Until the end of this week, we’re sharing “audition” pieces from folks interested in being new staff writers at Get Rich Slowly. Your job is to let us know what you think of each of these writers. Pay attention, give feedback, and after a couple of weeks we’ll ask which writers you prefer. This article is from Will Crosswell, who says he’s a young guy who’s made some dumb moves financially. But he wants to learn. His first audition piece was about the value of human capital.

I got married on June 16th. In the months leading up to “the big day,” our family and friends threw ten showers for us. Yes, that’s a lot. We’ve been truly blessed.

One would think that people would run out of ideas or themes by this point. Not us. No way.

If you’re one who’s planning for your big day (or have somebody close who’s doing so), check out the creative ideas we used so that we’d get things we needed, still get the things we wanted, and in the end, save some money.

Christmas Shower
At first, we weren’t sure what to think of this when we heard the idea. Then people asked us:

Do you want to have to buy Christmas decorations? Lights? Stockings? Reindeer Ears or Santa Hats?

Short answer: Nope. We sure don’t. As a first year married couple, we will be dealing with enough to just supply Christmas gifts to our loved ones, not to mention trying to make our house into a Christmas wonderland. (We love Christmas.)

Now, the dollars that we would’ve had to pay for those things can be put toward gifts to our friends and family. And this idea just doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas. You can try to have a “Holiday” shower where people get you things for Easter, St. Patty’s Day, or Valentine’s Day. While not everyone celebrates overtly with every holiday, wouldn’t you want to have that excitement for when you have kids at least? Or maybe for parties with friends and family?

This shower served a great purpose for us: We were able to get things that we know we would want, but now no longer need to budget for it later. The only discussion we’ll have to have now is whether to buy a real or fake tree? But that’s a discussion for another post and another time.

Tool Time Shower
No, no. This isn’t an occasion to invite your friends who are most like Pauly D and The Situation from Jersey Shore. But as guys, we very rarely have a “party” or “event” where it’s just us, outside of the bachelor party.

But the last thing you want to have to run to the store for is to buy a screwdriver, a hammer, or bigger items like a lawnmower or power drill. So a “sure fire” way to become the Tool Man (minus your Al Borland) is to have a tool shower thrown for you. It’s a pretty fun set up as well. All you need is a location, burgers and hot dogs, require a tool or garden utensil as entry fee, and you’ve got yourself a nice little party for your afternoon.

This type of shower will accomplish two things for you:

  • It saves you money from having to buy these things you will eventually need.
  • It makes you look like a manly man. Which as a new husband, we need all the confidence we can find, right?

Gift Card Shower
Our gift card shower was one of the last ones we received before we got married. We received the “Kitchen Shower,” “Linen Shower,” and many other usual themed showers. People were beginning to run out of ideas, so we came up with the idea for having a “Gift Card” Shower. People could save the time of having to go pick something out and leave that chore to us while still getting us something we definitely want.

After we accrued nearly $200 in Lowe’s gift cards and almost $100 in Target gift cards just to name a few, the shower was a tremendous success. So, after we’ve filled our house with the things we wanted, we have a way to repair household problems when these situations arise:

  • Broken light bulb
  • Ran out of laundry detergent
  • Need groceries
  • Cleaning products

You can use your plethora of gift cards and take care of those needs and save money for the other events in your life.

Conclusion
Using those three showers I’ve listed, let’s look at this example:

It’s Christmas time. You’re looking to set up your first set of stockings over the fireplace except…you have no stockings. You want them to be special, so you try to look at some on Amazon and find a vintage pack of three that costs about $30 with shipping.

You also need three nails (you might as well buy a pack of them), so that can run about $5.

And as you buy the nails, you remember you don’t have a hammer, so head on over and pick up one that can run up to $20.

After all the spending, hammering, and I’m sure re-hammering, you have roughly spent about $50 to set up this momentous occasion with your loved one. And the thing is, you’ve just gotten started. What could you use $50 for?

There are a lot of ways to curb costs and get some great things in celebration of your big day. What showers have you tried or attended that worked out well?

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