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Newlywed bliss meets budgeting woes

From the January/February 2012 issue of Family Foundations:

by Kathleen M. Basi

Before CCL members John and Lisa Neilsen got married, a priest told them every engaged person should save $60,000.

It sounded ludicrous. How could anyone possibly save such an astronomical amount?

But after their wedding in April 2010, the Neilsens came to view that advice in a different light. Like many newlyweds, they had two incomes and hefty student loans. But unlike many, they conceived their first child on their wedding night.

The Neilsens had always intended for Lisa to stay home, but it simply wasn’t feasible so soon into their marriage. In Orange County, Calif., where all their family and friends live, the median house price is eight times the median income.

“Based off where we were living, what we were spending, and what we were making, I knew it wasn’t possible,” John said.

After their son Marcus was born, Lisa had six months’ maternity leave, five of which were paid. But after that, something had to change.

Read more, and then comment:

What lessons have you learned through managing finances with your spouse?