A Wedding and $2,715 in Extra Income

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. This weekend went by way too quickly. I have had 3 day weekends for the past 2 weeks (and then a week-long vacation the week before that), so this week will be a rough one! I haven’t worked a full week since the beginning of August. Boardwalk Empire was on last…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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A Wedding and $2,715 in Extra Income

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. This weekend went by way too quickly. I have had 3 day weekends for the past 2 weeks (and then a week-long vacation the week before that), so this week will be a rough one! I haven’t worked a full week since the beginning of August.

Boardwalk Empire was on last night! Did anyone catch it? It’s definitely one of my favorite shows. Last night’s episode was kind of slow, so I’m not sure how this season will be.

My good friend got married on Friday, and I was a bridesmaid. It was a really fun day, and she looked beautiful! Definitely the prettiest wedding I have ever been to, and it was my first time being a bridesmaid.

The winner of my Swagbucks giveaway is Kristen B. (Swagname: kbon). Please email me if this is you!

 

Spending

I don’t think we have done much spending in the past week. We bought W a new tie and a new shirt for the wedding at H&M and spent around $40. And I had some spending for the wedding I was in also, but that was already known about. Hair and makeup was $102 altogether.

Food spending has been pretty low lately. We are really working on eating only at home. We haven’t gone out to eat for dinner in a while. Food is better at home, it’s usually healthier, and I don’t have to wait 30 minutes or more to actually eat it (and no driving is involved!). Win!

 

A Wedding and $2,715 in Extra Income

Extra Income (does not include income from our main jobs)

Extra income has been good so far this month. I’m hoping for a strong September, and I’m really wanting the rest of the year to be strong also.

I have my 100% self-employment switch date in mind. I’m keeping it a secret for now but I will let all of you know very soon. I am feeling much more confident and comfortable about switching to self-employment and I cannot wait!

We have been working on lowering our budget as much as we can. We really want to have this at a lower amount so that we are able to live off of a lower income and still be able to save a good amount. We still want to enjoy life as well. We are mainly just working on lowering our food spending, and also focusing on more outdoorsy activities, such as kayaking, biking, hiking and so on.

I have not really researched health insurance too much. I have been looking up prices but I really need to dive into this soon. Do you pay for your own health insurance? How much do you pay each month?

Being healthy

I have not been the healthiest person in the past week. I have been eating kind of healthy though. I will blame this on being extremely busy, especially with having many wedding activities this past week. I wouldn’t change a thing though, as it was an enjoyable week!

We have been riding our bikes a lot lately. We have had a little bit of a heat wave lately though, so riding a bike in 100 degree heat along with the high humidity has made me not want to ride lately. Hopefully it cools down soon!

 

Wedding Planning

I haven’t done much wedding planning lately. However, by the end of October I do have a couple of things that I need to get done. We need to find a caterer, book the music, and send out the save the dates.

I also need to decide on the bridesmaids dresses. I really like the look of a different dress on each bridesmaid. And I like the look of short cream bridesmaid dresses. I know that a lot of people are against choosing this color because it “takes away from the bride,” but if anyone confuses a bridesmaid for me then they probably don’t know me at all (most of my friends are blonde, whereas I definitely am not 🙂  ). What do you think of cream bridesmaid dresses? What about blush or peach?

We have also been thinking about flowers and how we will save money. We really want a lot of flowers (I’m thinking rectangular shaped reception tables that are just completely covered in flowers and candles, so there will most likely be well over 100 vases/jars just full of flowers altogether), and I would really not want to spend thousands of dollars on flowers. We are thinking about planting and picking our own (we both want a lot wildflowers at our wedding) and also buying flowers in bulk and arranging them ourselves. Has anyone else ever done this? Another way to save money is that we will be printing our photos using HP ink jet cartridges on our HP printer. Tell me all about it in the comments, or any tips that you may have!

My wedding dress should be getting in soon. I can’t wait to see it! I’m really hoping that I don’t regret buying it before actually seeing it.

 

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

 


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. You guys all look great in the photo. Being in someone else’s wedding probably is getting you very excited for your own.

    Do you have anywhere in a different post where you ever detail a breakdown of your extra income each month? I’m curious how much of it is freelance projects versus blog income.

    1. Yes, it has definitely made me want to actually start planning my own!

      I don’t think I have a detailed breakdown of my extra income (just to protect myself). Around half is from freelance projects.

  2. Great job on the income. I think you should pick whatever color bridesmaid dresses you want. It’s your wedding!

    Have a great week!

    1. Oh I know, I just want to know what looks best!

  3. You look like a beautiful bridesmaid! I also really like the look of different dresses on each bridesmaid. I think when you can have similar dresses but let each girl pick something that compliments her body everyone looks better. I think a cream color (I am picturing vintage lace somewhere :)) would be elegant and would be fine if your dress was a true white.

    I have done good with extra income and spending! I can’t wait to hear when your quit date is going to be. You’ll have to let us know soon.

    1. Thank you Alexa!

      And yes I think a cream color makes a wedding look much more elegant.

  4. Yes the last week and this weekend just seem to fly by. So much to do and get done. I haven’t seen BWE in awhile. Really liked it but kinda cut out tv right now. Cant wait to hear more about the DATE to leave the 9-5 behind. Not much extra income as of yet but I have big plans for August and the rest of the year. Keep us posted and really like the pic!

  5. Congrats on all the extra income! I looked at my June-August recently and was pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve made and definitely happy that my hard work is paying off. For health insurance I would just purchase some through ehealth insurance and then starting October 1st you can purchase insurance through the health insurance exchange in your state.

    1. Thanks DC!

      And congrats on your income as well.

  6. Thanks so much for the shout out Michelle, I really appreciate it! Great work on the income, September looks like it’s looking up from the past few months, so hopefully it’ll be a good one. We watched Boardwalk Empire as well and it was a bit on the slow side, but I am excited to see where they take it this season.

    1. You’re welcome John!

      I am excited to see where they end up going with Boardwalk as well.

  7. I think cream would be awesome for the bridesmaids. I actually saw pictures of two weddings recently where the bridesmaids wore WHITE. The first wedding had the bridesmaids in short white dresses and the whole wedding party looked so beautiful and classy! The second wedding had the girls in all different floor length white dresses and honestly, I was a little confused (from the pictures) on who the bride was in some pictures. (I didn’t know the bride personally, only one of the bridesmaids). But I think especially with shorter dresses you should go for it! πŸ™‚

    1. Yeah, it would definitely be with shorter dresses. I am glad you like it!

  8. Lisa @ Cents To Save

    It looks like you had a busy weekend! I am in awe of your side income. No doubt it take a lot of work and dedication. You will do great worki g for yourself!!

  9. Great job on your extra income! When is your wedding again? Next summer? That is so exciting!

  10. Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances

    Those dresses are so cute! And I love the bride’s dress, too. Weddings make me so happy. I have one this weekend that I’m in!

    I did do my own flowers, and there’s a bit of a story behind it… my mom and I ordered dozens upon dozens of tulip bulbs. We planted rows upon rows of them in the freezing cold of November, and eagerly awaited the fantastic bouquets that we would be making. Well… all the tulips came up a month early and were dead by the week before my wedding! Luckily, my mom has a friend was a huge garden. As she was picking flowers for bouquets and the church (our reception venue took care of the tables), her friend’s neighbor stopped by and heard what happened. She opened up her garden to my mom, and the result was my mom’s 8-foot dining room table COVERED in flower options. It was great. πŸ™‚

    Moral of that drawn out story: growing your own flowers is a great option, but choose more than one kind just in case.

    1. Have fun in the wedding that you are in! You are right, they do make me happy.

      That is awesome about your flower story!

  11. Andy | Income by Example

    I pay for my own health insurance and it’s about $120/month with blue cross blue shield of Illinois. It’s really for catastrophic things though as I’m very healthy and don’t really ever visit the doctor. It kinda sucks, but then I remember I’ve been in two accidents needing a hospital visit in the last 5 years, so I keep it.

    1. $120 a month doesn’t seem too bad. I will probably just have some sort of catastrophic policy as well.

      1. Tammy R

        Hi Michelle, congrats on getting closer to self-employment. We love it and don’t ever want to NOT be self-employed again. πŸ™‚ CJ has BC/BS, a high deductible, and the monthly cost is low like Andy’s! My own policy is ridiculous and pricey at $360/month. I hope to find some relief soon with the health insurance exchange.

  12. We purchased flowers from a wholesaler and put the bouquets together ourselves. If you have some handy friends, this might be a good option. I’d just make sure you have enough time for this since you want to buy the flowers a day or two before the wedding without being stressed out. P.S. I hear you on the heat wave! It’s been sweltering in Southern California as well and my bike riding has been limited!

    1. Yes, we will definitely have to make sure that we have enough time.

  13. Good luck on the wedding planning. It all works out in the end no need to worry. (Budget and Wedding) We all adjust to what is in front of us. Boardwalk empire was great, it was slow because they are building it up. Did you see how many people got elminated in the first episode. WOW.

  14. Jamie

    I’m planning to grow my flowers for our bouquets, haven’t decided yet on the tables. I’d recommend going with something large, such as hydrangeas. They aren’t as expensive as roses or other small flowers will be, but still lovely. As far as cream/peach dresses, I think if you keep them short for separation, it can be really nice. You could always make a statement too with a pop of color either on your dress or theirs. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Jamie!

      I plan on growing a lot of different types of wildflowers, cannot wait!

  15. Congrats on the awesome income! Also I love the idea of cream dresses. I don’t think they will take away from you. Do what you love! πŸ™‚

  16. great idea about planting the flowers. A couple of friends also had fruits and vegetables at their wedding, the party favors were small pots of basil or mint, and a whole transparent vase filled with oranges looks much nicer than it sounds when I try to write about it!

    1. Interesting! I might have to look into that also.

  17. Sounds like you had a great experience being a bridesmaid, which will come in handy during the planning of your own wedding! Leslie and I are finally seeing a lot of the rewards from the activities we’ve been putting in to make more of a side income. The income itself isn’t up yet, but the results we are seeing activity-wise show us that the income is right around the corner!

    1. That is great that you are seeing results! πŸ™‚

  18. It’s your wedding. If you want rainbow dresses, the bridesmaids have to wear them and like it! Insurance for you should be pretty cheap. One of the ladies I work with is 28 and just got a policy with a $1500 deductible with dental for $180 per month.

    1. Haha, oh I know that I can do whatever I want. I’m just wondering what looks good and wanted suggestions πŸ™‚

  19. You ladies look amazing πŸ˜€ I think either cream or peach would work as long as the color isn’t too saturated. I don’t have private life insurance myself but something you could look into is participating life insurance where the premium you pay has an investment component which you can take out and spend once you retire. It works like an IRA so it’s tax efficient. And nice job on the extra income πŸ™‚

    1. Hmmm that is interesting! I will have to look into that.

  20. Thanks so much for the link love, Michelle! That means so much to me, really. Sounds like you are doing great with the side income! Love the pic from the wedding too. I am doing ok this month with side income, but want to ramp it up! My student loans can’t be gone soon enough.

    1. You are welcome πŸ™‚

  21. That wedding looks really nice in the photo and clearly all the ladies were looking great! And despite your three day weekends, you are still rocking in extra income. I really don’t know how you do it, but it sure must feel great!

  22. Martin

    My health is better than ever. A flu tried to enter my body over the weekend, but I nixed that.

    Business is a bit lacking though. That’s pissing me off. If I sell my condo I will be in the winning column though.

    Any tips for increasing business income?

    That’s a whole lot of beautiful in that pic!

    1. Glad you nixed the flu πŸ™‚

      And haha thanks for the compliment on the photo. My friends are all gorgeous!

      Tips for increasing income? hmm diversify? Market yourself like crazy?

  23. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    Good job on the side income!

    I would recommend if you’re looking for something different than what David’s Bridal offers bridesmaids to look at Lightinthebox.com. I had my bridesmaids use them and even after shipping, the dress was still cheaper than what you could get at David’s Bridal and had better quality. All my bridesmaids were thrilled with their dresses. I would recommend ordering their color swatch book before doing this (it was around $40 with shipping) so you know exactly what the fabric looks like in each color so you can narrow down the fabric type and color for your bridesmaids. I think cream is very elegant!

    As far as flowers go, I was really out of luck regarding getting cheap cut flowers in NYC but my step-sister in Dallas, TX had access to bulk flowers for cheap which she used for the bouquets. She then got the corsages and boutonnieres for cheap at Krogers! For my own wedding I ordered corsages, boutonnieres, and the bouquets from bridesign.com (turned out fabulous!) but I used home-made paper flowers for table centerpieces. If you can find a bulk flower warehouse that is open to the public, you’d be surprised how much you can save that way. As far as vases go, I got all of mine at a thrift store on sale day so it was a cheap way to fulfill that need.

    If you have any questions about other wedding things, I’d love to share more info! Good luck. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the tips Tara! I think I’m going to just let the girls pick out the dresses that they want (from anywhere that they want), and just make sure that they stick to a similar shade.

      Great tips about flowers, thanks!

  24. Tanya

    Income this month we are way over budget already. We decided to have a tree removed in out front yard because it was causing lots of trouble with our plumbing pipes. That was a big chunk that will take a few months to recover from. My sister’s wedding this past summer was fun, We got to pick our dresses that we wanted as long as they were the right color. It made it nice because we actually liked the dresses πŸ™‚

    1. Oh no, that stinks about the tree!

  25. I noticed that you did not include the cost of the bridesmaid dress in the wedding costs? I have never been a bridesmaid, but when I got married the gown were expensive! Hopefully that didn’t do you in, even though you had to order it months ago πŸ˜‰

    1. The dresses were bought around 6 months ago, so that is why I didn’t include it in the costs for the past week πŸ™‚

  26. Yes, you definitely need to watch Boardwalk Empire!

  27. Thank you Anna! πŸ™‚

  28. I’m the best man in the wedding coming up this weekend. So there will be an expense for the gift…and we went to the bachelor party 2 weeks back. The wedding will have 300 people! And I’m giving a toast!

    1. Good luck with your toast!

  29. Jaclyn

    Great job this past week. I can’t WAIT until I start bringing in substantial numbers. The “want” to work from home is becoming stronger and stronger, like a young lion learning how to rawr, wanting desperately to be heard!

    1. I hope you make substantial numbers soon! πŸ™‚

  30. Brian

    My wife was out of town so I have to wait to watch Boardwalk. It is one of those shows that is usually such a slow burn and then it explodes, so I guess I am not shocked the first episode of the season would be a little slow.

    I have paid for my own health insurance for a few years and it has gone up each year a decent amount. At this point I can still get better health care on my own than from my employer (and their plan isn’t bad) because I am in the group with the lowest rates for individual coverage. This of course is going to change when all the healthcare reform laws go into place since insurers will have to spread the risk around and my group will take the biggest hit

    1. This is what I’m nervous about. I hope I can get something at a decent price.

  31. Thanks for the update. Great start to September.

    When August’s “extra” income is almost $10k and is “not the best month” you certainly must be doing something right!! πŸ™‚

  32. The Norwegian Girl

    IΒ΄ve been trying my best at being healthy, by exercising and not eating sugary stuff nor alcohol.
    I love it when the bridesmaids dresses have different looks, mostly because I think itΒ΄s important for the bridesmaids to feel comfortable, and not being forced to wear a certain shape or look that doesnΒ΄t suit the bridesmaid at all.

    1. I agree! I also think it looks better when the dresses are different

  33. Lyle @ The Joy of Simple

    WOW!! Very pretty post to be featured in πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much Michelle for adding The Joy of Simple to your link love section! The support and encouragement is greatly appreciated!

    Take care and all the best.

    Lyle

  34. Wow, way to crush the first week! Very cool idea with the flowers. I don’t have any advice (unless you want a bunch of dead plants), but I like the initiative. I think it would make a cool memory to have grown your own wedding flowers.