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Broke Student Budget Ideas?

Clearly I am on the budget board a lot because I am a broke law student with no income to plan a wedding, but I was wondering if anyone on here had ideas for random ways to save money or pick up extra cash for a wedding.  As a full time student I am not able to handle a regular job (I know some people can, but the work load is too much for me) so I was wondering if you ladies have any good weekend or one time pick up some money ideas.  Thanks a lot ladies!

Re: Broke Student Budget Ideas?

  • plan a long engagement

    save your $$$ from summer internships

    plan a long engagement

    sorry if i'm not terribly helpful

  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    We're waiting until a year after I graduate with my masters, which gives him 2 years of working to save up, and then a year of both of us working...so, plan a long engagement.  That's all the advice I have.  
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with the PPs. Plan a long engagement. My BF and I aren't engaged yet because we don't want a long engagement but we both agree that it is important that to be able to financially support ourselves when we get married. So we are waiting until we are both done with school and have jobs to get married. So just plan a long engagement and spend that time saving what you can while you are in school.


  • I agree w/ PP. If you can't come up with the money right away, a long engagement might be for the best.

    Maybe start cutting costs where you can. I don't know about lawschool and what you need for classes, but you could try there (I found used books online for $1 this semester!). Maybe start taking light lunches you make at home (or left overs!). 

    Good luck!
  • We purposefully will be engaged for a little over a year and a half so we could afford more (we wanted it).  Beyond that, I would suggest doing a ton of research for everything.  I have saved thousands on all my vendors just by looking around at professionals and finding amazing deals; the deals are out there but sometimes it requires hours/days/etc to find them.  Also, for paper items I recommend vistaprint (VP).  Sign up for their mailing list and you'll get a lot of discounts for everything.  I'm doing all my paper stuff this way and paying just for shipping.  If you are creative/crafty you could DIY a lot.  I'm DIYing a ton of stuff because I found ways to make it myself cheaper than I could buy it for.  Also, buy flowers in season for your area and use greenery for filler.  Carnations and baby's breath are probably the cheapest flowers no matter where you are that can look good together just on their own.  Also, Friday and Sunday weddings are cheaper than Saturday ones anywhere you go.  To save money with venues, try to have the ceremony and reception in one location (or the ceremony outside and the reception inside).
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_broke-student-budget-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:ae818571-4dd5-49a9-900e-0b5a790c3d6cPost:e8c66278-40ec-4e3d-8b4a-f03172080f32">Re: Broke Student Budget Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree w/ PP. If you can't come up with the money right away, a long engagement might be for the best. Maybe start cutting costs where you can. I don't know about lawschool and what you need for classes, but you could try there <strong>(I found used books online for $1 this semester!</strong>). Maybe start taking light lunches you make at home (or left overs!).  Good luck!
    Posted by stacie+luciano[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>....Where??</div>
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  • agree w/PP and can add that maybe you could find a babysitting job here and there for slightly older (7-10y/o) kids?? A girl in my med school class did this and she earned some good cash! (and got to study when they went to bed)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_broke-student-budget-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:684Discussion:ae818571-4dd5-49a9-900e-0b5a790c3d6cPost:e5ff7e0e-847d-44b0-ad7c-e4487594eb6a">Re: Broke Student Budget Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Broke Student Budget Ideas? : ....Where??
    Posted by BunnyChii[/QUOTE]

    It depends on the book. You're not going to find any science textbooks online. But books for English and other humanities classes are often WAY overpriced and can be found on Amazon and such for that price range.
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  • I started a change jar today. All I did was empty out the change from my purse and found random coins on the table, desk, and floor and already have over $5. Sure, it's not much right now, but that was just in one day! FI and I will be going to a lot of yard sales and looking on Craigslist, so we can pick up decorations and the sort for cheap. While in school, try to get a babysitting job once or twice a week. When you're on break, definitely get a job and save up as much as possible. When the semester is over, do you have stuff you could sell in a yard sale? What about tutoring other students?
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  • Have a long engagement (we got engaged 10/14/2010 and aren't married til 12/22/12), DIY everything you can without sacrificing sanity or elegance, and shop around! Start cutting out coupons for craft shops, sign up for Groupin and research your butt off to find vendors who are affordable yet still professional and talented. We are all in the same boat so rest assured. Happy planning!

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    Faith (FaithCaitlin)'s book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
  • One other idea that I didn't see mentioned here is considering an off-season wedding or a wedding date that isn't a Saturday. I've heard that you can get pretty good discounts on venues for stuff like this. For example, one place I was looking at offered a 10% discount off of the cost of catering if your wedding was not on a Saturday and did other discounts for weddings in January, February, and March.

    Of course, there are pros and cons to those types of dates - but it's something to consider!
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  • I am a current substitute teacher and also work nights at TJMAXX n order to pay for my wedding. Luckily I was able to take over a kindergarten class for the past three months and that has really helped with finances. My fiance is an army veteran and is now in school so we are on a major budget. We planned a year engagement in order for me to save money and also buy things as time has gone by. I have done an amazing job at keeping my budget at $10,000 and I am going to have an amazing wedding. Here are my suggestions.

    #1 make what you can. I made tissue pomander balls out of tissue paper to use for the ceremony instead of using real flowers. I

    #2 START NOW! If you know your colors start looking around for sales at different places such as pier one, world market, TJmaxx, and Michaels. I have found so many great things on sale especially last summer because every store was getting rid of things in order to get ready for the holidays. I got paper lanterns at Pier one regularly $6.99 each i got them for $2.19. I got my guest book at Tjmaxx its a Martha Stewart for $1.99 and super cute, I also got all of my candy buffet jars there as well.

    #3 Use connections! Our DJ is fellow National Guard member with my Fiance and is only charging us $500, My photographer is my brothers best friends wife and is starting a new photography business and is doing my photos in order to start her portfolio.  I printed my invites at the school districts print shop where my Aunt works. And my mother is making my wedding cake. I may be lucky because all of these people are going to make my day wonderful and keep me from stressing about money.

    #4 Don't use big business, kind of goes along with #3 but I found my caterer/ florist at a farmers market and she owns her own business. Its only $12 a person.

    #5 USE COUPONS! Sign up for Michaels and Joanns ( they also take each others coupons)

    It has taken me a year to save money and plan this but I have really enjoyed it and feel great that i have stuck to my budget.

    IP.S. f you want to make some extra cash get babysitting jobs through WWW.care.com or sittercity.com i used those sites a lot when i graduated from college and they helped out a lot. Also because the parents have to pay in order to use the site you know you will get families that will be willing to pay a good amount for babysitting services.

    Hope this helps!
  • Peanut as some great advice/ideas!!

    And as far as cheap books - I've gotten cheap ones from Bookbyte, Craigslist (no s&h and you can see how it looks before buying, haha), Amazon, and a few other sites. My cheapest textbook this semester was $4.83 or something weird with $5 s&h, so in total I paid less than $10 for a book that other people bought at $80 brand new. (and I plan on selling it to someone else!)
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  • Theres also a site called betterworldbooks.com and I've found a lot of my textbooks there. or half.com? Not that this pertains to the actual question...

    Long engagement.. Its what we're doing.lol
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  • walmart.om also sells textbooks, if you're not against walmart... :P
  • Honestly? DIY projects could save your life! I'm 19 and very, very broke, so I know where you are coming from. The nice thing is, there are a ton of easy DIY projects you could do for your wedding. Example...I'm making my own jewelry. I just kind of got what I needed and taught my self and it looks as good as any profession and it is cheaper. You just have to decide on what you can do yourself. 

    I'm even doing my own invitations. I went to a craft store by me (michaels) and bought an invitation kit and it gives you instructions on how to print them yourself and everything. The boxes come with somewhere around 30 invites for $40, but the reason Michaels is so nice if you have one is that they CONSTANTLY have stuff on sale and coupons and such. So I've been getting them for more like $20....
     Other things could be making your own card box...I just made my own Mantilla veil they run about $200 and I made mine for about $55...my fiance's grandmother is helping me make my own dress (I have very little sewing skill, but she's a professional seamstress and had made wedding dresses before.)

    I know it sounds super lame to be all DIY, but even though it's stressful at times, it's been a lot of fun and I feel like the wedding is going to have a lot more meaning. Some of the skills I'm learning will come in handy later in life as well...so it's a good way to go I think :)
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  • Totally in the same boat but what everyone said helps - long engagement, books for less when you can, spreading out purchases, and diy. Good luck!

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  • redrover1988redrover1988 member
    10 Comments
    edited April 2011
    All of our flowers are origami... we spent 25 dollars the paper (1000 sheets of fine origami paper) and we bought the fake leaves and flower clips etc from wal-mart... I think in total, our flowers have cost us 50... and they never die... and I have been slowly working on each project one at a time. I bought all of my ribbon in bulk online at the cheapest price I could find.  We are making a lot of our gifts to people, and our favors are going to be homemade truffles.  

    If you're wanting to not wait, you just need to scale down and think small. I only wanted a smaller wedding, and to boot we are getting married mid week which means only peolpe who really want to come, will come... thus enabling us to weed out the people who are angry if  they don't get invited even though they don't really matter too much. We invited about 75, and we are looking at 50 people to actually come.. I am so happy about it.

    But everyone else is right, either make it a long engagement, or DIY your bum off... side jobs might help, but they will add stress.
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  • Someone said half.com for books- they're great!  I've bought science and med books for way cheap (relatively speaking!).

    Also- if you have family and friends ask around to see what you can borrow.  We wanted to save money so we pared down our guest list until we could fit the reception at FI's family's house.  We're buying our flowers bulk through Costco and I'm borrowing centerpiece vases.  My FIs extended family has lots of gathering so we're borrowing folding chairs and tables from various aunts and uncles.  We bought nice plastic silverware from Costco too.  It looks like silverware until you actually pick it up.  I'm going to try to borrow my jewelry.  I'm borrowing my veil.

    I bought my dress off the rack at a Black Friday sale- 25% off an already inexpensive price. Look for the holiday sales: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.  Also, sign up to receive emails from as many places as you can (maybe create a new email so you're not flooded with emails forever).  Cost Plus World Market and Macy's are among many stores that have "Friends and Families" sales where everything is discounted, even off sale prices.

    A simple thing to make a little money is to collect recycling.  It can be a bit messy and a hassle, but if you're really desperate don't discount it.  We just got $18 from the past 2 weeks of saving (which I call free money because it took almost no work!) and whenever I see a can or bottle sticking out of the trash or on the ground I grab it.  I try to have a plastic bag in my car so I can stick them in there and I rinse them when I get home.  If I'm at a party I offer to take the recycling for the hosts and most people are happy to have me take their "trash."  Over the past year this has added up to over a couple hundred dollars- plenty for some wedding items!

    Good luck!  :)
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  • Wow thanks so much so many good ideas.. I probably should move my date back, but I really don't want to, but the rest of the ideas I am definitely interested in.  Thanks everyone!
  • One of the options is a long engagement.  Also cut out the un-neccesary things like favors, we're on a budget and we're not doing them, they're not necessary.  Try to find friends that have recently got married to borrow or buy things from them for cheap.  I am getting my church bows from one of my best friends that got married a few weeks ago.  Also the Trash to Treasure Board, Wedding Classified on the knot are really helpful.  Craigslist is also good.  I got my veil for $80 and at David's Bridal I would've paid around $200. 

    Another thing is babysitting like others have mentioned.  I am about to graduate college, but since I don't have a full-time job set up, I decided to start doing Mary Kay.  My mom used to do it, she really enjoyed it and I am a people-person so it fits my personality.  Plus you set your own schedule.  Good luck!

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  • There is so much good advice on here! I have a few things to add, and a few things to reiterate =P 

    1. DIY everything: Jewelry, veils, favors, invites, food
    My sis did this and it cost her >$3000, I am doing this and my budget is around $2000 and it's gonna be doable. 

    2. E-bay is your friend: Dresses, shoes, veils, etc... as well as acquiring used linens or even candles and vases. It's not like Auntie Marge is going to walk in and say, "Those are used vases! How dare they!" Once things are set up, people either won't notice or don't care.

    3. Enlist the WP for help when assembling/DIYing stuff.

    4. Job-wise, Mary Kay is a lifesaver. Bballgirl said this as well, but I have to say how much I love selling Mary Kay. It allows me to set my own schedule to fit in with crazy labs, and honestly, I made more last semester doing one/two nights of Mary Kay then I was making at my part time job, so I quit the other job. This is totally something worth looking into, even if you think you aren't girly (I'm in school for welding engineering, so trust me, anyone can do it). Another nice thing, you have nice skin for the wedding!

    5. Borrow things: If you have friends or family or that random acquantence that you met one time from down the hall, chances are, someone has gotten married and has some leftover white tulle that they would be more than happy to let go.

    6. Choose an off-kilter date: I know this has been said before, but it's SO true. Don't go insane and do it on Wednesday at noon, because people won't be able to get out of work/school, but I'm doing mine on a Monday night, and just because of that I'm saving over a thousand dollars on the venue, which not be feasible otherwise.

    7. Avoid purchasing anything labeled "wedding" : Buy things in-season, such as Christmas lights. If you try to buy a string of wedding lights at Hobby Lobby right now, expect to pay $5 for a string of 25. That would be $1 at the Dollar Tree in december. Anything labeled "wedding" is going to cost more merely because the merchant can get away with it.

    8. Have friends make/serve the food: This does not seem to be a very popular thing, but it saved my family so much trouble! We had friends help cook the food and it cost about $1.50/person for food when it was all said and done for a nice sit-down dinner.


    I hope some of this was helpful! Be sure to check wedding classifieds here and on your town's local wedding websites! 
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  • Pick up a part-time job that works with your schedule. My fiance taught MCAT classes for Princeton Review and made enough to pay for my engagement ring! Sylvan also has similar classes. You could teach LSAT or SAT prep classes. Also I work at a museum where almost all of the weekend staff are students. I'm sure the museums in your town are similar. It's a part-time job that will usually pay a lot more than retail.

    Also, search for coupons on the internet! My fiance uses slickdeals.net to find out about all of the deals, both online and in store. It's helped us save a lot of money on both "necessary" items and wedding stuff.

    Don't overlook yardsales! I'm doing vintage-inspired centerpieces and found everything at neighborhood yardsales for super cheap.
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