To our new readers: We like to take a weekly trip into the land of others and learn just how they make life happen! Have you ever caught yourself asking ‘How do they do that’? It’s not a matter of comparing ourselves to the Joneses, it’s the willingness to seek knowledge and understanding so, you too, can make the choice whether or not you’re willing to do that. What trade-offs are you willing to make?
Meet Brian and Cecile! You’re gonna love this!
How Do They Do That: DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids)
Hi guys. I wanted to send an email with how we do it. Many people believe that our generation can’t have the things we have at our age, but we have made sacrifices to be able to do so. Here is a short summary about us:
Brian is a 29 year old Army veteran and Safety Engineer, and Cecile is a 25 year old service industry employee who is going back to school for a secondary education degree. We have a 4 bedroom 2 bath 1800 sq./ft. house in a suburb of Reno, Nevada. When we met we combined finances and paid off over $50,000 in debt and financed a wedding and a cross country move. We are DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids), but we do have three fur-babies Jackson, Sidney, and Layla.
1) What about retirement? Are you saving?
My husband is contributing 13.75% matched to a 401k type state run plan. I have a tiny ROTH IRA and plan to contribute more after graduation. We have $32,000 in another 401k
2) How often do you vacation? Where does the money come from?
We have been together five years and never had a true vacation. We normally travel across the country to visit our respective families in Louisiana and Pennsylvania once a year or so. We probably won’t go on a non-family related vacation until I’ve graduated from college.
3) Are you planning for college?
We are not planning on having kids so we are not planning on their college, instead we are planning on mine!
4) Do you have a car payment?
Due to a wreck that totaled a vehicle three days after we closed on our house (and put down a huge down payment) we have a truck note. We are paying $500 a month to get it paid off as quickly as possible.
5) Are you house poor? What’s that mortgage/rent like?
Luckily we are not. Our mortgage is $1218 a month, but we pay $1300. Every little bit helps!
6) How do you fund Christmas?
We have three fur babies so bones and treats are the normal Christmas things around here. We do have 6 nieces and nephews under 6! We send them Christmas gifts and cash flow it. As a couple we only exchange stockings.
7) Let’s talk home improvements?
We have had to make few home improvements. Most of them were cosmetic such as painting and we cash flowed that. We did spend over $1000 on starting a large garden. In the years to come we will just pay for plants/seeds. We are hoping in a few years it will be paying for itself.
We also built in bookshelves onto our office walls. It cost us a little over $500 and was worth every penny.
8) Do you save for school clothes?
Right now we are saving to fund me going back to school, and the cut in pay that will come with that. Our money will be the tightest it has ever been! Somewhat related would be the cost of three dogs. We are always saving for vet bills, medication, food, treats, etc. All in all though we would bet they are cheaper than kids.
9) Do you deal with college debt?
Fortunately we were able to pay that off before any other large purchases were made (i.e. house, truck, etc.) My hubby joined the Army to pay for college and had to take out minimal student loans something like $24,000 or so it was paid off in 2014.
10) Is your emergency fund where it should be?
Not at all. Right now we are working on paying off a medical bill from 2013, a truck note, and a small credit card balance. The note and credit card balance were all incurred after a bizarre series of events caused us to use almost all of our savings.
11) Do you carry credit card debt?
Right now we have about $3900 in credit card debt on a 0% interest credit card. We will try very hard to pay that off before the interest kicks in. We do not normally carry credit card debt.
12) How often do you eat out?
We used to eat out very regularly, but since moving in our own home that has decreased dramatically. We probably eat out once a week, and each grab a coffee or two throughout the week as well.
13) Do you mow your own lawn and clean your own house?
Yes and yes! For a very short while we had a weekly house cleaning service. I was willing to keep them while I was working an insane number of hours, but they just plain didn’t clean as well as I did. NOT worth the money.
14) Name a Frugal Fail?
Buying our truck. It was a rash decision made shortly after purchasing the house, getting in a wreck, and having a few other family emergencies come up. I LOVE our truck though, but I’m sure we could have found something just as nice for a little less.
15) Your Question: Do you get an allowance?
Right now we each get $50 a month of “no questions asked money”. Any household purchases over $200 are a discussion for sure.
Thank you for sharing, Brian and Cecile! It’s super encouraging to know there are young couples out there who are determined to make excellent financial choices and a great future for themselves! Your garden is awesome and those bookshelves … WOW! I’m thinking Jackson, Sidney, and Layla have outstanding parents!
How do YOU do that?! Inquiring minds want to know about the choices you make.
I want to hear from YOU! Yes, you reading this right now. You don’t even have to be a blogger to share. Just do it!
Brave souls, willing to bare it all, click below:
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