How to cut costs when shopping for your wedding clothes
Being invited to a friend´s wedding is great. You know you are practically guaranteed to have a fantastic day, and create some wonderful memories.
The only problem is that attending a wedding can be expensive. By the time you have bought a nice present, paid for petrol, accommodation (if it’s far away) and outfits, you can end up struggling with your finances! So, to help you with this here are some tips to help you to keep the costs of your outfits down:
My first tip is to shop online. There is plenty of choice. For example, you can buy great dresses for weddings from Simply Be. They have a whole department dedicated to occassionwear, and also sell wedding and bridesmaid´s dresses. So, they are a great place to start your search for the perfect outfit. Shopping online enables you to quickly put together some outfit ideas and find what you need at the best price.
It is wise to start the shopping process early. Hopefully what you order will arrive promptly and fit you perfectly. However, occasionally you will need to send it back and buy a different size, or have it adjusted slightly. It makes sense to allow a couple of extra weeks to sort out any unforeseen issues.
Adapt what you already own
Before you go out shopping, go through your wardrobeand double check to see what you already have. Try on different clothing combinations and see if you can put together the basis of a nice outfit. Sometimes you will have a nice summer dress that just needs a jacket and some new shoes to be turned into a glamorous wedding outfit.
If something does not quite fit, or the cut looks a bit dated, consider getting it adjusted by a tailor. Often this works out far cheaper than buying something new. Again, make sure you get this done a few weeks before the wedding.
Borrow from friends
Another option is to borrow an outfit from a friend or family member. Most people own glamorous clothes that they have only worn once or twice, which means that they still look fresh and new. Just be extra careful not to snag it or spill anything near it!
Consider buying a second hand outfit
It is also worth considering buying your outfit from a charity shop. People tend to wear a wedding guest outfit only once. They keep it for a year or two, thinking that they may wear it again, but end up not doing so. As a result, they end up giving their barely worn, sometimes designer, clothes to their local charity shop.
Last on the list is swishing, which many of you know as clothes is swapping. There are still lots of parties held in the UK that are open for all to attend. You can find one near you by using this website. You will need to take some quality clothes with you. If you do not already own this type of item consider buying some at the charity shop and taking those with you to the swishing event, so you can gain entry. Most of the time, you will be able to swap them for something you like.
How to get a discount on almost all your online and in store purchases
Let me introduce you to a way to save money on most of your shopping and how to make money on unwanted gift cards too. The site you need to start using is Zeek. By using this super simple site you can save a percentage by buying other people’s unwanted gift cards. You’ll find gift cards for all sorts of things from groceries, clothes, books to holidays and days out. Yep, you can even buy gift cards at a discount to save money on your holiday! We’ve just booked a holiday so I am going to keep an eye out to see if we can save some money using Zeek.
Here are four ways you can start saving money today with this amazing website:
As I type this you can save 16% at Pizza Express, 17% at Waterstones and 3% at Tesco. Well 3% might not immediately sound great, if you shop there weekly, like me, then that’s going to amount to a lot of money over time. We spend around £400 a month at Tesco, so a 3% saving would be £156 per year; that’s an extra £156 towards a holiday, Christmas or treat! If you start doing this with everything you purchase then it’s going to quickly add up.
Other great offers are to save 8% at Primark, 7% at Argos and 5% at Boots. You really can start to save some money on ALL your household shopping if you start to use Zeek!
Save on Gifts
Not only can you save on your own personal shopping, but you can buy vouchers as gifts for others at a discounted rate. Never buy a gift card as a present from a store again without first looking for it on Zeek! Your recipient will still get the face value of the card, but you could save say 20% yourself – win-win!
And, even better, you can make money!
If you receive a gift card that’s of no use to you, then you can sell it! Sure, they’ll charge a commission and you’ll be selling it for less than it’s worth, but if the card is of no use to you then surely some cash that you can spend on whatever you want is?
If you sign up with promo code 24EM5JCA you’ll get £5 off your first purchase and I’ll get £5 to spend too. Then you can share your own code with family and friends to do the same. This means not only will you save up to 25% off the value of the voucher you choose, but you will also get an additional £5 off.
If you’re wondering how much money people can make from blogging I share all with you in my monthly blog income reports. These are a great resource for me to look back on and also for anyone who is interested in what I earn from blogging. I see a lot of bloggers start off their income reports by explaining that they are not showing off, which I don’t feel they need to do at all. In most lines of work people won’t admit what they earn, but in blogging and the online world people are ever so curious. I love reading other people’s income reports for blogging, so I thought I’d start sharing mine this year. I’m also a bit dubious of those who don’t share how much they make, yet they offer advice to others without giving any indication of whether they are even earning a decent wage themselves.
I’m still in shock! I thought my previous £1400 was a fluke, yet in May I managed to go over £2000 which is incredible. I worked my butt off writing blog posts in May with it feeling non-stop some days, so I’m glad all the hard work has paid off.
Most of my blog income came from sponsored posts, reviews and giveaways.
£128.55 of this total is from referrals or affiliate marketing.
I see some bloggers are making well over £5000 from affiliate marketing which is an insane amount. If I could make that amount I could stop with all the sponsorship! I’ve no idea how they do it. I assume they have a very high traffic to their website and a highly engaged audience.
May 2017 Stats
(The dashes just mean I hadn’t started recording these results each month)
I’m pleased to see my May Google Analytics stats are back up which proves my theory things are much quieter online, especially for mummy bloggers, during the school holidays. In April half the month was Easter holidays so lots of people were away and busy with their children. I certainly wasn’t online half as much.
May is now my best month so far this year in terms of website visits, sessions and new users.
Twitter is down a little, but I’m not too bothered about this. I’ve been neglecting growing my audience there as I concentrate on growing my audience on Instagram by interacting as much as possible on likeminded accounts. I’d love to get to 10000 followers by the end of the year. It’s not all about the numbers game, but I do like to have a target to aim towards sometimes!
As I predicted in my April blog stats blog post, I thought my Tots score would decrease. It went from 26 to 35. I was expecting a decrease as my stats were so low for April and I was right. I’m still so amazed to be in the top 100 however.
My DA has stayed the same, phew! That’s a big relief after a few months at the start of the year where it kept declining! Here’s my blog post about how I think I got it back up: 4 ways to improve your domain authority (DA)
Did I Achieve My May Blogging Goals?
Remember to post on Instagram – yes I’ve posted a fair few times. Not daily, but I’m going to remove this pressure from myself as sometimes I’m at home all day and not out much so there’s little to post!
Increase Instagram followers by 300 – they’ve actually increased by 800ish which is surprising. I’ve used some new hashtags and varied my use of hashtags more so perhaps more people have stumbled across me. I wonder if it’s like Twitter where the more followers you have the more you randomly start getting without doing much – simply because the more who interact with you, the more who see this and take a look at your profile and then it keeps growing like this.
Continue adding blog headings, intro blog posts and internal links (aim for at least 50 blog posts) – I didn’t meet this target. At a guess I perhaps did ten or so, but I was so unbelievably busy with collaborative posts in May I simply had no time left to continue with this. It’s going to be a long ongoing project which I’ll pick up whenever I’ve finished everything else and have some spare time.
Run two blog giveaways – Yes I’ve ran one pretty much every week and am going to try and continue this in a regular #winitwednesday blog giveaway series
Revise Social Oomph blog queue updates to freshen Twitter feed – I’ve not been through every update, but I did delete some queue reservoirs and adjust some text on some of them. This will be another ongoing task that I’ll revise some updates whenever I have some spare time. I have well over 1000 updates so it’s not a quick task to do.
June Blogging Goals
Carry on as you are!
After such a successful, but manic, blogging month of May I have decided not to set myself specific goals for June and to just carry on as I am!
I’ve given myself an overall target of £1500 for June, but for all my home money making schemes: matched betting, blogging, mystery shopping and online selling. Last month I split it up, but I think one overall target is a better plan.
Have you heard of matched betting, but you’re feeling a bit unsure about it? I started matched betting in January this year and only wish I’d started sooner! I, too, was very wary and thought it was a scam, but so far I’ve made over £2000! The best thing is this cash is tax free as it’s classed as gambling money. Though there are offers that are technically gambling as you become an advanced matched bettor, there are plenty of risk free offers that mean you always know how much you’re going to profit before placing the bets!
It’s not all risk free
There certainly are risks when matched betting, such as human error, accounts being gubbed or matches cancelled, so take it slow and start small! So far I’ve been gubbed from four bookies which means I can still use them, but I don’t qualify for any of their offers or free bets. It’s possible to avoid this by mug betting – placing pretend bets to look like a real customer. But I’m guilty of not doing this yet as I just don’t have the time. Some people say they only ever do the offers and never get gubbed, so there doesn’t seem to be a proper formula for why people are gubbed. Even if you are a regular punter and get lucky by winning all the time, the bookies will probably ban you or restrict your stakes as you are not profitable to them. Cheeky isn’t it!
I also had a match cancelled on one of my accas. This is where I placed 5 bets in one and then lay them off sequentially. I panicked as a match was cancelled, but luckily it was rescheduled before the next match began giving me time to lay off the next one. Phew! I would probably have lost money if the timings weren’t in my favour!
Another thing to note is make sure you have signal if you’re matched betting on your mobile! I had a couple of acca legs to lay off when we were on the motorway one day and had 15 minutes to do it between football matches. Itotally lost signal! Arg! The odds changed so much I lost around £10. Not a huge amount, but this is roughly how much I make from each acca, so I was quite annoyed! Now I’ll make sure I’m at home if the matches are close together or give myself at least one hour between games.
On to the positives
But it’s not all doom and gloom as I made £465.95 in May! That’s a great figure as I was only expecting to make a couple of hundred! I’m still learning, but I’m very pleased with earning over £2000 in four months. It’s pretty much a part time job and wage that I can do from home.
I had a go at three bingo offers which are not risk free in May and made £30 in five minutes on one of them! I’m going to try a few more this month, but I get a little nervous as they aren’t risk free and I don’t like losing money! At least I know I’ll never properly gamble as I hate losing!
Weekly free bet clubs
I’ve been making a regular amount from the weekly bet clubs. These are so quick to do and you can get a few regular weekly free bets if you take part. I usually place bets on football as I find it easier and not confusing at all, but I’m told the football season has come to an end so I may need to find new sports to place bets on.
I use PA to do all my matched betting. I use their software to find close matches between the bookies and exchanges, and then their calculator tells me the amounts to place on each. If I get stuck I read through the forums to find the answers to my questions. I currently pay £17.99 per month and it’s more than worth it. They also tell me all the latest offers and rate them so I know which offer is risk free and which isn’t.
I basically decided to leave the security of my part time job which I’d had for 14 months and concentrate all my efforts into blogging, mystery shopping, matched betting and a little online selling. I’d been making a full time wage from home for six months so decided it was time to take the plunge and go for it properly. It was a terrifying decision and I nearly bottled out of handing my notice in, but I braved up at the last minute and went for it.
I’m so glad I did as in May 2017 I more than TRIPLED my £1000 target! WOAH!
I’ve just entered all the amounts on my new ‘Vix Making Money From Home’ spreadsheet and even I’m in shock. I knew I’d gone over £2000, but didn’t think I was over £3k in one month!
In May 2017 I earned £3210.21 from home!
In a way I can believe it as I feel like I have been working pretty much ALL the time, there have been days when it’s been non-stop from 7am until midnight around all the mum duties. I’ve basically turned into a crappy wife as my head is glued to my laptop or phone constantly!
Let’s look in a little more detail at each earning:
Blog posts £2238.32
I’m amazed by this figure! Last month I made £800 which I was pleased with from blogging and in March I made over £1400 from blogging which I thought I’d never beat. The majority of this has come from sponsored blog posts which I genuinely enjoy doing.
Many blogger’s may argue it’s selling out, but to me it’s a way to monetise my blog and make blogging a full time reality. I’m not an online influencer who can sell products in the thousands to anyone, and unless you have a gazillion website views a day I’ve no idea how people make money from Google ads (I make £60 per year!), so for me sponsored posts are the only way I can currently monetise my blog.
I love writing too, hence why I love blogging, and sponsored blog posts give me the opportunity to get creative with my writing and come up with blog posts based on a link, topic or keyword which is always a fun challenge. I love researching my ideas and best of all writing the blog posts.
I’ve decided to do one big income report each month now for all my home earnings, but you can view my previous blogging only income reports here:
There are two referral schemes I do make money from and so this is hopefully turning into a nice regular monthly income. I’d love to master affiliate marketing as I’m now a member of Awin, but in two months or so I’ve not even reached the £25 threshold!
Ooh, I did, however, win £200 from Awin this month by entering a blog competition with Etsy and winning, so it’s been worth being a member for this so far.
Matched Betting £465.95
Having set myself a target of a couple of hundred now I’m only doing reload offers, I am impressed I more than doubled this. I don’t feel like I’ve done as much as I could, but blogging has been my main priority.
The football season has come to an end and it’s this I usually bet on. I’ll have to expand my sports betting and find some new summer sports to bet on instead!
I highly recommend using Profit Accumulator for matched betting as a beginner. They have so many guides and walk you through the whole process in the first few offers. If you are stuck you can ask a question in the forum and someone will get back to you. They also have a 30 day money back guarantee on their memberships, though you can try the first couple of offers without signing up to anything.
Having set only a £50 target for May, I did very well with mystery shopping and checks. Roamler was my most successful and I’m now up to level 4. I even ranked #4 for a day out of all the roamlers as I’d got so many XP! I’ve spent 1-2 mornings a week doing mystery shopping when Reuben is at nursery. It’s a great little side money maker and gets me out of the house and my head out of a computer. It’s my break away from the desk whilst still earning money!
Online Boutique £3.49
So I didn’t meet my £50 target here, but I think I’ll let myself off as I did so well elsewhere. That’s the beauty of having several income streams now rather than one. This is actually the lowest I’ve ever made from my online boutique since setting it up in 2012, but I’m really not concentrating on it anymore. I’ve not bought any new stock for ages and just want to clear the stock I have and then have a good think about a smaller collection. If you want to grab a bargain there’s 40% off everything in my online fashion accessories boutique!
Personal eBay £138.90
I used to sell loads on eBay, and then I got annoyed with it so started donating all our old stuff to the charity shop instead. Now I’ve decided to do a mixture as some of our items are such good quality I can make a little money from them. Sometimes the kids grow out of things so fast they are practically brand new so it’s good to try and get my money back by selling on eBay! I sold a couple of biggish items we had in our attic which helped to boost this amount. Surprisingly kids toys, in bundles, sell really well so I’m sorting through our playroom currently to see what can go!
June £1500 challenge
I feel like I should challenge myself to more than £1000 for June as I did so well in May. I don’t want to give myself such a huge target that I can’t reach it and then feel negative though. I really believe May was a fluke month!
For June I’ll set myself the challenge of earning £1500 from home. Wish me luck!