So, Handsome and I are getting married!
Yep, that’s correct. You read it right. After 2.5 years of being together, 2 of those living together, Handsome has popped the question and I, being no fool, gave him a resounding YES! We hugged and kissed and celebrated with our families and friends and after much fanfare, a new awareness soon dawned on me.
Not that I was going to become a wife or his wife. Those are the best and least stressful parts. No, the realization was that now we had to plan a wedding.
Hmmm… how to do this? See, I was never the girl who dreamed of her wedding day as a child. Nope. I dreamed of being married to someone awesome, having children, and later, of maybe becoming a doctor and having an incredible career. I didn’t dream of all the choices that go into have a wedding day. Silk, taffeta, lace, satin? Cake flavours, colours, tiers? Peonies, begonias, azaleas, daffodils? Big wedding? Small wedding? Elopement? Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to get to create this day, but between dress shopping (ugh), finding an officiant, nabbing a venue, deciding on decor and colours, catering, photography, bridal parties choices, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Overwhelmed in a good way, I guess. So far it’s been fun creating lists and tackling them item by item. But for every item we tick off, there’s a sound-cue in the back of our minds, and it sounds like this:
Money. Moolah. Dollars and cents. We’re a young couple, and we haven’t been to many weddings nor have we hosted a couple of our own. How much do you spend on a wedding? How much can we spend? How do we negotiate this major rite of passage, financially? We both come from families where money was tight and budgeting was key, so here’s an really rough, incredibly informal crack at it.
The situation is as such: I have 5 figures of student loan debt pre-med school. Not a high 5 figures, but not low either. Let’s put it in the neighbourhood of 20-30k. Call it 30k to be generous. Handsome has a 4 figure student loan debt (let’s say 5k, and yes, I’m fudging for privacy’s sake) and a line of credit that he has about 3k on it. That puts the pre-med combined debt load at 38k, give or take. So far, we’ve managed to move, furnish our house, buy a car and live off just about 40k of my med student line of credit. We have no credit card debt. So over all, we are looking at a combined debt of close to 80k. Assuming we spend another 40k each year from now until my residency, we will be 200k in debt by the time I have my MD. I doubt we’ll buy another car or refurnish our house in that time, but 4th year is supposed to be very expensive indeed so I’m fudging upwards, hopefully.
Now let’s chuck a $30,000 wedding+honeymoon on top of that.
So, 230k of debt in 3 years… but not really. Handsome will hopefully have been working starting this September, so let’s call it 3 years of him working for about 20/hr, 30hr/week. That’s a total of 90k by the time I’m a doc. It’s a crappy job market though. Let’s call it 80k over the three years. 15% is eaten by taxes. Now we’re down to about 70k that he’s earned for us in 3 years.
So, we’re actually in 160k of debt by the time I’ve got an MD. Residency will be about 45k a year, and 25% of that will go to taxes, so I’ll take home 33k a year for 2 years. If handsome’s income goes solely towards our cost of living, and my income solely pays down debt, then by the time I’m out of a two year residency, our debt will be down to 94k.
Now let’s assume I become a GP, and gross about 150k per year. 28% of this will go to taxes, leaving me with a take home of 108k/year. Maybe our lifestyle has inflated, maybe there’s a baby, we’ll call it 100k take home per year. If Handsome and I continue to live a relatively modest lifestyle, and he continues to have reliable part time work, we will be out of debt, all of our debt, the first year that I am a practicing doctor.
Holy crap, did I read that right? Our household will be debt free by the time I’m about 30. My promise to myself, entering University, was that whatever I went into would allow me to get out of debt completely 5 years after I finished school and was out in the workforce. This puts me way, WAY ahead of schedule. I know I’ve left out the interest rate on the med line of credit, but it is very low, and even if it added 2 years to our plan… Debt free in 3 years after graduating. Whoa.
WITH A THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLAR WEDDING!
Mom, we’re going dress shopping. Holy smokes.