love in the time of scarcityPosted: June 21, 2011
when i was still single, i had a conversation with a married friend and in that conversation, i remember her saying something to the effect of: it’s so easy to save when you’re married because all expenses are shared and there are two of you working and contributing to the savings fund!
i also remember reading someone’s account of the joys of being newlywed DINKS (Double Income No Kids) and how happy and carefree their lives were.
i took these testimonials, knocked them down a peg or two, and went into married life with, to my mind, a fairly realistic anticipation of abundance. you can imagine my surprise then when, almost five months into the marriage, i realize that married life is actually *more* expensive than my newly-replaced single life.
and no, i didn’t ‘go straight from my parents’ house (or in my case, my a-ko’s house) to my husband’s’; both alvin and i had moved out of our childhood homes and have been living independently for a few years prior to being married, and since neither of us has squandered all our money and is nose-deep in debt, i’d like to think that we do have at least a working knowledge of budgeting and living within our means.
(also, my irrational fear of being hungry and homeless compels me to *savesavesave!*)
granted, my most recent past couple of independent-living years were spent in the twins’ house in constancia, where i was spoiled rotten with free utilities and, oftentimes, food, but before that, i *did* spend almost three years on my own with a proper housemate and proper rent and proper grown-up bills, so it’s not like i didn’t know what a meralco bill looks like.
i guess alvin and i just assumed that we’d continue spending the same amount we were each spending when we were single, sort of like being eternal housemates, and logically, i still think that makes sense. only somehow that logic hasn’t been translating to reality.
every month we pay for rent, groceries, electricity, water, cable and parking. on top of that, we have to allot money for day-to-day, savings and our share of alvin’s dad’s hospital bills. after the last peso has been allocated, i sometimes feel so panicked (poverty! poverty!) i start hyperventilating.
and people actually want us to start having babies! just the thought of having to budget another person into our lives makes me feel faint. gad, just typing this paragraph made me feel faint!
alvin and i laugh at how we used to never bother with taking home leftovers from parties (unless it’s something really, really good); the unspoken rule now is that whatever and whenever anyone offers, we cart those things home and hope they give us enough to last us a week!
one good thing that’s come out of this though is that in our effort to save on electricity, alvin finally got around to putting together a hanging lamp for me!