Car Costs, Frugal Weddings and Tips

word wedding checklist note paper on pink flower background

word wedding checklist note paper on pink flower background

Whenever you set a budget, hidden or variable costs are the hard ones to factor in, and can cause havoc with your finances. Our friends at Oily Rag have sought out some tips and statistics about how you can save a few dollars when it comes to fuel prices, which can vary enormously, as well as how to have a wedding without it costing the earth.
Here are some interesting facts about motor vehicle costs as reported on

  • 52% of drivers actively monitor fuel prices.
  • 32% of drivers say they’re willing to drive further for cheaper fuel.
  • New Zealand ranks #11 for lowest fuel prices in OECD countries. More than half the pump price is tax.
  • 35% of motorists spend less than $100 a month of fuel. About half (51%) spend between $100 and $249 a month.

Frugal AC from Whakatane writes, “If you want to spend less on printer ink, check your settings and select ‘draft’ as the default. It will save a lot of ink!”

Lorraine from Hamilton has some tips for DIY shoe repairs. “Puncture holes can be sealed with a strip of duct tape inside the shoe or boot… Larger holes or tears on the upper can be repaired with a product called Shoe Goo (which is used by skateboarders who tend to wear out one shoe faster than the other) but it was originally designed for tennis shoes… Also available are DIY shoe repair kits online for other types of shoe repairs – including ladies high heals… A bicycle repair kit with rubber cement will also mend a hole in soles as a temporary patch.”

According to a recent article in the NZ Herald the high cost of housing is causing some newlyweds to be to reconsider the cost of their wedding. They are doing this by:

  • Reducing the number of guests. A venue manager said the average number of guests had declined from 120 to 80.
  • Holding the ceremony in a private home or public space (like a beach).
  • Having a DIY wedding.

GC from Christchurch says, “Look at local Council venues for the wedding – halls, gardens and council buildings. They are much more reasonably priced than particular wedding venues as they are there for the community to use and some of them are gorgeous. There is heaps of info on the Christchurch City Council website about booking council space for weddings with all costings, photos and info about the spaces and their facilities.”

Anonymous writes, “We had the best value wedding ever. We went down to the local registry office during lunchtime, paid the fee (which was about $60 at the time), read the statutory vows, and signed on the dotted line. We didn’t even have any witnesses so a couple of the court staff did that for us. That was about 20 years ago, and we are still happily married!”

Lori says, “Planning a summer wedding? I paid $100 for a second hand dress from an opportunity shop in Waikanae and customised it. No need for a $2,000 dress!”

SW has a number of excellent tips:

  • The wedding reception is usually the expensive bit because you are feeding a huge number of people. Instead of a wedding breakfast, why not invite the guests to a light afternoon tea straight after the service. You can enlist the help of friends and relies a few weeks beforehand to do some baking. Then have a very small wedding breakfast for immediate family only, either at home or at a restaurant. There are lots of cheap and fun alternatives to hiring an expensive venue and band.
  • If you are an oily ragger you can bake your own wedding cake! Hire cake tins from a bakery if you want different sized tiers.
  • Use a computer to make your own invitations. There are so many flash fonts and clip art pictures these days that it is a huge waste of money to have invites done at the printers. Deliver local invites by hand to save postage.
  • Our local Zephyr club lent us some cars and drivers, and the only payment they required was to be allowed to take photos to display at their next meeting! The same was true of the floral arrangers using free flowers from Mum’s and her friend’s gardens – and all they wanted was to be able to take photos. Speaking of photos, hire a student from a local polytech course or amateur photography club. If you’re worried about the results, hire two photography students!

We would love to hear from you with tips or questions to share with readers, so please contact us via the website at or by writing to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.

By Frank and Dr Muriel Newman. Read more here.