Newlyweds: Money-saving tips for your first move together


(BPT) - With the average wedding costing upwards of $30,000, starting your new life together takes a lot of careful budgeting. After you’ve finished paying for the flowers, reception hall, caterer, photographer and everything else related to your big day, you may not have much money left over when it comes time to move into a new home together. However, managing your move can be your first big DIY home project together, and it’s one that’s very doable on a budget.

Whether you’re moving in together for the first time or moving up from a smaller apartment to the home where you’ll start your married life, you can save money and make your move go smoothly with a few tips:


If you were both living on your own before marriage, you probably have duplicate items you won’t need, such as two sets of pots and pans, dishes, glassware and furniture. You also likely received some wedding gifts that can replace old stuff. Don’t take things you don’t need with you to your new home. Instead, streamline by selling or donating excess stuff. Selling unneeded items can put some money in your pocket when you need it most. Or, donating goods can help you get a tax credit for charitable contributions when you file your taxes next year.

Hold on to gift cards

If you received gift cards for your wedding, you might be tempted to spend them right away. However, every item you buy before the move is one more thing you’ll have to pack and haul. Put off using gift cards until after the move, when you can use them to help decorate or furnish your new home.

Line up your moving truck

Renting a truck and doing your own packing and driving are great ways to save money on your move. If you’re moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger home, you probably have less stuff, and a smaller vehicle — such as a 12- or 16-foot Penske rental truck should be big enough. Generally, moving experts recommend you plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every furnished room you’ll be moving. Be sure to reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance, and ask about discounts; Penske Truck Rental offers discounts for AAA members and military personnel.

Pack wisely

You’ll need multiple sizes of sturdy boxes to pack and protect your belongings for the move. Your local truck rental store will have all the packing supplies you need. Start early and pack over time so the job doesn’t feel overwhelming. Label each box with the contents and the room where it will go in your new house, tape it securely and it’s all ready to go onto the truck on moving day.

Get help

Moving day is a great excuse for a party! Ask friends over to help, and when the job is done treat everyone to take-out in your new home. For particularly heavy or fragile items, like an antique armoire or big sectional, it may make sense to hire professionals to help you pack and load those items.

Loading up

Loading the truck well maximizes the use of the space and helps protect your belongings while they’re in transit. Load the heaviest boxes and items first, placing them on the bottom of the truck. Next, load lighter items and boxes on top. Penske’s Truck Wizard application can help you plan how best to pack your truck.

Drive safely

Your move may be the first time you’ve driven a vehicle larger than an SUV. Safely driving a moving truck takes some caution, such as using your mirrors to help navigate turns, avoiding abrupt stops or lane changes, and setting the emergency brake every time you park. For more tips on driving a moving truck, visit

Moving into your first new home together can be an exciting experience. With some planning and care, you can accomplish your move smoothly and on budget.

Borrow these wedding planner tricks for a polished event on a budget


(BPT) - Planning your wedding is one of the most important management jobs you’ll ever take on. A professional wedding planner could help make the day go smoothly, but you can also achieve the same effect yourself for less money.

According to, the average cost for a professional wedding planner is just under $2,000, but many couples don't have that kind of wiggle room in their budgets. In fact, 74 percent of couples didn’t hire a wedding planner in 2015, the website says. You can still pull off a polished wedding if you borrow a few tactics from a wedding planner’s bag of tricks.

Make the rental store your playground

Professional wedding planners don’t stockpile wedding items, they rent what they need to make a wedding run smoothly and look great. From tents and outdoor heaters, tables and chairs, to glassware, dishes, dance floors and décor, rental stores supply the wedding industry with the basics, luxuries and everything in between.

When a professional planner rents items, he or she typically passes on the rental cost to the clients, on top of fees for professional services. You can rent the same items yourself through a rental store — visit to find one in your area.

“Working with rental companies is like being in a fantasyland,” Minneapolis-based wedding professionals Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, The Wedding Guys, recently said in an interview with Rental Management magazine. “There are so many endless possibilities, and the only thing holding you back is the event budget. Even on the smallest budget, you can always enhance or elevate an event working with a rental company.”

Emphasize organization

Professional wedding planners use their organizational skills to ensure weddings go smoothly despite any surprises that arise. You can employ many of the same organizational tricks they use to help yourself manage the numerous details that go into a wedding, including:

* Create an inspiration board. Gathering your color choices, theme elements and inspirations in one spot can help your decision-making process. For example, not sure which floral arrangement will look right for your wedding? Refer back to your inspiration board and see which of your choices best matches your inspiration.

* The budget can be the most challenging aspect to manage, so be sure to talk with your partner about your budget before you sign any contracts. Set a budget and use a budgeting worksheet (readily available for free online) to help control costs.

* Numerous types of planning helpers are available, from online worksheets to apps, books and old-fashioned paper planners. Find one that’s easy for you to use and stick with it. Your planner should include a checklist with a timeline, and allow you to store all pertinent information, including estimates and contracts, in one place.

Work your connections

Professional wedding planners have networks of vendors to choose from. You can also network to find vendors for your wedding. Ask family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. Talk to any couples whose wedding you recently attended to see who they recommend.

Another trick is to find one professional with whom you really connect — a photographer, florist or entertainer — and ask for referrals to other quality professionals he or she likes working with. Check out their websites and feedback on social media to get an idea of their work.

Planning a wedding can be challenging and rewarding. With a few tricks borrowed from professional planners, such as renting what you need, you can create the wedding of your dreams on your real-world budget.