Oh hey, Blogtember, I think I’ll join you for a bit – if you don’t mind!
The writing prompt for today is:
Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.
One piece of advice that a friend passed along to me (that she received from her Pastor) is, as newlyweds, to live on one income.
Now before you accuse me of relaying impossible advice, think of it this way – if you were both living alone before, getting married shouldn’t really be increasing your rent or other expenses that much initially. Of course, if you were living with a ton of roommates or family members before getting hitched – this may be a bit harder to do.
Either way, I think that this is great advice, not only because I am super-frugal and love a good challenge that involves saving tons of money, but also because this can really help a (newly married) couple determine how they want to live their lives going forward, and I am all for being overly-prepared when it comes to big life decisions.
For instance, I know that in my life I’m probably going to need to decide if I’d like to be a stay-at-home mom or work full-time or part-time once (or if!) the Husband and I decide to do this procreation thing. Well, I assume that most couples go into a decision like this by trying to figure out how much they spend per month and deciding that they’ll simply make it work if the wife (or husband) wants to stay home with kids (or just because) by cutting out all of the ‘fun stuff’, whatever that may be.
However, if a couple is already living off of one income to pay the bills and is saving the other person’s paycheck (or spending it on vacations or other ‘fun stuff’ that can be easily cut out if that paycheck stops coming) then it becomes very clear whether or not a couple can survive, and maintain the desired lifestyle, with only one partner working.
Even if a couple knows that they don’t want to have kids or that both people in the relationship plan on working full time throughout their marriage – unexpected things can still happen!
Take my current non-job situation, for instance – I never expected to be laid off, but here I am… sitting at home in a bikini watching Judge Judy all afternoon (some days, at least)! Now, our current situation doesn’t stress me out (as much) because we only use the Husband’s paycheck for all of our ‘real’ expenses and my paycheck was mainly used for vacations and shopping. If we had rented our condo and bought a car depending on both of our incomes each month, me not having a job would definitely be causing me (and us!) an extreme amount of anxiety right about now!
So, the fact that we’ve saved aggressively has given us a lot of mental peace at this (rather unexpected) point in our lives.
I especially think that this is good advice for those people who aren’t fans of budgets (but really, is anyone a fan of budgeting? I think not). It’s super, super easy to have two bank accounts: one designated for each person’s paycheck, and to use one as a checking account (to pay the bills) and one as a savings account (to be used as a rainy day fund). By doing this, no one needs to keep a detailed spreadsheet of where the money is going to determine if a couple can afford a lifestyle change or pay decrease or whatever the case may be.
Bottom line (no pun intended) = when making a big decision such as:
- How much should we pay in rent/a mortgage?
- What type of car should we buy?
Try using only one person’s salary as the barometer of what you can actually afford, and make a more-conservative decision based on those numbers.
Makes sense, right?!
Do you think that you and your significant other could live off of one salary? Do you do that now?
Cheers to making (hopefully) good financial decisions!