Post # 1
I guess I am just looking for a supportive thread for those of us who are, as the title says, underemployed and struggling. I feel like the wedding industry and even the Bee can be a huge bummer when “budget” isn’t just a euphemism anymore, but actually means that you literally struggle to pay rent and eat :/ I HATE seeing “budget” on wedding websites where they actually mean tens of thousands of dollars! I’ve never seen that kind of money in my life.
I am a first-year teacher who is working at a minimum wage job right now, partly because it’s summer and partly because the teaching job market is sh*t where I am. I have three degrees, two of them graduate degrees, and it’s hard not to feel bad about myself when I’m wiping tables and mopping. It is really hard to feel like I’m “allowed” to plan a wedding under these circumstances; I feel like a failure, i don’t feel like a real adult.
My FI is a grad student and makes as much as he can working long hours as a TA, but as I said, we are really struggling. We are planning to have a VERY small wedding only because my parents insist on helping us; otherwise we’d just be eloping at City Hall.
For some more context: I just came from a really depressing thread about wedding rings, which was full of people implying or saying outright that those who can’t afford a huge diamond are either poor savers, lazy, or don’t know how to manage money – insulting, inaccurate, and just ignorant. I am SO SICK of the answer to “how do people afford that?” being “My FI has a job and works hard. He LOVES me enough to INVEST in a great ring.” ARGH. People with privilege are so blind to it.
Aaaaand that is my rant. I’m sorry in advance if this is unpopular.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center
I am right there with you. Seriously, I feel your pain. I work a part-time job and FI has been looking for a job – the job markest is absolutely RIDICULOUS here.
“Why don’t you postpone it?” “What are you going to do about your car payment and rent and etc. and etc.?”
Maybe some people don’t realize this but you don’t have to be rich and famous to have a wedding. My grandparents and other family members are contributing so we can have a wedding and yea we’re pinching pennies where we can but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a wedding! Doesn’t mean we can just get every single thing we want either!
I’ve seen a lot of threads as what you’ve described above. It makes me feel like crap but you know what? Just because you don’t have a lot of money to throw around doesn’t mean your relationship is any less significant than anyone else’s.
Post # 4
You’re not the only one.
My husband and I are both students. I just finished my masters and the job market isn’t that great for my career. My husband’s job market is awesome, but he won’t be done for 3 years. So in the mean time we have to be very careful with our money. It hard not to feel a little down sometimes when I see my friends all buying new houses, cars, expensive clothing and other nice things. But, I know that in the long run it will be worth it for us.
Don’t give up on yourself. Try to get subbing jobs once the school year starts up again, you can do it! I know many teachers who struggled initially but eventually (maybe even after several years got the job!) land a job. It sounds like your fiance is on the path to a future career too.
Nobody thinks you’re lazy. If you’ve earned grad degress clearly you can work hard!
Post # 5
“Maybe some people don’t realize this but you don’t have to be rich and famous to have a wedding.”
YES! I would hate it if someone implied we should postpone our wedding! In a way, it’s such an elitist thing to say … because of course only people who are financially secure and established in their careers and not in debt should have the right to marry /sarcasm.
Truly, I would not mind eloping, and FI and I have talked about it many times. However, my parents, bless them, insist that we have a small wedding and that they want to help with it. They are certainly not rich by a long shot, and I feel guilty about that too. But I’m the only child of theirs who will ever get married, so… :/ But still, it really hurts me when people have made snarky comments about postponing it until we can pay for it ourselves.
Good luck to you in the job search!
Thanks for the kind words! What field do you work in, or want to?
I am actually hired as a supply teacher for September, but the catch is that I can’t even afford a car to GET to work… here comes more debt :/ Sadly FI is not in a super-employable field either. He’s only on his MSc so it will be many many years before he’ll make a decent salary as even a contract lecturer.
Our only solution is to run away to some country where they pay teachers very very well 😉
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center
@MrsSnowMountain: I’m in the same boat. I’m completely grateful that my grandparents are paying for our wedding, but can’t stand the comments I get. We’re young, we’re not rich, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings, either.
I’ll be finished with my Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts in December, then going for my Bachelor’s in English, and Master’s in Library Science. I wanted to be a teacher but librarians make more and I think it suits my personality more. 🙂
Post # 7
My FH works at Subway and I work part-time at a daycare, saving money for a car so I can drive myself to and from my student teaching in the Fall. We both live with our parents. If he can’t find a better job, we’ll be living with his dad for the first few months of our marriage.
I totally feel your pain. My parents gave us about $4k for the wedding, and that’s all we’re spending. We don’t have the money to spend anything else on it.
But, you know what? Getting married when we are was the right decision for us, and that’s all there is to it. We thought about it and talked about it a lot before we set a date. No one else can make that decision for you, and you should try (I know, it’s hard) not to let other people’s judgment affect you.
Post # 8
I’m a nanny (have been off and on for 10 years) and this is the first summer I haven’t had full time work. My bosses cut me down to about 12hrs a week. I’m frustrated and looking for temp nannying jobs since this cut lasts only until the end of August- but I really need to be making money now before I transfer to university in January.
I’m not planning on getting engaged until I’m done with my 4-year degree and want only a small ceremony or an elopement. I’m much more concerned with my future: moving overseas, attending grad school, buying property, etc.
Post # 9
I am so sorry you are experiencing a hard time in life. I must admit it drives me a little crazy, thinking about how much some people are spending on their weddings. Myself included (andy budget is modest!)
being underemployed is a really difficult thing to overcome. Good for you for having 3 degrees! Please keep on the job search and networK yourself. It can be very frustrating and tiresome to job search, as I have been looking for 7 months now and so far had 1 interview! But you obviously have a lot to offer. Remember that, keepalp plying and enjoy your wedding day. It’s a big day, but it doesn’t make or break the relationship and the other amazing moments you have ahead of you.
I find life can be like a roller coaster sometimes. There are good times ahead of you I am sure!
Post # 10
It can really get you down but know it will get better and never give up:)))
Post # 11
@MrsSnowMountain: Seriously, don’t feel bad. There are lots and lots and lots of struggling couples trying to complete life’s milestones who get how you feel. They probably don’t frequent wedding websites that discuss the worth of a sparkly stone:-) . I don’t belong here either, I’m a working stiff too, I am just plain fascinated by this crazy wedding culture stuff. Reminds me of a reality show or something:-) .
I work hard, my fiance works hard, we all work the same hours as wealthy people if we are lucky enough to get them. As a nurse, I am not valued enough to earn high wages or job security unless I am the one of 50 who gets picked. Neither are teachers, unless you’re the one out of 100 applicants that gets picked. Someone else decides what’s worth high wages and what isn’t, and it isn’t based on the ability to work hard, although most people of all incomes typically do. Lots of people relate, honestly. Lots of people celebrate life stuff their own way, and it’s fine. This wedding business only matters when people can afford for it to matter. Your wedding will be great.
Post # 12
I’m actually happy to be underemployed after being unemployed for a year. I currently work a low-wage seasonal job, but I love it and it looks great on a resume, so I hope I can get something with a decent salary, benefits, all that jazz come November. I’m 28 and I feel too old to be worrying about rent when most of my peers are homeowners.
Post # 13
I’ll join your club. I’m severely underemployed after my old company closed last year. I was underpaid then, too, but I made a little more money an hour than I do now. FI works part time retail to help pay for the wedding. All said and done, we’re looking at $10k (not including a honeymoon because we can’t afford one)–including dress, rings, etc. We paid for a good chunk of it ourselves, and I did a LOT of DIY. I have a small ring because that’s what I wanted. I didn’t read the thread you’re talking about, but those people can get fucked. I picked out my ring because I loved the setting, and it looked great on my finger, and the price was right. Those are probably the same people who think moissanite is a “diamond simulant.”
FI’s older brother had a VERY expensive wedding. His SIL’s parents gave them $10k, so they asked his parents to match that. They had two huge receptions (and they had a local wedding!) where they invited basically everyone they’d ever met because hey, they weren’t paying so who cares? They took a 10-day honeymoon to Hawaii. We saw them this past weekend and they couldn’t fathom why we aren’t taking a honeymoon. I very icily replied that we are paying for the wedding ourselves, so our budget is rather limited and FI disagreed with eloping, so all of the money was going to pay for a reception for our closest friends and family (we’re going to have probably 1/3 of the guests they did). They’re broke as shit now and they STILL don’t get it.
Post # 14
My FI and I are in the same boat. We are doing at 10K wedding and he is underemployed. I know things will get better for all of us. I am trying my best to look at the situation in this manner, it is preparing us for the hard times that may come in our marriage. I feel that if we can get through this hard time financially, we can get through anything!!!
Post # 15
I hear ya. My husband makes good money – I don’t. I have a “small” engagement ring because that’s what I wanted and I find many big rings garish. I think it says a lot about someone’s character when they ascribe all material things (having a good job, having money, getting a big ring), to being loved more, to being smarter, more deserving, or otherwise harder-working than folks who aren’t so well-endowed. I suspect that’s more of a place of insecurity – maybe they’re self-conscious about the amount they’re spending, so they attempt to justify it to others.
This board is skewed toward upwardly mobile women – often middle class and a disproportionately high number of upper class women. So, you will see more budgets in the tens of thousands for a wedding. That doesn’t mean all of us do it. The rest of us who spent considerably less just avoid those threads.
You aren’t alone. Keep pushing, and I do hope things will get better for you.
Post # 16
My husband and I got married last winter when we were both unemployed. We paid $80 to be married in the park by an officiant. My mom paid for the cake. His mom held a small reception. It was lovely. If we had waited a little bit we could have afforded to do more but I wouldn’t change anything.