Better Wedding Doesn’t Mean Better Marriage

Better Wedding Doesnt Mean Better Marriage

Weddings are expensive, no doubt about that. Everything about them, the venue, the dress, the food, it all costs a pretty penny. Unless one has an excess amount of money already sat aside for their wedding then the costs really do cause stress. The Bride has been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl, and she wants it to be perfect. Although, there is one thing all Bride’s should keep in mind while wedding planning: The amount of money spent on the wedding does not make for a better marriage.

Your marriage is not based around your wedding day. Just because there is an ice sculpture in the entryway does not mean you will live happily ever after. Many people worry about the wedding being perfect that they disconnect with their partner entirely. Planning the wedding is a wonderful opportunity to grow together instead of apart. Making decisions together, compromising, and learning more about each other is what marriage is all about.

Financial hardship is the #1 reason for divorce. If more money can be saved on the wedding then it is a better beginning for you and your spouse.

Our wedding was a very simple wedding. There was nothing extravagant anywhere to be found, and that is how I wanted it. Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting an extravagant wedding, it is what makes it special and more memorable. Also, extravagant does not have to mean expensive. There are many beautiful and spectacular things you can create.

To Keep Costs Down

The best thing to do is find DIY crafts you and your fiancé or bridesmaids can do. There are so many things in a wedding that are much more meaningful when created, not bought. Things like the centerpieces, trellis/archway, props, flowers, save the date’s, invitations and rsvp cards, signs, and other things incorporated to make it personal can all be easy “do it yourself” tasks. Pinterest Boards are great ways to get ideas!

It is incredibly understandable how much money people sink into their weddings, but I’m not saying that is right or wrong. I am saying that no matter how much money is put into the wedding it is not going to make a difference in your marriage for the many years to come.

Good luck and best wishes!

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Net Worth Over $60,000 Before My 20’s

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Yes, I am 19 years old and my husband and I have a net worth of over $60,000. I am writing this hoping to inspire others to strive for financial success.

What is net worth?

The difference between assets and liabilities. [Own-Owe=Net Worth] It’s pretty simple! Your net worth is a great value to be aware of no matter your financial conditions.

How have we acquired ours?

The main reason, my friends, is discipline.

We do not bring in a crazy amount of money. We grossed less than $50,000 last year. Our 2015 year living expenses was roughly $15,000. Our “Random Spending” was roughly $8,000 (but we did get married and go to Hawai’i).

We have a budget and we stick to the budget. Ours is kept on Microsoft Excel and it shows EVERYTHING regarding our finances: Income, expenses, emergency fund, slush fund, mortgage, investments, retirement, monthly budget, projections, and even more. Everything gets entered and categorized. Yes, we have a categorizing system. For example: I fill up my gas tank that is a category 3 – Auto Expenses. If I buy a cookie in the gas station it is category 18 – Random Spending. Accountability is key.

We know the difference between our NEEDS and our WANTS. This is a big thing that I see others not thinking about. We ask ourselves with every purchase “Do I really need this?” If it’s a “no”, then why would we buy it? We do have a “Random Spending” account. This is for those purchases that we did not NEED but we felt we should buy, kind of like splurging. This keeps us accountable and allows us to visually see what we have done.

What is in our Net Worth?

We bought our home in February 2015. It will be paid off in the summer of 2017. Our minimum monthly payment is $450, but we have never made a $450 payment. We make payments of at least $1000, normally more. We also make principle payments. These payments add up and lowers the interest we are paying. With every house payment we are adding to our net worth.

The value of our vehicles are in our net worth. We do not have loans on our cars. This works against many people who go with the conventional idea of obtaining a loan. [More about this topic in a later post.]

Our retirement account is included in our net worth. This is something we cannot stress enough how important it is. The sooner you start a retirement account and begin contributing to it the better. You are never too young.

Savings and checking accounts are included. This is also where the Emergency Fund is. Emergency Fund is #1 when establishing a stable financial base. We did not do anything before having the Emergency Fund.

 

Of course, this does not happen overnight. My husband has worked for three years, and I have worked for two. We did not come from rich parents who gave us money, we worked for it all. He is one year from graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and I just finished my associate’s degree. Being young is no excuse for not having money. Being in college is no excuse for not having money. Having a house is no excuse for not having money. If one saves their money then they will have money.

When you are 19 years old and have worked for every penny of your $60,000 net worth you want to share the path with others so they can follow. I want everyone to understand how to grow their net worth at a young age. I hope that our children will have more than we do before they are in their 20’s.

Good luck beginning or continuing your financial journey!

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The College Expectation

college expec

Here I am, in the last semester of college, and going into finals week. There is no better feeling than knowing school is over and that summer is beginning.

I am graduating with an Associates of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Police Science. “Oh, so you are going to be a cop?” No, I am not. I am not sure what I want to do with myself now that I am done. I currently work at the BMV, and I have no intentions of working there for the rest of my life. I went to college because I felt I had to (and it was free).

There it is, the confession most people will not cough up. “I felt I had to.” Kids in today’s society are made to feel like college is a necessity, when really it is not. So many people have a college education now and employers are wanting “experience” instead of the higher degree. There is no guarantee that a college education will get you your dream job and enable you to live that life you always wanted. What will college get you one may ask? Debt. College will put you in debt (unless you are able to get full rides). I was able to get a 2 year degree paid for, so I stopped there. I did not want to live everyday owing more money than I could make.

I am told all the time that “Education is important!” I could not agree more with that, but why do we have to be sitting in a classroom for 3 hours and paying over $600 for the class in order to educate ourselves? If one’s focus is education, then educate yourself. Read books, read the paper, read articles, watch documentaries. There are plenty of ways to learn without the debt of college. “That won’t get you a degree.” False. Most colleges I know have it set up to where one can take the final and get the credit without actually taking the class. Of course there will be a small test fee involved here, but it is much better than tuition.

Here is something interesting to ponder. What is the stigma with employment out of high school? When I graduated high school several of my male classmates went to work in the oil fields, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. Although I heard several of my classmates putting them down and saying that they will do nothing with their lives because they are not going to college. I was furious. These hard working men are not failures. They are making at least $40,000 a year while those who went to their big name private school are going to be $15,000 in debt. How lovely!

In my conclusion, certifications and special trades are great things to get and learn. If I was to do the last couple years over, it would be to get a couple specialized certifications that I know I would enjoy.

College is not bad, but it has become an expectation. We, as a society, need to change that.

 

Best wishes!

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