Where the wild things are

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: reality | Tags: , |

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I’ve mentioned before that we don’t really have a formal budget for our wedding.  Owing to the bazillion home improvement projects we’ve taken on (and have to complete before the wedding), we’re planning to spend as much (or as little) as we can afford as we go.   Projects for our home will take precedent over wedding expenses. I know, I know, not the best budgeting strategy, but that’s our plan.

For giggles this morning, I plugged my guesstimates into a wedding budget spreadsheet (it’s this one).

*choke*

The total was double the amount I had in my head.  DOUBLE!

How did that happen?  Being an analyst-nerd by personality and profession, I did some digging.

  • When I estimated a budget in my head, I only included the basics: dress, the mister’s suit, food, booze, rentals (chairs, tables, etc).  Those big ticket items were less than half of the total amount.
  • I went way overboard on “miscellaneous” expenses — bridesmaid’s luncheon, mani-pedi’s for my girls, makeup, gifts — more than seven times what the budget estimator thought I should be spending.
  • The small amounts really add up.  My spreadsheet had 17 line items under $100, but they added up to more than $700!

What’s the lesson?  I’m betting you all know this, but it was an epiphany for me: planning ahead of time will allow us to get past the shock and make conscious decisions about where our money should go.  Instead of assuming that we can’t afford fabulous flowers (or whatever), we might realize that we can if we cut back on the small expenses.

I think we’ll need wine.  And possibly a shock to restart our hearts — especially when we do the same thing with our home improvement budget.

Your turn.  What was the most surprising epiphany you had when putting your budget together?  Like me, did you find yourself gasping for breath? Did you start with a lump sum of money or are you saving as you go, like us?

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One Response to “Where the wild things are”

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Does this mean no Mani-Pedi???????


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    About

    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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