(Closed) Did anyone else get into a financial hole right after you got married?

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
Member
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Please return that dog if you do not have the means to support it. Animals are large expenses and if you are in a financial hole then I would worry about you being able to afford basic care on top of unexpected care.

Post # 3
Member
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Work for your inlaws temporarily. Any extra income will help at this moment.

Dont take the dog. Yes you may lose $300 but a puppy will cost most than that over the next few months. They need shots, food, flea treatment. You’ll need to buy house training pads and possibly puppy daycare if you’re both out and it’s bladder isn’t big enough to go all day.

There are loads of online budget tools out there. Some you have to pay for (but that’s a good investment for you right now) and some you don’t. You should get one and look over it together. Be realistic about your spending and try to cut back where necessary. It might take a few budgets until you find one you like but don’t keep guessing at it.

Finances don’t just work themselves out. You need to get a handle on them, understand them and actively dig yourself out of a hole. If you bury your head in the sand it will become worse.

Post # 4
Member
382 posts
Helper bee

After we got married, Darling Husband and I moved across our country so I could start grad school. I had a scholarship that I’d start receiving until three months after classes started, and Darling Husband had no job lined up. For the first months we used all our wedding money presentd to pay for rent, services and food. We also had a cat, and this new city was very expensive. Darling Husband had to take on a job at a call center just in order for us to have some extra cash. We were also struggling with making a new budget, and so we decided to stick only to our necesities. 

By the end of the year my scholarship had arrived and Darling Husband could quit his job. We had paid all credit cards and learned to budget. The hardest thing for us was giving up our life of “luxuries”, and start eating at home. We also avoided going out unless it was to free events. We didn’t spend money on house stuff, except cleaning stuff, and had to change to some cheaper things for our cat. 

You will be fine. But if you are really struggling for money I’d recommend to take any job that pays in order to get out of debt as soon as possible. 

Post # 5
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I think it’s relatively normal to fall into a bit of a financial rut when you’re first starting out – learning how to budget and reign in your spending is a process. I know when I moved out of my parents house it was a bit of a shock at how much things actually cost day-in and day-out. I would definitely second the recommendation to return the dog if you’re struggling so much – it’s just not fair to the animal and will only increase the amount you would need to spend each month. It’s also easier to make that decision now, before you have the dog, than it would be after having her/him for a couple months and then realizing you can’t afford it. I would also recommend that you find a job, even a temporary one, to help out until things settle down a bit. If you have the option of working for your inlaws I would definitely go forward with that before taking out a loan.

Look at it this way: if you have two maxed out credit cards, the one paycheck coming in is not enough to support you both, at least not at this time. Sit down together, look at where your money is going, determine what expenses are necessary (rent, credit card payments and other bills, groceries, etc.) so you know what amount you NEED each month compared to what’s coming in, and then come up with a plan to pay off your loans. This could mean cutting out unnecessary expenditures for a while (dinners out, movies, frivolous shopping) or you taking the job at your inlaws. But the goal now would be to see what you can do with your current debt — it’s not a solution to keep digging the hole deeper by getting additional loans.

Post # 7
Member
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

But if something unexpected happens such as allergies, can you both safely say you can handle the expense? This could mean hundreds if not into thousands for blood testing, treatments, special diet foods, etc…I know a woman that had a puppy with severe food allergies and could only eat one specific special type of buffalo food which cost hundreds a bag. They spent upwards of 15k in that year on treatments and a special diet.

If it accidentally swallows something, you’re looking at surgeries to remove an obstruction which go into the thousand range. The scenarios go on. For our dog, we had the extra expenses of eye tacking and possibly could have had to look into entropion surgery.

If it has behavioral issues, will you be able to afford a behavioralist?

Just things to really think about as many dogs are dropped into shelters when unexpected situations arise.

Post # 8
Member
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

r06387 :  I understand your reluctance to give up the puppy, especially as you have the supplies but the supplies can stay in your home until you’re back on your feet and can look at another puppy. It’s the unexpected costs with a dog. My mum’s dog was 8 months old when she tore a ligament in her leg. My mum had pet insurance but she still had to shell out approx £2500 (over $3000) to pay for the operation whilst the insurance claim went through. She put that amount in her credit card (because it was clear) and paid it off when the insurance money came in but whilst it came it she had to be careful of her finances in case another big thing came up. It’s always the case that when one big thing goes wrong so do all the others, your washing machine is guaranteed to break at the same time that car insurance is due and the fridge is making a funny noise.

We don’t actually use one of the online ones, we do our own budget on excel. We draw up a list of known expenses and work out how much we’ll need for food, travel to work, what birthdays or social obligations we have and work out how much we need to save. From there we can allocate how much fun money we can spend. We review it as we go because sometimes we forget things or sometimes I can find a birthday present a month earlier so we need to re-jig. Our finances are far from perfect, we’re not quite where we want to be with our savings pile and we still have some small credit card debt but it’s a learning curve and we’re getting better as we go along. Sometimes it takes both us being good (not ordering in, not eating out). There’s times when I can’t be bothered to cook or I just want to go somewhere and Darling Husband says “we’re being good” and times when Darling Husband wants anew video game or new cycling gear and I say “we’re being good”. So you need to find free and cheap ways of having fun and both have to pull yourselves back from overspending.

Post # 9
Member
13705 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You need to get a financial planner to help you — you have made some pretty bad choices in having a wedding you couldn’t afford, maxing out credit cards, and getting a pet you can’t afford.  Now, you’re trying to take out a loan that will add to your debt?  You need to stop the debt train and start paying back what you owe, not adding to it!

I use mint to track out spending — it lays out your budgets, spending goals, and available cash (as well as illiquid assets and debt).   You can set it up to email you when you get close to or go over a budget you established.  I would highly recommend that you start using something like this (or even just old Excel if you’re comfortable with that) and get on the right track.

Please, please, please don’t take out a loan and make this even worse for yourselves.

Post # 10
Member
6272 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m chiming in on this

bad news is you’ve got some debt. Good news is it’s not masses and workable. 

DO NOT PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND THINKING IT WILL WORK ITSELF OUT. DO NOT TAKE MORE LOANS

sorry for shouting but I wish someone had told me this when I had my own place. I got in a pickle and didn’t control spending, didn’t know how to budget and it got worse over a year or two and was a mighty effort to sort out. 

My advice would be can you talk to someone professionally?  Not a debt management place that charges but a free help service. We have things like citizens advice in uk. Do you have free help like this?

meet with them. They’ll talk to your card companies and sort out a plan with them and a realistic budget for you two. If you get a job that a bonus and you’ll be able to bump up payments. You can sort this easily but only with help. 

Also, I love dogs and I can understand you’re excited but now is not the time. To start with dogs shouldn’t be left home alone all day so when you’re both working you’ll need dog sitters and walkers and that’s a cost you can’t afford now. 

 

Post # 11
Member
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

r06387 :  It’s really easy to experience financial difficulties without properly budgeting. I would say that many of us (including me) have experienced this at some point in our lives. There are plently of budgeting tools out there and fancy programs you can use, but I prefer to just write everything out. Here’s what I would do:

Write down all of your monthly expenses (including your husband’s). I think it’s easiest to start with rent, loan payments, credit cards, car payment/insurance, phone bill, cable bill..,you get my point. Then write down your secondary monthly expenses, including gas, groceries, and anything else that’s required. I wouldn’t guess on those either. I would go back and look at your statements to get a better idea of what you’re actually spending vs. what you think you’re spending. 

After you write down your expenses, subtract this from your husband’s income. That number will be the amount you have left to put into savings and spend on optional activities like going out to dinner or the movies.

I’ve been doing something similar to this for years and it works great. After my husband and I combined incomes, I took it one step further and figured out how much we were making each week and that’s how I determine how we pay our bills. So, we have our student loan payments paid at the beginning of the month (even though they’re not due until the 20th) and our mortgage is paid mid month (about 15 days early). This works for us because those are our two biggest debts and it makes more sense to spread them out.

Regarding savings, we automatically have part of our checks deposited into savings (separate from retirement), so we never even see that money as part of our monthy income.

What I’m getting at is that you have to really sit down and study your income and debts. This is the only way that you’re going to budget and get yourself out of the financial hole that your’re in. Personally, if I were you, I would focus on paying your credit cards down first before saving more. I wouldn’t take out a loan unless it’s absolutely necessary and if I were you I would get a job ASAP.

It can be difficult finding a job period, nevermind in your own field. If you are already low on cash, you should be doing everything in your power to get some kind of income- even if that means working for your inlaws or anywhere else. I have  Master’s Degree and before I was able to secure a job, I worked a daycare changing diapers for $12/hour. I needed income so I did what I needed to do.

Regarding the puppy, I would wait. You’re already in a lot of debt and while I don’t think it’s impossible to have a puppy with debt, I think you need to learn how to budget properly before you add more monthly expenses. And puppies cost more than you may think. To put it into perspective, I spent about $400 in vet vills for the first 2-3 months and this was just for normal stuff like check-ups and vaccines. Food is another $30/month. And I don’t know who is going to care for the puppy when you’re not home, but we also spend $40/week on a dog walker during the school year because my husband and I work the same hours and didn’t want to leave the dog alone for 9-10 hours/day. 

Good luck.

Post # 12
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

“Molly, you in danger girl.” – Oda Mae Brown from “Ghost”

You’re heading down a very dangerous road. Getting heavily into debt often is littered with silly justifications (“I need this …”) along the way. You and your husband are BROKE. Let’s say it again. You and your husband are BROKE and need to focus on paying this debt off and getting you working full time. It’s ok. I was broke too, but I bought things I couldn’t afford, took trips i couldn’t afford, etc, but one day, I got tired of making good money and just spinning my wheels and making payments! I clamped down on my spending in April, began Dave Ramsey’s program and will pay off just over $16,000 in debt in 7 months. My fiancé had some home repairs and one credit card and paid off $8000 in like 7 weeks. We are serious about starting our marriage off debt free with a good amount of savings. My fiancé owns several rental properties and I have a pension we will be contributing more to. Our emergency fund will be fully loaded by the time we are married and we will incur no debt from our wedding, as his parents and mine are paying for most of it. If they did not, we weren’t having one, as we can’t afford to spend $20k on one day!!! We don’t have the nicest home, but who cares? It’s good enough for us and we can afford to live off his salary alone and bank mine. This is only possible because we said enough is enough and realized while we may not have the best of everything, we aren’t debt-riddled like our friends! Once you’re able to admit hard truths to yourself, you’ll be on the road to financial peace. If you weren’t concerned about your finances, you wouldn’t ask a board on the Internet, so dont tell me it’s “not that bad.”

First and foremost, $300 is a lot less than $2000, which can be the price of owning a dog for the first two years. Take the items back, eat the $300 and don’t get the puppy. They’re expensive and what if something happens to the little thing and you have vet bills? It will go on a credit card. 

You guys have all the time in the world for a puppy!!! Get yourselves on solid financial footing! You can do it!!! You both are young and have the world ahead of you! Start your marriage off right by budgeting and sacrificing now! You’ll save yourself so much heartache and arguments in the future! Check out Dave Ramsey! He’s done the most for our relationship!! Good luck and hopefully my testimony helps! There are lots of people like us … But some of us see the light and have to learn to say no!!!! Like Dave says … “Adults do what’s responsible and saves. Children do what feels good!” It’s time to grow up and this puppy thing is the first step!!

Post # 13
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

citysparkle :  I could be mistaken, but I hear some Dave Ramsey-isms in your write up!!! 

I like the part about automatically do savings from the paycheck! I didn’t think of that!

Post # 14
Member
7453 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Please don’t take the puppy. Keep your supplies and get a dog when you can afford it. What happens if he needs emergency care? More debt? If you think that’s the answer (as opposed to waiting) then I have a feeling that taking on more and more debt is going to be your go to answer for the rest of your life.

Next, cut out anything unnecessary such as cable, data on your cell phones and eating out. Then, take a job anywhere you can find a job whether it be with your in laws or at McDonald’s (ASAP, not the end of August).

This is a hard but good lesson that you should not take on debt for items such as a wedding. I find that setting a budget really isn’t that hard but the will power to stick to the budget can be. 

Post # 15
Member
1565 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

No, no, a thousand times no to the puppy! I cannot stress this enough. You sound young and like you’re just starting to figure this stuff out so please listen to the advice from us old-sters who have wisdom and experience. That would be such an irresponsible choice to make right now. Look, part of being an independent adult and handling your sh** sometimes involves sacrificing your wants for what’s sensible. It sucks sometimes but that’s life. Owning a pet is never limited to what it costs for food and toys. My dog recently ripped his nail out while simply trying to climb the stairs and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. That necessitated a late-night visit to the emergency vet. Yup, an extra expense right there due to the late hour. One of my pet (ha!) peeves is people who take on the responsibility of owning a pet without saving money for emergencies like that. You need to have money in savings dedicated to your dog’s care before you even bring one home. Owning a pet is a responsibility, not merely something fun to do when you’re nesting with your new hubby. Think of how heartbroken and guilty you’ll feel if you have to give that puppy up a few months from now because you’re continuing to drown in debt. Or, God forbid, if the dog needs expensive surgery that you can’t afford so you have to elect to put him/her to sleep instead. My friend recently had her cat put down because he needed tests to diagnose his weight loss and lack of energy and she couldn’t afford them. 🙁 Needless to say, I’m pretty pissed off at her lack of responsibility. Get your financial situation under control first before you take on any additional financial burdens. 

I second the advice to get a copy of a Dave Ramsey book, sit down with your husband, and examine your spending so you can draw up a strict budget. And yes, get a job. Any job. Whatever job you can find, even if it’s just temporary. You can pull yourselves out of this hole but it’ll be so much easier if you start now before it gets any worse. 

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