It's all very well talking about the intricacies of choosing a wedding venue, dealing with difficult guests and what to dress your bridesmaids in... but if you can't pay for any of it - it's a bit pointless worrying about it, right?
I know alllll about that overwhelming feeling of having a big goal and no idea how to achieve it. So in today's post, I'm reviewing a book that'll get you closer to your goals, and setting a challenge for you.
First up, just a reminder. We didn't have some magic fairy pay for our wedding. I know the stress and anxiety that comes with finding a heap of money to have the sort of wedding you want. A breakdown of our wedding budget is shared here - as well as how we paid for it.
I'm speaking from experience when I talk about finding money for your wedding. There's no point sitting on Facebook and Insta, wringing your hands together and moaning that getting married is expensive. Remember - you can get married for the cost of a celebrant and a marriage licence. It's the OPTIONAL extras that cost that money!
A game plan for paying for your wedding day
At the risk of repeating myself for the twenty-seventh time, step 1 is: you need to know what your wedding is going to cost. I talk about how to do this here, and you can get a wedding budget template here.
When you've got a dollar figure sorted, even if it's a ballpark amount, now you need to find that money!
That's where "The $1000 Project", by Canna Campbell, comes in. I began following Canna's blog to learn more about managing money, and because I loved her minimalist mindset without sacrificing her lifestyle. Think of it as quality over quantity.
Before I recommended The $1000 Project, I wanted to test it out for myself. One of my long term goals is to have our mortgage paid off by the time I'm 40 - while working parttime. So I'm not funding a wedding, but I'm trying to tackle a pretty massive goal, so I can relate.
Her new book is a practical, hands-on guide. She discusses ways to earn extra money, save money, types of debt and the basics of investing. The goal being to hustle and earn packets of $1000 - money that you wouldn't have had otherwise! Canna uses each $1,000 lump sum to invest in the stock market - I'm using mine to pay down our mortgage - and you could use yours to pay for your wedding!
I began this challenge the day my pre-ordered book arrived, and in just under one month's time, I'd saved my first $1,000. As I write this post, I'm closing in on my second $1,000. Nearly $2,000 that I've saved, earnt and found over and above my usual day-to-day wage.
Here's how to find money to pay for a wedding
The next task is simple in the thinking, tricky in the execution. Step 2: Set a specific goal and make a plan. I've always worked best with a plan under my belt, and the challenge set by The $1000 Project is a solid one.
Here's my summary of the challenge - grab a pen and paper, and jot your answers down as we go:
- Set your goal - a specific, achievable one (for example mine is "Pay off the Floating Portion of the Mortgage by September 2019". Yours could be "Save $X,XXX to pay for the wedding meal by XXX")
- Open a new bank account (optional, but makes it 1000x easier to track where you're at. Make sure you're opening one that gives you interest, and doesn't charge fees!)
- Brainstorm how to MAKE money. There's an extensive list of ideas in the book, but one thing I've done is sell some stuff secondhand.
- Now brainstorm how to SAVE money. I've been walking the kids to daycare to save money on petrol. Instead of paying $100 a week for gas, I'm paying $80 - so that $20 saved can go into the $1000 project account.
If you've written down your answers - congratulations, you've just completed step 2 and you've got a plan for making your first $1000. Now let's move onto step 3: putting in the work. Take your brainstormed list of ways you can EARN and MAKE more money, pick one, and do it!
How I put The $1000 Challenge into action
After devouring the book and opening a bank account online, I set some ground rules for myself:
- I could only work on the $1000 project in the evenings
- Anything I saved from skipping coffee and petrol and any loyalty discounts went in the kitty (loyalty discounts - like when you "earn" a $10 voucher at Cotton On)
- I would deposit $20 a month into the account (to ensure I earned premium interest, meaning more $$$)
I brainstormed two lists - ways to save and ways to earn more. Here's what I did towards my $1000 challenge -
- Listed a heap of items on Trade Me and Facebook marketplace that I'd been meaning to sell anyway
- I found some money in a pocket, some coins on the ground, was given grocery vouchers... so transferred the equivalent over
- Reuse the resources I already have - I set up a Zazzle Store. This allows me to tap into a different set of customers while using products I've already designed - plus I'm creating some bits and pieces *I* want, like the cute tote bag below, which you can get here 😉
- Any affiliate income I earned from the blog goes into the kitty too (Occasionally I share affiliate links within the content shared on the website. That means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase).
Review of The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell
I've always been interested in managing the money I have, but many places were completely over my head. I felt like you needed to be a millionaire (and have a PHD!) to get any value out of it. When I found Sugar Mamma's YouTube Channel, I was so excited to find someone who could explain financial stuff in a relatable, easy to understand way.
The reason I purchased The $1000 Project was to support Canna - I'd already gotten so much value from the free advice she'd shared on her website and YouTube videos, so wanted to "give back". I was a little dubious that the book would deliver any further info. But I was wrong! You can read all the blog posts you like, and binge all the videos in the world, but if you don't put advice into action, you won't get anywhere.
Having The $1000 Project book gave me a reference and physical reminder of the challenge. It is an easy read (compared to my favourite Game of Thrones novels - I sat down and read it within an evening) but that doesn't make it basic. I did skim read the investment chapter, but will I'll return to when I'm ready; I'm not planning on investing anytime soon.
Getting the other half on board
Canna makes a compelling argument for why you should be setting goals and looking after your financial security. It's a shame then that I can't get my husband on-board and have him contributing to the challenge! He's not particularly interested in reading at the best of times, and the YouTube videos are pitched towards females. This is what attracted me to Sugar Mama in the first place, soooo I guess that works! It just leaves us in a Catch-22 situation. We've also got conflicting ideas about what to do with our money. Craig likes to have a a good chunk of savings in the bank; I hate the idea of paying interest on our mortgage. I'd rather sacrifice now to pay off the mortgage faster.
So in summary: I've had The $1000 Project for just on a month and it's earnt me nearly $2,000. I've told more people about it more than any other book I've ever bought. It's a solid 5/5 from me.