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Archive for March, 2016

On Pins and Needles...

March 31st, 2016 at 08:24 am

I'm getting jittery about several things...

1) My second dress fitting is Saturday morning. I believe this will be my last with this seamstress. She was ridiculously expensive (more than twice what my dress cost), and that didn't include the bustle or cups. Since I'm not as concerned about those elements messing up the dress, I'm taking it to an independent seamstress for those items. My mom and future mother-in-law will be coming with me. They are the only ones who've seen me in the dress.

2) My bachelorette party is this weekend. My bridesmaids are spread out all over the country, but 3 of them worked to put together this amazing weekend. I have no clue what we'll be doing, but I'm so excited! It's supposed to be chillier than I anticipated, so I'm not sure my outfits will work, but we'll see.

3) Our lease is up in August. We just went through a very brief phase of considering buying before we found out that we can't count DF's income until he has two years average since he's commission-based. Our current plan is to lease for one more year and start house hunting in February/March. Given the amount we've managed to come up with for the wedding in about 9 months, I'm guessing we'll have about 30k for a down payment. Not stellar, but should be enough to qualify us for an FHA mortgage.

4) DF's had an amazing month. He's got a few potentials lined up today, so we'll see how the month finishes out. I'm really anxious for him to get his pay sheet as it'll help me figure out these last wedding payments. We made a $4k payment towards the venue, but owe $1500 more. We also still have the DJ ($920), photographer ($1370), videographer ($450), and caterer ($3k). I can't believe how ridiculously expensive the wedding industry is.

Sidenote: one of DF's great-uncles asked if he could bring 8 guests...Are you kidding me????

Non-Wedding Updates

March 7th, 2016 at 08:42 am

I've been so consumed with all things wedding-related that I thought I'd focus on some non-wedding things.

Weight: Given all the changes, my weight has ballooned to the highest it's ever been. I look in the mirror and cringe. None of my clothes really fit, but I refuse to buy a bigger size because then I will be admitting defeat. I've started doing the 30-day shred and focusing on healthier, smaller-portion meals. I'm only 4 lbs. down, but it's a start. I'm hoping with the weather warming up and cheerleading over that I can get back down into the 130s by the time May rolls around.

Credit Cards: I've long struggled with credit cards. I put a bunch away, but I still have 2 that I actively use and 3 more with lingering balances (most 0%, one accruing interest). Here's where they stand:
Card: Current Balance (Original Balance)
Chase Freedom: $2500 ($3500) *This is the one card accruing interest and is my main focus besides wedding things.
Chase Slate: $500 ($1000) *This card is only 0% for another couple of months, but I will have it to 0 before interest starts.
Chase Marriott: $1000 (N/A) *This card is our wedding card and gets paid in full every month. We are building the points to use towards a car rental.
Barclay Card: $5000 ($6000) *This is 0% for at least another year. I only pay $60/month to this until the rest of the cards are gone, but it's on track to be paid off by the end of 2016.
Capital One Venture: $500 ($1200) *This is 0% until September. It will be paid off before then.

I know some people cringe at the fact that I have all of this debt and am instead focusing our discretionary income elsewhere. However, I am trying to remain semi-focused. I never thought I would actually be getting married anytime soon, and I let the excitement carry me away. However, I do still plan to be consumer debt-free by the time I'm thirty. **Edited: I forgot to mention that my credit score has jumped about 20 points with the card payoffs. My score is terrible compared to some people's standards, but given the financial instability I was raised in, I think it's pretty good.

Savings: DF and I live off last month's income. It's not ideal, but that's the extent of our savings for now. We've been putting any wedding gifts received into a separate savings account with the thought that we'd each get two things (one personal and one shared) with that money post-wedding and the rest would be savings. We'll add to that monthly with the goal of $5000 by the end of the year.

Housing: Our lease is up in August. We are 95% sure we will remain renters for the time being. We will not actively be looking until mid-June, but we do have some thoughts on things we'd like in our new place.

Sickness, Grocery Score, and Wedding Updates

March 1st, 2016 at 08:14 am

I've been ridiculously sick these past two weeks. Here's hoping it goes away soon. I went grocery shopping Sunday with the money set aside for March's groceries. I spent $143 out of the $300 set aside for the month, but I think we may actually be pretty close to $300 because of an amazing deal. DF and I are carnivores. We're well aware that cutting meat out will make our grocery budget more manageable, but neither of us feels full without a meat in the meal. One of my local grocery stores occasionally runs a deal with 4 family meals for $20. This time, it was two huge chicken breasts, beef tips for stew, 5 burgers, and lemon pepper wings/drumsticks. I bought two multi-packs for $40 and repackaged it into smaller Ziploc meals for the two of us. All told, we'll get 18 meals out of it. The chicken breasts were also half off, so I got another pack of those for 5 more meals. That with the tuna and emergency pizzas should more than get us through March.

Looking at the wedding budget, I'm feeling more and more confident that we can handle it. All told, we'll have spent way more than I ever would have thought on a wedding (pushing 30k), but I'm at peace with it for two reasons: 1) I only get one of these suckers, so I'm going to make it super memorable and 2) it's a great feeling to know that DF and I made it happen almost entirely on our own. We did receive one very generous cash gift from DF's parents and they gifted us our accommodations for the week saving another several hundred. I know that whether it's a big to-do or a more intimate ceremony, we'll still be married, but I'm very pleased with the way it's shaping up, even if it is expensive.