28 September 2012

Money, Money, Money!

 Or, as Mr. Howell says, in what he claims is the universal language: "Moolah, Moolah, Moolah!"

Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets that reference? I make references to Gilligan's Island all the time and sometimes I feel that no one appreciates them but me. But that's okay, I still love Gilligan's Island, even if you don't.

Ginger Grant and the Professor at a costume party.

If you've been around for a while, you know that I don't work, and that Angel's a nurse. He's also attending grad school part-time, and I attend cosmetology school. This means that there's two of us living on one income and paying school tuition for the two of us at the same time. We're committed to paying all tuition as it comes due, without taking out any loans.

We have been very blessed in our finances. I am so grateful for Angel's nursing job, and that he stuck it out through four years of college to get his degree, and that he chose such a practical major. (He says that if he wasn't going to be practical, he would have majored in philosophy. I'm so glad he's practical!) We're also blessed in that we're largely the same in our ways of thinking about money. We're both savers. We both want to live on one income later, when we have kids, and that is why Angel is going to grad school right now, because we think it'll be easier to live on one income with a whole family when it's a nurse practitioner's income rather than a nurse's income.

Since we've been married, we've always made sure to save a portion of our income to go towards future expenses. We knew that Angel would be going to grad school, so we saved for that, as well as for the house and the cars we know we'll have to buy someday.

What really helps us with being able to save what we need to and live within our means is that we both tend to have the same attitude of contentment about what we have. On our recent vacation to Minnesota, Angel and I went through an entire Ikea store, looking at all of their cool stuff, and at the end, were able to walk out saying, "I really don't think we need anything for the house, do you?"

Now, the reality is, we don't have any curtains. We don't have a table in our kitchen, which means with the tiny amount of counter space available, I'm usually unloading grocery bags from the kitchen floor. Most of the furniture in our house, in fact all of it, except for our dining room table and chairs, a coffee table, a couch, and our bed, is either borrowed or inherited, or borrowed until inherited, from my parents and grandparents. Out of the furniture we own, the only piece we bought new was our bed (which I am in love with)--everything else was from thrift stores.

But still, we can go through a huge housing goods store, and decide that there's nothing we could use.

We don't have central air-con, but we carry an oscillating fan around from room to room when the summer heat reaches nearly 100 degrees. And in winter, we heat the house to only 60 degrees and wear slippers and blankets.

I drive a 16 year old Chevy, Angel drives a 10 year old Dodge. Sure, we've been stranded on the side of the road a few times, and Angel's spent a couple days changing alternators, belts, valves, and struts. But both cars are solid, and, I hope, have quite a few years left in them. Angel does dream of a Toyota Avalon, but we'll stick to the cars we've got until they're more expensive to keep than they're worth. Honestly, I love my Chevy, and if I could, I'd drive it for the rest of my life, but I'm not sure it's got another 50 years left in it.

 I've gotten all of one manicure in my life (for my wedding!), and the last professional hair cut I got was in January. We rarely eat red meat because of the price, not because we don't like it. Many of my classmates at cosmetology school go out for lunch five days a week--I bring an apple, some veggies, and a cup of yogurt along to eat in the break room.We get broadcast tv on our handmedown television set and rabbit ears antennae, and no, we don't have Netflix either. We have cell phones instead of a home phone, because that works better for our hardly-ever-at-home lives, but we don't have texting in our phone plans because that would just mean extra money to pay every month.

We don't live as cheaply as we could, by any means. I like shoes and dresses, and Angel likes buying them for me. We both love going on dates to play mini-golf or Dance Dance Revolution. Angel really, really hates to do oil changes, so he takes the cars to the shop to get done instead of doing them himself. We don't have everything about finances figured out, and, quite frankly, the very idea of mortgages and investing scares us. But I'm so grateful for the peace that we both have about our finances. Even though some people might look at the way we live and think that we don't have very much--I'm grateful that God's given Angel and I the wisdom to know that what we have is more than enough.
Christi said...

Awww, I love this post! It's so refreshing to hear about a young married couple who are smart about their money instead of living beyond their means. Kudos to you guys!

Holly said...

Great post! And props to you for being able to go to Ikea without coming home with a car-load!!

Halie Renee said...

Ok first of all, I saw this on Facebook right before reading your blog, and thought it was so ironic! "On this day in 1964 Gilligan's Island began its 98-show run on CBS"

And second - this is something my boyfriend and I struggle with. I'm a saver, and he's definitely a spender. We actually just had a pretty difficult discussion just 2 days ago, and we couldn't really even solve anything. We're nowhere close to figuring it out, but I'm praying we can work through it better next time we talk about it...

And third - even though I'm a saver, I'm pretty sure I couldn't walk out of IKEA empty-handed. I just love cheap knick-knacks so much! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for such a practical financial post. We've been on one income for a year now and are so grateful that the Lord still provides.

k@ye said...

I can totally relate to everything you said in your post. My hubby and I have once lived in a frugal way (to the extreme, if I may exaggerate). But its the practical way to do it. We may be doing okay now but I will never be ashamed to tell the world that I prefer being practical than be lavish then end up being broke. Love your post!


April said...

Wow, it's amazing how many of those I can "ditto"! There's definitely something satisfying about living within your means, isn't there?? Even if those means are small :) thank you!

Angi said...

Great post!! It's definitely not always the easiest thing to live within your means but it's SO rewarding!!

Rachael said...

I love this! I am mostly a saver... though there are so many BIG expenses I'm working on at the moment - such as university fees every few months, and taxes because I'm self employed, and car expenses and saving for travel that will (hopefully!) happen next year as a part of my studies. Even though my bank account doesn't always look healthy, it's still good to know that (soon!) this season of my life - this *expensive* season! - will pass and there will be chance to enjoy a few niceties... like book! more.

Eesh said...

You have such a vintage beauty! I was staring at your face for 5 mins straight!

Moving along...I know what you mean; about the saving bit that is. The honey & my income isn't quite much but we make do. The bills are paid and we do have funds for some recreation but we choose wisely. This was a great post!

xx said...

what an encouraging post. i definitely know where you're coming from! it's great that you're so transparent, but even greater that you all have been able to find peace. i can relate to you all in a lot of ways like you all, we also try to find ways to still have fun without busting the wallet!

Unknown said...

This was awesome! Thanks for posting!! :)

Anonymous said...

It's awesome to hear that you and your husband are being wise in your finances. It's not easy to do, but it definitely pays off!

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Unknown said...

Ya'll look so cute - I love Gilligan's Island, too - watched it every day after school in the 70s.

Newest follower!

shesaidhesaid said...

I love this post! It is so uplifting! makes my mind run around thinking about how i should save better and in the end, you know it will pay off.I wish you both luck with school,you have gone this far, you can still keep going! BTW you would look great in the leather shorts! You are gorgeous!


Tina Byland said...

What a great post! I envy you.

Alex and I have been in deep conversation about similar things recently. We've come to the conclusion we are too "in it" (mortgage, car payments, etc) to ever cut back to just one income. He's thought about going back to school for a Doctor of Psych. degree but he'd have to go full time and... we've just realized we are too far "in it" to go that route without DRASTIC changes.

We also want to move to northern Michigan before we start a family because we believe it will be easier to live an easier life with less "wants disguised as needs". Great post!

Unknown said...

What a great post about how to responsively handle finances! So inspiring

Alina said...

I love this post! Although I'm still in school, I try to think of money in the same way.

Dominick said...

Almost all of us know very well that we can do anything if we have the money. But when we have the shortage of money at that time we can go for mortgage brokers near me whitby. Because they can help us to get the best rates mortgage loan.