Thursday, July 22, 2010

Money after Marriage

 Marraige Musings
By Russi Wachtel 


Money was never an issue for me. I either had it or I didn’t. Most of the time, I didn’t. Mostly because the money I made was the money I spent only moments later on something that I undoubtedly needed, like another dress to fit into my already crowded closet, or $30 underwear that made my tush feel like it was wrapped in pure silk. But, because I was single and living at home - the only bills being my cell-phone and gym - it was ok that I treated money like something I could play around with. Whether I had money or not didn’t really affect me; it just meant that I would have to wait one more week until I would get my next pay-check to buy whatever it is that I was eyeing at that moment. 

After getting married, money became a much bigger issue.
No longer, was I able to spend my hard earned cash on things that I enjoyed; instead it went straight to paying bills and buying food. With our combined income, we were able to pull in just enough to pay for the basics and put aside for later emergencies, like a busted tire or a parking ticket- which happened often! 

Suffice to say, buying underwear that costs the same as our internet bill was out of the question.

Before marriage, I had no idea what it was like to be consciences about how much I spend and on what I spend it on. So, with utility bills, insurance, rent, gas, and all other expenses that I was unaccustomed to, I felt overwhelmed and unprepared! At times, I would feel so bummed out about our unstable financial situation that I would rebel by taking money out of our emergency fund, just to buy something that I definitely did not need, in order to feel like I did when I had extra money to spend. My choice of disregard was usually a purchase of another nail polish, to go alongside the rest of them propped up on my bathroom counter as a symbol of my defiant ways. 

As months passed, our financial struggle lessened as we figured out ways to spend our money more wisely. We worked out an arrangement that allows both of us to spend some money on the extras, without feeling guilty about it. Don’t get me wrong, we still struggle to pay the bills, but how many newlyweds – scratch that, people in general - don’t?! Also, isn’t the fun in the travels rather than the destination? With our sights on a golden future we have years of travel ahead of us that includes learning better ways of working with money...or, rather, how to make money work for us.

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