When my wife and I married, we decided that she would be the one to go to college. I had learned a trade in high school, so I was prepared to go to work. She would be heading to college for an education, so we had to figure out how we would survive on one income. We were young and in love, but had never paid bills or lived on our own. We quickly learned it was not as easy as it sounded!
We had to make sure that we cut back on all spending. We had no television or entertainment budget. We simply enjoyed each other’s company, going for walks or spending time reading. Spending money on frivolous items was not an option so we had to do what we could, for free, to entertain ourselves.
Cooking From Scratch
Along with our nonexistent entertainment budget was a minimal dining budget. We had to spend as little as possible on food for our home. We began to get very creative with meals. Stretching meat to two days instead of one helped tremendously. Purchasing staple items such as flour and sugar, then cooking from scratch, helped us to save money for every meal. We ate meagerly, but were happy to have a place of our own, hot food on the table and love for each other.
During the time my wife was in college, we had to budget our regular bills plus tuition. To have enough money, I often took side jobs. I would cut grass, clean gutters, etc to earn a little extra money to be used for her books or items we needed in the home. Finding odd jobs in our neighborhood was not too hard, so I was always able to pick up a few dollars when we needed them most.
Living below our means was a must when my wife was in college. There was absolutely no extra money so we had to spend cautiously. You never know when something may come up such as a car repair or medical need, so we decided to live below our means. We spent as little as possible to be able to have a small cushion if anything unexpected came up.
The first few years of our marriage while my wife was in college were hard but taught us a great deal about each other. We were able to beat the hard times and enjoy each other’s company along the way, with my wife now being very successful thanks to her college degree!