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That is a phrase that was often used to describe my wedding to my beautiful bride, Anna, this past Saturday. We were married in a small Christian Orthodox ceremony in the Pennsylvania town where she grew up. Our reception was held at a gorgeous bed and breakfast. All ten people that attended — two of which were the bride and groom — could not get over how amazing the food was and how wonderful the amenities were despite the low budget of a few thousand dollars.
The reason for the small affair? Well, quite frankly, Anna and I wanted a house. Rather than spend the majority of the money we received from both sets of parents and the money we saved together on a large, extravagant wedding, we decided to use that dough as a down payment for a fantastic starter home. We both really feel blessed in terms of our choices and our ability to accumulate what we have at a young age.
The journey to get here has not been easy. We had to make some really difficult decisions and sacrifice a great deal (I will get to these in more specific terms in future posts).
While most “bridezillas” would not balk at the chance to run up a wedding tab that costs close to the amount of a small mortgage, my new wife gave up her childhood dreams and went with practicality. In today’s environment of massive student loan and credit card debt, we said NO to the typical “Hollywood” ideal of what a wedding should be (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson would’ve stuck out like sore thumbs) and were met with many individuals explaining how they wish they went our route and how they regretted spending many thousands of dollars on an 8-hour day (at most).
There were some that even explained to us how they are still paying off loans for their wedding a few years later. This I simply have no concept of. As we see what debt does to governments and families, how can anybody continue to be so short term in their thinking? People say, “Well, it’s my day.” The only thing I can think of there is — “It’s not your ONLY day.” There are many other important days in your life (if you care to have them). Why spend money that could be used in a much smarter way? Why hurt your chances of actually getting ahead of your peers?
These are the types of questions I plan to answer on a weekly basis here at my blog, “Taking Stock.” I want this to be an informal chance for you to learn who I am as the founder of the Financial Bin, while also picking up a few pointers in the process that could help you in your life. I will be honest with you and show you what I have learned. By no means am I perfect nor do I claim to be an expert. Put simply, I am just another young married guy trying to figure it out.
I put the Financial Bin and this blog together to help display some of the things I have learned over the last few years. It is my hope that I can reach at least one person out there and save them from some of the BS that I had to go through (which I will get into more on a later date).
With that, welcome to my blog and please sign up for the Financial Bin. I look forward to connecting with you. Please come back as often as you like.