Footnote Frivolity***, Thriftster weddings

Wedding album on a shoe(string) budget – part one

In the midst of last year’s wedding planning, Cheap Geek and I decided to forego the traditional wedding album. We figured that we wanted our money to go towards the talent rather than fancy paper and ink.

Fortunately, our photographer offered a digital-proofs-only package: he wasn’t the type who holds his digital proofs for ransom*. And so we saved $1360, got married and had a bowl. Lawn bowls at a wedding

Months later, our photographer sent us his digital proofs which now grace many a Facebook page. Ads from Artisan State, a new budget photo album company, have also been gracing the Facebook feeds. I’m not sure how good the quality of the albums are but Sydney wedding photographer Sutoritera has posted a fairly positive review Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

The mustbethrifty wedding expenses breakdown

Back in January, I challenged myself into organising a wedding under $15K, about half of the national average spend.

Over the next 10 months, Cheap Geek and I tried to keep to budget. Sometimes we were good. I bought my white wedding dress for $69 at the Forest Hill Salvos. Cheap Geek took advantage of the half-yearly sales and bought a discounted suit. We made our own wedding favours/bonbonniere. Sometimes we were very bad. On a last minute impulse, I ditched my DIY blinged up heels for some $269 Alannah Hill peep-toes. I also went nuts on eBay and Etsy and sourced a whole bunch of doily buntings after my wedding planner professed her love for the things. Continue reading

Money Matters

Lump sum payments versus regular payments

Not so recently, I briefly mentioned direct debit, a blessing for those who forget to pay their bills. Regular payments are another option for bill payers. While many businesses request a lump sum payment, some offer the choice of smaller and more regular payments. For instance, Yarra Valley Water can charge consumers fortnightly or monthly via their Smoothpay system.

Lump sum or regular payments, which is better? Each system has its pros and cons Continue reading

Reviews, Thriftster weddings

Let’s make it personal: Offbeat Bride (2nd edition)

Most how-tos read like recipes, deconstructing the Heston’s Feast that is a wedding into the main ingredients, dumbing it down for homely brides-to-be who just want to recreate a traditional dish. Catherine Yarnovich Risling’s Pretty Weddings for Practically Pennies is one such book: a series of craft projects, including place-card holders, boutonnieres, and confetti cones. Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way is another, giving lip-service to the personal touch with little personality between its covers.

Attempting to ‘encourage contemporary brides to feel good about their less-than-traditional wedding choices’, Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, on the other hand, is autobiographical. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Gen DIY-er, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

Mustbethrifty challenge for 2013: plan a wedding under $15K

Last year I posted about Josephine and Patrick’s thrifster wedding. Theirs was an incredible effort of beg, borrow, or buy secondhand and they ended up spending just over $7K, less than a fifth of the average Aussie wedding budget.

Cheap Geek and I are now organising our big(ish) day and we’ve set our budget at $15K. It’s an amount that we can save in the upcoming months, preventing us from starting our marriage with communal debt*.

With my copy of Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding – Celebrate Your Day Your Way and Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride – Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, I will tackle the big ticket wedding expenses such as venue, catering, flowers, attire, and photography in the typical mustbethrifty fashion, i.e. by blogging about it. Continue reading

Beg or Borrow but Don't Steal, Money Matters

To the thriftster couple

Without the luxury of regular incomes, Melbourne writers Patrick Pittman and Josephine Rowe are good at making the most of a modest budget. $7000, the maximum they could afford to spend on their nuptials, is puritanically modest, considering the average Australian wedding totals at $36,200 (IBISWorld, via The Age).

Apart from a $500 booze-related blip, they stayed within budget, thanks to family and friends. Being on the committee that managed the Newstead Racecourse Reserve, Josephine’s sister was able to secure the venue for free. A photographer friend provided his services without charge. Car hire was more of a car borrow.

Despite calling in so many favours, Patrick and Josephine thought that they could have got away with more. Continue reading

Clever Cooks, Reviews

It’s not about the limitations: The $120 Food Challenge

In February 2010 I found myself without a job. With no replacement job forthcoming, I signed up for unemployment benefits and reined in as much expenditure as I could. Faced with the option of either paying an electricity bill or buying groceries that week, I approached the Salvation Army who gave me two $60 food vouchers to use for the fortnight. (Sandra Reynolds)

Two years, a blog and a book deal later, Sandra Reynolds has increased her food budget to a modest $120 per week. However, unlike the Australian Women’s Weekly, she isn’t cowed by her limitations – ‘Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat a restricted diet’ – and her recipes from both blog and book are a testament to this philosophy. Continue reading