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A Different Kind Of Diet

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Jillian Beaudry
Bridal Blog Diet
Image from http://www.cccsso.org/Page.asp?NavID=175

Let’s talk about M-O-N-E-Y. I’m kind of passionate about my finances. Currently on my nightstand is a book by Charles Schwab on investing. I just finished “The Millionaire Next Door.” Heck, if I’m home on a Saturday night, I’m watching “The Suze Orman Show” and I’m making dear fiancé Dane watch it with me so we’re on the same page.

I grew up in a household where everything I needed was provided for me. My stepdad is a doctor and my mother never let us go without. I wouldn’t say I was the most spoiled child in the world (that title may go to my older sister, love you!). But, I still went to a private, four-year college where my parents gave me money for food, paid for my housing and always kept a Coach bag on my arm.

My ideas about money really began to change when I HAD NONE. I’m a very independent gal and when I graduated from Linfield College with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a full-time reporting job at a weekly paper I was determined to make it on my own. And I had to face the reality that entry-level positions in journalism do not pay well. I’m talking maybe $1,200 a month on a good month.

Living on my own working my first real job was tough. I had to budget every penny to make sure I could keep a roof over my head and pay off my student loans. Sometimes I even had $20 left over to do something fun! My second job as an editor and reporter at a daily paper gave me a pay boost and then when I took my current job as an editor of a weekly I got another boost. I can now financially stand on my own two feet without my parents paying my car insurance or cell phone. Am I rich? Heck no. But, being much poorer than I am now taught me to watch every penny and to save like a crazy person.

My parents are helping us out TREMENDOUSLY with wedding costs. They’re covering most of the big items. I paid for my dress, accessories, some décor, invitation craftiness and all gifts. My mom recently asked how much I had spent on bridesmaid gifts and offered to cover that cost for me as well. I told her no way. My parents have given me plenty already.

However, I’m not even paying for the big things and the small costs I am covering are really adding up. I did my finances last night and I spent an extra $300 last month on wedding-related costs that aren’t considered the big items. Now, for some that’s a drop in the bucket. For me, that’s $300 that could have paid off my student loan or could have accumulated lots of money over time in my retirement account.

Now that I’m officially mad at this spending, I know the culprit. It’s those beautiful wedding blogs I keep perusing that tell me I need this, can’t live without that and my bridesmaids MUST GET THIS or it’s not a wedding and it won’t be special. I don’t think Budget-Savvy Bride or my other favorite blog, OffBeat Bride, are at the bottom of this. It’s those shiny blogs with the designer dresses and bridesmaids in matching $100 robes. What would Suze Orman say about these blogs? She would not be happy, I can tell you that.

So I’m putting myself on a Shiny, Fancy Bridal Blog Diet. I’m going to try to go one month without looking at these fancies to see how my spending is impacted come Oct. 1.

Anybody else with me?

Jillian Beaudry

runs a weekly newspaper in a small town in Eastern Washington State. She got married in 2012 - You can read her wedding planning posts here.