Even the best budgeters among us aren’t immune from spending too much money during life’s priciest moments. Settling into a first home, shopping for a wedding, and having your first child are expensive times (to put it mildly) and also the most difficult times in life to stick to a budget.
We know it’s tough, which is why we are mapping out a plan for you so you can come out of these moments with your financial well-being intact. We believe in you.
When You Are Getting Ready For Your Wedding
Something about weddings makes people money crazy. The average bride spends a whopping $1,334 on her dress, probably more than anything in her closet, and this is on a dress that is going to be worn once.
Before you start shopping for your dress let go of preconceived notions of how much you have to spend. Come up with a maximum budget, but also don’t necessarily set out to spend that much money.
Because it’s hard to get a wedding dress on sale, the first place to start your search is via bridal stores where you can get money back via Ebates including BHLD, David’s Bridal, and J.Crew. Shop via Ebates and you’ll get cash back on every single one of your wedding purchases.
For those really looking to save, there is a growing number of women who are renting their wedding dress via Rent the Runway. Pick a style from designer brands like Badgley Mischka, Marchesa, or Monique Lhuillier, often for less than $200. Purchase a Rent the Runway rental via Ebates, and you’ll save even more by getting cash back on your purchase.
When You Are Celebrating Big Life Milestones With Your Friends
What is it about birthday parties, bachelorette parties, engagement parties, and all of those big life milestones that one celebrates with friends that end up costing an arm and a leg and then some.
Keep the cost of gifts down by stocking up when you see a deal on a gift that you really like (say a great picture frame that you can personalize with a photo or a photo album). Ebates is a great place to start your search. By shopping your favorite stores via Ebates you can get cash back on basically anything you buy.
Also give yourself permission to decline invitations to expensive trips or dinners that you just can’t afford. There is no event worth going broke over.
When You Have Your First Child
Having a baby is a wonderful time in a person’s life. It’s also an expensive time. First and foremost, don’t feel like you have to go overboard and buy everything once.
Ask your friends for hand me downs (you can pass the favor on to someone else down the line).
Also take advantage of shopping online to buy the things you need like a crib, baby clothes, bottles and diapers. To find the biggest savings on the items you need check Ebates’ “double cash back” tab to find stores that are offering up to 15% cash back. Those are the stores where you are going to want to do your shopping.
When You Are Settling Into Your First Home
Congrats, your moving into your first real home, and you’ve decided you finally want to throw out the futon that has been everything from your hang out spot to where you’ve slept for the last few years.
It won’t take long for you to realize how darn expensive furniture is. Check out second-hand stores to start, along with Craigslist where furniture bargains abound. When you’ve exhausted that, try to get the very best deals you can. Shop stores like CB2 and Home Depot using Ebates and get cash back on everything you buy. You can double up on the savings looking for special promotions at the stores you are buying from, and watch the savings add up.
When You Are Preparing For Your First Job
If you are applying to jobs for the first time or have just landed your first job you are probably tempted to spend money on a new wardrobe. This is one of those life moments when people can often be penny wise and pound foolish because there is no doubt that investing in one interview outfit that you love and a great pair of shoes will actually end up saving you money in the long term (you can easily save this and re-wear it for a decade).
Ebates offers cash back at some of the best stores for clothes for the workplace including Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, and Shoes.com.
Find an outfit or two that you feel confident in, and it will pay off in spades.
When You Send Your Kids To College
Something about sending kids off to college turns parents into spending machines. It doesn’t have to be that way. First and foremost make a list of everything your child is going to need. Second, do a thorough search of your house to see what you can reuse and send your kids off with (you won’t believe what you’ll find stuck in the back of closets and in the basement).
Only after that thorough search is it time to start spending money. Because it is hard not to over shop in this particular situation, why not knock your list out online to avoid impulse shopping? Stores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond are great places to start (they carry the XL twin sheets you need for college).
Shop via Ebates and you’ll save even more money by getting between two to ten percent back depending on where you shop. It’s almost stupid not to sign-up.