The Devil is in the Details – Finding Money to Pay for the Little Things
Whoever said “The Devil is in the details.” is sorely underrated. Lately I have been trying to get a timeline together for our big wedding expenses and when they will be due. M and I have devised a pretty clever savings structure so that our reception is paid for, as long as we stick to the plan. Now for the rest.
Since I know when all the big things are due, we can save up for those as well, but it’s those pesky little things that are starting to creep up. Tongs for a candy buffet? Sure! Labels for the favor boxes? Um, ok, yeah. Postage for the Save-The-Dates. Oh, I forgot about that. Hair and make-up for the bridesmaids? Wait, I’m expected to pay for that?!
I feel like I am nickel and dime’ing us out of house and home with all these tiny details. But $30 here and $50 there really adds up. Fortunately, there are some sources of found money that I honestly just plain forgot about that will help me out with these little pop-up costs. Perhaps you have them too.
- Income Tax Refunds – Ok, we all know this time of year we’ll get a little dough from Uncle Sam. But multiply that by two, by both you and your fiancée combining your refunds, and you’ve got a nice little chunk of change to play with. In 2010, the average tax return yielded over $3000 per refund, so who knows what kind of moolah you can rake in this year!
- Flexible Spending Accounts – Many companies offer healthcare-spending accounts that allow you to put aside money, pre-taxed, for qualified medical expenses like prescriptions, doctor/dentist/specialist co-pays and even some over the counter health aids, including condoms! Though you typically have to shell out the cash up front for the service or good that you’re receiving, you submit the receipt and get back the cash. You’re ultimately saving about 25% because you’re getting money back that is non-taxed. But since you already put the cash out for whatever the expense was, it’s almost like found money when you get that reimbursement check. Just make sure you budget appropriately, because whatever you set aside is use it or lose it!
- Store Rewards Cards – It’s no secret that AC Moore is a DIY bride’s haven. However, because I seem to shop there so often, I have a great discount card that they scan with each purchase. After you’ve bought a certain dollar amount of items, they send you a gift certificate. I recently received a $10 coupon in the mail for buying things that I was already buying for the wedding anyway. Though it’s a small amount, having this happen a few times a year pumps a nice little chunk back into my budget. And keep in mind, this is just my experience. Other stores have these perks too!
- Travel Reimbursement – My employer, and many others, offer some sort of travel subsidy to get to and from work. Mine happens to be that they’ll pay 50% of my expenses, up to $850 annually. That means that every dollar I spend on transportation or parking, up to $1700, will yield 50 cents coming back to me. Just like the flex spending, you put the money out up front but you end up getting a little back on something you would have had to lay out anyway, so those reimbursement checks are nice little bits to squirrel away.
- Coupons – I can’t say enough about coupons. Every time I get that big blue Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon in the mail entitling me to $10 off, or 20% off my entire purchase, I squeal with glee. I wish that I could have the time and devotion to be a couponer like those people on TLC who somehow get thousands of dollars of groceries for $53. Even though I’m not an extreme saver, I still enjoy when I can use coupons on every-day items and save a little bit. Macy’s; Bed, Bath and Beyond; AC Moore and Michael’s Crafts are some of my favorites because they are places that I frequent for daily-life items and they offer regular coupons so that I can save on things I’m already planning to buy.
Hope these little tips help you tuck away those pennies so you can afford to make your big day fabulous!
Thanks for reading! – A
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