Moving in and getting engaged are big steps for a couple, especially all in one week! Another big step we conquered was joining our finances. I know each couple handles their finances differently but we’ve always agreed that although we don’t have a joint banking account yet, we would pool our money together. Now, until I have a job, this is much more of a sacrifice for Matt. His salary covers all of our expenses with a small amount cushion for savings.
The common phrase “what’s mine is yours” is becoming all the more evident when we look at debt. We both have pretty hefty student loans so we have both acquired each others debts.
Here’s our debt breakdown:
My student loans: $42,937.00 Sallie Mae & $21,342.53 Chase = $64,279.53
My Chase credit card: $3,352.03
Matt’s 2 student loans: $33,534.37
Yikes! Fortunately, Matt did a great job on paying down a lot of his student loans over the past two years so this number is a lot smaller than it could be! *shudder!*
At this point, we’re paying the minimums until I get a job. It is overwhelming to say the least. Not to mention we have a wedding to plan and pay for eventually.
To stick with Matt’s income each biweekly paycheck, we pay our bills and the minimums for debt and then here’s how our finances breakdown:
Misc: $40 (shampoo, health stuff etc.)
Spending money: $100 each
When I first saw this budget I compared it to my New York financially life and thought it would be a piece of cake. Man, was I wrong! Trips to Minnesota or friends’ cabins or to his parent’s house all take a decent amount of gas. Matt likes to buy two weeks of groceries in one trip and we almost always goes over budget that way. I like to buy a few days or a week’s worth and make several small trips, depending on how much I have in that fund. Matt is used to being very comfortable financially and I don’t think he’s used to sticking to a tighter budget.
We’re still adjusting to this and sometimes it’s really difficult. Little things add up and our spending money is gone in a flash, even in an inexpensive town. I often feel bored/lonely in this small town and it’s even more difficult when we have no money left to do things to keep me entertained during my unemployed days.
My expectations were drastically different and frankly unrealistic before moving to Wisconsin. I thought I would have a job quickly and we would magically be financially comfortable. I didn’t know we would have a wedding to save for and I had NO idea how quickly we would need to start planning and paying for wedding things so far in advance! I thought that because life was cheaper here we would always spend less than we had.
Once I get a job, I know things will get slightly better financially. This isn’t to say we’ll have more money for fun stuff but at least we can start working on wedding plans, saving money, and tackling that massive debt. In the meantime, I’m trying hard to keep calm, not spend money, and job hunt my butt off.