Spreading the cost of being a wedding guest

Summer 2015 has been one of my favourite years for attending weddings. I have watched lots of my family and friends tie the knot over the summer months – it’s been so much fun!

But what hasn’t been fun is the rather large hole it has left in my savings account… I have always put money aside for special events and occasions but this year has hit my finances hard. After all, like many ladies, the thought of being seen in the same outfit twice fills me with dread!

And, this year in particular, my eyes were opened to the fact that it’s no longer the case that weddings are costly for just the bride and groom, they are also super costly for guests too! So much so, that many of us are finding ourselves in a position where we have had to polity decline invitations. After all, from finding the perfect outfit, to overnight travel costs, wedding gifts and everything else that comes hand in hand with being a wedding guest, attending your loved one’s big day is a pricey affair, with costs sometimes running into over £2000 per couple each year!

Pippa-Middleton-290413

Pippa Middleton always seems to be at a wedding!

However, there’s lots of ways that you can bring down the costs when it comes to purchasing the perfect wedding guest outfit!

Spread the cost

Occasion wear is not cheap, and sometimes it can cost up to £200 or more to kit yourself out for a wedding. If your monthly income doesn’t cover this type of splurge all at once, there’s always the option of looking at taking out credit to spread the cost over a few months (always look for a 0% interest credit card).

And, as long as you’re responsible, this can relieve a lot of financial pressure and domestic strife. Of course, to save disappointment, it’s always worthwhile checking out your Experian credit report online to make sure that you are actually eligible to apply before relying on credit to finance your needs.

Plan in advance

When it comes to weddings and special occasions, many of us know months, if not years in advance when they are going to take place, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise when they come around.

If you know that you have a lot of wedding plans in the pipeline, why not set up an outfit fund as soon as you get your invitation. Putting as little as £10 a month a way (£2.50 per week) means that, when the big day comes around, buying that dress you’ve had your eye on won’t be that much of a shock to your finances. You can always stock up on occasion wear in the sales too, even if you are prepared months in advance!

And remember ladies – invest wisely

When it comes to picking out your wedding guest attire, try to stick to buying staple pieces that you can re-style year on year by changing up your accessories. You might end up paying a little bit more for a timeless pieces but in the long run, it will work out being a worthwhile investment.

Kate wears the same dress, just with different styling

Kate wears the same dress, just with different styling

#XmasSavingTips Challenge with BritMums – My tips

Phones are just totally indispensible come Christmas time (I know, anytime really) but at Christmas time they just come into their own. Just this week I’ve used to my phone to plan a birthday party for my little boy. Facebook all the invites, text my best friend to arrange a pre-christmas drink, and ordered a few extra pressies online. Indeed, whatever did we do before we had our phones?

Tesco Mobile currently have some special December offers that make them a great choice for families. This Christmas they are offering families some of the best deals on handsets and tariffs. Most notably the Samsung Galaxy Ace – available for £12.50 a month including 500 free minutes, 5000 texts and 500 MB of data. Or there is the classic BlackBerry Curve 9320 –  available on pay as you go for £125.

So why go with Tesco?

  •  You can control your mobile spending with their capped tariff: This means that family members can’t use any more than their allocated monthly minutes, texts and data and you don’t end up with any nasty surprises on the bill at the end of the month. Perfect if you are buying the phone for a teenager who spends all their time on the phone to the person who lives next door…
  • With two or more contracts you get extra perks with the Tesco Mobile Family perks offer – this means you can add all your family handsets onto one single bill and each member can choose from a selection of extra perks each month such as free texts, minutes or data.
  • What’s more, if you’re a Tesco Clubcard customer, you’ll get triple points for every £1 you spend at Tesco Mobile, meaning your calls can be buying you that new dress you’ve had your eye on for ages.

More tips to save money

Saving money on your mobile is just one way to look after those pennies this year. Here are a few more tips that I have been personally using throughout the year.

1. Use price comparison websites like Kelkoo before you purchase an item. I saved £13 this way buying Rocky the Robot truck for my little boy, getting it at Boots for £51, when I’d originally seen in on another website for £64. Once you’ve found the best price, go through Quidco to buy your item and you can then get cashback from hundreds of retailers.

2. Look for 3 for 2 offers. Most stores offer these, Laura Ashley, Boots and Debenhams are just some of the stores that have offered these on various products, from Christmas decorations to toiletry sets. The Boots offer has been great this year for buying presents for my sons teachers – he has three of them!

3. Collect your store card points throughout the year. Nectar points, Boots advantage card points and Tesco Clubcard points can be collected throughout the year and then used to buy presents and provisions over the Christmas period.

4. Voucher Code sites are an invaluable way to make a saving on fashion, fragrance and accessories. You can find all sorts of money off codes and codes that offer free post and packaging. It is also worth signing up to email alerts from your favourite retailers, these will let you know about savings, early alerts about sales etc.

5. Shop the sales. This is more a tip for next year, but buy wrapping paper, tags, cards and any additional decorations when the sales start, and then put them somewhere safe for the next year. You will save an absolute fortune.

This post is part of the BritMums #XmasSavingTips Challenge, sponsored by Tesco Mobile.