I Need To Get Back On Track and Weekly Update

I Need To Get Back On Track and Weekly Update

We received one more sneak photo from our photographer, and it is above. I am in LOVE with it! Some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t in the picture, but it’s still a good one :)

I also find it funny that there are FIVE people holding up my dress so that it wouldn’t get dirty, but in the end it still got really muddy and dirty. I still need to get it cleaned and stored away. How much does that usually cost anyway?

Wes leaves soon and he is hiking a few segments of the Colorado Trail with a friend. They plan on doing around 70 miles in one week. It will be his longest hike, and we are hoping to go back together one day and hike the whole Colorado trail together (I believe it’s around 400 miles).

My sister is also leaving soon. She is moving to Chicago. I can’t believe the day is almost here for her to leave. I am so sad! I really didn’t think I would be THIS sad, but I am. I will miss you Lexy! I’ve pretty much been raising her these past few years since my dad passed away, so it’s like seeing a child away off to college. AH! :(

Also, make sure to come back on Monday because I will be celebrating my 3 year blogiversary with a BIG giveaway. Can you believe it’s already been 3 years?!

 

Spending

Our spending has been out of control the past few months. Between the wedding, all the traveling we’ve been doing, buying hiking and camping equipment, and everything else all mixed in, we haven’t been saving as much money as we would like to be saving.

We need to get back on track with our spending: We sat down the other day and decided to put ourselves on a more strict budget. We are trying to save for a large down payment for our next home. Even though that is about two years away, we know that we need to save a decent amount. A lot of this has to do with the fact that we are fully self-employed and most banks will want us to put down a larger than usual down payment in order to qualify for a loan.

 

Business Income

August has started out a little slow, but this is normal. There are always weeks where it’s slower than usual and I panic, but then everything goes back to normal within the same month.

I need to get back on track with business income: Even though I am extremely grateful for the business income I have been making, my income has not really increased much since I left my day job one year ago. I feel stuck, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I really need to start trying harder.

One new service I have been thinking about adding to my business is blog coaching. It’s something I have been asked in the past to provide (I’ve done it a few times in the past but I’ve never really advertised this service), and it’s something I pretty much do everyday for free right now. I also already do one-on-one blog coaching sessions with local St. Louis businesses, but I’ve never really done much past that. I will keep everyone updated on this! If I did provide this service, would you be interested? Blog coaching would consist of me helping you actually start your blog, helping you learn about different ways to monetize it, helping with social media, and other tasks along those lines.

Also, my friend Cat offers freelance blogger coaching services, and I highly recommend her. Check out her article on her services here! She is a very successful writer and definitely a blogger I look up to. She’s had stuff she’s written go viral so she’s the best person out there to be coaching other freelance writers.

If anyone needs any help, check out my Hire Me page and let me know what services you are interested in.

 

Being healthy

We’ve been doing very well with eating healthy, but not so much with working out or doing anything even somewhat active. It’s actually kind of sad. I really have no excuse for this except for the fact that I restarted LOST and I’m already on season 6.

Dang you Netflix! Even though we have all of the seasons on DVD, Netflix has made me watch this all over again.

Yes, Netflix made me.

We need to get back on track with being healthy: I’ve been doing really bad in this area as well. WHAT IS UP WITH ME LATELY?

 

Recent posts on Making Sense of Cents

 

Have you been doing well with your income, spending and being healthy?

 

What To Think About Before Having An Outdoor Wedding Plus Craziness That Happened At Ours

What To Think About Before Having An Outdoor Wedding Plus Craziness That Happened At Ours

Our wedding took place on June 7th, 2014. It was a great day, and in the end our wedding cost around $22,000.

We had a completely outdoor wedding ceremony and reception, which ended up costing us a lot of stress towards the end. Having an outdoor wedding was extremely beautiful, but there were a TON of different things to think about.

Would I do it all over again?

YES! I would choose an outdoor wedding over an indoor one any day.

But there is a lot of planning to do beforehand.

 

Is it cheaper to have an outdoor wedding?

NO!

We actually had people ask us (to our face) if we were getting married outside because we couldn’t afford a “real” wedding. Let me tell you, that is offensive to ask someone. Having an outdoor wedding is still a real wedding! I don’t know why some people think it’s not.

If you are only wanting to have an outdoor wedding to save money, then you will be in for a shocker. Getting married outdoors does not automatically mean that it will be cheaper.

There are many costs that come with having a wedding outdoors. You will have to pay to rent a:

  • Wedding tent (these are usually anywhere from $500 to $10,000!);
  • Tables (usually around $5 to $10 a table);
  • Chairs (these can be anywhere from $1 to $20 each);
  • Linens (these were expensive – around $15 for each linen);
  • Cocktail tables;
  • Dance floor (we spent around $400 to rent ours);
  • Lighting (we bought our own lighting after Christmas was over and saved money. However, this is usually around $1.50 per foot to rent);
  • Bathrooms, and more.

All of this can add up quickly!

 

What would you do if it was extremely hot?

We risked this for our wedding. June in St. Louis can be 60 degrees, or it can be 110 degrees. It can vary widely. Luckily because of the bad weather earlier in the day (read more about that below), it cooled off and it was around 7 to 75 degrees on our wedding day.

If it’s extremely hot on your wedding day though, you don’t want your guests or yourself to suffer. You might have to invest in air conditioning in a tent or at least a few fans. Make sure to have plenty of cold drinks as well!

 

Flooded Road

This is the road that leads to the house. Completely flooded and impassable just one month before the wedding.

What happens if it rains?

Rain was something that was constantly on my mind about our wedding. I was terrified of light rain and heavy rain. Either way, I didn’t want it to happen!

Light rain would have meant that everything and everyone would have had to be shoved under a tent and a barn (the barn was just a roof structure though as there were no sides) and that our ceremony would have had to be shoved under there as well.

Heavy rain would have been a completely different story though. Heavy rain almost always means that the road to the house floods, which would have called off the whole wedding. This happened one month before the wedding (and usually happens a few times a year), so that was definitely on my mind.

On our wedding day: We had some crazy weather at our wedding. It was storming ALL DAY. Our ceremony didn’t start until 5:30, but we were getting ready all day on the property and it was not fun to watch extremely heavy downpour as we were getting ready.

There was also a tornado that touched down around 30 minutes from the property, and a few of our wedding guests actually saw it and got stuck in it.

At 5:30, we all lined up to walk down the aisle. A big gust of wind came through and knocked EVERYTHING over. I mean pretty much everything. I stood there horrified as the wedding planners tried to cover my face.

The photo booth’s tent completely lifted up and flew away, vases all knocked over onto the ground, the lighting all fused out besides just a few strands, and I felt extremely horrible for all of the vendors who were working. That was probably the worst thing because I felt bad for having an outdoor wedding because of what I was putting the vendors through. I’m sure they are used to it because outdoor weddings are pretty common now, but I’m sure it still sucked for them.

However, right after 5:30 as I was beginning to walk down the aisle (with the wedding planner standing by my side with an umbrella), the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun came out. Everyone put their umbrellas away and it was very beautiful.

It very lightly sprinkled the rest of the night, but it was so light that it actually felt nice because it was still St. Louis and 70 degrees in St. Louis is still humid and sort of hot feeling.

 

Will you need a backup plan?

If you are having an outdoor wedding, then you might want a backup plan. We risked it and didn’t have a backup plan. If the roads would have flooded, I really don’t know what we would have done. It would have been horrible and I was risking all of it being called off because of water.

Yes, I’m dumb, but thankfully it worked out.

We did try to find a backup venue though. However, I contacted many places and every single place I talked to was mad that they would be considered a “backup plan.” I mean, they were truly offended and I was actually yelled at a few times. It was ridiculous and I can’t believe some of the things that were said to me.

 

Do your guests know where they are going?

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, then there is a chance that you might be having it out in the country somewhere. If that is the case, make sure that your guests have good directions with them. You don’t want your vendors or guests showing up late, possibly disturbing the ceremony, or something else bad happening.

One of our vendors showed up nearly two hours late. After screaming, nearly crying and around 10 people talking to them to help with directions, it made for a very stressful two hours because the wedding could not begin without them. I’m pretty sure I sweat all my makeup off and ruined my hair because I was so stressed.

Even though we gave preprinted directions to all guests and vendors, and had balloons to make the turns, a few people still showed up late. Make sure to budget this into your time schedule.

You also should tell your guests that it will be an outdoor wedding. This is so that they know what kind of shoes to wear (6 inch heels in grass would not be fun) and so that they can dress for the weather as well.

 

Other things to think about.

If you are having an outdoor wedding, there are plenty of other things to think about as well. I hope I’m not scaring anyone away, but I just want to inform you all so that you can prepare.

I read a ton of outdoor wedding tip articles for mine, and they really helped. Even though a lot of crazy things happened on our wedding day, I would still have an outdoor wedding again. It was super beautiful and a lot of fun!

  • It you’re out in the country, where will people sleep or how will they get home? We had a lot of people sleep at the property. I think Wes’s mom counted 26 people sleeping in the big house (there are two houses on the property – the “big” house, and a guest house where we slept). There were also people sleeping in their cars and a few people brought tents. We had a bonfire after the reception ended and it was a ton of fun. People were enjoying it until 9 in the morning from what I was told!
  • Will you need any permits? For some areas, you might need a permit to have a party, for guest parking, and/or to serve alcohol. We didn’t need anything since the property is so large and private
  • Bugs. We bought several cans of bug spray for our guests. You don’t want them to get all bit up!
  • Bathrooms. You will probably need to rent bathrooms. You don’t want 200 people using the same septic system unless it’s built for that. Don’t worry though, there are nice bathrooms out there to rent. Some come with air conditioning, flushing toilets, sinks, and everything else.

 

What craziness happened on your wedding day?

Would you have an outdoor wedding?

 

July Goals and Life Update – We’re Going On A Cruise!

Hello everyone and happy July! I know, I know, I am late with publishing my July goals and June goals update. I have no excuse for this.

June was another good month for me. I got married, went on a 2 week long road trip to Colorado and Utah, I made $12,787 in June, and overall it was just a fun month.

We are still waiting on our wedding pictures, but we did get a few early pictures from our wedding photographer (I posted those the other day). They were amazing and I can’t wait to see the rest.

 

Our honeymoon.

We went on a road trip right after the wedding, and while that was a lot of fun, that was definitely Wes’s version of a honeymoon haha. I finally booked my version of a honeymoon and we will be going on a cruise.

On Sunday, we leave for an 8 day cruise. This cruise is through Royal Caribbean and goes to their private island, Jamaica, and Cozumel. I am super excited and this will be our first cruise.

Do you have any cruising tips?

Oh yeah, don’t worry, I will still have internet and I will still be working at least a little bit!

 

We have entered the modern age and we now have Netflix.

Oh yeah, and we finally got Netflix! Our first month is free, and after that I believe it’s $8 per month. I don’t know why we waited so long to do this.

We are now thinking about getting rid of our cable because we haven’t watched anything on cable since we signed up for Netflix.

Netflix is almost a bad thing for us because we are definitely watching a lot more TV than how much we used to watch. Anyone else the same way? For a day or two we actually thought about getting rid of it because of how much time we were wasting. We just have no self-control when it comes to TV!

We finished Breaking Bad the other day (oh boy was that good!), and now we are watching Orange is the New Black. I am really enjoying that show as well. Next will probably be House of Cards because everyone keeps saying that we NEED to watch it.

What else do we need to watch?

I do have a question though, what do I do if I still want to watch new shows? Is that what Hulu is for? Haha I know, I am behind on the times!

July Goals and Life Update - We're Going On A Cruise!

This is a picture I took from a wedding guest. We are missing a groomsman in this picture.

 

June Goals Update

  1. Make $13,000 in business income. FAIL. Technically, I did make over $13,000, but when you take expenses out I did not. I was super close though!
  2. Go on a honeymoon. PASS. We sort of went on a honeymoon. We went on that 2 week road trip to Colorado and Utah. I’m going to call that Wes’s honeymoon. Then, we are going on a Caribbean cruise and we will call that my honeymoon. :)
  3. Run/walk 4 miles (4 days a week), and do some lifting/ab work. FAIL. Working out has been nonexistent for me…
  4. Have a fun wedding! PASS PASS PASS. Our wedding was amazing!

July Goals

  1. Make $13,000 in business income. I am keeping my same income goal from the past few months.
  2. Get back to my workout routine. This will be hard since we will be going on a cruise, but I would still like to accomplish SOMETHING. Luckily, our cruise ship has a track. I just need to actually use it though.
  3. Eat out no more than 5 times. We still have a restaurant problem, but the past few weeks we have been doing really well. I would really like to keep this up.  This goal doesn’t include the cruise though as meals are included in the cruise fare price.
  4. Create a giveaway for my 3 year blogiversary. My 3 year date is coming up. Crazy, right? What would you like to win?
  5. Declutter my closet. My closet right now could rival something in that Hoarders show. No, seriously. It needs to change.

 

How did you do in June? What is your main goal for July?

Have you been doing well with your income, spending and being healthy?