I tell my friends from my experiences it seems once you get married, your income increases (combined) but then it just seems you never have any money! I make a pretty decent income from my job and Bo makes twice what I make as salary. I've had my job for a few years and I was even making less when I lived alone. However as a single lady, I ALWAYS had more than enough. I travelled all across Europe and Canada and North America and Africa, and ate wherever as often as I wanted and I was quite content. Same with Bo, so how come now that we're married it just seems increasingly difficult trying to save. It's easy to say rent is the culprit but honestly from calculating it this morning when I sat in bed, our rent is not even up to one third of our combined salaries! So where is it all going?!!! I'm so perplexed.
If I were to guess I'd say we travel a lot and we do eat out occasionally as a treat. Perhaps the eating out all adds up? Traveling has been one of those things that's just a bit more complicated now. Before if I wanted to travel just saved X amount and went about my business. At the very least I'd bum off of some friends or family and would only have to worry about my flight. Now, now...first we have to double the plane ticket fees, which is a lot more effort than individually just trying to save up for a trip, then we probably have to find a hotel or B&B to stay at, and then of course, when there's two, you'd of course want to sight see and do more tourist-y things because, well, because now you have a partner. So off you go to wherever and all the while, the bill is racking up! Traveling just seems to cost a LOT more as a couple. We've already taken three leisure trips out of the country this year, a really big one is coming up as one of Bo's best friends from college is getting married in Napa (this trip costs us N800,000 in flights alone!), and we usually take a New Year's trip as well. Whew! And this is not counting some little trips we hope to go on in between: Calabar, Benin Republic. Even as I type I know we're going to have to really budget before adding any other trips. Just a few hours ago, I sent a text to Bo saying, "I'd really love to go to Turkey summer next year" and he responds, "Let's Do It!" See, this is the kind of thinking that gets us into trouble!
Apart from that we're currently experiencing some challenging times in terms of professional work and it's really interesting trying to hold everything together. I've read too many times that financial worry is the number one cause of divorce so I always try and sure that no matter what we're fighting on the same side. Yesterday Bo came back from work a little beaten down mentally and I had to really really encourage him using biblical references etc. Even this morning he was just tossing and turning in bed with worry. Men are amazing creatures, they really do get caught up in being 'the provider'. It's really important to them! Sometimes when other women talk about how much we sacrifice in a marriage I always make sure to point out that men go through very tough times as a result of being married as well. It's like they just naturally carry everything, everyone's worries, and place it firmly on their shoulders. It can't be easy. I think we're doing fine and I assure him of this all the time but he still feels this strong need to give me "the life of my dreams" as he says. There's no matter what a woman will say I think a man would still feel this way. A friend of mine who's been married for over 6 years put it this way to me, "It's not easy to bear that name husband."
Comments: I really appreciate the comments on my last post. One or two people said they thought we were basically planners on crack, lol. This is entirely possible I have to admit. I even discussed it with Bo and asked how he felt about that. I think bottom-line is, and I've mentioned on this blog before, I think we both actually are not terribly baby-crazy people so we approach having and raising children from a more pragmatic rather than an emotional point of view. Rather than just thinking we should have babies now, we're thinking "what kind of life do we want to create for our kids?" "What kind of environment do we want them to grow up in" Which may or may not be good approach but we're both are very much on the same page and I'm confident we will do what we think is best for us, and as always prayerfully consider what we think are the options in front of us.
Secondly, I'm amazed that it seems many people don't plan their families! I'm actually becoming more and more shocked about this. I'm not saying that is a bad thing but it just never occured to me that we wouldn't plan our families as best as we could! Once those babies come, they kind of have a way of controlling everything, at least for the first few years, surely, it's best to lay some plans and agree on the framework before building? Am I alone here? As an analogy and only an analogy, if you were building a house, you don't just say, right, I want a house, I've found the spot, "pour on the cement baby!" First, you draw up a blueprint, have it tweaked and approved by the team who would build the house to make sure it's structurally feasible, build a foundation, and so on, before you start. Because once they start pouring on the cement, it gets harder AND costlier, to say to everyone on the build site, "WAIT A MINUTE!" :-)
Lastly, I'm still looking for the blog I mentioned at the bottom of the last post. Please if anyone can help direct me to it, I'd be mighty grateful.