Fall Update

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!

3 thoughts on “Fall Update

  1. I’m curious about your prenup. Did one of you come in with more assets? Even if you have the same/similar amount of assets, do you still need one? Does it put tension in the relationship, with the thought of “even though its ours, its really mine?” Just a curious new reader 🙂

    • I think it strengthened our relationship. Early on, she was skeptical about getting a prenup, but I started planting the seeds subtly as to why it might be a good idea. Once she was on board, there were only one or two tense moments, mostly due to miscommunication by our lawyers. We live in a community property state, so there is less need for one here, although we did want to limit support, and also define how our retirement accounts would be treated to give the working spouse some extra incentive. We also specified how, in the event of divorce, things would be split up as one spouse might have helped the other spouse’s family or paid off the other spouse’s debt, etc. It’s really state-dependent. Good luck!

  2. Pingback: Winter Update « Thoughts of an Anonymous Lawyer

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