Tag Archives: saving money

How We Saved $50,000 as Newlyweds – Part I

27 Feb

Back in the day, when Matt and I were fresh college graduates, 24-years-old and had just said ‘I do’, I had this crazy idea that we could save a ton of money….if we just stopped spending it. It was really that simple. And photo-47this is how it all began….

When our marriage days kicked off we actually lived in two completely different cities so that I could keep working at my first little baby marketing job and save more money. Looking back, I think this was the first group decision we made to “suffer” in the short term in order to make our lives more financially secure.

So I had been living in Lexington, KY for that highly sought-after job for about four months into our marriage, and decided to move back to be with Matt in Knoxville, mainly because I liked the city a lot more and had an awesome job offer to work in the field I loved, which at the time was environmental legislation.

I closed up shop on that first job in August 2008, and off I went, newly hitched, without much of a living standard since the college dorm lifestyle was still pretty fresh in my memory. I had no far-flung notions of needing a new car or a big screen TV or, well, anything for that matter.

But the cool thing was that because Matt and I had been socking away around $1,000 a month we had started our marriage off with no debt and $10,000 to our names. We did this the same way we saved money later, which I’m going to get into more detail about in the second post. But basically, we lived on less and used the Dave Ramsey approach to saving. I had been a Ramsey fan since high school and used his energetic approach to finances to build this mindset of being proud of living below our means.

We found ways of making our cost of living as low as possible. I roomed with someone in Lexington in order to cut my apartment bill in half and Matt was sitting on this super cheap apartment bill, so together, we could save a lot of our income.

As a side note, I made $30,000 and Matt made about $20,000 working part time during that eight months leading up to our marriage. We lived on roughly 2/3 of our income. We had different banking accounts at the time but we would just chat every two weeks and then make contributions to a common savings account.

We decided together that I could just move into the small apartment Matt was living in in the Fort Sanders area (where most of the college kids live after their dorm stint is over at the University of Tennessee, where we had both gone for college). It was this beautiful old Victorian home with a gardener who managed the massive grounds. Yes, the apartments were basically falling apart, but I had also lived in the complex during my last year of college and had fallen in love with our neighbors and the area. I could run downtown and walk to work. It was perfect for the beginning of our new life together.

Plus, and this is sort of the launching pad/fact that got our whole savings craziness started, it cost a whopping $320 a month. It eventually went up to – now, hold your breath – $355 a month when the manager decided they needed to update a few things.

And that begins our almost-three-year journey to saving $50,000. As a recap of where we are in this story, we’re now married and living in the Fort. We have $10,000 and a dream of owning so much more. I’ll be back with Part 2 of the 3-part series next Thursday.

In the meantime, share your stories of being young and trying to save….or spend? ;)

P.S. Can’t get enough of Mouse In Your House? Find me over at Knoxville Moms Blog today sharing my thoughts on why Knoxville businesses need to get kid-friendly.

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