Eric has a placement. This means that the spring and summer will be tight, but he'll finish his certification on time and our plan to move in a year and a half is intact (assuming other things don't bottom out on us, like the job market. During a possible recession. Yeah), so bring on the beans and rice. (Actually I intended to try dry beans on Eric anyway, since he liked mujadara despite saying he doesn't like beans' texture; it may be that canned beans are just too mushy and ones we cook ourselves would be better. Or at least he might be okay with lentils.)
I don't really think it's going to be that bad, but we're going over our finances this weekend to be sure, and to figure out what our behavior has to be. I brought home a free calendar a few weeks ago, and Eric complained that it was too small. Yesterday, he started writing things on it and said, "Screw it, we're getting a new calendar."
"No discretionary spending," I said, reminding him of what we had just said a few minutes before. (Happily, he has agreed that chocolate does not fall under discretionary spending, at least not at certain times of the month.)
"It's only five dollars!" he protested.
"Five dollars will buy you three boxes of Fudgy Rounds." (Have you tried Fudgy Rounds? They're vile. He loves them.)
"I suppose," he said grudgingly. Then he said, "I could always print out a calendar."
This is going to be interesting. I've lived on a small income before, but it was by myself with lower fixed expenses (i.e. grad school the first time, and moving here with no job the second time). He's never done either the living within small means or the living by himself. He was in serious credit card debt when we first started dating. I've asked him several times why, and all he could say was that he had to spend more than he was getting. So this may be his first experience in economizing--because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be doing it if I weren't so insistent that we not carry a balance on our credit card. "It's only about thirty dollars a month," he says, so casually. I can't be so casual about it--which is going to be good for our bank account, I think, even if it does drive us both slightly crazy.