General chatter - advice/ideas?




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Ciao
12-17-2011, 10:09 PM
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2-1.png

this will be quite a mixed post, so i'll try my
best to sort out my thoughts and questions.

1) advice

on august 8th, 2012 i will be marrying my dashing fellow
and soul mate. it'll mark our four-year anniversary and
next chapter of our lives together. any advice for us?

we have a concrete plan on where we want to go with
our lives (like how to pay the bills, career paths, etc),
however i adore hearing from the wise who've "been
there, done that"

i'm mainly looking more for financial, money-saving,
smart-spending advice. where are some places to get
the most bang for my buck while grocery shopping?
(ex. farmers markets or mom and pop stores)

but any advice is much appreciated! ;)

the only advice i don't want to get is "you should wait."
i've heard it so many times that it's become old, and it's
not up for debate so please refrain from saying it.

i want genuine marital advice from those who're married, formerly
married, re-married, or even engaged!

2) ideas

what cute DIY wedding crafts are floating around?
budgeting is big for me (i'm a very serious saver if
you couldn't tell :D) and i love being inspired.

i know the wedding is in eight months but time is
flying by and there's still so many things to do!

i'd love to start piecing things together little by little
with the decor during the month of january.
the wedding is a light pink and creme color; classic,
vintage, lace (for we are two very old souls.)

tulips, orchids, and scarlet carnations are the preferred
flowers if that helps. thanks so much! (:

http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2.png


mystyblue85
12-17-2011, 10:25 PM
Congrats! I met my husband when I was 14 and he told me 4 weeks later that he was gonna marry me. 8 yrs later, he did and 4 years later we are happy and going strong!
Saving is hard for us, but one thing that we do is "pay ourselves". We get a portion of our paychecks direct deposited into a savings account that we don't touch (unless it is an emergency) and we frequently forget its there until the statements come in the mail every 3 months. We also use cash a lot so that we arent "swiping our lives away" and we dont spend loose change (the coins we put in a jar/bucket) and when its full, we roll them up and cash them in for vacations or a big splurge (its usually over 1000 bucks by the time we cash them in once a year)
for the wedding, arts and crafts stores are AMAZING! we went to michael's (craft store in our area) and we bought fauz glas vases and clear beads and flowers and greenery for about 80 bucks and it made the 15 centerpieces for our receptions. you can go to the local photography/art school and get a few of the students to take wedding pics for school credit for almost free. and give the guests disposables for some awesome candids of the wedding and reception and have them write their names on them and leave them afterwards. for thanks yous, you would send them a pic from the camera they used to take the pics.
you can make your own wedding song mix and play it during the ceremony instead of hiring live musicians and maybe have a story behind each song, as spoken by you and hubby to explain why you chose that song. Get a local dj to play at the reception for cheap and allow him to pass out his biz cards to the guests towards the end. try local bakeries or caterers and see if they offer you a discount for free advertising (and include them in the program for free advertising). Get your dress made by a seamstress for cheaper or get it off the clearance rack (my dress was 300 bucks off the clearance at davids bridal)...
Hope this helps and congrats again!

Italiannie
12-17-2011, 10:26 PM
Go to church together
Laugh together
Spend less than you earn
Love and respect each set of in-laws, but recognize proper boundaries
Concentrate more on being husband and wife than on being a bride and groom.

Enjoy your wedding day and don't sweat the small stuff.

Blessings to you both from an old married woman.


Ciao
12-17-2011, 10:53 PM
Congrats! I met my husband when I was 14 and he told me 4 weeks later that he was gonna marry me. 8 yrs later, he did and 4 years later we are happy and going strong!

wow! congrats!

We also use cash a lot so that we arent "swiping our lives away" and we dont spend loose change (the coins we put in a jar/bucket) and when its full, we roll them up and cash them in for vacations or a big splurge (its usually over 1000 bucks by the time we cash them in once a year)

i love this idea- especially using cash.
now that i think of it, i've always been more
caution if i have a twenty dollar bill vs. my debit
card. it's so easy to swipe the card and forget
money is even there, but when you physically
see it disappearing it puts it in perspective.

and give the guests disposables for some awesome candids of the wedding and reception and have them write their names on them and leave them afterwards. for thanks yous, you would send them a pic from the camera they used to take the pics.


how darling! it'll go great with the vintage
theme if we include film cameras. it'll give it that
old-style look and feel that's hard to get with a
digital camera unless you have a photo shop editor. :yes:

try local bakeries or caterers and see if they offer you a discount for free advertising (and include them in the program for free advertising). Get your dress made by a seamstress for cheaper or get it off the clearance rack (my dress was 300 bucks off the clearance at davids bridal)...


i've been told by many friends that david's bridal
has great deals if you catch them. definitely something i
will check out! as for the bakery, i live in a relatively
small town so i'm sure i can work something out with them.

thank you so much! this really helped inspire me! :chin:

Ciao
12-17-2011, 11:01 PM
Go to church together
Laugh together
Spend less than you earn
Love and respect each set of in-laws, but recognize proper boundaries
Concentrate more on being husband and wife than on being a bride and groom.

Enjoy your wedding day and don't sweat the small stuff.

Blessings to you both from an old married woman.

http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2-1.png

thank you. :)

God, laughter, and love is essential in our marriage.
our souls are happy and our hearts are full.
every day is spent growing, learning, and continuing
our travel through this grand journey of love.

i love that you brought up the simple things. :goodvibes

http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2.png

mystyblue85
12-17-2011, 11:02 PM
Your very welcome! And italiannie is right: laugh together, spend less than what you earn and share your faith (my own version). For me and hubby, our faith is very important to us and it keeps us grounded and fresh and keeps us going when it gets hard (and it DOES get hard)
We laughed and joked thru our wedding and we dont really remember what the preacher said because we were having a hilarious discussion about how bad my feet were hurting in my 4in heels...we stopped laughing long enough to say "i do" and we cracked jokes the rest of the day...
And dont sweat the small stuff...our reception was a disaster (by my perfectionist standards) and our wedding started 2 hrs late (it was a hilarious situation with the best mans tux) but walking down the aisle to him made it so worth it and walking around my reception barefoot with hubby by my side made for some great pics and greater memories...
And always keep the lines of communication open. Its so important that you guys always share what youre thinking and feeling. me and hubby always ask each other "what are you thinking?" and we talk for hours about everything...

ArtyKay
12-18-2011, 03:11 AM
After a lot of trial and error, I handle all of our finances. I give DH an "allowance," so he can have some pocket money, and isn't tempted to use the debit card since he always has cash. After reading one of kaplods posts, I'm considering setting him up his own checking account and putting in a set amount of money that's his to spend or save as he pleases.

I agree with the cash-only thing, and change jar. Its amazing how much rainy day money builds up when you don't spend your change!

Another good tip I've heard and really want to try: treat your washer and drier like they're in a laundry mat. Put a dollar or even $5 in a coffee can or something up in a cabinet every time you do a load of laundry. This adds up, and can be a fund designated to replacing or fixing appliances, doing household repairs, ect.

Its always good to have several funds that you throw an odd dollar or two every now and then...things break and surprises come up that can really hurt you financially if you aren't prepared for them...and that is a HARD lesson to learn. :p

My parents have two joint checking accounts. One is for bills and mortgage, the other is for everyday expenses like groceries, gas, ect. That's the only way they've found to save money and pay off their debt without totally restricting their spending money.

My #1 rule is NO CREDIT CARDS. Ever. I also have a no loan policy. We paid for our cars outright, and we're in the process of saving to build a house. I would rather wait and save up to buy something nice than have it right now and pay 3x what its worth in the long run. One day we'll live rent/mortgage free and without car payments. That'll be well worth the wait!

I'm assuming that the two of you haven't lived together before? It is tough for a while. you may think you know everything there is to know about him, but oohhh, noooo. ;) He will have many quirks and disgusting habits that you never even dreamed of. :p

Don't dread getting used to living together, because while it can be really hard and stressful, it doesn't have to be. Look at this as a new adventure that you get to share with your soul mate! Have fun with it, and don't take anything too seriously.

Marriage is fun and amazing and just wonderful. Laugh often, yell seldom, and speak up when something bothers you. When you're angry over little piddly stuff, laugh at yourself.

Oh, and our biggest rule is never go bed angry, never say the "d" word, and always say I love you and kiss after a fight. ;) You will fight..but remember to fight fair and try not to stay mad.

Make sure you take the time to enjoy your wedding, and try not to stress too much. I don't really have any wedding tips, as hubby and I didn't have one (I never wanted one, I've always been strange that way. I don't like having birthday parties either!)

I'm excited for you and wish you all the best!

Unna
12-18-2011, 05:47 AM
I actually also just wrote a post about getting married! I'm sort of jealous of you and your certainty that it is the only thing you want to do!

Anyway, Congrats!

My fiance and I have separate finances. He makes a lot more than I do, so I contribute in every way I can (to the rent, to groceries). I am not selfish in the slightest way because I also realize how much he contributes. So, my very best advice is to learn to appreciate the others contributions and to never-ever be selfish with money.

Buying food: I loving cooking dishes based on potatoes and whole grains. These are staples that you can always turn to. Also, try to get him involved in the kitchen. We now try to cook together and even watch the occasional cooking shows together - it is an interest he never knew he had before me. In the past, his mother had always, always, just set the food in front of him.

And, regarding deco, Etsy and Pinterest are quite inspirational.

Esofia
12-18-2011, 07:28 AM
The main advice I've heard is 1) work out who you want at the wedding; 2) work out how much you can spend on the wedding; 3) then work out what sort of wedding you can afford to have. A lot of people get so caught up in wedding fervour that the priorities end up the wrong way around, and they can end up in debt or having to exclude guests because of spending so much on inessential wedding details. Starting to focus on wedding favours eight months in advance may not be the best way to save money!

I've been to madly expensive weddings where the bride's dress alone cost thousands, and I've been to weddings done on a very small budget (e.g. dress cost $30 from eBay, reception was a dance with a small band and no food, smaller group went out for dinner to a restaurant later, that sort of thing). I have to say that the amount of money makes no difference at all to how much people enjoy themselves, apart from the weddings where people are so stressed out by the grand occasion that more money spent actually equals less happiness. The more expensive weddings I've been to have generally been less friendly, I've noticed that. So don't get too swept away by the siren song of the wedding industry, whose primary interest is not to give you a lovely wedding but to get your money!

I have also been excluded from a wedding because the couple chose to spend money on the frivolous stuff instead of inviting their friends' partners. I barely knew the couple and am ill enough that I may well not have been able to go anyway, but my partner was pretty hurt, and was also lonely when he was at the wedding. He'd far rather have had me there than a sit-down dinner. I know they meant no offence, but it's frankly quite rude to invite only one half of a long-established couple to this sort of thing. It's also worth thinking about whether or not you will invite young children.

Ciao
12-18-2011, 09:28 AM
After a lot of trial and error, I handle all of our finances. I give DH an "allowance," so he can have some pocket money, and isn't tempted to use the debit card since he always has cash. After reading one of kaplods posts, I'm considering setting him up his own checking account and putting in a set amount of money that's his to spend or save as he pleases.

we both agreed that i'm better at handling the money.
he's not a big spender, but he isn't a math wiz either.
i'm better at calculating, budgeting, planning, etc.

we've been thinking of having a joint bank account to
help us save up for everything and always know where
we sit financially. we've agreed that we should have a
limit each week on what we can spend to help us save
up properly. any thoughts on this? successes? failures?


Another good tip I've heard and really want to try: treat your washer and drier like they're in a laundry mat. Put a dollar or even $5 in a coffee can or something up in a cabinet every time you do a load of laundry. This adds up, and can be a fund designated to replacing or fixing appliances, doing household repairs, ect.


what a great idea!
neat "tricks" like this can only benefit us and
are great ways to save money. we'll definitely
be doing that! :)

My #1 rule is NO CREDIT CARDS. Ever. I also have a no loan policy. We paid for our cars outright, and we're in the process of saving to build a house. I would rather wait and save up to buy something nice than have it right now and pay 3x what its worth in the long run. One day we'll live rent/mortgage free and without car payments. That'll be well worth the wait!

oh yes. we're in complete agreement
with this. we'll always be carrying around
a debit card if we use any card. we don't
like the thought of being in debt.

the gentlemen had to take out an unexpected
$600 loan for expenses that his college surprised
him with this season. he absolutely hated it.


I'm assuming that the two of you haven't lived together before? It is tough for a while. you may think you know everything there is to know about him, but oohhh, noooo. ;) He will have many quirks and disgusting habits that you never even dreamed of. :p

Don't dread getting used to living together, because while it can be really hard and stressful, it doesn't have to be. Look at this as a new adventure that you get to share with your soul mate! Have fun with it, and don't take anything too seriously.

we're actually looking forward to living together!
the only thing we have to pay close attention to is
our finances. and i'm thankful there's been so many
wonderful ideas!

Ciao
12-18-2011, 09:49 AM
I actually also just wrote a post about getting married! I'm sort of jealous of you and your certainty that it is the only thing you want to do!

Anyway, Congrats!


i was just told by a recent friend
that everyone (girls and guys) at my former high school (i switched
schools this year) are wanting to get married now. :lol:

i think it's sweet that j and i are inspiring. i feel like the
taylor swift of my school, you know?

and by all means i'm not trying to romanticize our relationship.
i don't want to give off the wrong impression that the only way
to happiness is an unrealistic prince charming to sweep you off your feet.
i simply choose to write about only the positives.
1) i don't feel like it's any hundreds of peoples' business
to know the dirty details of our relationship &
2) i only want to remember the good.

we have a great understanding that marriage won't
always be easy; that marriage will be hard, marriage
will be messy, and marriage will be work.

and i believe many people around my age want
to hasty get married now without thinking
about the road ahead and just envying our love
and affection for one another.

i'm sorry for going on a little vent. your post
just brought up memories. i'm absolutely certain
he's the man i want to marry. he's been the one
since day one and our love for one another has
been astonishing since that day.

And, regarding deco, Etsy and Pinterest are quite inspirational.

i have a pinterest account (and i must
say i've become quite the pinaholic) but
i haven't gotten around to creating an
etsy account. thank you! :)

bargoo
12-18-2011, 10:09 AM
I see many young couples getting married and thinking they can start out with the things their parents worked 20 years to get. Thinking especially about a new home, remember most of our parents probably started out in a small apartment, they worked and saved to get that 2500 Sq foot house. Be patient , it will all come in time.

ArtyKay
12-18-2011, 10:40 AM
I see many young couples getting married and thinking they can start out with the things their parents worked 20 years to get. Thinking especially about a new home, remember most of our parents probably started out in a small apartment, they worked and saved to get that 2500 Sq foot house. Be patient , it will all come in time.

this is fabulous advice. I remember when we first got married I would be jealous of family for their beautiful homes, nice cars, ect...and then it hit me that I'm looking at something they spent their entire lives earning.

A MUST: Have a dream that you two share. Not just a goal or the same wants in life, but a dream. Something you two can fantastize about and talk about...dream together. Our dream is to build the house I was talking about...and talking about things we want for it, whether we're serious or just throwing out goofy ridiculous ideas (like having a zipline lol), something we share together where we can plan and go crazy with possiblities.

Don't let people get you down. I got engaged when I was 19 to my first real boyfriend. (I had a boyfriend before him, but he was a fluke. :p) We got engaged after being together for less than 3 months, and I got all kinds of unwanted advice and rude opinions. Lots of people telling me I was too young, he wasn't good enough for me, he was too old for me (he's only 6 years older.) that sort of thing.

When you know, you know. Only the two of you know in your hearts what is real between you two, and it really isn't anybody else's business.

All the annoying talk stopped the minute we got married. Please don't let it discourage you or ruin your wedding. Just try to ignore it...I have a friend who married her high school sweetheart, the only man she'd ever dated, and her parents were telling her to wait up until she was walking down the aisle!! 4 years later, they're happier than ever.

Ciao
12-18-2011, 12:59 PM
I see many young couples getting married and thinking they can start out with the things their parents worked 20 years to get. Thinking especially about a new home, remember most of our parents probably started out in a small apartment, they worked and saved to get that 2500 Sq foot house. Be patient , it will all come in time.

we have a very realistic idea between a "need" and a "want".

we understand that food, a bed (or couch), running water,
heat during the winter, clothes on our back, etc. are
needs, whereas internet and cable are just wants.
our willingness (and eagerness even) to give up
materialistic things to live financially stable starting out
is one that i value in our relationship. we completely
understand we'll have to start from the bottom and work
our way up. :yes:


When you know, you know. Only the two of you know in your hearts what is real between you two, and it really isn't anybody else's business.

All the annoying talk stopped the minute we got married. Please don't let it discourage you or ruin your wedding. Just try to ignore it...I have a friend who married her high school sweetheart, the only man she'd ever dated, and her parents were telling her to wait up until she was walking down the aisle!! 4 years later, they're happier than ever.

its only discouraged us briefly. we understand being
17 and 18 years old and getting married will be taboo to many.
his parents have already stated that they're not coming to the
wedding or supporting us (which is what had discouraged us
originally, being that the fellow is a family man.)

but after many long nights of discussing and me asking,
"are you sure? we can wait," he told me that he's never
been more sure of something in his life and that he wants
to get married- with or without them being there.

now we're simply excited to start the next chapter
of our lives! and i agree, in time people will come around. :)

sacha
12-18-2011, 01:54 PM
I would recommend reading marriagebuilders.com and any premarital material. It's a program designed to help marriages overcome obstacles and has the union as the main goal. Premarital counseling is an excellent thing.

I don't have much advice as just a couple because we had our child very early on into the relationship but I will say this has worked for me - never forget that you are a wife. Many women throw this out the window when their first child comes along (even though none of them say they will) because when you grow old together, and have done nothing but focus on the children, you will find yourselves to be 2 different people when the kids are gone. I think Italianne makes this point with her comments.

Happily married old people grow old together - not apart.

indiblue
12-18-2011, 11:42 PM
Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

we're actually looking forward to living together!
the only thing we have to pay close attention to is
our finances. and i'm thankful there's been so many
wonderful ideas!

I'm not married- my fiance and I are getting married next year- so I can't give you advice on that :). But we have lived together and I can say that that there was a LOT we had to pay close attention to when we moved in together. It was very clearly a move from the lovey-dovey romance to the nitpicky ins and outs of a long-term partnership. Balancing housework responsibilities, navigating our social life as a couple (and realizing that what he does when we're with friends reflects on me and vice verse), spending time together versus apart even in the same household all were things to work through. We are still very, very happy... it just required a lot of "growing up" in our relationship that I didn't realize.

We have been doing a lot of premarital work, like sacha mentioned, and I would highly recommend it. We bough secular books written by psychologists and received religious books from the priest who will marry us. We try to read a chapter out loud to each other at least once a week. I can already tell in the way we argue and approach confrontation that both of us are taking to heart some of the issues raised in our books. It's been quite a valuable experience.

Beach Patrol
12-19-2011, 11:17 AM
Financial disagreements are the #1 reason for divorce in the United States. You're smart to want financial advice. But different things work for different people. Some people are big on sharing & others aren't. Some people insist on separate bank accounts; others insist on one account with both acting as spenders/savers.

The best advice I think a person can take into a marriage is this:

Six Financial Mistakes Couples Make (http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/family-money/the-six-financial-mistakes-couples-make-15414/)

I think it is sound advice that will help you not only in your marriage but in your financial status for years to come.

Good luck, and congrats on your upcoming wedding! :congrat:

Unna
12-19-2011, 11:20 AM
His parents aren't coming?? If he had my parents, they would have been thrilled! My Mom has been begging me to get married FOREVER. I guess you had a bit of bad luck there, not everything can be perfect.

One time I remember reading a statistic about those who marry their first love/highscool sweetheart, namely that they are more likely to stay together (I can't confirm it, just saying I've heard it). Apparently the less partners/relationships you've had, the more likely you will be satisfied with your mate.

The more relationships people have, the choosier or pickier they become.

Uh-oh, that means I'm screwed! But, you guys will probably stay together! LOL

Btw, it is hard being a teenager. I think back to my teenage years and shudder - that transition between child and adult, people still telling you what to do, not taking you seriously. It is not easy, but sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders.

Ciao
12-20-2011, 08:30 PM
Financial disagreements are the #1 reason for divorce in the United States. You're smart to want financial advice. But different things work for different people. Some people are big on sharing & others aren't. Some people insist on separate bank accounts; others insist on one account with both acting as spenders/savers.

The best advice I think a person can take into a marriage is this:

Six Financial Mistakes Couples Make (http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/family-money/the-six-financial-mistakes-couples-make-15414/)

I think it is sound advice that will help you not only in your marriage but in your financial status for years to come.

Good luck, and congrats on your upcoming wedding! :congrat:
http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2-1.png

thank you so much! i'll definitely check out
the website.

http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab15/JeMappelleSierra/Pictures/clipart2.png

dragonwoman64
12-23-2011, 04:56 PM
I agree that using cash is a great way to keep spending in check. When you're ready to make a bigger purchase that requires credit, it's good to have a good credit history, and you get a good credit history by borrowing and repaying your loans. Search out credit cards that give low interest rates, pay over the minimum. Keep the number of cards to a minimum (2 to 3), it will be easier to keep track of and keep your debt down. And you may have an emergency when a credit card could be crucial (car breaks down).

Budgeting is a great idea too (though I have a tough time getting bf to do this, when I was single I did it). You're going to have unexpected expenses.

farmers markets are usually (much) more expensive than grocery stores. Ask around, family and friends, to steer you towards the cheapest stores (some places sell in bulk) in your area. mom and pops tend to be more expensive too. chains buy and sell in larger quantities, they get bulk discounts, and pass that on to the consumer. cooking at home (unless you consistently go gourmet) is much cheaper than eating out, even at cheap restaurants.

I know it's not going to be easy, but reconcile with family. They'll get over the youthful marriage at some point, and I think their emotional support could be a big deal for the two of you. Not to mention they may be able to help out in lots of other ways: advice, contacts to help you with your goals, etc (if and when you decide to have kids). I know that's not always true, people have all sorts of situations with their in-laws and family, but cultivate your ports for possible future storms. (and then there's hand me down furniture ;-) )

relationship wise, as several others here have said, the more you can let the small things go, the better; be open and willing to discuss what you're experiencing in an honest way; and cultivate empathy. cultivate empathy. did I say cultivate empathy? ha.

CanadianCutie
12-25-2011, 08:24 PM
As far as DIY wedding ideas go, a simple, and easy idea is go to the dollar store and buy the votive candles in your color scheme (I asked the woman who ran the store to order 100 in blue, and 100 in white), and I bought a roll or two of the wrapping cellophane (like those used with flowers, or gift baskets), and a couple rolls of curling ribbon, and I made the take home gifts for the wedding guests. It took about 3 days at a couple hours a day. I wrapped two candles, one of each color in the cellophane, and tied with the ribbon and curled. They looked great, and people really liked them.