Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Two Incomes are Better than One

We are both employed! For the first time since we were dating, we are both earning money. The Man recently found work not quite full-time, and we received his first paycheck yesterday! Such a long time coming, such a very, very long time.

I've heard people complain that they're not making enough money or that they never have money left over at the end of the month--and these are childless two-income families. Having survived the last six months married on an income that would make an anorexic penny-pincher cringe, my sympathy level for their plight is, oh, about nil.

I have to admit, though, it's not like we've "suffered." Though we didn't always get to do what we wanted, we lived pretty well as poor people. We both learned useful skills, and we are quite adept at repurposing now. We entertained ourselves and each other without paying for movies, games, or expensive trips. Sure, we wanted those things (I'd be lying if I said we didn't miss them). One big lesson in learning the value of a dollar is also learning the value of time. Money comes and goes, comes and goes, but time just goes. Sometimes quickly, sometimes agonizingly slow, but it always goes.

We've also learned what "net pay" is and how little "gross pay" actually means. I can make a billion dollars a year, but if my net pay is only $15,000, the rest of it doesn't exactly matter. So next time I get a job, forget gross pay, the only number I really care about is the take-home pay. Benefits are great--and mine are good--but what good is a life insurance policy when I don't have the money to buy an apple?

We've been married over six months, and living on one meager paycheck hasn't been easy. I have to admit, though, we've never argued about money. We haven't had money to argue about! ;) Even with a small income, we've added a hefty chunk to our savings and never dipped into it to inflate our checking account. We're starting to feel proud (not prideful, just... well, satisfied) of ourselves for managing our dimes so carefully, and with a little extra income, we're rewarding ourselves ever so slightly.

Bring on the video games and craft stuff!

Oh, and a new car, a house, the end of our student loans, and kids. Bring on the choices. How we've longed for those. :)


MissKris said...

After a day like I've had today, what a WONDERFUL way to start my evening 'zen time' of 45 minutes before bedtime, ha!! Oh, Mrs. Jaggy...I'm so happy to hear this good news ~ and Dear Hubby and I have been there and done that, believe me. The lean times are hard times, but they certainly teach you a lot about yourself and a lot about the person you're married to. We've weathered bad health, loss of parents...why tough times seems to pull some people apart just amazes me. If anything, the hard times have made us even closer thru the years. Sounds like you and The Man are made of a lot of the same mettle we are. Congrats to you, and I'm sure this has helped The Man feel a WHOLE lot better about himself and life in general. Will pray it works into a full time position!!!

cm0978 said...

I have been so proud of you two. You've learned some valuable lessons at an impressionable time in your lives. You certainly realized that life is more than the money you have to spend, and that it takes very little of it to be happy with each other. Congratulations and here's to more choices!