Good score on a DC place! We (my now-husband and me; back then we were just shackin' up) lived in Georgetown, in a 400-square foot basement studio apartment for $595 a month, all utils included. We considered it the best deal in Georgetown, despite the occasional cockroach :) Now, with a much larger house to clean and maintain, I sometimes long for those simple, cheap days!
@andnowlights So true! Appliances are hard - some people say only Memorial Day / Black Friday times are good to buy, but I disagree. We saved more than $400 and had free labor (a good pal) to help install everything, and didn't have to pay delivery fees because we could borrow a truck. So we went for it. I love seeing those discounts on my receipt :-)
This weekend we went to Lowe's in search of a new ceiling fan. We left with a refrigerator, dishwasher, some new lighting and three ceiling fans. Not entirely unplanned -- we knew we'd need some new big-ticket items in the kitchen and had been keeping an eye out. We happened to find the style and brand we liked on sale, and then got extra savings on top of that by asking, and by using military discount (they give one to veterans, yay). So our modest weekend of home projects turned into a $3,000+ weekend of home projects. Very happy with the outcomes though.
My husband and I have one checking account and one savings account. Both our paychecks go into the checking account. We are each paid once a month. I have a color-coded, categorized spreadsheet (categories are mortgage and utilities, savings and retirement, loan repayment, transportation, groceries and home-keeping, entertainment) that I fill out and discuss with him, and we agree on all payments and allocations and also discuss upcoming expenses or "wants." Then I move money around / pay everything. Boom. Done for the month. We do each have individual IRAs, but other than that, it's shared and it works well for us. This is due in part to the fact that he wants and trusts me to deal with the finances, and I'm the type that needs to check our daily balances, etc., while he prefers to be hands-off. We stick to the plan, and while he earns a very good living, we don't spend more than $40 or so on any personal / fun item without checking first - what the spreadsheet shows for the month, whether we have extra, etc. It worked when we were broke together and it works now, when we don't have to wonder if we have enough grocery money for the month.
@The Mole I agree wholeheartedly. Our situation works because we approach it as a team; and any time I've felt bad about my earning potential vs. my partner's, he always reminds me that it's a team approach and we're not in competition. It would be different if you / he didn't enjoy your jobs, I suppose -- we're grateful that my partner does. If there comes a point when he does not, we will address it and figure it out.
Sheesh, people - this is an honest article, cut the man some slack. I don't believe he has his head up his ass. Perhaps that's because I'm also a writer with a partner in the medical field who brings home a very nice paycheck while I bring home embarrassingly little, between writing and the occasional teaching gig. I have taken numerous jobs I've hated, for the paycheck, and held 3-4 jobs at once while my partner was pursuing his medical education and couldn't work at all. Now the balance is different. As the author stated at the end, they're figuring out how to navigate the situation. Everyone handles it differently.
@ATF Congrats! If you know a weddingy-wedding is not for you, then I'll say to you what I have said to pals in the same situation, dreading the wedding planning, financing, family drama, etc: It's not about them and what they want. It's about the two of you. Your day. Your choice. Do what will make you happy.
@garli Well, that's CA for you right? Yet still cheaper than the $20-30K we've seen friends drop on weddings. I know the super-simple approach isn't for everyone. But for where we were at in our lives, it made sense and made us happy, and it wasn't a decision based solely on the fact that we were quite poor, either. And not having a wedding hasn't made our marriage any less joyful. Five and a half years, and I have not once regretted that we simply went to the courthouse, and then went on a beautiful hike in the southwest and said our vows in hiking boots :-)
My husband and I paid $10 in Colorado at the court house, promised we weren't brother and sister, self-solemnized the marriage license, and done! Married. Zero stress. Did our families love it? No. Was it their call to make? Nope.
Congrats on the kiddo! Ours is still cooking (23 weeks), and the most economical thing I've found to do re: accumulating baby stuff is to get it USED. Craigslist, or, if you're lucky, a local community Mommy Selling/Trading Facebook thing like we have in our town. I've bought the kid pretty much all the clothing he'll need for his first year of life, along with bassinet, toys, bouncy swing/seat/whatever, from other people. Does this make me a bad mom, though he's not even out of the womb yet? Hells no! He'll thank me when he sees he has a college fund. I'm going to try to breastfeed, because formula? Ooooh, it's expensive. Just hope the boy, and the boobs, cooperate.