Thanks for the tips everyone. I'll check them out. I hope that I won't have to go into hardship deferral but I'll keep it in mind. I'm willing to work as a paralegal or whatever, at least the first few months. So we'll see.
Betty_b: I'm really worried about the spending that's coming up. I've given up on reigning my parents in for the party they are throwing in the U.S. My fiance will have to pay an obscene amount for the wedding (the groom pays for the wedding here). The good thing is that he's not a big spender and is willing to furnish our apt with thrift store finds & etc (www.curbly.com
is a good resource)...but I hope I don't somehow lose my mind and spend all of our money on stupid stuff.
I've tried to keep the registry to things we actually need (one set of 'normal' dishes and the sort of every-day stuff one needs for a kitchen) so hopefully we'll be in good shape. I've had quite a few people say that they expected my registry to be more extravagant...which just seems odd to me. We really are setting up house for the first time. I don't need silver plates, I need a blender!
Even though I don't usually spend alot here, I had a friend come into my city and we did alot of shopping. I bought stuff that I plan to take back to the U.S. but I spent more than I wanted to spend. One trick that was helpful to me was putting all of my extra money into my savings account and not keeping it in my checking. since I did spend more than I was planning on spending, so I'm going to transfer all my 'extra' money into my savings account. I also created a little ledger in my planner so I balance my checkbook, just like the good ole days...