This is a topic that I’ve had a few questions about, and thought it would be easiest to answer them all in one blog post!
I wanted to inspire others.
I felt like I needed to share my budget, because so many people use a low income as an excuse to stay in debt. I felt the same way. I saw a post from one particular financial blogger about her husband’s $6,000 monthly salary and I thought, “That will never be me so why try?”
But then I decided, I don’t care if I can only put $25 a month towards debt payoff. I’m going to slowly work my way out of this mess. At the time I shared my first budget, I was making $1,500-$1,800 a month. I refused to let that stop me and I managed to pay off $17,000 of debt in a little over a year.
Once Andy and I were a few months shy of getting married, we had a discussion about whether or not we’d share our combined incomes on the blog. We ended up deciding yes we would.
Andy’s paycheck is public knowledge anyway.
It is absolutely no secret how much Andy makes. All you need to know is his rank, his estimated time in the military, and thanks to Google, you have a pretty accurate estimate of how much his take home pay is. It’s no secret that enlisted soldiers like my husband don’t make a ton of money. So, for us, we have to be especially careful about how we spend our money because literally every penny makes a difference.
Andy and I wanted to be different.
It’s not uncommon to drive around post and see $30,000-$40,000 vehicles (which you’re about 99% sure they took out loans to pay for) in the barracks parking lot. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of soldiers living far beyond their means and on the verge of bankruptcy. For instance, remember the episode of Army Wives where Pamela is a surrogate because her husband has racked up thousands of dollars in debt and they need some way to pay it off? The reason that story line is in the show, exaggerated as it is, is because there are people who live like that. Andy and I want to be different– to commit to paying off our debt, even if it’s just a few dollars a month.
As of right now, Andy brings home about $3,600 a month, including our Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (both of which are non-taxable.) When I think about that number by itself, it seems like so much money, but in reality, money is still tight thanks to bills and debt (especially since I can’t find a job) but we’re not starving, we have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. That’s all that truly matters.
I want to show the average American– the one living on a tight budget, like us– that you can still work hard to pay off debt no matter your income. I want to show enlisted families like ours that you can live a decent life on a low salary instead of throwing their hands up and saying “It’ll never happen.” I don’t want to be one of those people who pray to win the lottery as their method of fixing their money mistakes– and yes, I know people who do just that!
That’s why my husband and I share our monthly income on my blog. It’s not a choice for everyone, but it works for us!