next couple of years and explaining why it was important. I might do the same if you don’t mind EE. =)
    And, I completely agree with the whole thank god for blogging! As I start to see what I’m getting into wedding wise, it’s helpful to see where I can cut costs and what other brides do!

  • Reply Little Miss Moneybags March 29, 2011 at 13:42

    I’ve been beaten to A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride but I also really like http://www.sourismariage.com/. I still read both Souris and A Practical Wedding, and I’ve been married half a year already!

  • Reply youngandthrifty March 29, 2011 at 16:47

    Congratulations! So exciting! I’m excited to read about your budget for your wedding.

    I too cannot fathom spending a crapload of money on a wedding (considering the average is $20,000!). Thinking that if i were to have one, I would have it in boyfriend’s back yard.

  • Reply Sense March 29, 2011 at 17:53

    Aim for after labor day in Sept. for your US trip! that way all the kiddies will be in school and you won’t have to deal with them.

    gooood luck saving! You can definitely do it.

  • Reply Laura March 29, 2011 at 19:55

    It makes sense to write all your plans down, then you know what you’re aiming at!

    This is all so exciting!

  • Reply Amanda March 30, 2011 at 01:04

    In reply to this post and your previous one:
    I think it’s great that you’ve got a good list of things you’re really set on saving up for. I have no idea how far into your 20’s you guys are, but either way, it’s nice to see people taking charge of their life and finances in a long-term scheme for once. It seems these days, don’t they say, 30 is the new 20? I reckon the SI trip would be a good place to start – summertime road trip would be so perfect down there, cos it’s warm, but the breeze and driving with the windows down is brilliant. That was like the highlight for our family road trip for me, although wow, it was 10 years ago by now.

    Also – I can do your wedding photos for cheap if you’d like 🙂

    • Reply eemusings March 30, 2011 at 10:37

      We’re both 22.

      Haha, thanks! I may just take you up on that when the time comes!

  • Reply First Gen American March 30, 2011 at 04:15

    I think I spent about $3K on my wedding and another $2 for the house party 2 weeks later. It’s definitely doable.

    Here’s the post:


    I remember being in my 20’s and overwhelmed by the endless life expenses. I’m almost 40 now and I finally feel like I’m getting ahead of it. Life does go by fast, so as long as you’re making plans and saving, things will come together.

  • Reply Fig March 30, 2011 at 17:23

    We are doing about $4 for the wedding, but then another $3k is for plane tickets because it’s in the US. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time it’s useful to combine a trip home and the wedding so instead of two separate expenses we only have one. Even doing things on a low budget it all seems very high! Weddings are expensive!

  • Reply Well Heeled Blog March 30, 2011 at 18:02

    I am a sucker for wedding budget posts – weddingbee.com actually has a good series on them (although they are a bit outdated, some from 2005-2008, and none from NZ from what I can recall). I think I want to keep my wedding under $5K too – most of all, I want it to be low-key. I don’t want to stress so much over Planning An Event for one day, especially if I am not paid for it!

  • Reply Deidre March 30, 2011 at 23:25

    I think it’s great to set goals like this! I am how exciting that there is so much travel and weddings in your future!

  • Reply Emily Jane March 31, 2011 at 00:43

    oncewed.com is great for dresses (unless we’re the same size; I have one sitting around not doing a whole lot!); if you need anyone to design invites/programs etc. I’d be more than happy to help!

  • Reply Stephany March 31, 2011 at 14:21

    I think if anyone could do a wedding for under 5K, it would be you. 🙂 I really can’t wait to see how you tackle the wedding planning process.

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