Get married without breaking the bank

Ruth Jackson has a few simple ways to cut the cost of your wedding without ruining your big day. Plus five other tips to save you money.

Weddings can be expensive but they don't have to be. There are loads of simple ways to cut costs without ruining your big day, says Tessa Williams in The Sunday Telegraph. Cut the cost of your cake with a Marks & Spencer's Romantic Pearl wedding cake with white icing. It's available in chocolate, fruit or Madeira, and costs from £35 a tier. Customise it by asking your florist to provide flowers to go between the tiers, says Williams.

You can save on invitation costs by making your own using a design you can download free from Wedding-invitation-ideas.com and printing it on fancy postcards from Moo.com. As for the photos, these days you can cut the costs by hiring a professional but only paying for digital rights. Then you get a CD and make the wedding album yourself.

Cheap car deals

If you are planning to buy a new or used car, visit specialist websites, such as Broadspeed.com or Honestjohn.co.uk to find the lowest prices, says The Guardian. Buyacar.co.uk has great deals on the Vauxhall Insignia, with £4,367 off the retail price even though the car isn't even on sale in the UK until January 2009. Drivethedeal.com has good deals on Volvos. For used cars check Autoquake.com, which lists second-hand car offers around Britain.

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Remove your roof rack

If you aren't using your roof rack or bicycle carriers then take them off your car, says Lauren Thompson in The Times. They create extra wind resistance and weigh you down, increasing fuel consumption.

Get an energy audit

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will audit your home by asking you questions online or over the phone, then offer you free advice on how you can save energy and money. Visit Energysavingtrust.org.uk, or call 0800-512012.

Profit from your pictures

If you can take a good photo, you can earn money by offering them to Alamy.com, an agency that supplies photos to newspapers and magazines. The site welcomes photos from amateurs, says Ali Hussain in The Sunday Times. Earnings vary, but can be into the thousands.

Sell your CDs

Musicmagpie.com pays between 25p and £3 for your old CDs, says Hussain. Go to the site, type in the barcode and find out what your CDs are worth.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.