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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just online looking for a forum...somewhere to get some perspective that I sorely need.

I'm familiar with Dave Ramsey's concepts and find them sensical and beneficial. I am getting married soon for the first time and so I'm excited to start my life; however, I just got a new job after having been unemployed for 3 months. I have a Phd degree and am hoping my salary increases through the years. My fiance is not as motivated to improve herself as much as I would like and sort of depends on me to make the most money, etc.

Well, long story short, we did a budget and even with our combined salaries, we're still going to be "tight"! We want to buy a house, but can't even do that! We're living in a one- bedroom apartment and we would like to get a house. Unfortunately, with all our "expenses", we're just left with not much to work with. We are including tithe, retirement, and other things that are not "bad" bills; still, we're not able to afford a home. I'm just so discouraged and angry - with myself and my fiance. I'm angry with myself because I feel like a failure. Secondly, I'm angry with my fiance because she hasn't been promoted or given a raise in two years and she's okay with that. Yet, here I am constantly trying to find ways to make more money. I'm just confused and frustrated. I don't know what to do. I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
 

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Welcome to Frugal Village.

Well, I wouldn't be too discouraged. First of all, you are not a failure, for cripes sakes you have a PhD! And second, Rome was not built in a day, give things some time.

Would you mind posting your budget? The folk here are great at finding holes and helping find that extra dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is our budget...

Rus, Here is our budget. If you can find some suggestions, please let me know....I appreciate all of your help and insight.

Bring Home Pay $4,875.41

Monthly Expenses
Tithe $490.83
Retirement $736.31
Health Insurance $239.64
Vision Insurance $12.04
Dental Insurance $28.29
Margie - Life & Disability Insurance $59.46
Tom - Life Insurance $25.00
Margie - Student Loan $50.00
Tom - Student Loan $460.75
Margie - Car $159.73
Tom - Car $245.51
Margie - Car Insurance $58.85
Tom - Car Insurance $80.61 - Credit Card $50.00
Tom - Credit Card $15.00
Phone $130.00
Gym $75.00
Cable/Internet $60.00
Tom - Storage Unit $70.00
Renter's Insurance $18.32
Electric $80.00
Water/Trash $30.00
Rent ????
Living Expenses $1,000.00

Total $4,175.34
 

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Welcome, you have definately come to the right place. Everyone here is so good at helping out with the finances. Some ideas may seem a little harsh and drastic but it is all for the best and some of what you are suggest to give up will only be for a short while. It is going to take some time to see the results. But if you continue to stay here with everyone, you will definately get the help and advise and encouragement that you need to do this. I never thought that I would ever beable to see any light at the end of the tunnel and since I joined this site, I have actually paid off 3 bills and by the end of the year I should hopefully have another 2-3 paid off. I know that they have helped me out tremendously and I am so very grateful for all the input and support this family has given. :vibes:
 

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Welcome to FV. I started here a couple of yrs ago and we have all credit cards completely paid off. Both cars are paid for and we are able to actually save some money for the first time.

I know how frustrated you must be, but you need to cut yourself some slack. At least you guys are thinking about finances early on in your relationship - unlike me and my dh. It didn't really "hit" us until we started having kids.

You may need to re-adjust your expectations and trim your budget some.

Have you looked into combining all of your insurances (life, auto, renters etc. ) with one company? You might get a break. We use Farm Bureau and haved saved quite alot.

Also, I don't see a grocery budget. That probably falls under living expenses, but you need to come up with a household/grocery budget. With two people you should NOT need $1000. You and your fiance could look here on FV in the forums for household budgeting advice. This is a great time for the both of you to learn couponing too. I spend $400/month on household/pet/food for a family of 4.

You can find alot of ways to save, some may seem very drastic at first and you may not want to even try them. But it's always worth a try and you may not have to stay with the drastic measures for long.

Good luck.
 

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Retirement $736.31 -- unless you are nearing retirement age, maybe you can reduce this a little and put it towards clearing debt and then a house

Tom - Storage Unit $70.00 -- will this expense go away after the wedding?

Rent ???? -- does rent change?

Living Expenses $1,000.00 -- what does that include?
Welcome to FV... you need to sit down with your future wife and calmly discuss your worries about the future.

If she is okay with not getting promoted, then it should be okay with you. A higher level means more stress and responsibility. Many people would rather make less and be happy then more and be miserable.

Pay off the debt, as soon as you can. Start things off with as clean of a slate as you can. Houses are nice, but knowing the bills are paid is better. Houses come in time, and they come with hidden expenses... be as prepared for them as you can.
 

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Here's my take on it - given that I don't know where you live and how old you are.

Bring Home Pay $4,875.41

Monthly Expenses
Tithe $490.83
Retirement $736.31
Health Insurance $239.64 -will that cover both of you?
Vision Insurance $12.04 - if it pays for exams and glasses/contact only dump it. You can both get exams then glasses online for less than you're paying a year.
Dental Insurance $28.29 - If you have reasonably good teeth dump it.
Margie - Life & Disability Insurance $59.46 - if the disability ins. is the one that pays you $xxx if you loose a finger dump it.
Tom - Life Insurance $25.00
>
Margie - Student Loan $50.00
Tom - Student Loan $460.75
Margie - Car $159.73
Tom - Car $245.51
< If you're familiar with DR, you know to get rid of the loans first including the CC below. AND will you really need both cars?
Margie - Car Insurance $58.85 - put both cars on the same policy. The premium should be lower.
Tom - Car Insurance $80.61 - Credit Card $50.00
Tom - Credit Card $15.00 - covered above.
Phone $130.00 - texting and internet?? Go to basic voice.
Gym $75.00 - if you can do push-ups, sit-ups and run around the block...dump the gym.
Cable/Internet $60.00
Tom - Storage Unit $70.00 - sell some stuff (and pay down some loans) & go to a smaller unit at maybe a different place.
Renter's Insurance $18.32
Electric $80.00 - not bad if you're heating/cooling with it. If you're not then maybe high for a one-bedroom apt.
Water/Trash $30.00
Rent ????
Living Expenses $1,000.00 - two can eat well on $200/ month, but you can't eat out much and have to do a lot of from-scratch cooking, take your lunch, don't buy coffee....make sure you know the difference between wants and needs...get what you need.

Total $4,175.34 - could be $2,915

Don't forget your baby emergency fund of $1000 or so to take care or the little things that get in the way of going debt free.

Get away from the idea that more money is better...the more you have the more you spend, the more you want....

It will take time to get to where you want to be. If given myself 4 years to be debt free (except for mortgage). I'm on schedule and I'm patient.

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am 33 and my fiance is 28. We are getting married in about a month or so.

As for the medical insurance, yes, it covers both of us. We both have reasonably good teeth, so we can dump the dental coverage for now. As for vision insurance, I'm not sure what is covered, but I already have glasses and she already wears contacts. So, I think it's safe to assume we can dump that too.

As far as our life insurances go, they're both for possible death. So, if one of us dies, then there's $ that the other will get.

As far as my car payment goes, I'm in the process of selling my car. If I do that, I should have about $10,000 to play with. My future sister in law suggests we use that $10k to pay off all my wife's debt, i.e., her credit card, student loan and her car. Then we should start saving for a house.

Yes, I see we need to define our grocery bill more specifically. At this point, we are including gas, entertainment, clothing and food in the $1000.

Finally, as far as insurance goes, she has Progressive and I go with Geico. We definitely need to have all our stuff with the same provider.
 

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This is my take , for what it's worth.

Bring Home Pay $4,875.41

Monthly Expenses
Tithe $490.83 People get upset when you ask them to reduce a tithe but i think this is excessive. Just my opinion
Retirement $736.31 At your age I think it's safe to consider scaling back on this. Once you get your student loans taken care of you will have freed up plenty to invest in retirement.
Health Insurance $239.64
Vision Insurance $12.04 I found mine was not worth it.
Dental Insurance $28.29 Don't let this go , you'll be sorry if you need any emergency work.
Margie - Life & Disability Insurance $59.46
Tom - Life Insurance $25.00
Margie - Student Loan $50.00
Tom - Student Loan $460.75
Margie - Car $159.73
Tom - Car $245.51
Margie - Car Insurance $58.85
Tom - Car Insurance $80.61 - Credit Card $50.00
Tom - Credit Card $15.00
Phone $130.00 Is this cell phone, home or both?
Gym $75.00How important is this too you? You could always work out at home.
Cable/Internet $60.00
Tom - Storage Unit $70.00
Renter's Insurance $18.32
Electric $80.00
Water/Trash $30.00
Rent ???? I'm not sure why you don't have a number here.
Living Expenses $1,000.00

Total $4,175.34
 

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I believe the savings are there as shown by some of the posts. What you must decide, is what are you really willing to do?

It boils down to this: If you can not increase your income, you MUST decrease the outgoing. You need to define what is a "want" and what is a "need".
 

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To be honest, I think the difficulty lies more with attitude than the cashflow. Yes, the budget can use some tweaking. Learn to live within your means- which are more than sufficient as is. I think that has been covered. Maybe it was just a moment of emotional distress, but your level of frustration over not being able to buy a house right now seems extreme. (ie: title of the thread)

I am more concerned about being angry with your fiancee and angry about not being able to buy a house ASAP. Everyone has to plan and save before buying a house, it's part of life. And as far as your fiancee goes, it seems that you two need to have a long talk about future plans, financial goals, how finances will be managed etc. Best to get those things figured out and get a plan you agree on ASAP than to worry about needing more money or buying a house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, the reason we don't have a number on "rent" is because our $603/month rent expires in about two weeks. IF we stay at this complex, our rent would go up to $845, on a month to month basis. If we sign another year, then our rent would stay near $603 or so.

The problem is, we don't want to continue to waste money on rent, in addition to houses being really chear, including low interest rates, especially her in Indiana where we live.
 

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I understand what you mean about the rent/able to buy. We are in some very favorable conditions for a home buyer and to not be able to take advantage can be a bit frustrating.
 

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I don't really see rent as a waste of money. You are paying for the roof over your head, someone else to trim the lawn, shovel the walks, fix the plumbing, etc.

You might do better keeping the lower rent and saving up for a house (sizeable down payment) so your mortgage payment is reasonable, than trying to make it happen sooner and find yourself in a situation where your goals and the wife's goals don't match up.

You two need to discuss that in depth if you have such a strong emotional response to it.
 
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I don't really see rent as a waste of money. You are paying for the roof over your head, someone else to trim the lawn, shovel the walks, fix the plumbing, etc.

You might do better keeping the lower rent and saving up for a house (sizeable down payment) so your mortgage payment is reasonable, than trying to make it happen sooner and find yourself in a situation where your goals and the wife's goals don't match up.

You two need to discuss that in depth if you have such a strong emotional response to it.
I agree with this.

I’m genuinely sorry that you are finding this so frustrating and I know it can be demoralising when you feel like you "should" be in a position to buy a house. It is tempting to feel that rent money is "wasted”, however, if you concentrate on the fact that you are paying not only for your home but also for maintenance it may help you see that your situation is not all bad.

In fact, my SO and I are planning on continuing to rent for a while even after we are married because it works much better for our budget due to the costs of maintenance/decoration/furnishing/renovation etc. incurred from buying a home. Do not despair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Has anyone gone through a PhD program? It was tough for me and now I just feel like my degree in THIS economy isn't really paying off. I know it was my decision to get an education, but coming from an extremely disadvantaged background, it was the only way I could escape that. And now, here I am not really diggin myself out of that because I feel "limited."

And I'm not angry at my fiance. I'm just questioning her motivation to improve herself and help with our situation. I understand that making more $ isn't necessarily the answer, but it WOULD help.
 

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Has anyone gone through a PhD program? It was tough for me and now I just feel like my degree in THIS economy isn't really paying off. I know it was my decision to get an education, but coming from an extremely disadvantaged background, it was the only way I could escape that. And now, here I am not really diggin myself out of that because I feel "limited."
No disrespect here - but you're making an excuse for yourself with this. Getting an education was a fine choice. Financing it, however, as you can see, maybe not so much. That's water under the bridge, now, but you need to square up with yourself honestly and not make excuses for where you are. You borrowed against your future to get a present - your present was your PhD. Your future is now - and the bill has come due. Time to pay the piper - cause if you try to prolong payment even further, you'll just make it worse later. (See Fram Oil Filter commercial -pay me now or pay me later)

And I'm not angry at my fiance. I'm just questioning her motivation to improve herself and help with our situation. I understand that making more $ isn't necessarily the answer, but it WOULD help.
Why does she need to be motivated to succeed more at her job? Maybe she likes what she's doing now. Maybe she's not interested in moving up the ladder further cause of what it entails. I mean - I have been pushed at times to go into Project Management - which is definitely more pay - and I won't touch it. Can't stand that work.
 
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