Marriage or Mortgage?
I’ve been watching the show ‘Marriage or Mortgage’ with my wife on Netflix and it’s made me realize what a huge mistake we made just over 4 years ago. We let ourselves get pressured by family to overspend on our wedding. If I could go back to 32-year-old me, here’s what I would tell him:
You’re just getting started in your career. You might feel like you should have ‘made it’ by now because you’ve had 8 promotions and have a ‘Head of’ in your job title. That doesn’t mean anything. In the digital marketing industry, much like other knowledge work industries, these titles and $2–5k salary increases every 18 months give us the illusion that we’re getting somewhere.
The truth is that unless you have an inheritance to give you a solid financial base (I didn’t), financial help from your family to start your married life (nope), the ability to earn while living rent-free (haha, nope- been paying rent since I finished uni), you’re really starting in the red.
Avoid the social pressure that everyone puts on you as the man to ‘make her dreams come true’. To buy her a bigger diamond. To make your proposal dramatic and memorable. Have 5 starters instead of 2. Invite Uncle Asif’s niece and her cousin from her mom’s side because you met them at a birthday party once.
My wife may have been pressured by her social circle to expect all of these things for her ‘big day’. But they have nothing to do with her love for me.
We spent approximately $60,000 on our wedding. Couldn’t we have had the same memories for about 1/10th of the cost?