Although we avoided debt on one income it certainly was not easy as Newlyweds. By no means would I consider my husband and I “rich”, conventionally speaking, but we have been able to stay debt free, from paying for our wedding to buying a new car.
With the exception of a mortgage, which we’re paying off at a crazy fast pace, we live debt free, on a single income. We don’t have a wallet-full of credit cards, we avoid financing anything, and we always have an emergency fund.
My husband and I are very fortunate, in that we chose to live on one income, instead of being forced into this lifestyle through job loss. My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that I would be a stay-at-home wife, and he would be the traditional bread-winner.
It was definitely difficult, a newlywed couple in their early 20’s trying to live on one income. There were times I considered getting a job, thinking how easy things would be with a second income. Eventually, I caved and took a job at a local shopping mall, getting home each night when my husband was just getting ready for bed. We might have made more money, but it wasn’t worth time away from my husband, and I quit two months later.
We’ve been married now for almost 4 years, and during that time, we’ve always had enough to pay all our bills, plus some to put in savings. Saving money as a newlywed couple on one income certainly wasn’t always easy, but we made compromises, some I’m sure people might have considered utterly unbearable! While yes, some of these methods are cringe-worthy, they allowed us to eventually live a lifestyle of financial freedom.
Ways we Save Money and Avoid Debt Til Death DO us Part
- Shopped at thrift stores. When we first got married, money was definitely a scarce commodity. So to stretch our income to its maximum, we’d shop at a local thrift store, or gently used store. One of our best finds, a brand new GE toaster oven at 1/5th the price it was being sold for at retail stores!
- Dined out during “Happy Hours”. Whenever we felt like doing a date night, something nicer than the local drive-thru, we went to restaurants that featured half-price “happy hours”. Now I’m not talking about the alcohol, although I know that’s the main purpose of a happy hour. No, we’d go only to get half-price entrées or appetizers, walking away easily under $20.00 for the two of us.
- Controlled our thermostat. We live in an area that is basically summer year-round, a “cool” day being in the 70’s. As you can imagine, our electric bill was usually pretty bad. To cut down on cooling costs, we’d constantly adjust our air conditioner to automatically shut off at night or when we weren’t home, to avoid cooling an empty apartment.
- Shared a cell phone plan with parents. I know it seems silly, but setting up my own cell phone plan would have cost 4 times more than my parents adding an extra line to their plan.
- Lived with parents for 9 months. This may seem like a drastic step, but it was, without a doubt, the sole contributor to us being able to live debt free. My parents allowed us to move into my old bedroom, something that was definitely a hard choice for a newlywed couple like ourselves. Nevertheless, those 9 months allowed us to pay for the down payment on our first house!
Maybe not all these options are available to you, but if you look closely at your situation, you might see some opportunities you didn’t realize you had. Avoiding debt as Newlyweds at all costs can set the financial platform for you and your spouse down the road.
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