Bank of Mom and Dad: Overspending on Smokes

Each week on SOAPnet’s new reality series Bank of Mom and Dad, a twenty-something woman who is drowning in debt must pay the ultimate price ... letting her parents move in! With the assistance of money coach Farnoosh Torabi (that's me), Mom and Dad will teach their daughter to rethink her spending habits and transform her relationship with money.

This week we met 26-year-old bride-to-be Carmela Adesso from Bayonne, N.J., who was carrying roughly $30,000 in debt due to her pricey shopping habits. More than a third of her monthly income was going towards clothes, makeup, tanning, nails and cigarettes.

All the while Carmela was aiming for an over-the-top wedding with ice sculptures, a professional orchestra and a designer gown. So how can she get out of debt and afford the wedding of her dreams? That was the challenge. Here's some of the advice.

Cut Costs Out of Your Wedding

You want to get married or weddinged? Instead of spending money on wedding favors — trinkets that’ll probably get tossed or forgotten about quickly — opt to make a donation to a charity in honor of your guests.

Share the news on a small card next to individual table settings but don’t worry about including the amount of your donation — that’s private. Spend as much you want without breaking the bank. This is where the thought counts a lot more than the dollar amount spent.

You can also create and print your own invitations and save-the-dates using helpful sites like and And instead of hiring a professional film and videographer, consider hiring a trustworthy, experienced friend (who can “gift” you his or her video or photographs) or a college student with a nice portfolio of work.

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