How to Save for a Home While Paying off Your Wedding

By | First Time Home Buying, Home Buying Tips, Newlywed Financial Planning | No Comments

By the No Worries Team

So, you’ve made it through your big day! You finally got the wedding of your dreams after months, and maybe even years, of planning. With the perfect ceremony and reception, you had plenty of time to hang out with friends and family and celebrate the union between you and your spouse. While your wedding day may have been the best day of your life, unfortunately, your big wedding came with a big bill.

As you and your spouse begin your life as newlyweds, you may find that the sought after “American dream” lifestyle has a huge caveat that was never mentioned — finances! How do you juggle each preexisting bill with the new investments you both want to make? More specifically, should you hold off on buying your first home until after you’ve paid off your wedding, or are there ways to do both? Luckily, with a little creative thinking, you can save for your first home while paying off your wedding debt.

Create a Budget

First and foremost, you’ll want to start by creating a budget. This arguably is the most important step to both saving for your home and paying off wedding expenses. Plainly lay out every income source, expense, and savings goal so you have a better understanding of how exactly you should move forward. From there, you should create a plan of attack for how much of your income will go toward your wedding debt repayment and how much for your home’s savings. You should make the point of separating the two to ensure that you are focusing on both as goals instead of spending considerably more on one.

Develop Debt-Repayment Strategy

When planning wedding-debt repayment, there are a number of strategies you can implement. Two of the most popular are the snowball and avalanche methods. The snowball method got its name from the common way you form a snowball in the winter. You start with a small chunk of snow and, as you roll it, the snowball becomes bigger over time. This is essentially the way you’d be paying off your debt using this method. You’d start by paying off the wedding debt that has the smallest principal amount. Then, move to the next highest principal until you’ve paid off all debt. The more and more debt you pay off, the more expendable cash you have to pay your higher principal debts as your “snowball” grows.

The avalanche method, however, starts from the top, down. Instead, you’d attack the debt with the highest interest rate first while still paying the minimums for all other debts owed. This method aims to get rid of your higher-risk debt first so that you are spending less money on unnecessary interest and putting more toward your principal amounts.

Ceremony procesional of los angeles bride walking with father

Photo by Karina Pires Photography

Designate Savings for Your Home

In addition to developing a repayment strategy in your budget, you’ll also want to incorporate the amount you wish to save for your new home within your budget. Be sure to consider how much you want to pay for your future home and what down payment percentage you are going after. Then, set a date in which you’d like to achieve your savings goal so that you can designate a specific amount toward your goal each month. To be ahead of the game when you begin the home buying process, do your research on mortgage and loan options now. Some commonly used mortgage loans for first-time homebuyers are FHA loans and VA loans.

FHA loans are, in simple terms, government-backed mortgages with lower loan requirements, typically making it easier for first-time homebuyers to attain. Even with preexisting wedding debt, you can still qualify for this type of loan with a credit score of about 580 and a down payment of at least 3.5%.

VA loans, on the other hand, are typically the go-to for home buyers with a military connection. Depending on you or your spouse’s military status, a VA loan could give you a $0 down payment on your home. While this may seem like a quick solution to saving for your home, it’s important to understand the qualifications and requirements of the loan before jumping in.

Analyze Expenses

After creating your budget based on your debt repayment plan and strategy for home savings, it’s important to look for areas where you can cut back on expenses. These days, many households are cutting back on recurring costs like cable TV or rarely-used subscription services. However, if these aren’t current expenses for you, try cutting out the small daily purchases you may have in your budget. These may include trips to your favorite coffee spot or that $10 sandwich you just have to have when lunchtime rolls around. Take your budget to the next level and fully evaluate what works and doesn’t work so you can create the most realistic and effective saving strategy.

Bride and groom signing ketubah

Photo by Karina Pires Photography

Adopt New Spending Habits

As you may have guessed, saving for a home and simultaneously paying off wedding debt will require quite a shift in lifestyle. These are two large financial decisions to tackle at once. However, they can be achieved with a change to your spending habits. There are a number of ways you can get a handle on unnecessary spending. Some common strategies are creating an emergency fund, setting up automatic savings through your bank, or starting the 24-hour rule for large purchases.

Adopting more effective spending habits is pertinent in long-term saving for both your wedding debt repayment and your future home. By selecting an achievable spending plan and sticking to it, you may be able to reduce your debt faster than expected, freeing up more money to pour into your home savings account.

Review with a Professional

An important step in your debt repayment and home savings is to never underestimate the value of a financial advisor. While developing your own budget and strategy for both financial decisions can be helpful, an advisor may be able to point out areas of improvement that can get you to your goals much more smoothly. Allow them to pick apart your plan and provide their best recommendations that are cost-effective and achievable.

Buying a home is no easy task, and as newlyweds with individual and combined wedding debts to pay off, developing a clear plan for your finances is key. By following these steps and adjusting them to fit your combined income and savings goals, you’ll be able to pay off all wedding debt while still saving up for your first home. Don’t forget to seek advice for your plan to ensure you’re making the best financial decisions possible for you and your new family.

Your Event and Wedding Planning Business during CoronaVirus: Crisis Management

By | Business Consulting, Business Consulting for Creatives, Business Development, COVID 19, Recession | No Comments

I started my wedding and event planning business during the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.  This oncoming recession, triggered by the Corona Virus, will likely not be as bad, though it never hurts to prepare for the worst. And, it’s already been devastating to the meeting and hospitality industry, given the number one way to transmit the disease is by person to person contact, and large groups are forbidden or recommended against by federal and local governments.

Here are some tips to manage the crisis if you have a meeting and event planning business.

1. Rip off the bandaid and embrace the reality

False hope is dangerous at this time.  Your business may be in a standstill as long as there are self-isolation measures in place.  Immediately start to look at other skills you have in the work force and opportunities for freelancing.  Start thinking about low-season type pricing for the clients who do need to have meetings or social events (likely small), or hourly pricing.

2. Prepare for long term effects and restructure your event planning offerings accordingly

It was quite some time before I could make a steep increase in my pricing – 2012 was the pivot point for me.  Prior to then, I was charging a moderate amount, and raised my pricing the busier I got, but in 2012 I raised my pricing by about 20% across the board.  After this recession, we may have a quick rebound, but don’t count on it.  Wedding clients may not want to hire a coordinator or planner; consider new packages, such as “DIY Assistance” that may be hourly consultation on helping clients do most of the work themselves, or Month of Coordination, or even Week of Coordination. (Not that I like that idea  – but have the option ready in your arsenal, just in case.)

Bride and Father Walking down Aisle at Outdoor wedding

Whatever happens, weddings will still be occurring, and the first type of event to rebound from the dry spell. Photo by Karina Pires Photography.

3. Be smart with your expenditures

Everyone in my family is really cold at home now because I don’t want to get huge utility bills while we all work from home! I know, I’m a miser.  But now is the time to make lattes at home, cut down on large expenses, and postponing big purchases.

4. Be ready for clients’ event planning questions as they pertain to COVID 19

Do your research, share advice and brainstorming virtually with tele-meetings with your colleagues, and share this intel with your clients.  Talk about adjustments to make at events in regards to social distancing (such as friendly signage to encourage as such); serving drinks straight out of the bottle to discourage any spread of germs (and arrange for recycling from the site); and brush up on re-booking policies with venues and hotels.  The more knowledgeable you are, the more people will be likely to book with you, in a much more competitive market.

5. Don’t panic.

We’ll get through this – this too shall pass. We’ve been through the Great Recession, 9/11, and so many other difficult times.  But, be realistic – maybe consider part time work outside the industry as positions come available to steady the road to recovery.  And hang in there – we will survive, and be stronger for it.

Sleep Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

By | Entrepreneurs, Self Care, Sleep Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments
People, I’m not going to tell you I’ve mastered the art of feeling like a brand new woman every morning – I’m still working on it. But my energy levels have gotten better, and I’ve been able to get up earlier than before, without issue.  Here’s my sleep tips for better rest:

How to be a well-rested entrepreneur

When I was running my company, I worried constantly at first.  Every detail of every client’s wedding, as well as the high-stress reality of being paycheck to paycheck the first years of building the business, meant there was always something to worry about.  So, I started listing all my outstanding issues at the end of the day, and also balanced my checking account; then, before I went to bed, noting anything at all that I could worry about.  Before long, by the time my head hit the pillow, I had exorcised out of my system all the little nagging details that would keep me up.

Protect your time like it’s sacred

A client is running late to a meeting?  An event goes into overtime with no notice? Put your foot down with these issues.  Tell the late client you have 50 more minutes to meet with him or her, and make the meeting more efficient, and actually LEAVE when their time is up. Charge your client going later than contracted, your overtime fee, and collect it then and there.  Time overruns mean you work later and harder, with wasted energy, and this has a negative affect on your sleep.  So protecting your time makes a difference; for example, that Overtime fee may allow you to hire your assistant for an extra hour to get some additional work done, so you can sleep late the next day.  This is why there are extra fees for extra work, and why late clients aren’t tolerated – to minimize the impact on your productivity, and thus, your health and rest.

Make a self care routine, and stick to it.

For me, it’s applying a mask every Sunday, feeling my pores get smaller and my spirit become refreshed.  For you, it may be one journal entry a day.  Or, meditation. (And there are apps for that, too!) Whatever your routine, make it do-able with your busy schedule, and flexible – if you force it to happen on one specific day a week, it may be knocked off your plate due to unpredictable work schedules, so have a backup time to do it. Just be SURE to do it!

Sleep Tips Around the Web

Articles like this one offer really great advice for sleep, especially the tip to set the same bedtime every night. My mistake is I stay up WAY too late on weekends, so  I’m trying to mitigate that – we all have challenges. But during the week, I’m in bed no later than 10pm.  I network during the day, not during the evening, to assist in this goal. Make the adjustments you need in your life to ensure you  have a nice, orderly routine for sleep. Also, I recently started using a pedometer that tracks sleep, and it’s made a huge difference in seeing how much good quality sleep I’m getting every night –  highly recommended.

Managing Your Wedding To Do List During the Holidays

By | AislePlanner, Project Management Software, Wedding Planner, Wedding Planning Checklist, Wedding Planning Tips | No Comments

The holidays always seem to ‘creep up’ on you, right? This year, it was due to Thanksgiving coming so late; but there’s always excuse. There’s just so much to do!  But when you’re engaged and getting married in the next year, how do you manage everything on your to-do list, and still get all you need done during the holidays (and at least have fun, too?)

Manage your priorities

Work has a optional secret santa? Opt out!  You don’t need to be a part of every single event happening around you.  Same with wedding planning:  Maybe you’re nearing the mark where you should be ordering your invitations.  Pick the design and put them to print, but don’t task yourself with addressing, sealing, and sending, too. Wait till the new year.

Get a project management system

Systems like Monday and Asana (my personal favorite) easily allow you to manage your to do lists for both work and personal tasks.  These are lifesavers when you’re wedding planning.  Or, try AislePlanner – your coordinator or planner can even be looped in to the tasks listed on the site.

Asana recommended project management software for creativesApply the “do it now” mentality to your to do list

Too many times, we look at our to do lists and are paralyzed with overwhelm. Finally I started to stop whatever I was doing, and just hit one task on the list.  Call the doctor? Do it now.  Then go back to your regularly scheduled day.   Review photographer pricing? Do it now –  just take ten minutes.  These ‘micro tasks’ can be done in small increments, not all at once, but the sense of accomplishment is actually pretty big.

Memorable Wedding Gifts For Your Family

By | Family Wedding Gifts, Personalized by Kate, Personalized Wedding Gifts, Unique Wedding Gifts, Wedding Budget, Wedding Gift Ideas | No Comments
Family has started to mean more to me than ever, with many of my close loved ones getting older, and memories of them dearer to me as time passes.  I’ve realized that not only is it ideal to purchase meaningful gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but family gifts are so important, too.
Personalized by Kate is an easy-to-navigate, full-of-inspo website that offers gifts that family members will treasure forever. What really caught my eye were their picture frames, that can be uniquely personalized and filled with a photo from your big day.  They can be given at the wedding with a special photo from the past, and with your thank you note later, you can enclose a photo from the wedding to replace the current image; or afterwards, send the frame itself with a photo from your wedding day.
 Personalized wedding gift frame with bride and groom
I also love tumblers (obsessed!) and Personalized by Kate offers insulated wine tumblers, for your favorite aunt who tailgates every football season or your young-at-heart grandma who enjoys her picnics on the beach. These can also be handed out to your entire immediate family, personalized with the family name and monogram, for a really cool, family-only gift that will make your loved ones feel even more special.
 Monogrammed mug wedding gift for family
Assembling gift packages is another way to make your gift even more personal for your family; for your family members who are coffee fans (and any sleep deprived new parents in your family), create a gift basket or bag with a personalized coffee mug, high-end coffee, flavored syrup, and chocolate-coated stir spoon. For coffee nuts, you can never go wrong with a caffeine-themed gift.
When I think of family, I also think of big holiday meals and special recipes passed down for generations.  An engraved recipe box is an instant keepsake for that relative who cooks from scratch and always hosts Thanksgiving. Food is a huge part of how my family bonds – on both sides – and to me, this is the most meaningful and sentimental option; what can I say – food is love!
I find giving gifts out on the wedding day itself is tough; so much is going on, and a lot of friends and family members are getting ready independently of each other, so everyone is all spread out and impossible to find in one place until the wedding.  I would recommend to clients to give special family gifts at the rehearsal dinner, while all close family is nearby, and the mood is a little more relaxed.
But we mustn’t forget the bridal party; I just have to add that I’m in love with this flask and shot glass set.  Your maid of honor can treat the girls for one last shot the night of the wedding in a flask she fit in her purse.  Cheers!

wedding gift personalized bridesmaid flask set

For more information about what Personalized by Kate has to offer, check out their offerings here!
I love supporting companies I believe align with my readers’ interests. This is a sponsored post by Personalized By Kate.

5 Things Newlyweds Need to Know About Buying a Home Together

By | Home Buying Tips for Millenials, Real Estate | No Comments

Congratulations on your marriage! It’s a big commitment, and if you’re currently considering the next big step of buying a home together, we understand that it can be a little daunting. There are a lot of decisions to make and numbers to calculate — but this stress can be dramatically reduced with the right knowledge and attitude. That said, check out these helpful tips for if you’re about to go hunting for your very first house together.

First time home and buyer

Photo Credit: GlenDoorny via Morguefile

There’s more than just the mortgage to pay for

To remain competitive, real estate listing sites don’t actually give you the full price of buying a home — there are taxes, agent’s fees, insurance, and closing costs that come with the price of the house itself. And once you do purchase a home, there are still expenses you’ll have to consider, like moving-in costs and any repairs or renovations you’d like to undertake. The ‘Home Maintenance Checklist and Tips’ post by Marcus lists the many factors there are to consider as future homeowners, such as maintenance and expenses after moving in. Thus, make sure you’re well aware of all the hidden fees you’ll have to pay before purchasing your new home to avoid surprise costs and going over budget.

Get a realtor — you’re paying for one anyway

Although you can definitely buy a house on your own, you’re putting yourself at risk of spending more money and time than you have set aside. Real estate agents have the necessary connections and industry know-how to reduce costs for you and make the whole process faster and easier — it’s their job, after all. Not to mention, you’re paying for one anyway! While technically, the seller pays for the commission of buying and selling agents, it’s often baked into the price of the house, so it’s better to take advantage of this from the get-go.

Have some back up funds

We previously mentioned that there’s a myriad of other things you’ll have to pay for once you get your house — and not knowing this early on has led 63% of American millennials to have regrets about purchasing their homes. The best way to avoid this is to have a nest egg set aside for any emergencies or instances where you might end up going over budget, such as renovations or move-in costs. Try to save an extra 10-20% of your renovation budget, so you’ll have something to cover you if ever you go overboard.

A starter home is better than you think

It makes sense to want your dream home after having your dream wedding, but with this long-term commitment, having a starter home may be the best option. Of course, the idea of a starter home is subjective, but the general definition is that it’s somewhere you’re okay with living in and is less than what you can afford. Smaller, less costly houses mean everything else will cost less as well — less taxes, less insurance premiums, and less utility bills. Additionally, when you do decide to get your dream home in the future, you can turn this starter home into a real estate investment to get passive income! Our post on ‘Advice for the New or Prospective Real Estate Investor’ points out that your first property can give you tons of financial stability, as eventually, you can get a property manager to make things easier for you and let it pay for itself.

Apply for a pre-approved mortgage

The best way to find out what you can really afford and what price range you can definitely work with is by getting a pre-approved mortgage. Once you’re good to go, that’s when you can look around with confidence, as Business Insider reports that some realtors will not entertain you without one. Take note that it’s also best to have enough money saved for a down payment, as it shows lenders that you’re serious and prepared for the long-term responsibility of paying for a house.

Article solely for
Authored by Samantha Amiel

Tropical Theme Bridal Shower Invitations and More Stationary Inspo

By | Basic Invite, Best Wedding Websites, Bridal Showers, Tiki Bridal Shower, Tropical Bridal Shower, Tropical Themed Bridal Shower Invitations, Tropical Wedding, Wedding Decor, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Shower Invitations, Wedding Websites | No Comments

Earlier this year, my family and I went to Hawaii, and my mind was filled with all things tropical when I returned:  Palm leaves, leis, orchids, beachside breezes… I can smell the ocean now, just thinking about it! The tropical aesthetic comes across as fresh, natural, and modern when used for event design, and while it can potentially turn kitschy (potentially!) at a larger ‘do like a wedding, bridal showers are the perfect soiree to show off this theme.  And, it all starts with the first point of interaction with your guests: Tropical theme bridal shower invitations such as these can be cool, classy, chic, or tongue-in-cheek – it’s up to you how to play it.  Design the event itself with tiki torches and palm leaves for decor; hand out leis to guests; and serve Dole Whip for dessert, and you’ve got yourself a cool, breezy bridal shower that guests will still be talking about at the wedding.

Your wedding aesthetic, of course, doesn’t have to match the shower; your venue and personal tastes should drive the look and feel of your wedding.  Just like their cool tropical invites, a wide spectrum of wedding invitation ideas abound at Basic Invite; choosing script or calligraphy as your focus for invitations offers a clean, simple, but elegant preview to the big day; or you can go colorful with all the many shades they offer.  So often as a planner, I’d find just a handful of colors offered for each option provided by online invitation retailers; and just a few colors that would populate in a preview.  Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers nearly unlimited color options with previews online within seconds. As event design grows ever more inventive and complex, the slightest adjustment of shade can make or break your total design; Basic Invite has l over 180 different color options, and you can change the color of each element on the card!  Being able to control the smallest detail of each design is what really sets this company apart and has made big fans out of both planners like me, and wedding couples. And there’s no waiting for a sample – you can print out the design right from your computer before you order, to see how the invitation looks IRL.  This is a huge time saver, a great opportunity to reality check your options.

So! Many! Colors!

There is also a very specific etiquette to wedding invitations; you must hand write the recipient’s address, or have their addresses printed directly on the envelope.  A new innovation, called Seal and Send invitations, allows couples working with Basic Invite to actually skip the envelope (saving trees and waste in the process!) and have the address printed right on the back of the invitation; it’s absurdly easy.Couples share a link with their guests, collect their addresses, and upload them onto the design. Once you receive your order all you have to do is add postage, fold your invites, and secure them with a sticker.  Currently there are over 30 Seal and Send designs, from elegant to modern, all designed to create a seamless packet for your guests.

I love how Seal and Send Invitations are so beautiful and classic – and reduce waste at the same time. Practical AND stunning.

If you want to go more traditional, you can still use Basic Invite to secure guests’ addresses with their social-media enabled address-collection service.  With so much to do with planning, family, and oh, your actual work and life obligations, anything to make addressing all those invitations easier is a huge help!

While planning the invitation design, It’s vital to add your wedding website to the information included; it’s usually the first thing couples create after they find their venue, but there are so many options out there now, and some free wedding websites have their quirks. Basic Invite’s free wedding website service seamlessly allows couples to upload the design from their invitation and use any one of those over 180 colors they offer, for an elegant, yet practical guide for both in-town and traveling guests to have all the wedding details at their fingertips, including a convenient map with directions.

Your guests are your close friends, family, loved ones; you’ll always be in touch with them, long after the wedding. Each of Basic Invite’s 900 invitation designs come with full suite of not only wedding-related stationary, such as save the dates and enclosure cards, but thank you notes as well.  In other words, Basic Invite has you covered from the moment you say “yes” to the last thank you note!  To view more of their innovative designs and stationary solutions, check them out here, and click on the links below to follow their gorgeous inspo on their socials!

Facebook   |    Pinterest    |    Instagram   |    Twitter

I love supporting companies I believe align with my readers’ interests. This is a sponsored post by Basic Invite.

Simplicity Is Key: How to Stick to a Minimalist Wedding Design

By | Minimalist Wedding, Simple Wedding, Wedding Cost, Wedding Decor, Wedding Design | No Comments

If you’ve decided the minimalist wedding look is right for you, there is still a lot you need to keep in mind as you begin planning. Finding the most basic essence of how you want to express your aesthetic will help keep you on the right track and stop you from going overboard. Decide on colors and thematic elements before you even look at invitations and decor. Only once you really know what you love, should you start planning.

Simple Stationary

One of the very first things you should do is design your save the dates, invitations, menus, signs, and other printed materials. You want to do this early so they can serve as a blueprint and design inspiration for all your vendors. To ensure everything is clean and minimalist, keep your language simple and choose a clear font. Use negative space with a bold and striking message. Stay away from images and keep crucial information at the forefront.

Tempting Tablescapes

Click on Photo for Image Source

While you can choose pristine tablecloths and simple floral centerpieces, take your minimalist theme a bit further with rustic wood tables and green foliage as your centerpiece. Simple tableware and neutral colors will accentuate the beauty of the natural elements on the table. Taupe, grey, and blue can all offer you the elegance you want without boring your guests.

You can also extend the minimalism to your bar and dinner offerings. Keep the options simple and offer your guests two or three wines and beers. Many catering companies also offer modern presentations for your food, so you can work with them on an unembellished design as well.

Limited Decor

Spanish bride and groom chair signage

Much of the time, when people think of weddings, they dream up outlandish floral features for outdoor weddings and an abundance of decorations that can easily go above and beyond your budget. Instead of opting for all of this decor, choose specific pieces that will impact your guests. This goes for the backdrop to your “I do,” the seating, flowers, lighting and even fun features. Putting a cap on your decor doesn’t mean that your wedding will look boring; quite the opposite. Take your guest-friendly photo booth, for example. While some go for a decadent backdrop with an assortment of props, others choose a white backdrop with dried herbs or a simple monogram that ties in with the rest of their theme. People will be impressed how you seamlessly tie everything together. It requires a lot of mindfulness and is one area that wedding planners can be extremely helpful with.

A Sweet Ceremony

 While this may not be a visual element, stick with your minimalist theme and keep your vows short and simple. A wedding can be even more meaningful when you cut out all the extra frills that come with a lot of officiants. Maybe have a close friend officiate the ceremony and skip the processional and recessional.

Personal Favors & Gifts

Modern succulent wedding favors and escort cards in sand

Photo by Callaway Gable

When you choose minimalist favors and bridesmaids gifts, you can please your guests and save a little bit of money. For members of your wedding party, you can keep your bridesmaids gifts simple with monogrammed tumblers, pendant necklaces, or homemade body scrubs. Groomsmen are even easier, and a watch or some monogrammed cufflinks are a perfect choice! Whereas, for guests, many minimalists decide to go for miniature gifts with the couple’s initials etched on the side or featured on a tag.

Stick to Your Plan

As details pile up, it can be hard to keep track of everything and make sure you stay under budget. Don’t let anyone pressure you into choosing a more extravagant option and don’t feel bad about saying no to guests who want to bring uninvited plus ones. This wedding is about you and what makes you happy as a couple. Stick to your plan and compromise only when it makes sense, or if your mother-in-law is in tears because she wants to write out your invites by hand. Most important is that you have fun before, during, and after your wedding day!

Author Bio:  Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about weddings and events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, real estate, finance and more.

Fitness on the Move: Working out tips while Working Hard

By | Beachbody, Fitness Tips, Workout, Workout Tips for Entrepreneurs | No Comments

So, when I was a wedding planner, I weighed about 10lbs less than I do now. Even when I was working a more compact schedule as my business matured, there were the hours on my feet, running from one meeting to another, and so on and so forth. (Add a young child to the mix and yeah, I got pretty lean!). I wasn’t strong, though, and even developed bursitis in my hip and arthritis in my knees.   I tried to implement working out tips into my schedule but it didn’t go that great. I just didn’t have a consistent schedule.

When I ‘retired’ from wedding planning, and started working a regular 9-5, I was sitting more, and also being over 40, started losing muscle mass. And guys I mean it happened like OVERNIGHT.  I was worried about heart risk as my belly fat increased, and also losing strength in my joints, i.e. worse arthritis, so I knew I had to figure something out.  See below for how to weave fitness into a busy schedule.

  1.  Have a few backups in your workout schedule.

Everyone says “just calendar it so you won’t forget it.” But if you’re freelancing or work in the service industry, like us, that doesn’t always work.  I have a pretty consistent schedule now so I usually do a Beachbody on Demand workout every night, but then a networking event comes up, or a childcare situation, or whatever.  So, I have a maxiclimber in the corner of my living room that I can hop onto randomly whenever – an early morning, weekend afternoon, or Sunday night to gear myself up for the workweek.  The Maxiclimber is super cheap too – way cheaper than a gym membership.  There are lots of options for great exercise machines you can use at home.

Hiding in plain sight…the MaxiClimber.

2. Make it so easy, you can’t not do it!

Speaking of gym memberships, I finally got to the point where I cancelled my yoga membership and any other outside classes.  To change, drive, workout, and then drive back took too much time.  Thanks to the beauty of technology, you can buy a Beachbody subscription (or Barre3, or whatever suits you) for so much less than a gym costs – and the workouts are legit.  I’ve been working up to 30 minutes of Insanity every night, and lost 3 lbs and gained a decent amount of muscle within the first 2 months (I know that doesn’t sound like a lot – I’ll explain more in #3).  There is quite literally no excuse. I even watch tv while I work out!  So it becomes some precious me-time without taking me out of my house and thus away from my responsibilities (and yes, I’ve jogged over to the stove while my son’s mac n cheese is cooking, mid workout).


Insanity beachbody on Demand workout tips

Actual text during Insanity workout…

3.  It takes a minute.

So, I only have 10 pounds to lose, but I’ve been gaining muscle.  So I’ve had more defined arms and legs, but in 4 months I’ve only lost 3 lbs.  As my metabolism increases – thanks to that muscle mass – I’ll start seeing more fit and firm aspects to my body. It’s a long game. But exercise isn’t supposed to be a short term habit – it’s for life.  Keep that in mind, and make sure you choose a workout regimen you enjoy, and keep it easy – and before long you’ll start seeing improvement!

Give Yourself A Break: Slow Down your Schedule

By | Event Planner, Event Planning Education, Goal Setting, Mental Health Tips for Business Owners, Self Care, Time Management | No Comments

I used to be a full time business owner, and there was always something to do:  A timeline to build, a blog post to write, a mixer to attend.  Even when I had organized the business to guarantee a neatly contained workday nearly every day, I’d find myself at 9pm at night, say, going online and doing some marketing research, or updating my bookkeeping. I was very efficient with my main work at hand (event planning), so when I had leftover time, I felt like I should be doing something more.  And certainly, there was always something useful I could be doing, even if it wasn’t totally necessary.  But what I should have been doing was telling myself to slow down. Take some time for myself, my friends, my family.

I wound down my business 3 years ago to work in the hospitality industry, but even then, I was consulting on the side on a freelance basis, and working on a project (virtual Wedding Planner Support Groups – to come in late Summer 2019), and this, that and the other.  Then, a few weeks ago, something changed.

I’d leave my job, come home, tidy the house, make dinner, check in on some family, work out…and just have a nice evening of normal around-the-house activities.  I had finished up a couple consultation projects; the Wedding Planner Support Groups were steadily coming together; and I just decided to have one job for a few weeks. And it was awesome.  I realized, I didn’t have to take over the world every night after work – I didn’t have to do MORE to be a BETTER consultant or hospitality professional. I could slow down a little; I could have a nice normal life with ONE job and the occasional, well timed and somewhat automated side project.   The pressure to be all things, to have my fingers in every pie, fell away.  As my business consultant once told me when I went on a downward spiral about all I was trying to accomplish:  Give yourself a f*&king break.

And I’ve never been happier.

A few things that happened because of my return to normal-hood:

  1.  I’m sleeping better.  Fewer things are swimming in my head when my head hits the pillow every night.
  2. I’m highly focused.  Multitasking isn’t always the ideal – you can’t multi-task every single moment of the day. You risk doing a half-assed job on everything versus giving 110% to every task.
  3. I’m healthier.  I started working out almost every single night (Beachbody on Demand to the rescue!). I’ve regained muscle I haven’t seen in years, it’s also added to my sleep, and my stress levels have plummeted since I have increased my cardio activity.
  4. I’m closer to friends and family. I have more time to reach out, send that checking-in text, grab coffee on the weekends.  Socializing has legitimate long-term, crucial health benefits, along with the short-term bump you feel in overall mood.

Life is precious, and every second counts.  No one is going to give you a medal if you add one more thing to your to-do list to prove your productivity.  Give yourself a break; slow down the pace of the voices in your head demanding you do more, more, more; give yourself boundaries, and take time to refill your well of energy, every single day.