It is already October — that means we’re overdue for an update. It’s been a busy couple of months. From getting engaged to moving to lots of work, and work-related travel, I’ve been a busy guy.
Overall, my net worth is up $134K year-to-date and $175K over the past 12 months. My savings rate has probably gone down a bit over the last couple of months. A lot of this has had to do with getting engaged a few month ago. My girl is totally wonderful — beautiful, caring, cheerful, and *kind of* frugal. I only call her *kind of* frugal because she sometimes comes home with a $20 per lb. cut of NY strip from the grocery store. But what makes her stand out is that she has been committed to living the lifestyle I’m advocating — freedom over possessions. She’s willing to save 1/3 of her paycheck in her 401(k). Willing to commit to our target annual budget. That’s one of the reasons I feel so good about our impending nuptials. Together, we will earn our freedom decades earlier than others.
But man, we’ve also spent a lot on wedding expenses. I’m a little embarrassed to say we might be spending as much as the “average” American, although perhaps we allocated our funds a little differently:
$8K engagement ring (I’m a sucker for shiny things)
$7K attorney fees (more on this later)
$9K actual wedding stuff (rings, suit, dress, flowers, wedding, 2 receptions, etc.)
$10K honeymoon (more on this later)
The premarital agreement is a big chunk of our expenses, but IMO a small price to pay for peace of mind (fortunately, we both agree on this). I felt a little lost looking for an attorney so I asked my buddy for a referral and somehow I ended up with a really high-powered attorney. My friend went through so much trouble to get the referral with a discount that I felt bad saying no, even though I felt it was still too expensive. Part of me didn’t want to pay anything because I was the one who wrote the draft — a damned good one at that!
The honeymoon will be expensive too, but if you look at it the right way, we’re saving money! That’s only because we’re redeeming $15K worth of airline tickets for a bunch of miles + $50 and $3K worth of hotel rooms for a few nights for free. Everything else is costing top dollar.
Despite all the spending, I thrive when I have to plan and strategize. What’s the best way of achieving the end result? There’s a lot that goes into even planning a honeymoon. Applying for the right credit cards to get enough miles. Distributing them. Maximizing award redemptions. Ever heard of open jaw with stop over? Neither had I until recently. Premium cabin configurations on different airlines/airplanes. Flight schedules. Hotel affinity programs.
Beyond the honeymoon, there was probably even more planning. Merging our finances. Cutting our combined expenses. Minimizing our taxes. Calculating the marriage benefit/penalty. Projecting our future savings rate. Drafting a fair and balanced prenup. It truly is like doing M&A work, except it’s not for two corporate entities, but us. I really got a kick out of it, and am enjoying seeing all of it come together. We’re going to be a well-oiled machine!
The next time you see me, I’ll probably be a married man. Until then!