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Saving money for your Wedding

Don't have any savings to use as your wedding budget? Or is your wedding budget stingier than Scrooge's wallet?

It's all very well talking about wedding budgets, but what about if you don't have a penny saved? Every budget needs to start from somewhere and so here's The Chief Bridesmaid's advice on saving for a wedding from scratch:

Shop smartly and save - don't pay full price on the high street

- Don't pay full price on the high street - haggle! In the credit crunch climate, it pays to push for a discount. Shop managers invariably have the authority to drop prices. But you won't find out unless you ASK (nicely of course)!

- Look out for money-off vouchers on the 'net for high st savings. Gap, Selfridges and Threshers all circulate money off vouchers before Christmas. You'll find these readily and available either on their own websites, or on voucher specialist websites.

- With electronic goods, request ex-demonstrator models- you'll find that negotiating 50% off shop floor goods is often standard.

- Before sale time interrogate shop assistants about what will be going on sale and if you're super nice to them, they may reserve it for you.

- Check out USA shopping sites - often even with the tax and postage, the costs can work out cheaper than the UK ones. Save money for your Wedding

- Finding it difficult to escape your designer label fetish? Or desperate to accessorise with designer clothes on your wedding day and honeymoon? Beafashionista rents out expensive handbags for a monthly fee - so you can have the Chloe handbag after all!

- Public libraries - borrow books rather than spending your savings on trashy paperbacks - they often have free internet access too.

- freecycle.org.uk you'll find people in your locall area with unwanted items - just say you want them and you can pick them up for FREE!

Get Loyal with your Loyalty Points

Save money up for your wedding by making the most of your loyalty points. Reward schemes such as Nectar, Airmiles, Boots Advantage card and Tesco clubcard can be a useful way of boosting your shopping power. There is an estimated £4 billion worth of unclaimed loyalty points, credit notes and discount vouchers being carried around in our purses! 

Cheap Transport - Save money on getting from A - B

- Make daily savings - buy a bike  - not only will you get to work at a fraction of the cost - you'll cultivate the perfect bridal body in the process! Alternatively walk to work and tone up those baggy bits for your perfect wedding day bod!Save money for your wedding with pedal power

- Booking two single train tickets instead of one return - can often work out miles cheaper - always check both options if you're buying online.

- Only use your car once a week? Trade in your car and join a car club! Chances are you'll get to use a cooler car at a fraction of the price. 

- Buying a new car? Negotiate the deal after the third Thursday of the month when nervous salesmen are anxious to meet their targets. Insist on a free spec upgrade as part of the package. 

- Changing the way you drive can trim up to 15% off fuel bills and ease wear and tear on your car. Before you set off, make sure tyre pressures are correct, dump the unnecessary junk from your boot and take off any used roof racks or boxes to save on unnecessary weight.

- Visit an intown supermarket before long journeys to stock up on snacks for the car. Motorway service stations add a huge premium and offer less variety. Save money for your Wedding with The Chief Bridesmaid

Save money for your wedding budget with a second income

- Register your home with a location finding agency. Film and TV crews need everything from local authority flats to two bedroom semis to penthouse flats. A three day shoot will pay to redecorate and furnish a whole room.

- Take in a lodger for your spare room

- Sign up for market research focus groups or become a mystery shopper. Assignments can pay anything between £10 and £200.  

Make daily savings towards your Wedding

- Cut out your daily starbucks and you could save yourself £750 a year - that's enough for a wedding dress - plus you'll be saving your skin from dehydration in the process!

- Give up smoking! It's terrible for your skin and costs a fortune! Does sucking on a cigarette in a wedding dress look good? No! A 20 a day smoker can save £2,000 a year by giving up!

- If you live in a city, why buy a daily paper when you can get fab free papers like the Metro for free?Save money tips and advice with The Chief Bridesmaid

- Make your own lunch rather than buying it from a cafe - that's another £40 or so a month SAVED for the wedding!

- Drink tap water rather bottled - you'll not only save cash for the wedding - you'll help save the environment too.

- Cut down on the booze! Buy less in shops and bars and you'll save a fortune - you'll also get perfect wedding day skin and a bridal bod to die for far more easily. Boozing is SOO calorific!

- Make a shopping list for what you're eating that night and stick to it! No sneaky bars of chocolate at the check out or impulse magazine buys - you'll save a fortune and you'll find you won't be throwing away quite so many leftovers. 

- Speaking of food, why not make your own healthy soups, salads and risottos instead of buying them ready-made. You'll save money towards your wedding, and because you'll be more aware of what goes into them, it can help you lose weight too!

Saving money is about thinking differently

- Have a clothes swapping party with your friends - everybody brings along clothes they no longer want and make an exchange. A new honeymoon wardrobe can be yours without spending a penny! Who said the credit crunch was all bad.

Claim tax refunds

- If you're looking to save money for your wedding, you need to get more financially savvy. If your income dips, for example, if you lose your job, be quick off the mark in claiming a refund for tax you may have overpaid. Refunds will be paid automatically if you claim the unemployment benefit Jobseeker's allowance, but you may need to send in a P50 tax form to make a claim if you do not qualify for benefits or if you're going to become a full time student.

Save savvy for your wedding day

- Don't fall into the habit of spending all you earn.

- Consider cash ISAs to save tax efficiently

- Capitalise on pay rises. Get into the habit of saving any extra money you make on pay rises towards the wedding day.

- If you're one of the millions of homeowners who've seen their mortgages go down with the interest rates, use this extra spending power to go towards your wedding! But first ensure you pay off any debts you might have - credit cards or loans that you're paying monthly interest on.

Enter competitions!

 - I've won a trip to Vegas, a scrabble board and countless concert and sporting event tickets from entering competitions! Furthermore, as the circulation of wedding magazines is relatively small compared to mainstream womens monthlys, you've got a greater chance of winning something from them. However, an important note, only enter those competitions that are FREE to enter, otherwise, it's just a almighty waste of money.

Saving basics

- Build up an instant access cash fund for emergencies. The ideal is a fund equivalent to three months pay, but every penny helps.

- Set up a standing order to pay money into a savings account right after pay day. Treat a little saving as an "everyday essential" when you plan a budget.

- Do use your tax breaks, such as ISAs, to maximise the returns on your savings.

With the Chief Bridesmaid's advice, you can save money on every aspect of your Wedding, read on for affordable wedding dresses, cutting Church wedding costs and tips on how to save money on your wedding reception music.

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