This blog is part of the #GradSchoolFinance series. We’ll take you through what we decided to do in our first year of living together to ensure that our ambitious savings goals were met. These are things we discovered, sometimes on the fly, which set the groundwork for our entire life and financial philosophy.
If you’ve explored the site and read About us, you’ll already know the basics about me (Cents) and Calm.
But, if you haven’t (*tsk tsk*), we’ll give you a general overview, and then we’ll lay out the groundwork for our (financial) journey together.
I met my wife in grad school in 2012. The day before grad school, in fact. I nearly ran into her while I was coming out of the same stairwell she was heading into. Less than three weeks later, we were dating.
We each had our own apartments and expenses, and merged them in 2013 when we moved in together. We quickly had to figure out our new reality.
This is important for anyone in any new or changing situation. I’d be lying if I said money was not important, especially for Millennials trekking through school and then starting careers. You have to take full stock of your situation as it changes so you can identify financial trouble areas and/or pinpoint focus areas for improvement. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, have kids, or support family members; whether you’re rich or broke, everyone needs to have a solid understanding of their financial situation. Everyone.
If you don’t, you run the chance of encountering difficulties.
For us, our difficulties were three-fold:
1) We only had our monthly TA (Teaching Assistant) stipends to live on. This isn’t a large amount by any stretch and, our housing and transport costs were substantial, and often tough to predict;
2) Calm was ill when she returned from her Master’s field work in Tanzania and had to take a semester off, which appeared to constrain our income for the first 4 months; and,
3) Our stipends only lasted 8 months, which meant we had 4 months of income – the final 4 months of the year – unaccounted for.
So what did we do?
Well, we aren’t spilling all the beans right now, because we did a fair bit and there were a lot of moving parts, as there are in any financial budgeting scenario.
In the meantime, you’ll have to subscribe (with your email in the right sidebar!) and stay tuned for the following posts:
Part 2 – Boldly Go(als for Savings)!
Part 3 – A Pricematch Made in … a Grocery Store
Part 4 – All Hail the Deep Freezer!
Part 5 – Slow Cooker, Oh Baby!
Part 6 – Being Happy Being Home
Part 7 – Trial and Error, and Water
Part 8 – The Rules of Engagement
Part 9 – Contingent-see?! It’s Damn Important.
Part 10 – Everyday I’m Hustlin’
Part 11 – Celebrate Good Times, Come On (and Then Keep Going)!