Tag Archives: afford

Choosing your Wedding Venue

Wedding-Venue-SearchChoosing your wedding venue is probably the biggest decision you have to make after the proposal. Everything else starts falling into place when you know where the reception will be held. In our case, we chose the venue, then we looked for a church which is not on the other side of the island. Then we proceeded with choosing our caterers, which was the next headache…

Before deciding on wedding venue, read through the points below, to form your basic wedding requirements:

  • Budget: Make sure the wedding venues you are looking at are within your budget.  Although daydreaming is nice, if you have a restricted budget, it is important to not waste time on venues that you can never afford. Harsh, but it will be a let down eventually. When looking at venues, make sure you ask the right questions, for example, are there any hidden fees involved? What is the overtime hourly rate? And how does it work? What are the payment arrangements?
  • Guest-list: Having an idea on the number of guests that you would like to invite would help ensure that all of them will fit comfortably in the venue. Further, it will also help you to determine if the venue is too big for your wedding party. You really wouldn’t want the wedding reception to look empty.
  • Availability: This is a crucial point when it comes to choosing the wedding venue. The reason I have put this as a third point is as I am a strong believer on the fact that one should know the budget and number of guests before starting to look at venues.
  • Weather-friendly: Make sure that the wedding venue is appropriate for your big day. If you are getting married in the dead of winter or in the hottest month of the year, make sure that there is an indoor space for all your guests. You might get lucky, and you will not need this space but best to be safe than sorry. If it is too hot, air-conditioning is a must, if it is cold or rainy, then a warm space (or at least an indoor space) is ideal. Have a back-up plan at hand for the worst case scenario.
  • Catering: This will be tackled separately, however one must keep in mind that certain venues have catering exclusivity, meaning that you cannot choose your own catering. In this case, make sure that the venue package is affordable, and that the venue’s caterer is to your liking. Food and beverage is essential in a wedding, and one simply cannot take it for granted.
  • Parking: Appropriate amount of parking the vicinity of the wedding venue is considered an asset now a days. Most of the guests will be attending with their own means of transport, and wouldn’t want to walk for half an hour to the wedding reception and back to the car. If parking is an issue, then make sure to reserve a parking lot for your big-day and instruct your guests to park there.
  • Ambience:  Think about the theme and the decor you are after. Does this match the style of the venue? If you want to dress up the venue completely to make it unique, yours, make sure you have budgeted the decor required. Ensure also the venue is ideal for your guest list. For example, if you are inviting elderly, make sure there are chairs available. As much as you wouldn’t want all the guests to sit down, you need cater for everyone’s needs.

Wedding in Malta: How to get started

Daniel and I are both planners, which I’d say is of an advantage when it comes to organizing our wedding plan. We have heard about so many stories, where couples are stressed beyond compare, fighting every minute they get, that we were a bit paranoid. Truth be told, none of this has happened. Three months into the preparation, we have been very respectful towards each other, and we have managed to compromise on everything so far, be it budget, and choosing our providers.

We believe, that the hardest thing that we had to come up with was our budget. The main reason being that we had absolutely no idea on how much a wedding should cost.  We heard of weddings which costed 10,000 and others which were 30,000 and more! This confused us further, as we were unsure how two weddings which had roughly the same items (sizable venue and guest-list, food, DJ, open bar) could differentiate so much in terms of cost!

wedding to do list

So how did we come up with a budget? In reality, we did not! Wait, what? We decided on what we can afford. We decided on the guests we wanted to invite. I come from a large family, and we had to draw a line somewhere. We made the guest list, and we asked vendors for quotations based on these numbers. Then by priority, we started to add additional costs – listing the must haves and the nice to haves.

This is the must-have list we came up with:

– Gather an approximate Guest list and request quotations for food and drinks
Chapel & Venue – booked on the same day
Food tasting from top 2 or 3 caterers (based on price, reputation and wedding date availability)
Photographer – A beautiful memory to cherish in the years to come
DJ – a wedding reception without music, is not really a celebration. In Malta, DJ is the most common form of entertainment for weddings. Some choose to have a live-band or singer
Cars – Bare necessity is a bridal car and taxi for groom and our respective family
Hair & Makeup – We all want to look at our best for our big day
Rings – The symbol for our marriage
Invitations – Compulsory
Souvenirs – A small thank you gift for our guests
Clothes – Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen
Bride’s flower bouquet

Nice to have list:

Flowers (for the church)
Church Singer
– Themed Decor (for the venue)
– Videographer
– Red Carpet (for the church)

Travel Plans, But Empty Pockets? Explore The World on a Budget!


As the saying goes, nobody has ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ According to research, one of the things people do regret not doing more of is travelling- and so if every year you vow to travel more but never do now is the time to make a change. You don’t need loads of money to see new places, so if you have the opportunity to take some time out and broaden your horizons with travel you should definitely go for it. Here are some of the ways you can go about it if you don’t have a whole lot of money in the bank.

Earn As a Freelancer

When you work as a freelancer, you can take your job with you when you travel. All you need is a laptop and you can continue earning money while you’re away. It could be blogging, Youtube, freelance writing- once you have regular work coming in you know that you have a way of earning additional money while you’re away. You can get free wifi in lots of places, from hotels to coffee shops and restaurants unless you’re going somewhere very remote. If you have plans to travel in future and are a huge fan of all things travel, starting a Youtube channel or blog in the year or so before is a smart move- then when you go away yourself you could track your trip.

Work in Another Country

Moving to another country for work is another option. Not only could you improve your career prospects in some cases, but you also get the opportunity to live in a new place. It’s different from being a tourist since a lot of your time will be dedicated to working, however you really get to know a place when you live there. You will learn about their customs and cultures, their food, meet lots of new people in a different way than perhaps you would as a tourist. You could search for jobs in Singapore to jobs in Australia, America- wherever has interested you as a country why not go for it. You could move out for six months, a year, five year, permanently- whatever suits you. But you’ll get to explore and understand a new part of the world and support yourself while you’re there. Voluntary work is another option, you won’t get paid but you get to spend time in another country and help out, in return for accommodation and food.

Go on a Road Trip

Road trips are something that most of us have on our travel bucket list. And with incredible routes in different places in the world, it gives you the chance to see lots of different places while stopping at whatever landmarks and attractions interest you. If you hire an RV or campervan you have the benefit of accommodation and transport in one, it’s easy to eat cheaply too as you will either have a fridge in your vehicle or you could buy a cool box. Fill up with food and snacks from the grocery store and you save on expensive restaurants. Many campsites offer hookups for RVs including electricity and water and don’t cost much, but you can park up and sleep anywhere providing you’re in a safe and legal space. You could always have the odd night at a motel if you’re going to be travelling for a while- it won’t cost much and you can have a shower and sleep in a proper bed. RV and campervan hire is relatively cheap, check out companies in the destination you will be visiting and be sure to shop around. Once that’s paid, you only really have your fuel and food to pay for, and any attractions that you plan on seeing.

Go Backpacking

Backpacking is an incredible experience. While humble you see your destination in a different way, it’s not about the five star restaurants or fancy hotels. Instead you’re in the midst of the action, chatting to locals, meandering through markets tasting the street food, finding interesting places that are off the beaten path. It’s a cheap way to travel as most of the time you’re on foot or on public transport, fill your pack with the essentials and some staple food items and you’re good to go. Keep an eye on flights to see if you can snag some cheap ones, and if you sign up to a chain of hostels you can stay in any of them in the world meaning it’s easy to find a place to lay your head.

Explore The Country You Live In

When most of us think about seeing new places, we think of exotic destinations far from home. However there’s a place right under your feet, and chances are you’ve not explored the half of it. It’s much cheaper to visit the country you live in because there are no flights needed. Think of all of the different cities, countryside, beaches, lakes, rivers, tourist attractions there are to see where you live. Put it on your bucket list to visit them all, whether it’s with family, friends, a partner or just by yourself. Don’t rule it out just because you haven’t travelled thousands of miles to see it. Other tourists have, so take advantage of what you have where you live!

Seeing new places and travelling really broadens your horizons. You can meet new people and will probably develop a new outlook on life. Plus it’s fun too, and sometimes doing things just for the fun of it is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you work hard all year, a few weeks or a month of to indulge in culture, history and spectacular sights will give you a new lease of life for when you return.


Will you be travelling this year? If someone was on the fence about seeing a new place in the world this year, what would you say to them?

Post-college Travel: How Can You Afford It?

Post-college graduation is an excellent time for you to start traveling. You have a great education and the means to make some money. You might not set off on your travels right away, but maybe you’re desperate to start making some trips. The only problem is, you might not be making too much money after college. Plus, many people have mountains of debt they have to overcome. So if you want to travel after college, how can you afford it? Fortunately, you have lots of options to make travel affordable. Try some of these techniques to ensure you can see the world.


Deal with Your Student Debt

When you first leave college, one of your greatest concerns is probably your student debt. It’s hanging over your head, and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But there’s a lot of it, and you have other expenses to take care of too. How can you travel when you have so much money to repay? The first thing you should do is look into Obama student loan forgiveness. You might be able to have some or all of your debt removed so you no longer have to repay. The next thing to do is consider consolidating your loans or managing them in another way. Create a budget to ensure you’re making timely payment.

Lock Down a Job First

Going traveling straight after graduation sounds great. However, you’re unlikely to have much money. Maybe your parents will be kind enough to loan or gift you some. But once it’s run out, that’s it. Before you set off on your travels, it’s a good idea to find your first post-college job. Here’s the crucial part: you need one with good vacation time. Of course, that shouldn’t be your only criterion. But a steady income coupled with flexible vacation time will allow you to travel more.

Travel Frugally

Traveling doesn’t have to mean 5-star hotel and first class flights. You can see so much more if you’re willing to budget your travels properly. You can save by staying in hostels or even camping. You can find cheap places to eat or perhaps avoid eating out altogether. If you stay in a hostel or maybe a homestay, you can cook for yourself. Book your trips at the right times to get the best deals. Go to the right destinations too, where you can get more for your money.

Combine Work and Travel

Here’s another idea: work as you travel. You can look for work programs in various countries that allow you to experience a new country and earn money. You could work as an au pair or in hospitality. There’s seasonal work and other opportunities. You could also consider volunteering or combining travel with studying. You can get experience in the workforce while also gaining life experience. You might even learn a new language.

Traveling after college is achievable if you go about it in the right way. Consider your dreams carefully to plan them successfully.

Be Valuable!

When it comes to the subject on how valuable we are, one would think firstly on money. It is true that having an indefinite amount of money, would make you to an extend superior than anyone else, because it means that you can live comfortably, afford the little (and big!) things in life. With money one can upgrade his/her gadgets when they see fit, and spend money loosely without wondering if they they’d survive until months end.

But in reality, money is just money, and things are just things. They’d make you happy when you get them, but sooner or later it is just yet another thing you own, which you will most likely put aside when something better comes along. It is only temporary….

You cannot put a price on what truly is valuable in ourselves and our lives… For instance, the memories we make, we will cherish for the rest of our life. Loving the people close to us, will make us feel complete, and despite the fights and disagreements, we all make our peace and never put each other aside. Investing our time on this and reminiscing about this would always bring a smile to our face. So does, when helping someone in need (a random act of kindness), or a friend who is in a rough situation.

Money, and possessing lots of expensive things, is all fine and dandy, but not if you have no one to share them with because you are just focused on work or you are greedy. Nothing makes your heart happier and rich than when you matter to people, and when you are loved for who you are.

Always appreciate what you have, and don’t do anything silly to jeopardise it.
Remember, there are always people around you who want what you have.  Never take it for granted.




Appreciate the good things in life

Sometimes, when I am struggling with life or I’m just having a hard time, I try to write down what I’m going through. Other times, I try to focus my thoughts on the good things I have in life.

I will share this with you, in the hopes that you will realise that there’s more to life than bad things… Sure, we spend most of our life thinking about what went wrong, or how bad we have it… and what about that damn bad luck or bad timing? But if you fight it, good things can be achieved like…

  • Having a good relationship with your family
  • Having friends that you can count on day in, day out (I don’t have many, but that’s ok! Quality over quantity)
  • Appreciating the little thing
  • Having a job
  • Being able to afford a roof over your head and a daily meal on the table
  • Being able to pay the bills at the end of the month
  • Being your own person, even if this make others cringe… Embrace yourself!
  • Being a decent cook
  • Owning two naughty but loving cats
  • The ability to drive a car and go places (unless the roads are flooding because of heavy rain!)
  • Affording to go on holiday every once in a while
  • Making random people or strangers happy with a simple act of kindness
  • Owning your own little house
  • Being creative in my own way…. through photography
  • Being able to listen to live music and talk with people over a few drinks (Sounds simple, but some of us don’t have the privilege)
  • Volunteering in a charity shop
  • Having that one person (or more!) in your life, that will always make you smile… no matter what you are going through

Surely this is not all…. I’m only getting started 😉