by Cori Bryan
by Cori Bryan
What a great situation to be in! First of all, I want to say congratulations on being a successful couple in a difficult economy. It is important to be very thankful for the situation you and your spouse have created for yourselves. You are independently successful financially and have now joined together in holy matrimony, "for better or for worse....for richer or for poorer." As of now you are in the "richer" part of holy martrimony and the goal is to remain that way till "death do you part."
How to Stay "Richer" and Never "Poorer":
You are now dual income with no kids, but there may soon be a day where that is not the case. There are several situations that may change your status. Kids may come, one spouse may choose not to work or heaven forbid one or both of you may be laid off. The way to prepare for this time is to live in the DINK stages of your life as if you are not a dual income family. From the first day of marriage, always LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. When you decide on large purchases, try to think about what you NEED versus what you WANT and come to a middle ground based on your income. Try to make large purchases you will be able to sustain on only one income.
Living on One Income:
As everyone's goals are different, it is a necessary to sit down with your spouse and talk about what you want in the future for YOUR family. Hopefully you talked about this before you wed, but it is never too late. My husband and I are both pilots in the Air Force and we have been married for 3 and 1/2 years. We decided very early on that when we have kids we want the OPTION for myself to be a stay at home mom. Although we may both continue to work even after children arrive, we have positioned ourselves to live on only one income. This has afforded us the luxury of having options when the time comes. We purchased our house as if we were a single income family and we have made all of our large purchses based on what we could afford at the time. If we couldn't pay cash for something, that meant we could not afford it, even cars. We have also paid off all loans and our only debt is our home, which we are working hard to pay off. There is no risk associated with living a debt free life.
Times to "cheat":
Times to "cheat":
The goal is to figure out how much income the spouse planning to continue to work makes and live on their income alone. Month to month you should be able to save one spouses entire income. As there are times in every diet where you should be allowed "cheat days," the same goes with saving as DINKs. On average, live on one income, but when there is something you really want, allow yourselve to indulge on occasion. As long as you can pay cash for that item, there is no reason not to reward yourselves for your hard work. Remember why you married your spouse in the first place and support each others passions. My husband and I both find pleasure in the great outdoors and have made several purchases to support this lifestyle with some very nice outdoor gear. We love boating, competing in tritahlons, working out, rock climbing and photography and with these hobbies come expensive equipment. We feel it is important to stay healthy and believe these have been worthwhile purchases. An emphasize item however is;` we have our days in which we "cheat," but we maintain a debt free standard of living with the exception of our mortgage.
DINKs have a tough task. It is easy to live large, but you would be letting down your fellow DINKs if you do not live responsibly and set yourselves up for future success. Please do not make the rest of us look bad...we have worked hard to get here. If you remember nothing else...remember these three tips:
1. TRY TO LIVE ON ONE INCOME
2. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS...LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
3. Enjoy it while you can :)