Sunday, March 21, 2010

Schwab - Finally works!

After a lot of problems, I finally got my Schwab checking account to work.  But not after having a few more problems.

Since last time I posted, I got sent a letter with my PIN number on it.  I went to an ATM to withdrawal money and the stupid thing STILL DIDN'T WORK!.  You cannot imagine my frustration at that moment.  I refused to try again just in case I punched my PIN in wrong (I'm sure I didn't since I was VERY careful) since trying more than three times and getting it wrong locks the card.

So I had to call Schwab, yet again, and ask them what the heck was going on.  They let me enter a new PIN right then and there and assured me the PIN was active immediately.  I did not have to wait to use it.  This time, I took my wife with me, who was right there when I selected the new PIN, so she could watch me enter the numbers.  And finally, after a little more than three months, I am now able to fully use my Schwab checking account.

Is this one time patience will pay off.  I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Schwab - Still Having Problems

It is now the middle of March.  I opened up my Schwab account in December.  In all that time you would guess that I would have been able to pull out some money from my account using an ATM machine.  I still have not been able to.  It is not entirely Schwab's fault, I have had some issues of my own remembering my PIN, but for heaven sake, how long will it be before I'm able to pull some money out.  I'm so frustrated with everything if things go wrong this time, I'm closing the account.

Now Twittering

I've created a twitter account.  It is more my speed anyway as I like to post short messages.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cheap Way to Have a Wedding - Destination Wedding

Capri Island

I recently read an article describing the cost of a wedding and the impact it can have on your finances for the rest of your life.   It made me extremely glad that I had my wedding the way I did because it ended up being a lot more fun, much more memorable, and , believe it or not, much cheaper.   Don't believe me?  I've decided to lay bare exactly what I spent on the wedding just to demonstrate how one can save money by doing a destination wedding.   I didn't spend anywhere close to the average of $20,000 that the typical wedding costs today.A little bit of background.  My wife and I went to Capri, Italy to get married.  We wanted to go to Europe for the honeymoon and we wanted to get married with a beautiful view of the ocean.  Capri provided both of those.  We sent out about thirty invitations and we ended up with thirteen guest (two guest dropped at the last minute).  We only sent invitations to people we really wanted to go but even if we sent out much more I do not think our attendance would have been much higher than it was.  We spent a total of fifteen days in Europe.  We paid for our own wedding and honeymoon, neither of us asked for help from our parents.Here is a list of typical wedding costs

  • Cost of the venue

  • Ceremony officiant

  • Flowers

  • Cake

  • Reception

  • Wedding Attire (dress, tuxedo rental, etc)

  • Entertainment (DJ or band)

  • Photographer

This does not include all the little things that people end up paying for in a wedding like various gifts and decorations so cost can end up being much more than would appear on this list.  So how much did I actually spend on the wedding?  My official number is $3885.  This includes

  • Photographer - $1600

  • Reception Dinner - $1700

  • Flowers - $45

  • Driver - $225

  • Her Dress - $180

  • Her Shoes - $70

  • Wedding Invitations - $45

  • Various snacks for guests - $20

I did not however include some other cost that might normally be associated with the cost of the wedding.  Most of these things are not specific to the wedding itself.  Things like my suit and shoes, (which I have used for other things) and our hotel room (which we would have spent anyway since we would have to pay for it anyway on our honeymoon).  However, I will list these items just in case people want a full comparison.

  • Flight to Italy - $1500

  • My suit and shoes - $700

  • Hotel Room - $925

So that at the outside put the total cost of my wedding at $7010.  That's it.  Things I did not spend any money on included

  • Venue - Hotel let us use their balcony, and it's amazing view, for free

  • Officiant - It was hard to coordinate an officiant in Italy so one of our guests volunteered to do the ceremony

  • Cake - Didn't have one

  • Entertainment - Didn't have a huge reception so didn't have to provide entertainment

Despite "doing without" on some of these things, I have to say it was one of the best weddings I ever went to (I am admittedly biased).  The food was amazing.  We went to the best restaurant on the island and it was better than any Wedding food I had ever had.  Heck, it was better than any food I have had period.  The venue was breathtaking, see the picture above.  I honestly could not have had a better time at my own wedding.  I often hear people talk about how they just never get enough time to talk to their guests.  That definitely did not happen to me as I felt I had ample time to talk to each and everyone of my guests.  I did not waste any money on things that just did not make the wedding more memorable or directly added value to myself or my guests.To sum up.  Had a great wedding.  Didn't spend a lot for it.  Couldn't ask for anything more.Don't mortgage your future for one day.