Lesson #1: Check the cost of benefits when applying for a job.
My husband's salary didn't change much. But because his employer pays much less of his insurance, our income took a nasty hit. (Previous two employers paid 100%.) I went from part-time to full time so my income jumped significantly, but because his went down so much, our net gain is $200 a month. Yup. Not happy about that. An expensive lesson.
Lesson #2: Transportation matters
His commute was 59 miles one way.
Mine was 22 miles one way, but my expenses were lower due to carpooling.
Total transportation expenses for a month: $197.97
Our commute is about 3 miles.
We both biked to work for a month.
Total transportation expenses for a month: $35.20
We aren't going to be biking during the winter, but we plan to start up again in the spring.