A testimony from Liz at e squared.
When my husband and I got married in 2005, he had never been in any kind of debt. He was working his way through college and paying his school bills without the use of student loans.
While he had some savings and some mutual funds, I had a small car loan, $11,000 in student loans and no savings. I sometimes joked that he brought all the assets into our marriage, while all I brought were liabilities!
We only had one car, and although I would have loved to buy a second one, we made the decision to make do with one car until we could afford to pay cash for a second car. This meant paying off the loans I currently had — which were driving my previously debt-free husband crazy! — before we could even start saving for another car. Back then, it seemed like quite an impossible goal.
How We Did It
- The first 18 months of our marriage were spent just making ends meet. My husband’s paychecks covered his school bills, and we lived on my income as a medical secretary. We lived in an old trailer, which kept our rent very low. We clipped coupons and stuck to our grocery budget. I was often motivated by my husband’s offer of a treat at Sonic if I stayed at least $5 under budget that week – that was a great incentive not to add things we didn’t really need to my shopping cart!
- After my husband graduated in May 2007 and began his career, the temptation was great to upgrade our lifestyle a bit with the added income and move into a nicer apartment. However, we stayed in our trailer and all our extra money went toward my student loans. By doing this, we were able to pay them off in less than one year!
- In August 2008, we began looking into purchasing a home. We made it our goal to keep our mortgage and other “necessity” expenses within my husband’s income, so that much of my income could be saved.
- During this entire time, we have tried to live frugally to save as much as possible. At times, this was really difficult. We often felt left out having to turn down invitations from our friends who ate out frequently. We made do with only having one car, and while I’m thankful we were able to do this, it didn’t come without frustrations.
We are both incredibly thankful for God’s grace and provision. I’ve learned much about patience, contentment and stewardship in the past five years. Although reluctant to this whole idea at first, I’m glad for the wisdom my husband had financially and so thankful to not have a car payment!
Married for five years, Eric and Liz live in Madison, WI. Eric works in retail management while Liz works from home as a medical transcriptionist and does her best to keep their blog, e squared, updated.
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