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

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 31
2666 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

Please, please, please do NOT keep the puppy! It will be a totally money pit and that is the last thing you need right now.


I don’t know all of the details of your situation but it sounds like either A. you spend too much money that wasn’t there for the wedding OR B. you spend too much money on things you don’t need.

Either is a problem and needs to be corrected. I am only 24, so I understand the just starting out phase. I don’t have a lot of money either. However, if you are not working, you can spend all day if you want to researching smart financial moves and finding a job. Even a part time or temporary job would be better than no job at all.


I think it’s easy to get swept up in debt now adays. It’s all about keeping up with the Jones’. That is no way to live life. Start by saving as much as you possibly can and work from there. It’s normal to not be in high financial standing at our age, but you also shouldn’t already have 2 maxed out credit cards. That’s a really slippery slope. Finances are a huge part of marriage and it’s really important that you sit down with your husband and make a budget and savings plan that works for you.

I hope you figure everything out. Remember that you are really young and times might be tough now, but if you’re smart and do your due diligence, you will be set in the future 🙂

Post # 32
1528 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

$300? Try $10,000.

That’s how much our new German shepherd puppy cost us within ONE MONTH of us getting him. 

Dog sitter/walker twice a day to let him out: $100 per week (5 work days) since she charges $10 per visit.  

Food/treats/toys/other supplies (such as the clean up spray to wipe up accidents in the house and paper towels galore, an electric nail trimmer, leash, brushes and dog shampoo): Didn’t keep track that well, but well over $1000. 

Vet visits and shots: $500. 

The biggest chunk was when he chewed a power strip and electrocuted himself.  We took him to a veterinary ER and he had pleural effusion and was inside an oxygen chamber for a week trying to get his oxygen sat level back up.  The vet bill at the end of it all: $6,500.

Not sure how much my husband paid for the puppy (he was a Christmas present for me), but at least a few hundred. 

So yes, within the first month of dog ownership, we dunked $10,000 into the puppy.  Since then we’ve never spent less than $100 at a time at the pet store, because the bully sticks and bones and specialty food (he has a sensitive stomach….) are expensive.

I should also point out that the previous dog my husband had, also a German shepherd, ate a WHOLE BAG of Hershey kisses and also required emergency medical intervention.  You don’t think a puppy can get into things? Think again. 


Post # 33
2575 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

When I read your title, I was already to jump in and say yes, we hit a financial hole after being married, but that was due to unforseen events like Darling Husband being out of a job for a little bit and my company’s pay being restructure.  

Going off of what you have said, it sounds like you haven’t quite grasped how to budget and live on your own, and until you do get finances under control, you can’t add any more financial burdens.  One seemingly small financial commitment, will undoubtedly, turn into a huge snowball effect…like a dog.  We have been extremely lucky that our dog has been healthy, but there have been small issues that have popped up here and there that have required the unexpected $400 vet bill.  

There’s been a lot of great advice here in this thread (some I’m going to take too), so I really encourage you while you are young to get things under control!  When I was young and right out of college, I spent spent spent, and spent some more and didn’t save for a rainy day.  And when that rainy day hit, it was a flood of epic proportions.  It’s been years and Darling Husband and I are still paying for the stupid spending of our younger years.  Take control now and make smart decisions that will set you up for the future!

Post # 34
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

What are you spending your money on that has got you in the hole?  Is it basic living expenses like rent, gas, utilities, and groceries?  Or Eating out and “luxury” spending.  How much extra do you have after paying rent and bills?  I’m sorry, but it’s not hard… stop going out to eat and drink and spending money you dont have.  One income or two, it’s the same, figure out how much money there is coming in, how much of it has to go to necessities, and then dont spend more than what is left over.  And at this point, put it toward the debt until you have a clean slate again. It’s the same as before you were married, if you were in debt then, it was because you didn’t spend more than what you brought in.  So now, the only thing that changed is you have to pay for your own living expenses, so rework the numbers to accoutn for that.

Post # 35
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I think that another thing that hurt you was that you never lived on your own.  You lived under your parents roof until you were married so you didn’t have a chance to learn to budget, pay bills, and take care of yourself.

That’s not to down you since of course you have time to grow.  However, you definitely need to take time to figure out how to live on your husband’s paycheck.  You also desperately need to find an income for yourself.  You are done with college now so what’s the hold up? 

I personally have been saving for years for my wedding.  I am a little older, 30s, but I knew that I wanted a big wedding.  I’ve been putting money away for at least a couple of years, in addition to my emergency fund, for my wedding.  However, I’m not touching that yet.  I’ve deemed to put away XX% of every check that I’ve gotten since I got married into an account that I share with my fiance.  Our parents aren’t really helping us so it’s mostly on us.  We’re going to continue growing that account during the engagement and towards the end IF I need more money, then I will go into that other savings.  If not, that’s more money we will have in the future for other things.

Post # 36
5365 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2016

I just spent $270.74 on this little guy yesterday, please wait on the puppy. 


Just remember, debt is not normal, even though over 80% of Americans have debt they can’t manage. Also, the average American pays 20-30% of take home pay on interest, this is insane!! Do not take out another loan. Get any job you can, doesn’t matter if it’s in your field, you’re not entitled to be picky right now. 

Post # 37
3046 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

pinkshoes :  From what was described, they put a decent amount of wedding expenses on credit to fund what they couldn’t afford. Then they used half their gifted wedding money for a honeymoon and the other half to only cover some of the debt they currently were in…on top of spending money on other things like the 300 dollars for the dog. I’m assuming there’s school debt since she is just it out of school.

I’m kind of curious about the OP and her husband’s ages though.

Post # 38
1450 posts
Bumble bee

r06387 :  My I suggest taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  It teaches you how to handle money. 

Post # 39
42 posts

Yeah, if you have never lived on your own before and been responsible for all of your own expenses….you really need to listen to everyone here. There are so many more expenses than what you are probably counting on in your head. It’s the unexpected, one-time expenses that come up EVERY month without fail that are hard to predict/plan for that can make all the difference.


When Darling Husband and I made our budget, we listed all of our fixed expenses (mortgage, gas/electric, car payment, phones, insurance, water/garbage, Internet, gym etc). then we estimated our variable expenses (groceries, pet/household stuff, fuel, eating out, birthdays/gifts, etc). We estimated those by going back through several months of bank statements and adding up what we’d spent in each category and then taking the average. Next, we added a line for “miscellaneous” expenses..for expenses that come up at any given time but are not regular payments or for unexpected things that happen (car registration, medical bill, car maintenance/repair, vet bill, house repair, someone’s wedding, traffic ticket, flea meds, clothing, etc etc). We started out designating $400 to this category but finally just bumped it up to $700 because we overspent there nearly every single month. That’s $700 worth of unexpected expenses nearly every month! Just keep that in mind because that is the reality. Stuff just happens. 


Also keep in mind things like medical insurance and retirement savings. These things come directly out of Darling Husband and I’s paychecks before we even get them so we don’t even count that as money we earn. But if you are not set up like that, please consider adding these important items to your budget plan.


Finally, add up all of your expenses and subtract the total from your total monthly income. Hopefully there is a little left over. Commit to putting the leftover amount into a savings account to start building up an emergency fund. An ideal emergency fund is 6 months worth of your expenses, but 3 months is the minimum. 


If there is nothing leftover or you are in the red, that’s when you’ll need to either go back and comb through all of your expenses to see where you can cut and save or figure out how to bring more money in. Cut out anything unnecessary like a gym membership or eating out. See if you can lower any bills like your car payment (sell your car and buy something cheaper?) or your phone bill (get on a combined plan with DH?), groceries (live on the basics) or even your rent (move to a cheaper place). 


Considering you have 2 maxed credit cards I think it’s pretty safe to assume that your DHs income is not enough to pay all of your expenses and probably never has been. You are also accumulating a lot of interest on those cards so you need to make it a priority to pay them off as quickly as you can. You definitely need to get a job asap. Get something crappy while you continue looking for a good job in the meantime. Do NOT get a puppy. Make today the day you start turning things around by making responsible choices. Let your decision to return the puppy even though you REALLY want it be the first of those. It will give you a boost and set you down the path of continuing to make good decisions as you start to see the profound long-term benefits of making small necessary sacrifices. You’re really at a cross roads here, and I’ve seen SO many of my peers go the other way (i.e. Get the puppy anyway and continue to turn a blind eye to their financial reality) and they are just struggling sooo much years later. With money, once you get into a hole it becomes extremely difficult to get out. It just compounds on itself. Don’t go there. When you are a few years older you will be so incredibly glad. 

Post # 40
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

soymilk :  Ohh, I read it as debt incurred just after the wedding.  So it wasn’t a financial hole dug right after getting married… the hole was being dug even for the wedding and just continued. 

Either way, the concept is really not difficult.  Don’t spend more than you make.  Unless there’s emergency medical bills or other necessities, unless you’re ok with carrying CC debt, then every spare penny should be poured into it now… not digging a deeper hole with a puppy.

Post # 41
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

ksn1219 :  the average American spends 30% of net pay on interest?! That can’t possible be right…..can it? 

Post # 42
3046 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

pinkshoes :  Completely agree. A wedding isn’t something I would ever choose to incur debt over. A civil ceremony or a backyard ceremony can be just as nice and not leave you in such a tough spot. Even then, I wouldn’t have been taking a honeymoon if we had that much debt.

It almost sounds like a situation before that was posted where the couple had to move in with family to get out of the hole which is unfortunate. However, if they cut all extra and she gets any job offered for now then I would hope they should be able to afford still living on their own and getting the debt under control as you said.

Post # 43
5106 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

LilliV :  I really don’t think that’s correct. 

Post # 44
10029 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Please, whatever you do, don’t take out more loans.

I find it hard to relate as Fiance and I have lived together for years and therefore already have our home/budget/bills in order. I was also more equipped to deal with this as I had been paying rent since I was old enough to work. Once I turned 15 my father made me get a job and contribute to bills. A lot of people didn’t agree with this but it prepared me better in life to be on my own and pay my own way when it came time because I was already used to taking half of my pay check away and putting it towards bills. I think you might have also gotten into some trouble because it seems like you didn’t hav a wedding you could afford which is why you had to pay it off with your gifts. This a good life lesson to only spend whats in your pocket, not what might be there later.

As I said, do not take out a loan. If you’re that short on cash find ways to make money. Have a garage sale, pawn something you don’t need, whatever. You aren’t magically going to be financially ahead in another month to pay back the loan (plus interest).

Finally, needless to say, I don’t think you are ready to be a responsible pet owner. Get your fiances in order first. Pets are costly! Its more than just the upkeep. And you’re getting a puppy which will be susceptible to things like Parvo in its early stages of life and that is something that is not cheap to fix. Wait on the puppy, believe me.

Post # 45
666 posts
Busy bee

You don’t need to be looking for someone to tell you this is normal because it is not normal. Yes, it happens, but it’s preventable. And right now, you need tough love.

You need to get a job ASAP, even if it is waiting tables or working for your in-laws. And then you need to make a budget. Start with your income, deduct your bills, and put the rest in savings. Unless it’s a necessary bill or food to sustain life (no Starbucks, eating out, etc.), then you don’t need it.

Don’t take out more loans. You seem to have a problem with borrowing money… it’s a vicious cycle, and it’s only going to get worse. Stop borrowing. Get a job, suck it up, and pay your debts down.

By The Way, just spent $450.00 on emergency surgery because my dog ate one of those large paperclip things. You may think you have everything you need for the dog, but there are so many unexpected things that you are not even thinking about. One day my dog was walking in the grass and decided to eat a bumble bee and turned out to be severely allergic. After a $150 vet visit plus some meds and a day off work, he was fine, but still… it was unexpected. If you have to put stuff like that on a credit card, you can’t afford the dog. Cut the $300 loss and move on. 

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