On the day my partner and I got married, I didn’t promise him much. Life is long. Uncertainty is its only certainty.
For poorer? In sickness? Forsaking all others? Until death?
I have questions. Why are we poor? Are we poor because capitalism sucks and robots took our jobs? Or poor because one of us hid a gambling addiction, and poured our life savings down a slot machine somewhere in Hollywood, Florida? Because those are pretty different things!
What sickness? All others? Because if I get a neurodegenerative disease, and I lose every memory of you, but you stay by my side, and the kind nurse (who has been with a long string of undeserving guys and who’s super pretty but doesn’t know she’s pretty) leans over to check my vitals, and compliments you on your unfaltering loyalty to me, and then your eyes meet, I do want you to kiss her. Details from my upcoming self-published romance novel to follow.
When comes the death? Who dies first? How different will we be? What kind of world will we live in? What will it cost me to keep these promises?
Obviously there is a pleasant future we’re aiming for where none of these mundane trials become marriage-ending events. But I am a realist. Life can change people, sometimes beyond recognition. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. So I would never promise to stay married to someone no matter what. And I would never expect a pledge from a partner that I myself am unwilling to give.
In the end, what we promised each other was this: “I will always enable your happiness.”
If we were happy together: mazel tov. If we were happy apart: so it goes.
That was a promise I knew I could keep. And it was the only one I wanted in return.
But I did make one other promise that day, this time to his parents. I took them by their shoulders, looked them square in the eyes, and gave them this pledge:
“I will take care of your son. You never need to worry about him ever again.”
Mr. Kitty at $20,000
When we met, Mr. Kitty was an actor. He made about $20,000 every year; he had no health insurance; and nothing by way of retirement or savings. I didn’t need his parents to tell me that they fretted about their son’s long-term financial stability. He is the middle of three sons, all of whom studied the arts in school. Of course they worried about him. They worried about all of them.
But now their tender, idealistic, conciliatory INFP son was safely delivered into the hands of a savagely ambitious ENTJ. The division of labor in our household was clear. He would love me by giving me patience and kindness. I would love him by giving him confidence and direction.
Oh! And money. Lots and lots of money.
We’ve talked about which personality types tend to make the most and the least money. My personality is statistically the former. Mr. Kitty’s is the latter.
I love making money. And I’m good at it. In our partnership up to that point, making money was My Thing. By the time we got married, I was making 2.5 times the money he was, in a career with much more growth potential. I’d paid off my student loans early and weaseled him onto my insurance. (Thanks, bigots, for opposing gay marriage and creating that convenient domestic partnership loophole. You facilitated our sinful cohabitation splendidly!)
But I didn’t just make the money for him—I showed him exactly how I did it. I let him into my sundry schemes, stratagems, pivots, ploys, plots, gambits, maneuvers, deflections, and contingencies. (Relevant article incoming.) I showed him the ways that confidence could inspire others to take a chance and bet on me.
We cross-trained in each other’s strengths. And we began to grow.
Mr. Kitty at $0
Six months into our marriage, I finally surpassed a $75,000 individual income. That’s the first time we had a Big Talk about our financial future.
(Why is that number significant? It’s the Mo Money Less Problems Axiom. Research shows that money does buy happiness, but only up to this $75,000 point. After that, additional income’s ability to improve quality of life flattens out—the Mo Money Mo Problems Inversion.)
We made a list of what we wanted to do in our lives. “What would you regret not doing on your deathbed” was, I think, the morbid-ass way I put it.
The first thing my husband put on that list was “make a video game.” This surprised me not at all.
There were other things: countries to visit, things to learn. But I noted that nothing on his list had anything to do with acting.
“If I made enough money to support both of us,” I ventured, “would you quit your job, change careers, and make video games instead?”
It was a surprisingly hard question for him to answer. Perfect opportunities aren’t often handed to us, like a ripe peach in the leather-gloved hand of Jareth the Goblin King.
“I don’t want to take advantage of you,” he said.
“I don’t want you to die with your music still inside of you,” I countered.
We struck an agreement. We saved toward a house; I continued to grow my income; and finally, it was time. Mr. Kitty winded down at his old job and began to teach himself how to program.
Mr. Kitty at $60,000
For about a year, Mr. Kitty was a full-time student. He made a few apps—simple things, like a shared grocery list that we could each edit. He learned by doing. It was pretty incredible to watch.
But when he had the skills to finally start a big project, his progress was glacial. Given a list of things to do, he kept gravitating to nonessential things, and letting them expand to consume his day.
“What’d you do today?” I remember asking him once.
He paused. “What did I do today…?” We looked at each other, and I think the moment chilled both of us.
Not too long after this, he decided to reenter the workforce.
Part of that decision was practical. Programming skills aside, processes and general best practices were a known-unknown. “I wanted to learn how a team worked, so that I could understand how I was a team,” he explained. “Who am I missing, and how do I make that okay?” He wanted more teachers, mentors, and creative professionals he could turn to for feedback, problem-solving, and inspiration.
Part of the decision was more ephemeral. “When it’s hard to find intrinsic motivation, it’s helpful to follow the rhythms of extrinsic motivation by going to work,” he said.
He also felt guilty. Making neither fast progress toward his goals nor contributing to the household was a strain. Providing is a very gendered expectation. He wanted to help me because I deserved help, but also because there’s much more social pressure on men who choose to stay at home. (A great example of how sexism damages all genders—and a topic I definitely plan to write more about in the future.)
He started interviewing for jobs. It took a long time for him to find a startup that was willing to take a chance on him: he had the skills, but not the resume. The pay, relative to the role in an expensive major American city, was pretty bad.
But it was still three times what he was making when we first met.
Mr. Kitty at $160,000
After a year at the startup, he began looking elsewhere. It was pretty much part of the plan that he wouldn’t stay. He was the only married man on the team. His coworkers liked to casually schedule team meetings for 7 p.m. on a weeknight because they were all recent-grad night owls who hadn’t discovered self care or boundaries. It wasn’t a long-term fit.
Now that he had relevant experience on his resume, recruiters had an easier time discovering and selling him.
But he still had a really rough time of it. One company spent more than a dozen hours interviewing and testing him, only to pull out at the last minute. “Your answers were right,” the recruiter explained, “but they didn’t think you said them confidently enough.” That’s a bitter pill to swallow when you’re self-taught. You have the right skills now—but you’re still the wrong kind of person!
But he persevered, and eventually, he was offered a new role.
A company working on digital medical aids (for people with the same disease Mr. Kitty’s father has) wanted him to help them. And they wanted to give him $160,000 a year for it.
He’s been at this new job for a few months. He loves it. And he’s made more progress on his personal game while employed versus not-employed.
“Seeing other people doing it helped me get started. Like, ‘Oh! There are some tricks I can learn—but there is no manual.’ So I should just start pushing buttons and see what happens.”
In eighteen months, my partner went from making nothing to making more money than we previously made combined.
And let me tell you, that’s a pretty strange feeling.
Both of us at $260,000
Alright, alright, that’s enough about him. What about meeeeeeee? I have a lot of feelings on this subject. Most of them are only semiprocessed.
I’m so fucking proud of him.
It goes without saying, even though I just said it.
They say that women are better at negotiating if they imagine they are negotiating on behalf of a loved one. I use this trick religiously, and Mr. Kitty has always been the person living behind my demands for more. I’ve always thought of him as smarter, more shrewd, more hardworking, and more capable than anyone has given him credit for. I’ve always wanted him to get the recognition and validation he deserves.
He put himself out there, accepting rejection after rejection gracefully. (This, by the way, is an actor skill—one of many he’s carried through into his new career.) He persevered without sulking or souring or turning the negativity inward. I couldn’t have done the same.
My husband isn’t naturally confident. Though highly skilled, he is perpetually humble and a very poor salesman of himself. He didn’t know the right language to use to sound credible, or the right arguments to use to ask for more.
Thankfully those crucial skills were all in my wheelhouse!
Teamwork made the dream work. And it didn’t matter that we were married—it mattered that we were friends who weren’t exactly like each other. I do the same thing for so many other people. If you printed out my text history with all of my friends, it could be published without edits as a six-column treatise called Sending Your Boss to Hell: Instructions, Directions, and Helpful Diagrams.
Even my friends (like Piggy!) who are extremely experienced and capable still seek out my advice. It makes me feel like I’m using my god-given skills to help people. That’s a rare and special feeling.
At the same time, making money was something I brought to the table in my relationship. Sure, I’m a disgusting troll who stained our brand new pillowcases with acne medication I knew I should’ve washed off before bed… but at least I’m Midas!
There’s a certain level of power and psychological safety inherent in having skills your partner doesn’t. I’m not sure I was aware of that until I lost it.
If I were garbage, I’d probably cope with this sudden power change by undercutting his success, reminding him how much of it he owes to me. Or maybe I’d let his success tank my self-esteem, then blame him for my sadness. Thankfully I’m not garbage—at least not in those ways. Guys, they were brand new pillowcases.
But it’s a good lesson to learn. Sometimes the earner gets laid off. Sometimes the physically strong one gets sick. As I said at the top, life is full of reversals. This is a happy one, though it still unsettles me.
If you’d told me at my wedding four years ago that Mr. Kitty would be making six figures, I would’ve known that you were The Thing as surely as if your blood leapt away from a heated wire.
If you told me that our household income would be a quarter million dollars in a few years, I would’ve naturally assumed you were Black Phillip, trying to ply me with riches and/or the taste of butter.
Like. LIKE. What? Lol okay. Sure.
A few days ago, Mr. Kitty brought home some leftover birthday cupcakes from work. “I didn’t have any tupperware on me, so I wrapped them in napkins and put them in my computer bag.” Um, do I need to tell you what they looked like when he unpacked them? They were squashed to high hell, with frosting smeared onto napkin, crumbs everywhere. I regret to report they were not even good: kinda dry and not as flavorful as they could’ve been.
YES, WE STILL ATE THEM. No matter how much money we make, we will still crunch our way through day-old bread and attack free food like ravening wolves. It’s really hard to train yourself out of a scarcity mindset.
With this development, it’s hard to imagine that money troubles will ever darken our skies again.
We’re throwing this windfall income into our mortgage. We should be paid off within two years. A day is coming when we won’t have to pay anyone just to have a house over our heads. (Don’t @ me ‘bout property taxes, libertarians.) And that will completely transform our lives.
Among millennials, I’m in the top 3% of earners. Mr. Kitty is in the top 1%.
The math really couldn’t be clearer that we’re among the most fortunate people alive.
Okay, okay, we’re not really what people think of when they say “the one percent.” Our money is not Jeff Bezos money. As of publication, nobody has petitioned me to singlehandedly fix Flint’s water crisis. (The comments section is open!)
But suddenly we can comfortably afford a yearly vacation. We can travel. We can own our home outright on a schedule that works for us. There’s no normal-person hobby that’s too expensive to pursue. (Like, no to classic car collecting, yes to basically everything else.)
If we wanted to, we could afford labor-saving, life-improving luxuries like a house cleaner, or a laundry service, or a lawn mower, or meal deliveries. We have the choice to prioritize our labor, and opt-in or out of many of the day-to-day tasks that bind human beings.
If we wanted one, we could afford a child.
I can tip 25% on everything and it feels fucking awesome. I don’t have to sweat when someone asks me to throw $10 towards their lovely charitable endeavor.
The amount of energy I spend worrying that an unforeseen diagnosis or disaster will ruin my family has ticked down to 0.002%.
And I’m so fucking mad because this is probably exactly what middle class life in America is supposed to feel like. The gap between rich and poor has grown terrifyingly vast. My partner and I shouldn’t be in the single-digit percent. We should be like, I don’t know—the low thirties??
I’m not enough of an idealist to think I will live to see a society where everyone can afford everything they want. But “phew, medical bills probably can’t bankrupt me now!” is a bar so low that even Hermes cannot limbo under it.
According to all those episodes of Mad Men I watched, there was a time when a single working income could bring home enough to afford a nice house, two cars, two kids, a wife’s cigarette and/or diet pill habit, seven martinis a day, six pot roasts a week, and the odd Hawaiian vacation. How do we get back to that??
I mean, not all of that—honestly, just the robust compensation packages and flattering dress silhouettes.
Me: i hate systemic inequality, and i need someone to blame for it
Doctor: why don’t you try blaming the 1%
Me: BUT DOCTOR I AM PAGLIACHI
My biggest fear in sharing this information is that I will turn off our readers. Specifically, our poorest readers.
To clarify: the people we write this blog for are the people who need help the most. People who don’t have stable, smart, honest big sisses outside of the internet. We get messages from people who are young, vulnerable, and alone, stuck in really difficult situations. Their problems break our hearts, and their progress updates make us Snoopy Dance.
If I ever start writing about how hard it is to get the caviar off the top shelf at Whole Foods, I charge you all to distribute torches and pitch forks quickly and equitably.
But, hey. I wanna be honest too.
I’m rich af, and I’m still figuring that shit out.
My #1 most hated piece of financial advice… the advice that makes me want to eat my own ears clean off the sides of my head… is this skanky, moldy chestnut: “If I can do it, anyone can!”
I not only disagree—I’ve dedicated significant time to dismantling and refuting it.
What my partner’s journey has shown me is that love changes the odds. (Oh, did you think that was corny? Strap in, weak sauce, It’s gonna get worse.)
Not romantic love, not waifu love, but the mutual respect and admiration shared between people who aren’t like each other at all. The altruistic love that inspires us to have another person’s back, and be kind and generous, without expectation of immediate in-kind returns.
What Mr. Kitty gives to me, I cannot give back to him. Something deep inside of him puts out love and patience like a flame puts out heat. He works tirelessly, listens closely, and anticipates my needs with the swiftness and invisibility of a Buckingham Palace butler. He radiates like the sun. And I, like the moon, reflect back as best I can (which is to say, medium).
But I am very good at other things. Different things. Less like a noble prince, and more like a clever swamp hag. In my hands, a business email’s cc field is as explosive a potential weapon as any rocket launcher!
When we work together, and listen to each other’s stories, and lend each other complementary strengths, and share hard-won wisdom generously, we can compound the results of those individual efforts many times over. Working together, we are much greater than the sum of our individual parts.
Maybe you’re not great at every aspect of Being An Adult. Maybe you need help with money, or career stuff, or snarky step-by-step instructions on how to run a fucking dishwasher. That’s okay! That’s exactly why we’re here. What knowledge we have is yours.
By our powers combined, we can become something entirely new. We will grow stronger, surer, more successful, and more capable of navigating this uncertain world together.
(Also, quick question: was that a Captain Planet reference or a Steven Universe reference? Answer: yes. Our demographic straddling is peerless.)
What are the strengths that you share with the people you love? Please tell us about ‘em in the comments below! And a very special thank you to my partner, Mr. Kitty, who lets me write articles about his life and stayed up until 2 a.m. last night consoling me in my hour of need. (The hour they aired that last episode of Game of Thrones, hey-o! Topical humor! JK no spoilers.)
27 thoughts to “I Was Happy to Marry a Poor Man. Then Things Changed.”
Thank you for this post! My husband and I got married in January, and we’re poor – the two of us together made $17k last year. Reading this gave me hope that maybe we won’t be this poor forever. We’re young – 22 and 24 – and maybe things will change and we’ll make enough money to move out of his parents’ house. Thank you for sharing your journey and all the advice you give, I appreciate it so much.
Did it work out though?
Well, that article ended in a completely different way than I’d expected, and I’m so happy about that! You’re absolutely right — everyone is good at a different part of The Adult, and that’s okay. All together, we make one perfect adult!
My skill that’s possibly most useful to my friends is that I spent a year working for recruitment companies. I read ENDLESS CVs, sat on interviews, heard unfiltered feedback from employers. I don’t know enough about it to be a foolproof wizard wonder, but I can still fix up a CV, and I often do. I don’t want my friends to get overlooked. I don’t want them to attract employers they’d be miserable with. I don’t want them to miss out because they don’t know simple a few simple things (like, the fact that, while a CV is a formal document, if your language is too formal, you sound awful and fake).
I am also (much like your husband!) a horrible sales person. I need pep talks and kicks on the butt to not undervalue myself. To, say, not go for lowest paying jobs because I think I’d never get the better-paying ones. If I have a fairly decent income for where I live now, that’s partly thanks to my friends who hissed at me every time I as much as thought about applying for something below a certain salary.
I’ve never commented before, but I wanted to speak to your fear that this will push poorer readers (cough, like me) away. Personally I’m super encouraged hearing this. It tells me maybe I can do it too. It’s why I like this blog: you guys have tried the methods and can definitively speak to what works and what doesn’t. I really appreciate that.
Thank you for all you do.
You and Piggy are such a delight to read! Honestly…I laugh right out loud and that is not an easy feat!
I have my dude, Mr. “Foot Doc”, and I swear he is a distant relative of Mr. Kitty…right down to the Myers-Briggs! I, too, love him to death for being all of the things that I am not and as long as I remain the one in control of the family financial destiny, all should be right with the world!
Thanks for keeping it so real!
It’s kind of crazy but you sound like a younger better version of me and Mr. Waffle. Our numbers aren’t as high and we’re older but we took a similar journey over the last 17 years. Mr. Waffle is also an actor who, when we met, paid his bills by making and selling espresso drink. Luckily he worked for a corporate overlord so had health insurance that I signed myself up for under their domestic partnership loophole because although I had the fancy college liberal arts degree I was working multiple different jobs for non-profits which did earn me decent money but no insurance. I had all the potential for growth and after a few years I landed that full time with benefits and 401k matching job and for many years I made the greater amount of money for our household. One year, after we had purchased a house he lived in a different state for 6 months for better casting opportunities because he was almost 30 and wanted to make sure he wasn’t giving up on his dreams of making money as an actor (he was doing lots of unpaid theatre at the time but jobs that paid money were hard to find). I said okay, you go to the golden state and find out if this is what you want, but you do still have to make coffee because we have a mortgage now. He discovered that he still loves acting but does not want “to be famous” and the shallow cut-throat world of casting agents that only cast people who pay for their acting classes wasn’t for him.
I continued at my job for the man and got decent pay increases and contributed to my 401k and Mr. W came home and continued to make coffee and then was promoted to manager and with it came a salary that equaled mine and I thought, “we are set.” After some internal political issues at my work I even decided to take a 20% pay cut and go back to the non-profit world but Mr. W started to think about what it would feel like to still be slinging coffee as he neared his mid 30s and started looking for something that could be a “career.” Much discussions and jobs that involved carrying a firearm were vetoed (by me) and he decided to go to school to become an EMT. To qualify for the certification he had to do a ride-along and that let him to deciding to become a volunteer firefighter – still making coffee during the day.
If we skip ahead a few years he is now a “professional” firefighter EMT (that’s what they call the guys who get paid) for a local municipality and his pay is more than double mine. He has told me multiple times that now that he makes enough money that i should pursue that job that I want that might only be part-time (because they can’t afford to pay for full-time employees) but I’m still too scared to take the leap. Unfortunately it also turns out that the culture of firefighters is full of toxic masculinity and white privilege which is not making his new “career” the most welcoming place. Most of the guys care more about being a hero and buying expensive things and keeping their wives in diamonds and less about caring for their patients (did you know that 80%+ of the calls that firefighters respond to are medical?)
So after all the turns of our different jobs and who had the “breadwinner” paycheck, the gift that I can give back to Mr. Waffle is my superior robot analytics whereby I crunched our numbers and figured out that I can take all of that sweet toxic “hero” money and built an investment portfolio that can sustain us in just a few more years. Then he can go back to theatre acting and maybe even get roles that pay money as we won’t be depending on the irregular and low pay to cover our bills. I can also leave my job for the man and figure out the life that I was always afraid to pursue because I was too afraid that I wouldn’t have enough money to pay my rent.
I’m embarrassed when I realize that we’re technically “upper class” in our city but it’s all still new for us and I’m not going to take it for granted. And I’m still just as happy as when we were poor because even though we still live pretty much the same life, we don’t have to worry about not having enough and that’s the definition of rich, right?
We’re in a similar place, though we’re Gen X, not millennials and my DH doesn’t make quite what yours does (but he gets to telecommute from a place that isn’t a city, so he’s willing to take the paycut).
We have an “obnoxious” tag that chronicles all the weirdness that is going from lower middle class to more than upper-middle-class. It’s definitely a trip. (And, to quote Mae West, “Rich is better!”)
I did a poll and about 8% of our readers who answered the poll hate the obnoxious money posts. A few of the comments under “other” noted jealousy and depression. (Hey, I just noticed one of the comments, “as a six-figure bitch with a history of frugality they validate my experience” — is that one of you?)
Thanks so much for this. I’m very newly part of a DINK household with numbers like yours and still coming to terms with what that means for me, identity-wise. I grew up poor. Like food pantry poor, and it was only through the generosity of people who were not my parents bestowing some social and cultural capital (and capital capital) upon me that I wound up having the chances I’ve had to eat where I am. I’m thankful for the good fortune and the privilege and the stability that I have, but I will also say that there is loss that comes with class climbing, whether it’s loss of people, identity, or sense of home. And when you are on your way up you don’t realize that it’s also a kind of displacement. Being poor, and being a poor academic with a language and an analysis of what that means, has been so much of my identity that I haven’t figure out what to replace it with. I guess it just gives me more time to fight the good fight and Ben a better class warrior;)
We have a similar set-up!
PiC is a radiantly good person and wasn’t poor when we got together but he was distinctly lacking in saving and growing money skills.
I was poor AF from spending all my money paying off my parents’ debt and supporting them, but I was BURSTING with the money acumen. And I form the head!
Wait, no, wrong slogan. We supported each other through so many personal obstacles, and pushed our professional growth, dedicated to helping each other deal with our challenges. Many years later, we have built a solid foundation that I only dreamed of like a delirious person yearning for riches back in 2005. And I think we can go higher, further, faster!
pretty rude of you to not be paying ALL OF MY BILLS.
i’m kidding, obviously. but am i? (yes)
genuinely, though, i’m happy for you! to be honest, like some of the other commenters, it makes me hopeful. i’m currently unemployed (mostly due to being seventeen and no job that i would be able to do accepting seventeen year olds), and my mom is the only earner in the house currently. she just got hired on at the place she was temping, which will help because of PTO (i have a lot of therapist & psychiatrist & internal medicine appointments) and health insurance that people actually fucking take (see previous), but she’s making only a dollar an hour more. which sucks.
but, this helps me realize that once i can get a job (which may just have to be in g-d damn food service even though i swore i would never work in g-d damn food service), it’s not going to stay as bad as it is. maybe it won’t be kitty & mr. kitty not as bad as it is, but it’ll be, like, can go to mcdonald’s again not as bad.
also even if i don’t get a job we’re not gonna be paying $50 a week for therapy anymore so (drowns in cash)
The scarcity mindset is real! Free food/drinks are a guarantee that I will make it to whatever event you would like me to attend. My husband similarly passed me up in income just last month after his career shifted from advertising with his Mass Communications degree to becoming a self-taught web developer. I’m glad to see the rise in professions that are possible without needing to go to school and incur debt to do them.
This article : “we make a quarter million dollars a year”
Also this article : “Liked it? Support us on Patreon!”
Joke apart, I loved this. My SO and me are slowly driving out of our first post-grad jobs to much more financially interesting careers (namely sales, entrepreneurship and freelance) as ENTJ and INFJ.
Listen SHE may be raking in the big bucks, but my husband still works for a nonprofit! We can barely afford to feed our dog his fancy Italian organic kibble on our combined 6-figure salary!!!!
Thanks for a greatnand an inspiring article.
I’m an INFP and it seems I’m so good at so many things, but making money… Luckily, my husband earns well, so we’re more than comfortable… Currently, I’m a stay at home mum, but going back to college this fall and starting my own business from home… Fingers crossed!
Fantastic post, and kudos to you and to Mr. Kitty! I only want to say, about the mindset of “if I can do it, you can too” – regardless of Mr. Kitty’s success, you’re correct that this is false. Mr. Kitty had love and support, from you and from his family. Mr. Kitty had a chance to flail about for a bit before landing on What Works for him. Mr. Kitty had the good fortune to be interested in and good at doing something for which there are jobs that pay decently. And you both are able to support and love each other and help each other grow. If one has all these things, then yes, one can do what you did. Without those outliers, it’s a lot, lot harder. That does not mean you should feel guilty about your outliers, it only means be aware that you have them as blessings from the Universe (and from your post it sounds like you are very much aware of this). May we all prosper and grow.
Wow I love this. Highlighting how proud you are of Mr. Kitty and the trajectory of growth in just a few years, all the while recognizing the complex emotions to process this was done so beautifully. Life is extremely complex and so are our perceptions of what is happening to us, especially when we are right in the middle of it.
We’ve tagged team all job application and interview preparation always since we both complement each other well on this. For what I lack precision, Mr. Mod will go microscope level and for what he fails to highlight as assets, I’ll find ways to put a huge spotlight on those! You’re completely right that sharing our strengths with those we love can bring so much good and we should be doing more of this with our friends, family, neighbor’s and more.
Thanks for such a great post.
P.s : as a Canadian, the simple thought of medical bills ever being able to bankrupt someone makes me hyperventilate and rage to a very bad level (especially before bedtime) so my only comment on that is what-the-actual-fuck. It is so discouraging.
As a fellow Canadian, I totally agree with you. I’m not even in a stable financial situation and I know I couldn’t be bankrupted because of a medical emergency! Like, yeah, an accident or something could leave me unable to work, but I wouldn’t be in crushing debt just from having that accident!
Thanks for this article! I am a newly turned twenty year old and will be graduating from college this December. It’s never been more evident how much money ill have to pay off especially since I’ll be interning in California this summer (i’m from PA) and have absolutely no savings since i’m paying out of pocket for summer classes (6 credits), the tuition for the internship (12 credits), and fall classes ( only 9 credits thank god).
i’m super grateful that my parents invested in a college plan which is covering some of what’s due but i still have almost no savings to pay for the extra stuff and commuting to college every day for the last semester. I am getting paid for the internship thank god so that will be helpful but at the moment its just a tad overwhelming.
Anyway, to the point of this comment, It is so comforting and heart warming to read about being able to pay off loans, mortgages, and raise your pay grade. From the people around me (specifically my family) it has not been evident at all they’ve made a dent in their mortgage or loans and are basically in the same place they were 10 years ago. Honestly, serious kudos to reaching this huge milestone in life, specifically not worrying about money (cuz good god is that one of my major worries), i literally hope and pray that im in the same spot in the next ten years. I honestly thought it was a myth being able to get paid so much money and be free of worry over such seemingly menial things so it’s great hearing at least one honest account of this.
I apologize for the length, it definitely wasn’t intentional, i just ended up getting really hyped for you guys!!
It’s amazing how far you guys have come. I think the right readers won’t be turned off by your income because you’re still fighting the good fight for them, helping them with serious money questions. You can make any amount of money and still give good advice. As long as it isn’t about that caviar you mentioned.
I’m revisiting this, one of my favorite recent posts, after the Hurricane Debt Weakens to Tropical Storm Debt post and a new job that means the boyfriend and I now officially make $100k/year combined (at 25) and I will have experience in a new industry that has leaps and bounds more applications and money/promotion opportunities than industries I’ve previously been part of. We’re going to pay off our small amount (~$3000) of credit card debt that has crept up since buying a house that was slightly more fixer-upper than we realized, finish paying off the boyfriend’s student loans (he didn’t have a ton, but it’s also only been about 3 years), and then ,,, we’ll also have to reassess what we’re putting money towards/how we intend to live probably.
I think I read this post every 3-6 months. There’s something about it that really resonates with me. Personal update — I love that job I took to raise us to $100k/year. My boss advocates for me and I’m in for a raise And a promotion whenever that becomes possible again at my company. Boyfriend got a 17% raise this year, because his company’s doing well in the pandemic, so now we’re more like a $115k/year household. We’re at no credit card debt (none!), pausing on the last few hundred of boyfriend’s student loans while there’s no interest and no payments required, and have started shoving money at my car loan. We still have our (small) mortgage, both car loans, and I have $47k in student loans but the pace is increasing and just keeps increasing; thanks in part to you!
“What my partner’s journey has shown me is that love changes the odds.”
This is what I take away from what you wrote. I don’t see “bootstraps!” I see a woman who helped the person she loved become better, and didn’t make becoming better a condition of her love.
Today we acknowledged that I was facing something akin to bipolar, if not bipolar itself, and that right now I’m in probably the worst shape I’ve been in for years, to the point where my psychiatrist said “forget the sleep schedule, sleep as much as you need/the meds dictate, it is more important that you feel okay”.
And my family is holding me up, and this article is exactly what I needed to read to understand why they wouldn’t just dismiss me as a burden. Their love is not conditional. That’s in my head. (And I might be more like your husband than is popular to be right now! But that’s gotta be okay!)
I’m so jealous of how all this worked out but totally happy for you. I’ve been with my husband for about 8 years and he goes from 1 $10 an hour job to another and a lot of his checks go to previous debt. I started my own business about 3 years ago but it had to support my husband and I both because he didn’t have a job and wanted to work with the family business. Now 2 large loans, 3 maxed out credit cards and a sold house, my business failed. We literally have nothing, our bank accounts are negative and we moved in with my mom. I don’t know how to fix this. I have so much school debt over $300,000 and credit card/loan debt around $100,000. With everything going on now we can’t work and even if we could I was searching before everything shut down and my husband was making $10 an hour. I wish I fell in love with someone who had some money or money making ability.
I appreciate this so much. It does inspire me, because you two have given me good tools and most of all CONFIDENCE in bucketloads I didn’t have before in my career, and with these and your testimony, I feel like advancement is possible. Hey, this year I actually owed a few hundred in taxes! I’m just barely above the the cutoff for the Earned Income Credit! (I’m choosing to look at that as a positive: my income is growing! Yay!) I have **five figures in retirement.** These are things my 29yo ass didn’t expect a few years ago. This year I’m set to make over 25k even with the covid crisis, the most I’ve ever made. Much as I feel like the poster child for how the System has screwed millennials, I also feel hopeful in ways I didn’t used to. And so much of that is because of you guys. Don’t know where I’m going with this anymore; but I think it was something about telling you, you haven’t lost credibility with me. Thank you for being your snarky, down-to-earth, feminist selves. I couldn’t ask for better sisters. <3
Cool to learn more about you and your life at home. I had a chance to talk to Piggy on a deeper level last time we all met, and hopefully next time I can learn more about you. When I saw you link to the text, “And so it goes,” I was hoping it was to something Vonnegut, and it was. 🙂 Vonnegut changed my entire perception on art, personality, and creativity. Like, I learned from him, youre not required to fit into any rules. To create the most beautiful art, create your own rules that lead you to your own special happiness. Peace.
OMG! This was the most entertaining blog. I’ve read in a while. You. Are. Hilarious! (subscribed before I even finished reading the newsletter)
p.s. You gave me such a boost when you said you were ENTJ as well… ready to skyrocket from middle class ASAP. LOL!