Sunday, April 10, 2011

Over and Over

Reason #497 why I love my husband: "I wish I made more money to spend on you."

Money is tight in our house.  Matt works for a small engineering firm.  With the downturn in the economy, things have been tough.  They laid people off and cut back on benefits.  Matt has survivied 2 rounds of lay-offs (because he's awesome and works his tail off) and the benefits don't matter cuz we're under mine.  But they also cut salaries by 7% and cut hours to 32/week across the board.  Because of this, for the moment, I'm the higher earner in our household.  And I'm a social worker.  I don't make much. 

We do ok.  We pay our bills and our mortgage every month.  And we do manage to go out a few times a month.  And we manage to save some money.  But it is hard, and sometimes we overspend and have to buckle down to make bills.  So we often feel like we're living paycheck to paycheck. 

I know that eventually the economy will turn around and Matt's salary will go back up and he'll work full time, if not with overtime, again.  But I worry that we're both kind of financially "stuck" at our current pay grades.  As a social worker, I don't have opportunity for upward movement.  In fact, I've recently started thinking about persuing something that means more to me, like sex education for teens, but that would probably mean a pay cut, so I'm not sure I want to take that leap.  And Matt works as a CAD tech, but his degree is in kinesiology, so even if he wanted to, he couldn't be an engineer. 

I'm not gonna lie - we're worried about the future.  We make things work now, and we'd definitely be more comfortable once his hours are back and his salary is re-inflated.  But kids are expensive.  We're worried about our ability to save once we have kids.  He has a 401K and I have a 403B, and they're both doing very well, but we want to be able to give our kids the same lifestyles that we had.  Our parents were able to provide us with a very comfortable lifestyle - we had pretty much anything we wanted, we traveled a lot, we ate well, etc.  That's the lifestyle we're accustomed to and we hope to provide that for our children.  And I think we can, but we're both worried about our ability to do that and to continue to save money. 

Which brings me back to the original statement: "I wish I made more money to spend on you."  Matt said this to me last night.  I told him I don't need him to spend money on me.  I'd rather that he save it now and spend it on our kids.  Or spend it on a nice vacation.  Fancy meals don't last, but memories last a lifetime.  Seriously, how priceless is the look on a child's face when she sees Cinderella's Castle for the very first time?  I'd so much rather have that than dinner at a 4-star restaurant.  But the fact that he says that, and that he wants to spoil me, is adorable.  And I fall in love with him over and over again.  Big freakin sweetheart.

Don't most couples worry the same way?  Doesn't everyone have the same concerns?

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