Career Highs & Motoring Lows


Making my way in my 20's

Career High

In April I started a new job doing what I have wanted to do for years!

In 2007 I went to Winchester University to study Primary Teaching, it was a 4 year course, and I would have come out with a BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS, however in the first semester of the third year I left. The reasons why could be a whole other post, so I won’t go into now, but if you are interested in why, let me know and I might do a post about it.

I love training, teaching and coaching people and it seems that any role I have taken on i have gravitated towards and somehow always been utilised for training and coaching colleagues. At my first office job, for a big mobile communications company, after just 6 months I became one of the people that would training new starters. Then when I worked in a sales office for a utility company I coached new starters and existing employees on their telephone manner and the sales cycle as well as coaching them on how to stay focused and motivated. My passion and abilities in training and leading people gave me a lot of opportunities at that company.

Then my role previous to now, was working as a Customer Account Manager for an LED lighting company. I was there 4.5 years, and from being there less than a year I was used to create a training plan that would be used for all new starters into the Customer Service department and to deliver the four week training plan to each new starter. I also became the product trainer for all new starters as well as customers. It was during this time that I decided I no longer wanted training and teaching to be a PART of my job, but wanted to take the plunge into a full time training role.

So I took the plunge and I am incredibly glad I did. It feels utterly amazing to think I am now a ‘Training Consultant’! Especially when I consider how many training jobs I applied for without hearing back at all before I got my chance.

A GIF representing me after finding out I got the job

Motoring Low

However, this new new job means I have to drive a lot of miles in my own car. The company I now work for is a charitable organisation, so a company car was not included. I have to visit my learners in their workplaces to conduct progress reviews, and they can be as far away as a 2 hour drive. My 55 plate Civic was the first car I chose myself. I’ve had Rosie (my car) 5 1/2 years and Rosie has been a good car. Been being the operative word. She makes strange noises, seems to loose power, stalls regularly (irrelevant of who the driver is) and has broken down twice in the past 6 months.

But I can’t afford to get a new car 😦  because the Husband and I are saving for a deposit on a house. We can’t buy a car outright, and even getting a car on finance or lease is not an option because the monthly payout will reduce the amount we are able to save each month.

So little Rosie will just have to carrying on limping through for a while yet. It’s just one of the many sacrifices that are being made in our bid to try and get on the property ladder.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Do you have a car that is barely hanging on?
Have you recently made a career change, or, are you like I was a few months ago, plugging away trying to get into a role you really want? 

Life might be quite hard in some ways at the moment, but I feel optimistic and continue to look on the bright side whenever I can.

highs and lows of trying to make it through my 20's

My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girlfriend


Ex old MAN

‘My Ex Old Man and my Ex Best Girl Friend’, may be the name of a song by country singer Kristen Kelly, but is also the title of this blog post, because yesterday my ex Fiance married an ex Best Friend of mine. 

Emma was my best friend all the way through secondary school and into A Levels, although at some point around GCSE years Emma left the school we went to together and went to a different school designed for those who had been failed by the education system. Emma and I spent a lot of time together, usually at her house, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, playing video games and eating Chinese takeaways. Often Emma’s parents would go on Holiday, leaving her at home alone (her grandparents would keep an eye on her), and during these weeks I would spend a lot of time at her house. We would buy cigarettes and smoke them in her garden, and drink vodka neat out the bottle and end laughing because I managed to fall over in her tiny, under stairs toilet. It was with Emma that I smoked Cannabis with for the first time. We even kept a scrap book of our exploits, printing out pictures to stick in the scrap books and sticking in emails or little hand written messages to each other. I wish I knew what happened to that scrap book! We would have little fall outs, like teenage girls do, but never for too long.

When I was 16 I started a relationship with Adrian. We got rather serious quite quickly considering our age. My parents weren’t sure about him at first because he seemed to come from no where to them and because he was 3 years older than me. But I managed to convince my parent round, and over the years they bonded with him. We would spend as many weekends as we could together, because he lived an hours drive away we didn’t see each other Monday-Friday.

There was quite a few occasions when Emma, Adrian and I would all hang out together. One weekend Adrian and I stayed over at Emma’s house. We all got on well.

Then when Emma and I went to university we started to drift apart, and this time our friendship stayed broken. I regret that I let our friendship fall apart, because we always had such fun together, we always had each others back, and never judged each other. We could tell each other anything and know the other would stay true.

Adrian I stayed together for 6.5 years. We stuck it out together, even throughout our university years, which is often when couples break up. Just before my 19th birthday he proposed, then in 2010, when we had both finished university, we moved into our first rented place together, a little run down flat. And we were planning our wedding for 2012. We were mostly happy, but once we moved in together the cracks started to show. We were two rather different people. The arguments became more frequent, and I started to fall out of love with him. So after 6.5 years together, and 5 months before our wedding day, we broke up. Our break up was amicable, and we asked our friends and family to keep any negativity to themselves. I still liked him, and he still liked me, we just realised we didn’t want to marry each other, and we had become more friends than lovers.

We were still good friends, that after breaking up, we carried on living together for 7 months until our tenancy contract ended. But soon after I moved out, we came to thexoldmane conclusion that for both our sakes it was best if we broke all contact so that we could both move on in a healthy way.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m happily in a relationship with someone else and engaged to be married. That person is my husband. 

Adrian, much to my own discomfort and great upset, stayed friends with my Sister and Brother-In-Law and continued to see the two of them as friends. Over the years following Emma and I falling out of friendship, I’m not sure exactly how, Emma and my Sister became friends. often my Sister held gatherings for friends at her house and Adrian and Emma would both be invited. And when Adrian and Emma were both single they got together. At the time, although we had drifted apart in ‘the real world’ I was still friends on Facebook with Emma, but when I saw her relationship status update, to show she was in a relationship with Adrian, I deleted her as a friend. The idea of them being in a relationship was just too weird for me! And I didn’t want to watch their relationship play out online.

Fast forward another couple of years and my husband and I got married in the October of 2016 and the very next month Adrian proposed to Emma. How do I know this? Because a mutual friend of Emma and I, an old school friend, told me. The old school friend was shocked about their engagement, and understood why I felt it was weird.

Yesterday they got married. My Sister was a Bridesmaid, and my Brother-In-Law was an Usher.  I find this odd. To me, it seems that Adrian can’t/hasn’t moved on from when he was with me. Yes, my sister and bro-in-law are friends with them both, but if I was Emma, I would feel as though Adrian was using a friendship with them to cling onto me some how. Especially when you add in to this he still has my parents and other family members of mine as friends on Facebook. But it isn’t for me to pry into their relationship. If they are happy, then that is good. And we all look at things differently. But I wouldn’t want my husband to still have contact with his ex’s family, because it would make me feel like he can’t or hasn’t moved on.

I have no hard feelings over their relationship, and I think they probably do make a pretty good couple. Everyone deserves to be happy and I wish them all the luck for their future. If I see them, which is quite likely, seeing as they’ve stayed friends with family members of mine, and the four of us are all invited to my Brother-In-laws 30th Birthday bash later this year. If/When I see them I will smile and say hello. I won’t be rude, and I hope they give my Husband and I the same courtesy.

Thelongone

A Thrifty Wedding at the Eden Project


 

Thrifty Eden Project

Two school friends of mine got married in 2016 and had some beautiful, quirky and inexpensive details as part of their wedding. I went to school with both of them, they were in the same year as me and they were both in my extended friendship group.

Logan and Steph (not their real names) started their relationship years after leaving school, Logan had joined the army and Steph was working in journalism. I don’t remember the two of them ever being in a relationship whilst we were at school, and thinking about it now, it seems odd that they weren’t. The two of them together are fantastic, and they are so well suited as a couple.

In 2016 they got married at the Eden Project in Cornwall (England). I don’t have any details as to what the cost to hire out a section of the Eden project for their wedding was, or as to what the catering cost was, but I do know they had frugality in mind when planning. So here are some of my favourite inexpensive details from their beautiful wedding.

The Bridal Look

The Blush Bride wore a princess style strapless gown which she teamed with a skull necklace, dangly skull earing black nail polish and a dark eye look. Her look was finished with a white flower in her hair, and a purple and white paper flower bouquet.

Groom Attire

You can’t get much more inexpensive than not paying for your outfit at all, and as Logan is in the army, he did what many a forces person does, and wore his best uniform as his Groom outfit. His Best Man and his Ushers were his brother and his school friends, none of whom are in the army, so they were all wearing dark suits, white shirts and purple silk ties that looked royal blue in some lights.   Quirky & Thifty Wedding ideas

The Table Centrepieces

One of the best ways to save costs on your wedding is to make things that can dual purpose. And that is exactly what Steph and Logan did with their centrepieces. They couldn’t have been simpler either. They made their table centres using decorative buckets, polystyrene spheres (although you could also use floristry foam) and Chubba Chubb lollies. The buckets they used were purple with candy style skulls on them. The lollies doubled up as the wedding favours for their guests. What could be cheaper and more quirky and fun than that?

The “cake”

Cake is in quote marks above because it wasn’t actually a cake. Instead of a wedding cake, this imaginative couple had four tiers of rice crispie cakes! Each tier was a big square of rice crispie cake with a thick purple ribbon wrapped round.

Getting married at The Eden Project means decorations are pretty much completely unnecessary because the venue is so beautiful as it is, however they did have light string strung around which made the venue even more beautiful one the evening drew in.

Other ways they reduced their costs was by feeding their guests once, with a two course hot buffet and having a DJ rather than a band in the evening.

FB_IMG_1528403294849.jpgFB_IMG_1528403359737.jpgFB_IMG_1528403095040.jpg

My last minute Honeymoon


Last Minute Honeymoon

In the evening, after most of our guest had left, and some were left chatting and enjoying their last drink together, my new husband and I said goodbye to the stragglers and snuck off to our hotel room. It was the first time I had seen the room we would be spending our first night as Husband and Wife in. The room we had at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa was not overly fancy but was nice enough, with a sitting area, the bed and a spacious bathroom complete with His and Hers sinks. It was the best hotel room I had ever stayed in in the UK.

Once I had taken my wedding dress off and we were both comfortable, we took time to open the cards and gifts from our guests whilst sat on the bed. I made a note of what we had got and from whom to make the thank you cards we would send more personal. Many guests had chosen to gift us cash to use to book a honeymoon with. We were very happy to find out we had been given enough for an abroad honeymoon, rather than just a weekend at Bognor Regis.

On the Sunday, after checking out of our hotel, we to Thomas Cook (our chosen holiday booking company) and due to a mix of our small budget and the crazily last minute booking, our choices were very limited. We were hoping to go to Rhodes, but the price had gone up, meaning it was out of our budget. FYI – last minutes does not = cheaper anymore! We looked at the prices of some holidays the week before our wedding to get an idea of where we might be able to go, and then when we were sat in Thomas Cook on the Sunday the exact same holidays (same flights, same hotels) were a couple hundred quid per person more! We ended up booking a holiday to Fuerteventura for week. We were flying the very next day!

Got Married on Saturday > Booked Honeymoon on Sunday > Fly on Monday

Off home we went to pack our suit cases, last minute low cos honeymoonand after a frantic and rather panicked look for our passports we headed off to stay in a hotel with parking for the night. I had never stayed in a hotel the night before going on holiday, but I would definitely do it again. For less than £90 we got our stay for the night (room only, no food included) and parking of our car for the week. Upon checking in we got upgraded to a suite room. sadly, unlike the movies would have you believe, this was our one and only upgrade for our honeymoon.

Our honeymoon was not the location or hotel we would have chosen had we not been booking last minute, but we had a lovely week (after my husb stopped moaning about the location and hotel), we found some great restaurants, and spent many a relaxed day on the beach and even managed to get in a couple of excursions without breaking the bank.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact cost of our honeymoon, but I know the flights and the all inclusive accommodation cost us less than 2,000 for the both of us.

I know that, even though we were waiting to see what money we were gifted from our guests, we didn’t have to book a last minute honeymoon. But to me, and in he conventional sense of the word (see definition below), a honeymoon is supposed to be taken right after you get married, not months later.

Definition of a honey as taken from oxforddictionaries.com is a period in time following a couple getting married, or a holiday spent together by a newly married couple.

Since I got Married – an update


Millennial Struggle

I got married on 8th October 2016. Since then life hasn’t exactly panned out the way I expected it to. The Husb and I went to Fuerteventura on Honeymoon for a week directly after our wedding, which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about my honeymoon… [find post here]

Once married, the Husb and I carried on living in the rented house we had together until June 2017. Basically, my Sister and her boyfriend had bought a house together and moved into it in February 2017, they got on the property ladder! Which was really great and a big achievement in the times we’re living in. But they were feeling the pinch of first time home ownership, and were considering getting a lodger. We gave them our spare double bed from our spare room to put in their spare room as it is much easier to get a lodger for a furnished room, and they started to advertise for a lodger, but weren’t having the best of luck in getting someone. The husb and I had really started to be very determined to get on the property ladder ourselves, but the miniscule amount we were My life - an updateable to save each month whilst private renting meant it was dawning on us we may be fighting a loosing battle.

This lead us to asking my sister and her boyf to consider having us as their lodgers. It took quite a lot of consideration on both sides, as my sister and I hadn’t lived together since we were teenagers and as we are rather close, we didn’t want to end up having a big fall out. None of us wanted to out the good relationship we have with each other on the line. However we deemed it was a safer option for all of us, and mutually beneficial.

Eventually, we moved in to their home in June 2017 and have now been living with them for a year! A whole freaking year! and we don’t yet have our deposit saved! The story about our deposit I will publish in a separate post as it is quite long.

So yea, at 29 (husb is 33) I am married, but not  on the property ladder, and the joy of parenthood feels like a distant unattainable dream. This is not where I thought I would be in life at 29. I try to keep a realistic and positive mind-set. I have friends my age, who look at what I have and wish they had a serious, committed and loving relationship with someone. But that doesn’t stop me looking at my friends who are married, on the property ladder and have started a family already and feel like I am behind the curve.

Changing SayIDoOnABudget to My Budget Life


The ‘About The Blog’ up until 6th June 2018 read as follows…

Hello fellow bloggers, readers and followers,

I started this blog when I first starting planning my own wedding when I first engaged. I started writing SayIDoOnABudget because I wasn’t very impressed with the wedding planning advice I was finding for those who have a smaller budget than average. A lot of advice out there felt very samey and didn’t seem like it was giving me real, tangible ideas and advice on how to do everything for less. Plus finding suppliers that charged less than normal was incredibly difficult!

To begin with IDoOnABudget was more for logging my ideas and for sharing my planning story with friends and family, but I started to get readers so thought I’d grow the blog to try and help others who are also planning on a smaller than average budget.

There are lots of different reasons why a couple have a small wedding budget. What ever has lead you to this humble blog; my aim is to ensure that this blog provides advice on how to plan your big day; with ideas and inspiration for everything from colour themes to decorations and real advice on how you can achieve your dream day for less.

I also aim to bring to you a range of suppliers who cater for those planning on a budget; both within blog posts and on the ‘Budget Suppliers’ page.

I really love to hear from you, so please do comment on posts or contact me via my links below. If you have any post or supplier suggestions please do get in touch. Also, if you’d like your own real life wedding to feature on the blog please drop me an email.

I have really enjoyed sharing my wedding planning with you as well as providing tips on how you can achieve your dream day for less.

I hope you find this blog useful to you, and please do share with me any comments you have as I love to hear from you.

x

You can contact me via email on:
idoonabudget@yahoo.com

Check out my Facebook page:
Page

And follow me on Twitter!
Follow

You can also find me on Pinterest
Follow

Please Note…

The content of my blog is a mix of both my thoughts and ideas, as well as tips and inspiration that I have found online. If I have featured your photos in my blog and you want them removed please contact me. I do try my best to link any content that isn’t mine to the original source.

The blog has since been changed to me writing all about my budget life and my millennial struggle to get on a the housing ladder

Katherine & Adam’s 3.5k Blue and Burgundy March wedding in Leeds


Katherine and Adam's 3.5k wedding Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com

Bride and Groom: Katherine Holt & Adam Strickland
Katherine is a Wedding Stationer at Giftast and Adam works as a Maintenance Assistant and are currently living in Leeds, West Yorkshire

Ceremony Venue: Leeds Town Hall
Reception Venue: The Midnight Bell 

Wedding date: 3rd March 2017
Number of guests: 40
Wedding Colour Scheme and Theme: Royal Blue & Burgundy, and Shabby-Chic garden for the reception.
Photographer: Pure Aperture

Total Wedding Budget: £3,500

How did you decide on your budget for your wedding?
We’d just moved house so finances were a bit tight. Neither of us wanted a big wedding and we also wanted to go on honeymoon later that year, so it was a matter of basically splitting what we had!

What help (if any) did you get towards financing your wedding?
None – we paid for it all between the two of us. We tried to spend a little bit each month to stretch it across pay cheques too, so we ended up not having to dig into our savings for everything.

What elements of planning did you find the hardest with your £3,500 budget?
The thing we struggled with most was the reception – a buffet dinner for 40 people including a few bottles of Prossecco and a bar tab quickly adds up!
It was also difficult to find a photographer within our budget – we knew the photos were important and wanted them done properly, but there were so many out there for over £1000. We had a morning wedding and left the reception at 3pm to go on our minimoon – a lot of photographers charged for a full day including evening but we only wanted half of that! When we found Nic on Bark, he was absolutely brilliant and completely understood what we needed.

Katherine and Adam’s fabulous wedding suppliers: 
Cake: That Old Chestnut– a local vegan bakery.
Photography: Nic from Pure Aperture Photography was their photographer and Katherine and Adam went for the Bronze package. You can see details of the packages offered by Pure Aperture here.
Flowers: The Brides Bouquet

Adam and Katherine Wedding March 3rd 2017-85

 

Tell us all about your Bridal Outfit?
Being vegan, it was very important to me to have a dress without any silk – luckily, since we were on a budget this wasn’t too difficult! I found my dress on ASOS.com – I had an email alert saying they were in stock and bought it within five minutes! It was a massive relief when it actually fit me, although under the arms needed a vent fitting so I could lift my arms up – I can do a bit of sewing so I attempted this myself to save money. It was the most stressful sewing I’ve ever done, and I was so relieved when it was over and my dress wasn’t ruined!
I wanted to wear comfortable shoes, and again, no silk, so I wore a pair of my old favourite heels which just happened to be royal blue. We wanted burgundy roses, so royal blue and burgundy then became the colour scheme of the wedding.
My crystal head-piece was an eBay buy for about £15.

Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com

What about your beautiful Bridesmaid?
I had the one bridesmaid, and she wore a lovely dress which she bought herself. I didn’t have the budget to dress her, but she had free reign to wear pretty much anything she wanted, and it didn’t have to be new or fit the colour scheme if she didn’t want. She’s got great taste and I knew she wouldn’t let me down.

And the Groovy Groomsmen?
We only had the one groomsman too, the Best Man, who wore his own grey suit. Oddly my husband’s suit turned out to be one of the most expensive single purchases for the wedding, even though it was a standard grey three-piece from Next.

What about the bling bling? 
We bought our rings online from Orla James. We sort of forgot about rings until a few weeks before the wedding, but we found Orla James through a Google search for a free ring sizer. Together we spent about £280 on our rings. Mine was a very slim, plain gold band and was about £90. I went for a cheaper one because I do a lot with my hands and knew it would get knocked about and scuffed a lot. Adam went for a more expensive one in a harder metal with a hammered finish. Since he works with machines and thought it would likely get knocked, the idea was that it wouldn’t show damage as much – and over six months on it looks like new! Orla James also offered free engraving inside the rings. We both went for the date of the wedding in roman numerals, and the other’s initials.

Katherine’s something old was a ring her late mother-in-law left to her. Her something new was her head band, the something borrowed was a diamond baguette bracelet lent by a work colleague and Katherine’s something blue was her already owned royal blue shoes. 

Did you and Adam get your DIY on?
I made as much of our wedding décor as I could to try and save as much as possible:-

  • Invitations – I did these very last minute (that’s why you shouldn’t move house and plan a wedding at the same time!) and was never happy with the design. That’s one of the reasons I started making wedding stationery – I knew I could do better and have since made my perfect one, just a little late!
  • Table Centre-pieces – We bought a mixture of herbs in small pots and I trimmed little metal buckets from Ikea with ribbon for them to sit in. The idea was that guests could take them away with them after. This went with our wedding favours, which were little packets of seeds (from eBay).
  • Place Cards – Again to tie in with the shabby-chic garden theme, I made labels which I stuck to copper plant markers. We didn’t have a table plan so the idea was guests could seat themselves, then mark their places in the table centres.
  • Welcome Poster – the venue had a board with a board-back which they said we could use so long as we didn’t write directly on it. I had the poster printed on solopress.com and it cost us £16.99.

I wanted everything to look very simple, and the reception venue was quite old-fashioned and quirky, with mis-matched old wooden chairs and gorgeous, worn oak tables. I wanted everything to complement this rather than fight against it, I don’t think anything modern would have worked so well in such an old space.

What was the biggest hurdle you ran into when planning your wedding?
Mainly finding the line between what we wanted and what was expected. One big thing we decided was to leave the wedding early. We made this clear on the invitations so it wasn’t a nasty surprise to people and they knew exactly how much of their time we would be taking up. We wanted a very small and intimate wedding, and to spend as much of the day with one another as possible.

We also had to say no to some +1s. We made the rule that if neither of us knew someone enough to happily spend half an hour alone with them, they weren’t invited. This definitely kept the budget down, and all our guests were really understanding.

What was/were your best budget buy/s?
Probably my dress! I think it was around £180, and I absolutely love it. Amazingly, it was almost exactly what I was looking for and (other than the underarms) fit like a dream. I did spend £14.99 on a petticoat to poof the skirt out a bit, and because under some lights you could see though the lace.
Other than that, my boss was kind enough to chauffeur me to the wedding in his Tesla – that would have definitely blown my budget to hire, and he was a brilliant chauffeur!

What was your biggest blowout spend for the wedding?
Definitely the reception. That came to about £1000 altogether.

Was there anything that didn’t go as planned?
Only the ceremony itself! They read the wrong vows and the music didn’t work, and then I couldn’t get the ring on Adam’s finger! But it was a laid-back day so it wasn’t a big deal, and most of it was quite funny.

Describe your husband and your most memorable part/s of the day?Katherine of giftast.com small budget wedding Katherine and Adam's Real Small Budget Wedding Details. Katherine and Adam got married in Leeds for less than 4k. Feature on sayidoonabudget.com
It was such a blur! Probably the moment we couldn’t get the ring on Adam’s finger. The registrar had carried on with the ceremony without realising, but we just couldn’t stop laughing.

What tips or advice would you give to others planning their wedding on a small budget?
Probably to make use of what you already have. I love my blue shoes and I’ve worn them to other people’s weddings since. It’s really nice to be able to put them on and remember when I wore them on my own wedding day, and to keep getting joy out of them.

Another is to prioritise exactly what’s important to you. We made a conscious decision that it was worth finding a good photographer, and spending money on that aspect because that was what’s going to last throughout the years.

Final Thoughts and Feelings from Katherine she’d like to share:
From when we got engaged, we knew we wanted a very small wedding. We considered a lot of different options, but the most important thing was that we spent as much of the day together as possible. A 4 hour car ride to wales in the evening definitely made that happen!

Another aspect which massively effected the budget was leaving early – while we had the room hired for the whole day so guests were welcome to stay if they wished, we only provided one meal which definitely kept costs down.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To see more of the stationary Katherine creates at Giftast:
Visit her website 
Follow her on Twitter

Browse her Etsy shop

or Follow her on Insta