Category Archives: Money

100 Ways to Save Hundreds on Your Wedding

This might be controversial, but I’m sharing my entire book 100 Ways to Save Hundreds on Your Wedding for free below. If you would rather have the Kindle eBook version of it though, you can grab it right here. It’s less than the cost of a latte! Thanks for your support!

Introduction

According to CNBC, “The average cost of a wedding is as high as $28,400 by one estimate, and close to $26,000 by another.” I don’t know about you, but when I got married, I had to pay for my wedding myself. The idea of spending nearly $30,000 on one day simply didn’t make sense to me. So, I set out to find ways to make my wedding significantly cheaper. In the end I had approximately 75 guests and spent a grand total of $5,000.

Now, before you assume that means I skimped on a lot of the things that make a wedding a fabulous and wonderful party I want to say two things. First, people still to this day tell me how much they loved my wedding and second, I don’t feel like anything was left out. I had a dress, a cake, a photographer, a live band, a sit down catered meal, gorgeous invitations – the whole nine yards.

What was our secret to a gorgeous wedding that didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Well, many of the tips you will find in this book answer that question. I’m so thrilled to share what I have learned with you. To this day I’m still picking up tips and tricks at every wedding I attend or photograph (I am a photographer), and I hope to continue sharing a bunch of these tips forever. My mission in life is to help people save money in a variety of ways, so this eBook will certainly not be my last. In other words, stay tuned for more releases, but in the mean time- I hope you enjoy this one!

Engagement Party


Alright, you just got engaged. Congratulations! You’ll likely put it on Facebook and announce it to the world. Then, after everyone and their brother has congratulated you, there might be a party. If so, hopefully you will be lucky to have it thrown for you. If not, below are some tips to help you keep the budget low. I personally didn’t have an engagement party because it didn’t make sense financially to me and it felt like an outdated tradition, but if you want to party by all means do so. Just don’t kill your wedding fund to make it happen!

1. My top tip to save money on an engagement party is to remember that this doesn’t have to be nearly as splashy as a wedding so don’t get a DJ, don’t hire a caterer, forget the photographer and don’t over think it! Keep it simple. Simple can still be sexy and the savings are huge!

2. Make it a potluck party – Who says you have to cook everything yourself or hire someone to do it for your party? You could host a backyard barbecue and handle the main course of hot dogs and hamburgers and ask everyone who’s coming to bring something specific.

3. Don’t want to ask your guests to bring something? No problem! Host it at lunch time because it’s a smaller meal and significantly cheaper. Or, for even bigger savings have it between lunch and dinner so that you can get away with light passed appetizers.

4. Only serve beer, wine and ONE signature cocktail. Save more money by scratching the liquor, and save the most by not having any alcohol at all.

5. Host the event at a private residence. If your backyard is big enough, throw it there for only close friends and family. If not, see if any of your friends or family have a clubhouse at their apartment complex or in their subdivision. You may get lucky and score a clubhouse super cheap or for free

6. Use an MP3 player fully loaded with your favorite jams in lieu of a paid DJ.

7. Have a friend take the pictures of the night, and/or put disposable cameras all over the room to have friends and family snap candids.

Engagement Photos


8. Book the same person to shoot your engagement photo shoot that is doing your wedding and ask for a discount for hiring them for two occasions. In fact, many photographers are willing to do the engagement photos for free if you’ll hired them for the wedding. You simply need to ask when negotiating.

9. Consider asking a friend that is a photographer to do them. Personally, as a photographer I’ll do engagement shoots for friends and family for free a deep discount. Sometimes I’ll even do it free as my bridal shower gift to the bride. There is a chance you can get the same courtesy.

10. Be careful with this one, but you could hire someone on a website such as Craigslist. The good news is that since it’s just the engagement shoot it’s not as dangerous to go with a newbie photographer because you can always rehire someone new to do a reshoot. Many new photographers trying to build their portfolio will shoot sessions like this incredibly cheap or even for free. Just be prepared that they will expect you to allow them to use the images from your shoot in their portfolio.

Save the Dates

11. Use an engagement photo as your save the date. Edit the image with a free program or online via a website like PicMonkey or Canva to include the words “Save the Date” and the date of your wedding and voila! You’ve got a customized announcement. After that, go to a website like Shutterfly and they will usually give you your first 50 prints for free. Then, just put those bad boys in an envelope and mail them off to your pals and gals.

12. Announce it on Facebook or other social media in lieu of sending a save the date. Some consider this tacky, but it gets the job done.

13. Another option for your save the dates is an email with a link to your wedding website that you create and send to all of your friends and family. More and more couples are opting to create a wedding website complete with the stores they have registered with, pictures of themselves including updates with engagement pics, links to their honeymoon info and more.

Invitations

14. For my wedding I went to Jo-Ann’s armed with some 40% off coupons and bought a bunch of wedding invitation making kits. For 100 invites I think we spent $20 plus the cost of the ink. The instructions were super simple, and in one afternoon I was able to print out and put together all of the invites. They looked just as nice as many invitation companies could have offered but at a fraction of the cost.

15. If you are one of those gals that thinks you don’t have a creative bone in your body then you could do what some people I know have done- they went to an art school! No, not to learn how to make invitations, but to ask art students to design their invites for them. They paid half or less what an invitation company would have charged them. In fact, one of the gals got her invites done just for the cost of the materials as long as she agreed to let the student keep one for their portfolio and use her as a reference.

16. Another option for invitations is to print out another engagement picture and mail it off to friends and family. Now, this is not necessarily the way to go if you are looking for something formal, but if your wedding it less than traditional you could customize it however you want.

17. I personally would REALLY not recommend this one- but if you wanted to save lots of money you could just send invitations via email. I’ve only received one wedding invitation this way and it worked for this particular bride, but if I had done this I think my family and friends would have made fun of me for years to come. You do what’s right for you though!

Accessories for the Wedding Day

18. Every bride seems to enjoy decking themselves out in beautiful jewelry on the day of their wedding but accessories can get really expensive really fast. One way to save money on accessories for your big day is to wear pieces you already have and/or borrow pieces from friends and family.

19. If you must buy jewelry for your wedding day you could always go the costume jewelry route. Only you would really know it’s fake. If you are worried about it turning your skin a different color do a test run before the wedding- wear it all day and see what happens. Some brides have bypassed this problem by taking clear nail polish and painting all the parts of the jewelry that would touch their skin. I wouldn’t recommend this for earrings though because I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want nail polish in a hole in my skin.

20. You could also make your wedding day jewelry. I know- I’m talking creative speak again! You could take a beading class at your local craft store or watch a bunch of Youtube videos though. Who knows? It could be fun!!!

21. What about thrift stores, estates sales and garage sales? You might find the perfect pieces at one of these options and it’ll be much cheaper than new pieces at department stores.

22. If after all of these options you simply must buy brand new non costume jewelry I have one more idea that I think will help- go for Sterling Silver and Cubic Zarconia! WAAAAAY cheaper than white gold or platinum jewelry and diamonds with just as much bling. Want the look of gold instead? Lots of sterling silver is available with gold plating- there! Problem solved.

Bridal Party Gifts

Giving gifts to your bridal party is a time honored tradition, but you don’t have to break the bank to give the people in your wedding something nice. Here are some inexpensive bridal party gift ideas:

23. Guys: Mini bottles of liquor and a personalized shot/cocktail glass. You’ll save even more on this if you can make the personalized shot glass yourself.

24. A 6 pack of beer for each of the guys with a koozie- make sure you get the brand he likes!

25. Personalized beer openers, coffee mugs or beer mugs

26. If your groomsmen like cigars get them a couple of inexpensive ones with a cigar cutter.

27. Girls: They seem to have a lot more options! Why is it so hard to shop for men? I suppose that’s for another book. First up for girls is a bottle of wine. What you could do to save some serious coin on this is get a cheap bottle of wine like Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes, print out a fancy shmancy label from a printable site with a sweet saying, adhere said label to the bottle, and voila! Cheap gift. If your gals are wine connoisseurs they might notice, but that’s a risk your wallet might just be willing to take!

28. Get each girl a nice necklace to wear at the wedding. You could go as cheap as you like here. I’ve seen some stunning sterling silver necklaces for under $10 at after Christmas sales!

29. You could also get a nifty reusable tumbler for each girl.

30. A cute idea that has been all over Pinterest lately is to get a mason jar and fill it with emery boards, nail polish and whatever other cheap dollar store finds will fit. Bonus points if everything in the jar matches!

31. Custom wine glasses might be a good idea too. You can get some dollar store wine glass and hand paint them. Not very good with painting? No problem! I’ve made several with polka dots that match the person’s décor at home and they’ve been a huge success. Heck, you could even pair it with the Two Buck Chuck for a truly sweet gift!

Wedding Rings

Wedding rings shouldn’t be skimped on since you will be wearing them forever, but that doesn’t mean you have to over pay! Here are some quick ideas to save money on your rings:

32. Buy the bride’s ring where you got the engagement ring. Sometimes the store will give you a loyalty discount for being a return customer.

33. Look for sales! Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday- it seems like jewelry stores have sales for every occasion. If you’re lucky you will find a sale that is something like a percentage off everything in the store!

34. When I got married we scored super cheap wedding rings because we found a store that was going out of business. On the one hand this can be a little scary because you can’t exactly go back if anything happens to the ring, but for my husband and I the deal was too good to beat! If you have time to look for a store going out of business go for it.

35. One way to save some serious coin is to not get matching rings or to go with simple bands rather than extravagant ones. This is obviously a personal choice, but for my husband and I we just wanted them to both be gold and look similar which helped us save even more!

36. Forgo engraving. Is the added expense of engraving something inside the band really worth it?

Wedding Dress

The wedding dress seems to be almost as big of a deal as the engagement itself. It seems like every time someone I know gets engaged I suddenly see a post on their social media pages about “Saying yes to the dress.” Now, I’m all for having a beautiful gown to say “I do” in, but those suckers can get pretty pricey. How can you save on the most important dress you will ever wear?

37. Don’t buy it at full price! Bridal stores frequently have sales so its okay to shop around. You don’t have to take the highest marked item because it’s NOT the only one out there.

38. Don’t work with a pushy up-seller. If you are dress shopping and start feeling as though everyone is just trying to push you to buy the most expensive dress- LEAVE! Have a budget in mind and try to meet or beat it. One of my girlfriends made a rule that she wouldn’t try on a single dress out of her price range. The sales clerk kept bringing her dresses over that number and she politely explained that no matter what she would not try it on. Why? She knew that she would be risking falling in love with the dress and being tempted to overspend. You can’t fall in love with something you never try on!

39. Have you considered a consignment or thrift store gown? Now, before you close this eBook in haste hear me out- you could save hundreds on your dress simply by choosing this option. Is it really so terrible to wear something previously worn if you look amazing in it and nobody but you knows it was a second time down the aisle for this dress?!? You could have it professionally cleaned and then have a seamstress form fit it to your body if necessary and even after those costs still have saved way more than a brand new gown!

40. Avoid couture. Now, if you have an aunt or cousin or a really good friend that makes dresses and wants to make a custom gown as a wedding gift, by all means couture it up baby. But if you don’t I beg you to please avoid couture!! A custom made dress could easily set you back $1,000 or more and it’s not worth it just to have a gown that is unique.

41. One bride I heard about didn’t wear a wedding dress at all. She wore a prom dress. It just so happened that a department store she was in had a large selection of white prom dresses and she found one that would be perfect for her wedding day for less than $100! With the addition of her veil I highly doubt any of her guests even realized this was not a wedding dress. Speaking of veils – craft stores typically have these for less than $20 and they’re just as pretty as the ones in the bridal shops at a fraction of the cost!

42. Could you wear the same dress a family member wore? If your nostalgic and the dress fits your wedding theme this may be the perfect option for you. Boom- free dress!

Bridesmaid’s Dresses

43. Don’t make them match. Yes, they should all be the same color, but let each girl pick out a dress style that fits their body best.

44. Don’t get them at a bridal shop! Instead, look for after prom sales in department stores such as Macy’s or Dillard’s.

45. You’ll save the most if your girls follow suit with tradition and pay for their own dress. P.S. Bridesmaids are also expected to pay for their own hair and makeup the day of the wedding.

Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire

46. Rent, don’t buy the tuxes. Odds are the attire won’t be worn again anyway, so why shell out the cash?

47. Go less formal and have the men wear a black suit coat and black dress pants with a white button up shirt. Add a tie and you’re all set. Who said it had to be tuxedos in the first place?

48. Again, if you go with tradition, the men can pay for their own attire to save you a boat load of cash.

Cake


49. Buy a super small cake for the cutting and then serve sheet cake. This can save you a small fortune!

50. Get yours from a grocery store instead of a cake shop. They are often pretty enough and will be as much as half the cost or even cheaper in comparison.

51. Do cupcakes. I’ve seen this done at several weddings. The bride and groom had a tiered cupcake stand and the cupcakes were stacked to look like a wedding cake. Not as pretty as a wedding cake, but certainly less expensive.

52. Forgo the cake completely. I’ve only seen this at one wedding, but it certainly can be done. In lieu of the cake, the bride and groom served a variety of pastries and petit fours.

Catering & Beverages for the Reception

53. Like the engagement party, you can choose to serve only beer and wine to save money.

54. Instead of paying for the alcohol yourself, you could do a cash bar.

55. Also like the engagement party, you could save on your reception by having it around lunch time or between meals so you can serve lighter options that don’t cost as much. I’ve even seen weddings that were done as brunches because eggs are cheaper than most meats.

56. Go for the buffet meal instead of a seated dinner. They’re often significantly cheaper.

57. Only use wedding venues that allow outside caterers because in house ones often charge the most for the convenience factor.

58. Have your family cook.

59. Order chicken instead of beef or fish.

DJ/ Entertainment

60. One way to save on entertainment is to hire a student to be your DJ. Of course, make sure you get references and that it’s not their first event.

61. Some venues include live bands with their packages as was the case with my wedding. For no additional fee we got a great group to sing all the party favorites.

Flowers

62. Fake it, with flowers anyway – Fresh flowers can cost a lot of money whereas silk bouquets can be significantly less expensive. Visit a website like Pinterest to get DIY bouquet ideas and then head to your local craft store with the instructions in hand. Some stores will even help you with what you’re looking for and give you pointers on how to accomplish your task.

63. Get smaller bouquets for the bridesmaids. There is no rule that says you have to have large bouquets for everyone.

64. Don’t put a flower arrangement at every table. I’ve seen weddings where the bride and groom purchased candles at the dollar store and put them on the table with framed pictures of the couple. It was still elegant and it gave guests something to look at.

Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

65. Don’t get an expensive pillow for the ring bearer to hold. You can get them cheap at craft stores with coupons. Be sure to sign up for 40% and 50% off coupons at Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo-Ann’s craft stores.

66. Don’t have the flower girl throw real petals. Instead get a bag of them at a craft store or discount store. They are generally much cheaper.

67. For their attire – Typically, the parents of the child are expected to pay for the clothes if they agree to have their child participate in your wedding. However, if you are buying the clothes, don’t go to a bridal store or tux shop. Hit the after Easter and Christmas sales to get cheaper clothes.

Officiant

68. In many states a notary can officiate and they generally charge a lot less than a minister, rabbi or some other religious leader.

69. If you’re getting married on a boat like I did, the captain can probably marry you. That’s exactly what we did – we had the captain marry us.

Photography and Videography

70. It’s dangerous to have a newbie photographer shooting your wedding because they might miss the shots a veteran would grab. However, it will save you a boat load of cash.

71. Only hire the photographer for the main shots. In my photography business I’ve had couples hire me for just the ceremony, the posed shots and the first hour of the reception to save money. During that hour we do the main shots like the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, etc… Any shot we can’t get organically we stage so the couple can get the images without paying the cost of keeping me there for the entire event.

72. If you dare, you could hire photography students. Again though, try to make sure it’s not their first event

73. Several couples opt to not use a videographer to save money. But, if you choose to you can use the same ideas in tips 70, 71 and 72 to save some cash and still have the services.

Rehearsal Dinner

74. Only invite the main wedding party for this event to save money.

75. Opt for tapas or appetizers instead of full meals.

76. You could have everyone pay for their own drinks, and only serve tea and water.

Ceremony

77. Have your ceremony in the same location as the reception to save the money and hassle of decorating two venues.

78. Use a CD instead of a live harpist, pianist or other musician for the wedding music.

79. Don’t feel obligated to decorate every pew.

Reception

80. Try and get a reception hall that looks nice without decorations so that you won’t have to pay a lot of money fixing the eye sores.

81. Don’t go overboard with decorating. Remember, the more simple the wedding, the smaller the bill. Also, balloons are cheaper than most decorations, but can still create a very nice effect. Think outside the box and who knows what kinds of amazing ideas you can come up with!

82. Instead of buying linens, rent them. Or, even better, see if the reception hall has linens that you can use as many come with white table cloths already. This can save you not only money, but the hassle of getting the linens delivered.

Makeup and Hair

83. Instead of an up-do, opt for a more simplistic hair style. You could wear it down and use a gorgeous hair clip instead like in the image

84. Go to a cosmetology school instead of a traditional salon.

85. Do your own makeup and hair or have a friend/ family member do it for you.

Party Favors

86. Save on party favors by making your own. You could make cookies and package them for guests or you could make bags of candy. I’ve seen candy “bars” at several weddings lately that allow the guests to make their own party favors as well. Each guest is given a box or bag to fill with treats. You can go as big or as small as you like, and the candies don’t have to be incredibly expensive.

87. Look for discount and closeout options online. Avoid ones that charge for shipping. Also, skip the personalization on novelty items. Most people don’t want to keep a koozie or bottle opener with your wedding date on it anyway.

Transportation

88. Limos are awesome but man do they cost a lot of money. If you insist on having a limo save money by only having one drop you off OR pick you up from the reception. If you hire one for the day be prepared to drop several Benjamins!

89. Rent a really nice car instead of a limo. It will be cheaper and it will still feel extra special.

Honeymoon

90. Get a travel agent that price matches and doesn’t charge you a planning fee!

91. Book well in advance to optimize savings and get the rooms, flights and destinations you want.

92. Plan the time of your honeymoon wisely. For example, if you go to a destination in their peak season you could easily end up paying three or four times the amount you would pay in the low season for everything from your room to your flight to local attractions and events.

93. Beware discount trip sites. You may think that you are getting a great deal by using something like Groupon, Living Social or another similar site to book your honeymoon, but beware the savings and the fine print! There could be some serious catches involved. The last thing you want is to buy a seven day trip to Tahiti for a lower than normal rate only to learn that it is only valid in the rainiest month of the travel year and requires you use an airline you don’t want to fly with.

94. Don’t go into debt for the trip. If your credit card charges 10% APR that $3,000 honeymoon could easily be an additional $300 in interest fees. Many people feel its best to charge their trip and if you want to, that’s all fine and good as long as you are paying your balance in full before interest can accrue!

Wedding Announcements

95. See if your local newspaper has a day that it offers free announcements. Believe it or not some towns do have days where you can announce your wedding for free. Of course you most likely will not get to include a picture and will be limited on text, but if you are dying to see the news in print, it may be an option.

96. Two words- Status Update! More and more people are forgoing traditional wedding announcements and simply updating their relationship status on Facebook as their way of announcing the fact that they are officially off the market.

97. Instead of a newspaper announcement you could send a wedding picture to friends and family via email or snail mail. The email option will obviously save you a lot of money, but printing pics that you mail out could still be cheaper than a wedding announcement in the paper.

98. If your wedding was super cool you could consider pitching it to a local wedding magazine in your area. Who knows? They might like it so much that they feature you in their publication. Talk about an announcement!!!

99. Forgo traditional invitations and announcements – Considering the fact that you likely won’t have many guests anyway you will already be saving money on your invitations. To save even more instead of sending a formal announcement after the wedding just send a photograph. Head to a free website like Pic Monkey or Canva to add the text you wanted to share and then have prints made via a photo lab online. Remember, some sites like Shutterfly will even give you your first 50 4×6 prints free!

Another Way to Save on Your Wedding Day

100. Skip the wedding and elope in Vegas!

OR

Have a destination wedding where you wanted to honeymoon. Some resorts will even do the wedding ceremony and reception for free if you have a honeymoon that is at least five to seven days at their property.

OR

Go to the court house to get married and then have a big party instead of a traditional reception.

My Wedding Gift to you – 10 BONUS TIPS!!!

101. Get a wedding planner and tell them your budget and make sure they will stick to it. Wedding planners are amazing at finding vendors that will work within your budget and this will save you countless hours of haggling and worrying about the numbers because they will be doing it all for you.

102. Never commit to the first place or vendor you find. Shop around and then negotiate between vendors. Be willing to walk away if you are not getting the price you want.

103. Change the date of the wedding. If your town has a particular time of year designated as “wedding season,” don’t get married during that time! Everything will be the most expensive from your photographer to your venue. When you get married in the busy season, you most likely won’t have top picks for any of the wedding vendors either. Going for the down time opens up more options, and you’re more likely to score better prices for vendors trying to fill their empty slots.

104. Don’t be afraid of negotiating and don’t show too much excitement. When you show your emotions it’s easier for you to be manipulated into paying more than you want to.

105. Don’t visit any place you can’t afford. Like the wedding dress scenario I mentioned earlier – if you try it on it’s harder to say no. So, why tempt yourself by visiting a place completely outside of your budget?

106. Look out for hidden fees, and always read the fine print on every contract.

107. Consider wedding insurance. It probably seems odd mentioning a fee like this when I’m talking about saving money, but wedding insurance could save you a lot of money in the event of a natural disaster or some other event outside of your control. For example, I know of a couple who had been planning a wedding at a hotel for a year and it burned down the week before. Thanks to their wedding insurance plan they were able to recover some of the fees that otherwise would have been lost from changing the date and venue.

108. Choose a casual wedding at a park or beach. From the food to the attire, you could save a lot of money simply by not going the formal route.

109. Look for packages that include everything, or close to it. This is what I did and it saved us a ton. We got a package that included the officiant, the catering, the band, the reception hall, the ceremony location and more for one low cost. Then, we negotiated to get the price we were looking for.

110. Finally, consider asking for help. My parents chose to give me my wedding dress and cake instead of a wedding gift. My husband’s parents gave us our honeymoon. Others gave us money towards the wedding instead of a gift.

Your wedding should be special, but it doesn’t have to be over the top and crazy expensive. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you and your spouse to be say “I do!” No matter what happens on your special day, even if everything else turns out awful, you will have each other. That is what makes this day special after all. Don’t get hung up in the details focusing so much on your wedding that you forget about the marriage.

I hope you and your spouse to be have the most beautiful wedding as cheap as you want it to be. I also hope that this eBook gave you some ideas to help you save some money on this big day. Congratulations! I wish the two of you a long and happy marriage with more love and abundance than you can even imagine is possible. May your fights be minimal, your bank accounts booming and your hearts be full of love the rest of your days.

7 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

When you’re buying a car, there’s a lot to consider. That’s why I put together this list of 7 things you should keep in mind when thinking about this big of a purchase. While this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

So you want to buy a car? Great! Be sure to research before you buy. You have so many options when it comes to make, model, size, color, automatic or stick, and power windows and locks and lets not forget about those leather car mats you’ve always wanted. The choices are truly endless. But, regardless of what kind of car you want, there are 7 important thing you should consider before you buy.

7 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

1. Fuel efficiency

One of the first, and perhaps most important things to consider is the car’s fuel efficiency. This is one of the mistakes I made when I bought my current vehicle. Had I thought about the ramifications of low mileage to the gallon, I probably would have reconsidered my purchase. Do you want a hybrid or one that runs solely on gas alone? Do you want a car, a van or an SUV? SUVs and vans generally have lower MPG than cars.

2. Insurance costs

Insurance is a big one, and most don’t consider insurance ahead of time when buying a car. Did you know that you can get general estimates for vehicles with most car insurance companies? You don’t even have to purchase the vehicle before you get this quote. Whatever vehicle you have in mind, whether it’s a car, motorbike or van, insurance is very important. For example, if you are looking to buy cheap van insurance, you may want to look into a site like One Sure Insurance who offer some of the latest deals in the market, to help save you money. In terms of cars, keep in mind that a car with a bigger engine will usually cost more to insure. Things such as turbo models and other sports extras will also run you more in insurance fees. And, your car color can cost you more! A red one for example will be a higher cost to insure than a white car, because red ones are more likely to be stolen. (Cue the “more you know” jingle!)

3. Average costs for maintenance and repair

This was another thing I wish I had thought of ahead of time to research. Maintenance and repairs on my vehicle is far too costly. We still don’t have an air conditioner or working heater because after the fourth of time of paying out the ASH to replace it, we gave up on this absurd fee. You should check the conditions of the vehicle AND the reviews of common maintenance issues with the make and model too!

Another thing to look into is the fees you might experience for things like oil changes and air filter replacements. Some vehicles require more expensive oil and tires than others.

4. Research the value of all of your purchase options, get lots of info, and make the most informed decision possible.

No question is stupid. Okay, well, for the most part no question is stupid when you’re debating about a purchase this big. You need to know all the details about the vehicles you are considering so you don’t end up with a lemon. Things like – whether a vehicle has been in an accident, ever had flood damage (hello Florida hurricanes!), and whether it has been reported stolen. Yep, these are things you need to be schooled on before pulling the purchase trigger! Come up with a list of several cars you are considering, and then shorten their list by thinning the herd via your research.

5. Be clear on what you actually want

Yes, you may have to compromise if you want a 2018 BMW but only have a budget for a 2014 Honda Civic. However, you shouldn’t compromise too much. Know what you want, and then look for what you want.

6. Don’t rush the process.

My husband and I tend to adhere to the philosophy of never buying anything when we need it. When we need it, we rush it and then inevitably regret our decision. Again, I confess this is what happened with my current vehicle. Our last vehicle was totalled unexpectedly and I panic purchased instead of slowing down and being smart. Sigh…I’m being smarter with THIS purchase!

7. Consider your current budget, and how you will finance the vehicle (if at all)

How much can you spend on this vehicle? Will you need a car loan, and if so – how much can you put towards a down payment and/or monthly payments? You must be realistic about this. Do you even qualify for a loan? Will your interest rates be good/bad/unspeakable? Thinking about the financial aspect prior to the purchase will certainly save you a lot of heartache later on.

Enter the Blinker App.

Blinker is the first-ever mobile app that puts you back in control of buying, selling and financing cars yourself – and it can all be done with your smartphone. Using their patented image-recognition technology, they make everything from selling a car with a lien to getting a loan to refinancing as easy as snapping a photo.

Since launching in Texas last year, they’ve saved buyers and sellers an average of $3,000 per transaction, serviced millions of dollars in auto loans, and they even won a 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award.

Their app is currently available in Colorado, Texas and Florida. And, for a limited time, when you download Blinker (for free), enter code FAMOUS and you’ll get $200 when you buy, sell or refinance a car through the app. In full disclosure, I’ll get some cash, too when you use code FAMOUS.

Click HERE to learn more about Blinker.

Stay social with Blinker by following along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Don’t forget!!! For a limited time, when you download Blinker, enter my code FAMOUS and list your car for sale, you’ll earn $200 when it sells.

Happy Dance! One Student Loan Account PAID IN FULL!!!

Dear unleveraged debt,

It’s time we broke up. You’re just not serving me anymore. In fact, I don’t love you, and I want nothing more to do with you. I want you to move out of my life as quickly as possible!

For the past 15 years, I’ve been worried about money. It’s been a concern on my mind longer than that, but it was then that I started to REALLY worry about it as I started accumulating unleveraged debt. Nearly half of my life I’ve spent accumulating it.

I have to say, it doesn’t feel good. It feels like a prison, and you know what – I just don’t want you in my life anymore.

Thank you for the times you saved me from eviction, from not being able to pay for groceries, for all the times you bailed me out. However, I now see that the cost was high and I don’t want to use you to pay my bills ever again.

Look unleveraged debt, you were great in my moments of dire need. And, I’m so incredibly grateful you were there when I didn’t see any other options. But, now I see a new path, and I must take it.

His name is abundance, and he is going to be so much better for me. In fact, we’re going to make a better couple than you and I ever possibly could have. He understands me, and wants to shower me with everything I’ve ever wanted or needed. And, he said I can keep the money he gives me free and clear. Now that sounds like a WAY better relationship to me.

I’m sorry unleveraged debt for letting you into my life. Thank you for all the lessons you have given me. I forgive myself for all the time we spent together, and I promise not to call for you again to save me because abundance will be saving me from now on.

I love you for helping me in the past, but I’m not in love with you anymore. I know it will take some time to move all of your stuff out of my life. I hope to move the last of your stuff out by the end of this year though.

I have to tell you I’m letting abundance move in now. He and I are already starting to get to know each other, and we’ve really got something special. He’s amazing. I’m loving him so much, and I’m enjoying watching as he grows as a permanent fixture in my life. He’s going to build me a home that I own free and clear, he’s giving me two cars, he’s taking me to Europe, and he’s going to make all of my dreams come true.

I know you’ll find someone else unleveraged debt that you can still serve. You’re just not serving me anymore. I need your stuff completely out of my life by December 31, 2018. I got rid of the one student loan account as of this morning, and I’m moving the rest of them out of my life as quickly as possible. I’m looking forward to packing up and shipping out every single account.

Love always,

Famous Ashley Grant

Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge – Day 4 and 5

Day 4 and 5 – I’m combining two days and I’m even behind a couple of days because of some crazy that occurred over the weekend. Needless to say, The Universe threw me for a loop, but I’ll share more about that below.

Grab the book and follow along with me, it’s called Unleash Your Inner Money Babe: Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1,000 in 21 Days

Day Four Discoveries

Day four is all about one of the most critical elements in the Law of Attraction – gratitude. Kathrin was brilliant in her explanation of why we must show that we’re thankful for our current gifts. She compared it with the analogy of receiving a present that you didn’t show gratitude for, and made the point that when a gift giver notices this, they are less likely to want to send you more gifts. Made perfect sense to me and I LOVED it!

So…today’s challenge was to write a list of 25 things we’re thankful for, and some interesting things transpired as I worked on my list…

I decided to take myself to the mall. Something I hadn’t done in months. I was going to shop, sip on Starbucks and then finish with a lovely meal – one of my faves. I did all of that, and while I ate my meal, I smiled as I began writing my list in my notebook I had brought along with me.

I was thinking about how much I loved my husband while I was writing my list, and decided I would get him a meal too, and bring it home to him. That’s when something I could NOT have expected occurred.

The Windshield Incident

I refuse to call this an accident anymore, and am only referring to it as an incident because of the ahas that transpired after the fact… Here’s what happened…

I was driving home, and had just enjoyed a lovely time at International Plaza. While driving, a 4 inch metal bar flew through my windshield at 70 miles per hour in the Veterans Expressway. Scary moment let me tell you. Glass flew all over me. Sounded like a gunshot. Terrifying experience I never want to repeat. Now, this next part may surprise you – I’m thankful tonight for the incident I encountered today.

Wait, what?

I know….but let me explain.

The funny thing is that as I’m sitting here reflecting on it, I was trying to figure out why something so bad could happen in the midst of me trying to work on my Law of Attraction mojo and manifesting amazing things into my life. In researching how I was feeling, I stumbled upon this blog post:

What to do When you Manifest Something Bad

I was intrigued because the article actually mentioned car accidents as something that could occur as one is working on becoming a master manifester.

“Or right when it seemed like you finally got a hand on this Law of Attraction thing and things were finally starting to look up for you, your washing machine stopped working…and your refrigerator…and your stove…

“Did you manifest these bad things?

“Of course not! You didn’t manifest something bad; you manifested on an opportunity to expand forward into the life you truly desire to live.”

Later in the post the author suggests looking for the positive to see the gift in the incident that may have at first blush seemed negative. Here’s what I realized was the gift in my windshield incident:

  1. I realized that in any crisis my husband will always be my rock. He calmed me down really fast, and showed me just how lucky I am to have him in my life to be there for me.
  2. I was given a glimpse into how many people care for me. I was kind of bummed out before heading to the mall that I was going alone, but dozens of people sent me well wishes upon learning of the incident.
  3. I had started doubting whether or not someone in my life cared as much as I needed them to about my well-being. But, the moment this person learned of the incident they were ready to drop everything to come to my aid.
  4. I was shown I’m a VERY lucky woman to have not been hurt in what could have been soooooooo much worse.
  5. I was shown just how much I want a new car and I know the universe now has confirmation of that deep desire.

So yes. I’m thankful for today and the incident for the lessons it taught me 😊

My gratitude list

Alright, after allowing myself to recoup post incident, I decided to give myself some grace, skip Sunday, and then finish my list before moving on to day 5 today – Monday 1/29/18.

“Gratitude is the holy grail of the high vibration energy that you can put out into the Universe” – Kathrin Zenkina

  1. I woke up today! Not everyone did, but today I was given another day of life. Another chance for my dreams to come true. Another day to make smarter choices! Thank you!!!
  2. I have a husband who loves me. That in and of itself means someone loves and cares for me, and is always on my side no matter what.
  3. My dogs- they fill me with such an immense amount of joy!!!
  4. The meal I’m eating right now. I’m thankful I had the money to buy it. I’m grateful it tastes good, and that someone else prepared it for me.
  5. My eyesight. My lasik eye surgery is still going strong and allows me to see without glasses or contacts. LOVE!
  6. My ability to walk.
  7. I’m thankful for the ability to write this gratitude list.
  8. I can hear the conversations around me, and the music that’s playing.
  9. I’m grateful for my phone, and my computer, and of course – the internet which affords me so many wonderful things.
  10. I’m glad I have clean clothes to wear, lots of choices for outfits and a way to wash and dry my clothes at home.
  11. I’m so thankful to have clean air to breathe.
  12. I’m thankful for my jewelry – especially the sentimental pieces.
  13. I’m so thankful for indoor plumbing. I’m remembering several moments when I was in Thailand and had to pay to pee and wash my hands. Oy! Crazy experience!
  14. I’m thankful for free drink refills and kids meals. After this is when I decided to go home and bring my husband a meal…then, the incident happened and I didn’t work on this list again until Monday…
  15. Monday morning – I’m thankful my husband is waiting on me as I rest
  16. I’m grateful for free will – I know this one might sound strange, but I know in some countries the idea of not doing what you want to do is normal. That would be a prison for me, and I’m grateful for the freedom to make my own choices
  17. Amazon and Netflix – how awesome is it that we can be entertained so easily?!?
  18. I’m thankful to have a job that requires no pants, and no commute!
  19. So glad I’m creative!!!
  20. Excited to be going to Italy in 2019!
  21. I’m thankful for arts and crafts supplies.
  22. Incredibly grateful for doctors and therapists.
  23. Grateful for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for getting me through one of the toughest times in my life in 2017!
  24. I’m grateful to live in the United States with central heating and air!
  25. I’m also thankful for all of my friends and family.

Day Five Discoveries

Day five is all about the fact that money needs a purpose. Kathrin challenged us to really think about what we would do with the money if we could manifest an extra $1,000 this month. I journaled about this, and took it further intending my purpose for what I would do with the $100,000 that I will manifest by December 31, 2018.

I’m not 100% ready to make those intentions public, but writing it all out was certainly inspiring for me. It made me so excited thinking about how I will use the money that I WILL manifest! I am loving this work, and I’m getting pretty addicted to this stuff I once considered a little Woo Woo. I’m embracing my inner woo-woo wholeheartedly and LOVING it!

Until tomorrow…may your hearts be full and your inner most desires be met!

Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge – Day 3

Day 3 is all about the feels! I was supposed to have this done by this morning, but a luncheon thwarted my plans. Perhaps it was silly to think I could commit to every day at breakfast, but at least I’m still actually doing the days, right?

So, I’ll continue my commitment to doing one of these posts every day, regardless of the time I’m able to get it done.

And again, I’m thinking really hard about making all of my challenges public. It feels so exciting putting all of my hopes and dreams out to the Universe in this manner. It’s like I’m shouting from the virtual rooftops what I want, and that I expect the Universe to deliver! WOOT!

Grab the book and follow along with me, it’s called Unleash Your Inner Money Babe: Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1,000 in 21 Days

Day Three Discoveries

For day 3, the challenge was to list the feelings that I would have if I had an extra $1,000 right now. The idea is to get in tune with the feels related to having what you want now, not the feelings you would have if it’s on its way. If money is just energy, you have to get into the energetic feeling of already having it now so that it can more easily flow to you.

For me, if I had an extra  $1,000 right now I’d be calmer and relieved.  I’d feel a little more free, and a little more happy. And, I’d feel excited about what I’m going to do with the money.

You’re supposed to then repeat these feelings to get energetically aligned so the Universe can give you the money! To get into these happy feelings I’m going to visualize the money in my bank account and just feel calm, relieved, happy, free and excited.

Money Prayers

Along with this 21 day challenge, I’m also reading Catherine Ponder’s The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. And, in her book she has these awesome money prayers that have been helping me feel more prosperous. Below are a few I’d like to share with you if you too want to feel a little more prosperous right now.

  • There is gold dust in the air – for me. Through definite, deliberate prosperous thinking, I now begin assimilating that gold dust. And even now I am beginning to experience gold dust results.
  • Divine Love expressing through me now draws to me all that is needed to make me happy and my life complete. (Yes, I know this one may be more about love than money, but when I feel loved, I make more money. Maybe it’s because it boosts my confidence and helps me feel less afraid to pitch potential clients – whatever it is – I’ll take all the love feels)
  • I release, loose, let go and let God.
  • I am the rich child of a loving Father. All that the Father has is mine to share and to experience. Diving Intelligence is now showing me how to claim my own God-given wealth, health and happiness. Divine Intelligence is even now opening the way for my immediate blessings. I have faith that all that is mine by divine right now comes to me in rich abundance. My rich blessings do not interfere with anyone else’s good, since God’s rich substance is unlimited and everywhere for all to use. There is no delay! That which is not for my highest good now fades from me and I no longer desire it. My God-given desires are richly fulfilled now in God’s own wonderful way.
  • Declare: I give thanks for the immediate, complete, divine fulfillment of these desires. This or something better comes forth with perfect timing, according to God’s rich good for me.
  • I am now activated by Divine Intelligence, motivated by Divine Love and guided by Divine Power into my right work, which I perform in a perfect way for perfect pay. The divine plan of my life now takes shape in definite concrete experiences, leading to perfect health, happiness, success and prosperity.

Aren’t those just awesome?!? I’m loving getting into my inner woo-woo spiritual side. Some how, some way, this WILL be the year that everything changes for me. My deepest desires are becoming realities, even as I type this now. SOOOOOOOO excited, and feeling so good! Until tomorrow…may your hearts be full and your inner most desires be met!

Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge – Day 2

Day 2 – Man oh man! Didn’t expect to cry as much as I did in today’s challenge, but wowza! I feel amazing right now!

Grab the book and follow along with me, it’s called Unleash Your Inner Money Babe: Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1,000 in 21 Days

Day Two Discoveries

For day 2, the challenge was all about forgiveness. The idea is that you should completely forgive yourself, and everyone and everything from your past that has been negative until now.

Master manifestor Joe Vitale has this amazing practice he does called Ho’oponopono, and I first heard about this practice from Denise Duffield Thomas in her Money Bootcamp. The practice goes like this:

Think about every person who has wronged you and say OUT LOUD:

  • I’m sorry
  • I forgive you
  • Thank you and
  • I love you

For what I consider obvious reasons I’m not going to share my full forgiveness list publicly. However, I do want to acknowledge how much lighter I feel after doing just 30 minutes of forgiveness work. Things that I thought didn’t bother me anymore, came up unexpectedly during this exercise.

I cried a lot more than I planned, but when I was finished I felt so much love and happiness towards myself and everyone on my list. I hope that now I can truly move on from the things that were on my list. Letting them go feels freeing.

I definitely want to work more on forgiveness. I know that by forgiving others and myself I can clear the space in my heart and in my mind that I need to bring my goals and dreams into realities. I want to be clear of negativity as much as possible.

If you’re reading this right now, I love you. I’m sending you love and positive vibes and the hope that all of your dreams come true. I’m rooting for you and I want to see you succeed. here’s to our manifestation of everything we’ve ever wanted!

Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge – Day 1

Alright, here is DAY 1!!! I’m so excited to unleash my inner money babe. I’m thinking I might just publicly do all my personal development stuffs here on my blog. Big dreams require big action after all. Am I right? So…going forward as I’m working through courses and challenges and stuffs…I’m just going to lay it all out and uplevel my whole LIFE! WOOHOO

Grab the book and follow along with me, it’s called Unleash Your Inner Money Babe: Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1,000 in 21 Days

Day One Discoveries!

for Day One, Manifestation Babe wanted us to start clearing out the crap. As with many manifestation readings and videos I’ve encountered, decluttering is a great way to clear the space for the new.

She told us to start with just our wallet and the space we spend the most time in. She recognizes we can’t do our entire homes in one day. Thank goodness!

Now that I’ve cleaned out my wallet I feel a little bit better. Then again, I also was a little bit annoyed because I realized that I had coupons in my wallet that I forgot about and let expire. But I guess that just proves that I need to clean out my wallet a little more frequently.

I did make a few other discoveries hiding in my wallet that made me excited. I found a couple of gift cards that I can use to go out to eat with my husband, and I found 4 free movie tickets that we can use for a couple of date nights. So now we just need to schedule some nights out with each other, which I do confess I’m looking forward to. I just LOVE spending time out with my hubby!

I handle most of my finances from my home office. Now that I’ve cleaned that area out, it does feel a little bit more organized. I feel like the spot is a little less chaotic. but, it also looks really bare. Haha!  

I guess that’s to be expected whenever you clean an area out. I do want to clean out the rest of my apartment as well. I definitely want to organize my entire living space as well, and give everything  a place where it goes . Nothing frustrates me more then not being able to find what I’m looking for what I’m looking for it.

The main area that I spend the most time in is my home office. The other space that I spend time in is my living room. And, I did clean a lot of the crap out that was in the living room too, but again I seriously need to declutter a lot more.

I definitely feel lighter, happier, and able to breathe easier when my space is clean and clutter-free. However the thing that frustrates me is the difficulty in maintaining the cleanliness. I find what generally happens is I spend a bunch of time cleaning, and then I don’t stick to putting everything back where it belongs.

What I would definitely like to have happen in my “Rich Babe” mind, is to clean my entire space and then manifest enough money to hire a housekeeper.  That way someone else will be responsible for putting everything away and I can just focus I’m doing the things that I actually want to do.

Of course, I’m pretty sure I’m getting ahead of myself. Therefore, I’ll just focus on these 21 days first and see where they take me.

 

I’m Going to do the Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge

I’ve decided that I’m Going to do the Manifestation Babe 21 Day Money Challenge! As a means of holding myself accountable I’m going to post all of my workbook stuffs here – public. YIKES! I’m nervous about doing this, but I figure, what the hell? You gotta be bold with the Universe right? So, I’m putting all of this OUT THERE so my dreams can come true! Today is Day 0 and Day 1, but to prevent these posts from getting insanely long, I’m just going to load one day worth of work per post. Without further adieu…here are my day zero answers to the kickASH work book. Oh, and if you want to get the book and follow along with me, it’s called Unleash Your Inner Money Babe: Uplevel Your Money Mindset and Manifest $1,000 in 21 Days

Day Zero – Pre Challenge Questions!

1. Why are you here? What inspired you to start this journey?

What inspired me to start this journey is the fact that I’m frustrated with my current financial situation. Every single time that I start to get into a positive mindset and believe that things are going to change, I go right back into my old way of thinking, my old way of acting, and I sabotage myself every step of the way.

 

2. What are you ready to shift when it comes to your finances?

I’m ready to shift my beliefs about how many has to be difficult. I’m ready to step into the flow and find the path of least resistance.

 

3. What is it that made you say “enough is enough?”

For me, the reality is that I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t want to be facing another year, facing another January and still looking at the same numbers. I want to start seeing my debts go down, and my income and net worth go up.

 

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to radically transforming your money story over the next 21 days?

I feel like I am 100% committed to changing and transforming my money story over the next 21 days. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit, and I would sure like to make earning more income my new habit for 2018.

 

5. How would it feel to manifest an extra $1,000 within the next 21 day period?

It would feel amazing! Bringing in more money and setting the foundation to believe in myself and believe that more income is possible would be even more amazing

 

6. What would you do with the money and why?

To be honest I would use it to pay down my debts. I really want this year to finally be the year that I start getting closer to or even finally becoming being debt-free. I know that having unleveraged debt feels very imprisoning. I want to feel free, and I truly believe the only way for that to happen is for me to finally get my unleveraged debt number to 0.

 

7. When do you plan to sit down, open up each lesson, and do the necessary work required? Commitment is key here! Give an exact time of day.

I think for me the best thing would be to commit to doing it as soon as I finish eating breakfast everyday. I think it would be the best way to start off my day because then I would be thinking about the shift necessary to get into a positive money mindset. And what better way to start each day and to be in a positive money mindset? So yes, I’ll commit to doing it every day right after I eat breakfast.

 

Rich Babe Challenge Day 5

I’m so grateful to Manifestation Babe for the Rich Babe Challenge! I have learned a lot from these last 5 days with her, and am certainly looking forward to exploring everything she taught even deeper!

Here’s what I learned in today’s video:

“Success isn’t found in doing something only once, but rather in small actions that you implement on a daily basis”

3 Rich Babe Habits

1. Checking in on your money daily- “If you’re afraid to hang out with money, then money won’t like to hang out with you either.”
2. Giving money away.
3. Never ending improvement and growth – “When you keep working on yourself and growing yourself your income grows with you.”

Rich Babe Challenge Day 4

LOVING the #RichBabeChallenge with @manifestationbabe sooooooo much! Today is day 4 and it had some awesome nuggets too. Here are my biggest takeaways from today’s video: Get intentional with your money. Make an important decision – set the intention of how much money you want to attract into your life. My intention is to earn $10,000 a month in PROFIT, every single month!

Biggest aha from today – “Release the how, and allow the Universe to do its job” This is always the hardest for me, but I’ll give it a go!

Ask yourself – “Who is that version of myself who already attracts this kind of money into my life?”

“The way to attract endless amounts of money into your life, is to start having fun right now.”

Ask yourself – “What can you do today to bring joy into your life?”

Manifestation Babe writes herself a check each month for the exact amount of money she wants to earn. She suggests doing that for yourself as well and to act as if the money is already on its way. She says, “The Rich babe version of yourself is already within you. She’s already worthy of money, has everything within her to attract the money you’ll be writing on your check, and she’s already abundant and successful.”

To step into that version of yourself that makes the kind of money you want to make you need to ask yourself things like:
– What are her habits?
– What are her thought processes?
– Who is she hanging out with?
– How is she dressed?
– What kind of books is she reading?

Questions like these “will give you the clarity you need to really tune into that Rich Babe version of yourself so that you can become her.”