The enormous bird is cooking so I'm putting the finishing touches on this post.
I know you're eagerly anticipating wedding details, but I've decided to start with the more mundane part of a wedding. Paying for it.
Kate and I have exchanged several emails about money this past year as we've both been watching our pennies. I've been a bit remiss as I'd said I'd post about my own thoughts. So, stealing my title from Kate, here we go!
When I was seven I bought a plastic bear bank. Unfortunately, I quickly learned how to get the money back out. The bank sat mostly neglected (or robbed by me) until I was gathering money for my initial college money. I cut open the bank and... 80 dollars!
While I was away at college my mom dropped change in the bear and then it moved with me to Alaska. When I was going on a vacation while up there, money was tight so I opened the bear again and... nearly 400 dollars!
About six years ago, when I was really strapped for cash, I realized just how much money we spend in change and never even think about it. A quarter here, a dime there - it's actually quite a bit of money when you add it up. So, when I was back on my feet, I decided that I would stop using change at the store and just use another dollar. I found that if I thought about an item as costing $4.00 instead of $3.59, I was more thoughtful about whether to purchase something.
At the end of each day, the change would go into the bear. I actually use my credit cards quite a bit so I'd estimate that only 1/3 of my purchases are in cash, if that. Two years ago Partner bought me a machine that counts the money and bear has been a bit neglected. [this is all context for later]
With paying for a wedding on our own, money got a little tight and we were (and still are!) minding our pennies. I also mentioned that we were doing an eclectic wedding. Which means we used a lot of non conventional labor (a digeredoo-playing chef, for example). We paid for a lot of things in cash. Good news: no long term debt. Bad news: no way to spread out the cost. With the wedding around the corner, we've been looking for money around us. Hello Mr. Bear.
A couple weeks before the wedding, Mr. Bear and I got started. Years ago for a "guess-the-amount" challenge, Partner weighed one pound of randomly mixed U.S. change (pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters) and got an estimate of $13.00/pound. So Mr. Bear and I started with a weigh in.
So, we have a tentative value of $611.00.
I decided to invest in a change sorter and bought some coin wrappers. And then Mr. Bear and I sorted and wrapped.
And then we were done!
I discovered that there were very few pennies. A couple years ago I started segretating pennies and would use those so I only had silver change. And for some reason had quite a few quarters.
In the picture above, is the change from just a third of my purchases over about 4 years.
Mr. Bear's total: 736.50.
When we added in the change from the counter that Partner bought, we ended up with $819.00. We couldn't be happier as this money that would have been lost one quarter at a time, has ended up paying some important bills.
Randomly, at the end of this post, I also found random foreign coins that snuck into Mr. Bear. It was fun to see several reminders in one place.
From the top: 1 euro cent (I haven't actually been to Europe since the change...); 5 kopeks from Russia; an old U.S. one cent coin; CAD 1cent; a Finnish coin; a coin from [Western] Samoa; and one more Canadian cent (I've been there several times).
If you're celebrating Turkey Day, I hope that you have a wonderful day. I'll be back soon with the more exciting aspects of the wedding!