I know that weddings are expensive. I’ve planned my own and had to put so much time and effort to save a few dollars here and there. Some people did have really cheap weddings without lowering the quality (I’ve only seen these people online, never in real life.), but I couldn’t pull it off myself.
I found out a week ago that my cousin in Texas is getting married in April. When my mom first told me about it, I kind of didn’t believe her. Well first of all, he is over 40 and we all kind of gave up hope that he’s ever going to marry and second of all, it’s sort of a short notice, so I thought my mom confused it with someone else. I called my cousin to check and oh yes~ he is getting married. They just set the date couple of weeks ago and they’ve been planning (His mom is planning the whole wedding.) like crazy and that our invitation will be sent out soon.
Of course, I was super excited and overjoyed. After the phone call though, I looked at the calendar and started thinking about the travel cost. I’ve been to many weddings before my own wedding and after. Out of all those weddings though, I never had to travel far to be a part of their special celebrations. Farthest I’ve travelled was driving 4 hours one way and coming back the same day. But now, we have to take off couple of days from work, think about flight cost for each person, rental car, hotel, food cost, wedding present, and other misc costs associated with traveling.
I started to panic. With our tax payment, we were depleting our savings account and we didn’t know about this event, so we never budgeted for it. We have a month and a half until the wedding to come up with the money. I didn’t want to start using credit cards again.
At this point, some people might say, “Why don’t you not go?”. That’s a valid point. But I do have several personal reasons for wanting to go to this specific wedding. I don’t want to bore you with the reasons. Let’s just go with the fact that we’re going.
My hubby and I immediatly started checking out the flight prices online. The cheapest we found was $300.00 per person with 1 layover. We need three tickets since we’re taking mom. (It’s her only sister’s son that’s getting married.) We were looking at $900.00 only for the flight tickets (the cheapest option). For a few days, I was researching and thinking about ways to save money. I prayed to God that I won’t let money consume me and ruin this joyous occasion in our family.
Then I got a phone call from my aunt yesterday. She was sooooo~~~ excited that her youngest son is finally getting married. We chit chatted for a few minutes and then she told me that she’s going to send 2 tickets for every family that’s flying in from out of town for the wedding. She wanted the exact spelling of my mom and my name and our birthdays and other information for her to book tickets for us. I declined at first, but she insisted that she wanted to do this. And they have plenty of rooms for us to stay in, so she told us not to book a hotel either. As they say, God has mysterious ways of answering your prayer.
So we just saved money on hotel and 2 flight tickets. That’s a lot of money. We’re going to increase our wedding present budget though. Our travel budget would’ve been around $1500.00, but now we’re looking at something around $800.00. It’s not set in stone, because we don’t exactly know the weekend schedule yet, but I think that’s a pretty good estimate.
So to prepare for the trip, I proposed to my husband this morning that we should lower our weekly allowance. He was horrified. I told him I’ll pack him snacks and sandwiches on top of lunch on the days he goes to school. He should’ve been bulk buying snacks from our grocery budget to take to school, but he didn’t tell me and was buying expensive snacks with his allowance. I wanted to nag, but I caught myself and just stuck to my original point of lowering our allowances. He reluctantly agreed. So, now his weekly allowance is $40.00 and mine is $20.00. If this works out, I’ll probably keep the amount and maybe give him bonuses here and there, so he won’t complain. I’ll put $50.00 weekly to savings towards Texas trip.
This will only save about half of what we’ll need, but half is more than none. I just need to find other ways to fill that gap. I’ll keep you guys posted on how we’re doing with this sudden savings goal.