I’m a finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2019!! :D :D


#ukba19 finalist for two categories_ wedding and finance!

I have made it through to the final round of the UK Blog Awards 2019!! and in TWO categories! 

This means that I am one of the top 8 in both the wedding and the finance categories.

I will be going through to the final round of judging. For 2019 there are 27 categories. Each category has a blogger judge and an expert judge who will jointly decide using a scoring system on set criteria, who the winner and the highly commended will be for their category.

The blogger judge for the wedding category is Nicola of Hanami Dreams (the blogger judge and the person who came out as the winner for the wedding category at the #UKBA18 awards) and along with the expert judge will be reviewing all 8 finalist blogs in more depth across set criteria. Nicola and the expert judge will choose 1 blogger as the winner of the #UKBA19 in the wedding category and 1 blogger as highly commended.

I’m yet to find out who the blogger judge is for the finance category! The #UKBA19 organisers are keeping us in suspense. As soon as I find out I will update this post with the details of who the finance blogger judge is!

You can find the full list of all finalist for all 27 categories HERE.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my blog and to everyone who has supported me by following my blog and by engaging with my content. You all mean an awful lot to me and I am so happy that every single one of you exists. As a small, internet based way of thanking you I give you this GIF! 

Happy I Love You GIF by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals - Find & Share on GIPHY

wedding finalist badge #ukba19

finance finalist badge

A round-up of my 5 favourite posts from 2018


A Round-up of my top 5 blog posts from 2018 on sayidoonabudget.com

As 2018 draws to an end I thought it would be nice to look back over the posts I’ve published during 2018 and create a round-up of my 5 favourite posts from the past year. Tomorrow is New Years Eve when we will be ringing in the new year, a time when we all get a fresh start, a chance to make changes if we so wish.

I don’t talk about my personal life much on this blog, but if you follow me on Twitter, you will see me talk much more about my life, and if you do follow me on Twitter you will know 2018 has been a year of saving hard for my husband and I. We have been saving to buy our own home together. We have made a lot of sacrifices in a bid to build up a deposit, and the saving has been made even harder by the fact we both made big career changes in 2018 too!

I am incredibly happy to be able to report that in November we had an offer accepted on a house and are planning to complete and get the keys before the end of January! Meaning I already know 2019 will bring a big change for us, a very positive and exciting, if not slightly terrifying change. We’ll be #realadults then? I’d you’d like me to a blog post to document our moving in please let me know in the comments.

So, without much further ado, let’s move on to my 5 favourite Say “I Do” On A Budget posts from 2018. In no particular order…

Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell

This post was a collaboration between Russell and I. I had wanted to showcase some of Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.comthe origami Russell creates for a little while such as his origami fortune cookies and his origami lily fairy lights, then when he said he would kindly share some tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy, I thought it would work really well to combine the showcase of my favourite creations of his with his tips. Check out this post to read his 9 fabulous tips on how to improve your selling success on Etsy such as how to avoid a foreign currency fee from your bank.

Supplier Spotlight: An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines

I was thrilled to be able to feature a dear friend of mine when she decided to set up a business designing and hard-crafting hair accessories with Brides, Bridesmaids and Sparkle Vines Supplier Spotlight blogFlower Girls in mind. Kelly started Sparkle Vines after hand-making the hair accessories she and her Bridesmaids wore to her own wedding in June of this year. You can order from her Etsy shop or by DM’ing her through her Facebook page, and an choose from her pre-made range or can put in a special order for a custom piece.

Bring an Old Wedding Custom Back With Herbs

A couple months ago I created a guest post for Rachel’s blog site, ‘Veiled Productions’ on the topic of wedding traditions and where they come from. After creating the post for Garden Herbs for your Weddingher on the origins of wedding traditions and customs I was inspired to create a post on how to bring the custom of carrying herbs in wedding bouquets back. I did quite a bit of research on the topic in the hope of inspiring others to consider using herbs in their floral arrangements. Within this post you will find a piece from a lady called Sarah who used bee friendly herbs in her floral arrangements which gave a nod to the fact she grows herbs in her garden and loves using them in her cooking.

How to plan a wedding for £10,000! – A Guest post from Polly May

Polly May (of Polly May Blogs) and I decided to arrange a blog swap with each other and this is her post for Say “I Do” On A Budget. Using her experience as a weddings and How to plan a wedding for 10k by Polly May. A guest for sayidoonabudget.comevents planner for a hotel Polly May talks you through how you can break down a £10,000 budget to allocate for each part of your wedding. Many couples find budgeting one of the hardest parts of the early stages of wedding planning, so this post from Polly may should hopefully be very helpful for many who are trying to work out how to get started. If you read this post and then read some of my real budget wedding features you will get a brilliant idea of how you can make your dream low cost wedding a reality.

Finding Suppliers

I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts about how difficult the husband and I found Header - bid serviceshunting for suppliers. An engaged friend of mine who is currently planning her August 2019 wedding also confided in me that she was struggling to find wedding photographers let alone, find one she and her Fiance wanted to book. This gave me the inspiration for a post on the websites you can use to aid your search for wedding suppliers, from photographers to florists.

My Guest post for Polly May: Manage the stress of wedding planning and avoid those post-wedding blues!


Manage the stress of wedding planning and avoid the post wedding blues - a guest post for polly may

On 26th November I published on Say “I do” on a Budget, a guest post from Polly May. In her guest post, Polly May gave advice on how you could allocate a £10,000 budget for your wedding and then gave tips on what to think about when planning each section. Her post was absolutely brilliant, and a lot of you have been giving it a lot of love already. If you’ve not read it already, then definitely go and give it a read here.

In return I wrote a guest post for her, which she published on 29th November over on her blog. The blog post I wrote for her was all about how to minimise stress when you are in the midst of wedding planning and how you may be able to avoid getting the post-wedding-blues. I’m really pleased with how the post has come out over on her blog. If you are currently in the throws of planning, or if your wedding is fast approaching, the no nonsense advice I’ve given may be just what you need to read right now. Check out the post here.

Polly May is relatively new to the world of wedding blogging, but not new to the world of weddings, as she is an events and wedding planner. We’ve clicked really well, and have really enjoyed working together on these posts, so much so that  I don’t think these posts will be the last time we feature on each others blogs!

Manage the stress of wedding planning and avoid the post wedding blues - a guest post from sayidoonabudget.com for Polly May Blogs

Shortlisted in the Individual Wedding Blogger Category – UK Blog Awards 2019!


I'm in the shortlist for the Individual Wedding Blogger Category of the UK Blog Awards 2019

Today the public vote has gone live for the UK Blog Awards 2019, and much to my joy, I am one of the nominees up for the Individual Wedding Blog category!

The public vote will close on 21st December and the shortlisted finalists will be announced on 4th January 2019.

The UK Blog Awards is in their 6th year and was created to recognise and celebrate individual and business bloggers across various content categories.

Each person can vote for 1 blog in each category and as there are 27 categories, if you choose to vote for one blog per category you can make a total of 27 votes.

ukblogawards19

I started ‘Say “I do” on a budget’ 7 years ago, when I thought it might be nice to document my small budget wedding planning. Over the last 7 years I’ve made a number of changes to the blog, as it has grown and as I’ve developed my blogging knowledge and skills. I get such a buzz out of helping people see they can have their perfect wedding day within any budget. I have had the pleasure of featuring some wonderful, creative and inspiring real frugal weddings, as well as featuring fabulous wedding suppliers who work with couples on a budget.

Why vote for me?

  • The Supplier Spotlight posts I publish help couples find suppliers who will work to their budget which can be really tricky in a market that is flooded with suppliers like the wedding biz is
  • I feature real weddings to help provide real life inspiration to those still in the planning stage on how they can create their ideal wedding day within their budget. The real weddings featured are all people who have got married within 10 years of the feature being published and who have spent a total of 10k or less on their wedding.
  • ‘Say “I do” on a budget is my much loved hobby, everything I do is for you, my readers. I’ve not monetised this blog in any way, the only thing I pay for is my domain name; I’ve occasionally considered looking into spending more money on making this blog more professional, but have decided against it, because, I am living life on a budget, and want to stay true to my message of frugality.
  • Because, you love my blog and will be really happy for me to receive recognition for the content I’m creating?

To vote for me, click any of the links in this post or click the image below, then click the red heart.

Vote for me! Badge 2 #UKBA19

Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell


Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.com

From the instant Russell agreed to do this post with me my creative juices were flowing and I couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve known Russell on Twitter for quite a while now, we met, as I do most of the suppliers featured, during a Twitter chat hour. Russell may, in true British fashion disagree, but I think of him as a King of the Twitter Chat Hour (especially #weddingdaychat)!

Not only are Russell’s products just the sweetest, but he is also a wonderful person and a real cheerleader for people who are trying to break into the wedding biz. And if there is anything that I’m totally on board with, it’s lifting people up. Russell truly supports everyone and is always more than happy to share advice with anyone who needs it.

So, how did Russell start ‘Origami by Russell’?

It all started with my daughters wedding.
About 3 months before my daughters wedding she read that in Japanese folklore, a origami crane represents long life and happiness. Because of this they are often given at weddings.
She really liked this idea, and I was tasked to dust off my origami skills and make 180 of them for her. I feel that I should add here, this was a skill I hadn’t used in almost 15 years!
After a few failed attempts I was soon back in full swing and had soon made the 180 she needed.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed origami. So after the wedding and encouraged by the comments from the wedding guests, I decided to open my Etsy shop.
That was back at the end of 2016, and I’ve have steadily grown both my paper and design ranges ever since.

Russell

My two favourite products from Russell’s range are the fortune cookies and the origami Lily fairy lights. I can image the origami fairy lights laying across the top table, or used as part of the table centrepieces by putting a string inside glass fish bowels or curling a string around a mirror plate. And the great thing is, after your wedding day the origami lily fairy lights will look awesome adorning your shelves or hung over a mirror at home.
The fortune cookies are incredibly versatile; they would be fabulous used in so many different ways, such as:

 

  • A few scattered across each wedding breakfast table for the guests to open up and read funny messages inside
  • Given to each gift as their wedding favour or as part of their wedding favour with a lovely message inside each of them
  • If you were to write each guests name on one they could act as the place name too!
  • One presented to each guest on their saucer when teas and coffee are served
The flexibility of the fortune cookies and fairy lights are what really appeals to me, as lots of uses for one product increases the affordability, and as you all know, I am all about frugality and recycling/reusing.
Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell
After a good amount of experience of selling on Etsy, Russell has agreed to share some of his tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy.
  • Tip Number 1
    Etsy pays
    it’s shop owners every Monday.  So pay your Etsy bill on a Sunday from your shop account.  This saves you a foreign currency fee from your bank.
  • Tip Number 2
    Set up international postage, especially to the USA.  You will be surprised how many Americans will pay £10 postage for my £7 items. It costs you nothing to offer it so there’s no reason not to.
  • Tip Number 3
    Set up a personal account on Royal Mail’s Click and Drop website.  All orders you get on Etsy automatically add the customers name and address to the site.  You can then quickly buy (at a discount) postage and click and drop will mark your order as dispatched on Etsy. Automation makes the life of an Etsy seller easier!
  • Tip Number 4
    Use IFTTT.com to link your business Facebook page to Pinterest.  Each time you post a photo to Facebook, IFTTT can automatically add it to Pinterest for you. Saving you time, and it’s free!
  • Tip Number 5
    Keep your shop fresh.  Don’t set it up and leave it.  If you had a physical shop you wouldn’t do that.  Keep tweaking your listings.  Add new ones every few days if you can.  If not, deactivate one, then reactivate it a few days later.  Just do something to show Etsy you are still working on your shop.
  • Tip Number 6
    Keep an eye on your competition.  Are your prices okay?  Are you under charging?  Or are you pricing your products out of the market? 
  • Tip Number 7
    If you’re selling enough, look at signing up to QuickBooks.  It links in to your bank account and can link to your Etsy account too.  It speeds up your book keeping, and is well worth the cost if you are selling enough.
  • Tip Number 8
    Make sure you have the option to request a custom order option turned on in each of your listings.  You never know what someone might want and you could be missing out on a sale.
  • Tip Number 9
    Lots of blogs and forums say that 50 listings on Etsy is the magic number.  From my experience once I got over 50 listings my sales started going up.

Continue reading

2nd Wedding Anniversary – Looking for opinion and ideas


What do you get your Husband for your 2nd anniversary_

Today is exactly 8 weeks until my 2nd wedding anniversary. You may remember when I posted last year about us choosing to try and follow the traditional wedding anniversary gifts. Last year was paper. That was quite easy… easier than this year anyway!

This year, the gift should be cotton.

So, what makes a good cotton anniversary gift? Some ideas I’ve considered are:

  • A quality cotton shirt from somewhere a cut above where we’d normally shop
  • Beautiful cotton bedding set
  • A cushion with some romantic wording on it
  • Some form of a cotton print. There seems to be quite a few types of prints on cotton out there.
  • Or I could cheat and get him a ‘cotton’ scented candle.

That’s as far as I’ve got. If you have a good suggestions please let me know as it is getting closer and I’m just not sure!

Continue reading

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 training plans 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. 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.

I work for a not for profit provider of apprenticeships delivering training and conducting progress reviews with the learners. Not only have this company taken me on as a trainer but they are putting me though some NVQs too so I have will appropriate qualifications for the job!

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. Plus it would reduce the amount a mortgage provider would lend us as it would impact our “affordability”.

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