Author Topic: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?  (Read 2177 times)

Omaha420402

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Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:31:21 AM »
Just got engaged to my girlfriend. Set wedding date for OCT18. What financial strategies can I implement before we get married in 13months to make the most of our future?

I know the standard ideas (max out IRA, pay off debt, start emergency fund) but for anything outside the box I'd appreciate ideas.


Thanks!!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 09:42:21 AM »
Get married earlier if fiscally advantageous.
Get married later if fiscally advantageous.


Yankuba

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 09:45:38 AM »
prenuptial agreement

mindy

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 10:03:04 AM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 10:22:25 AM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

MsSindy

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 10:54:44 AM »
Go easy on the wedding costs.... it's only 1 day of the rest of your life.

Talk to her about financial and life goals - ensure you guys are on the same page.

Otherwise, it's pretty basic, spend (a lot) less than you make and invest it!

josh4trunks

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 11:03:34 AM »
Here's what I did. I didn't know about stocks, or early retirement at the time but still a good strategy to save money on taxes.

I got engaged in 2013, planning to get married 2014.
I had a salary of $60K, and my wife would be in school/minimal working for at least a few years.

In early 2014, before taxes were due, I drafted my taxes and figured out how much I needed to contribute to a traditional IRA to get me out of paying in the 25% federal tax bracket for 2013. I opened an IRA at Chase, contributed the exact amount, $2750.

In January 2015, after using loans to pay for her nursing school tuition, I withdrew the IRA money and closed the account. I ended up paying taxes on this income at the 15% bracket with no early withdrawal penalty because she had more than enough qualified education expenses.

So there is some Tax Status arbitrage you could take advantage of. Saved me more than $275 (because of state taxes in CA).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 11:05:07 AM by josh4trunks »

Maenad

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 11:18:40 AM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

GuitarStv

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 11:31:05 AM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

Important to note - there exists an inverse correlation between long marriages and expensive weddings.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 04:34:11 PM »
Make your own wedding rings.

Merge your finances.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 08:02:43 PM »
Talk about finances with your fiancee.  Walk down the aisle united in financial attitude and understanding. 

Financial strategies involve two people from here on out, not one.  "I" can't do this, only "we" can.  Start the process before the wedding day so any difficult communications occur both ways.  Listen as well as speak.  Ask open questions sometimes.  Your objective is to find an approach that you both like, but only after taking care to notice the assumptions that you DON'T initially share...learn what she assumes that you didn't even think about!  Your objective should be to expand your understanding of her, and increase the shared understanding you both have of each other in terms of financial perspective.  Also, treat any remarks by her that seem like a separate subjects as super important, if any such remarks occur; view them and whatever they represent as guideposts that your financial plans need to address.  Based on the expanded understanding, build agreement on financial principles to follow as well as strategies/tactics/roles.  It doesn't have to be as formal as what I'm saying, but have enough substance that the two of you are a united team, pulling together.   Repeat the communication process until you are not getting surprises any more, and you're both happy as well as financially prudent.

PS. Congratulations!

« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 08:08:42 PM by Bicycle_B »

Heckler

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 11:43:32 PM »
.

Talk to her about financial and life goals - ensure you guys are on the same page.



I couldnt agree more.  We were broke students and commonized bank accounts, working together to stay afloat. Now we are 43 year old millionaires with 5 figure salaries.

Jeferson

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 03:25:30 AM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

How is it possible that is cost you nothing? I don't get it
Why do people think that my name is Jeferson?
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Hula Hoop

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 04:56:14 AM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

I agree.  Nothing wrong with an old fashioned back yard type wedding.  Nothing wrong with wearing nice normal clothes rather than crazy expensive wedding dress/suit.  We had a courthouse wedding with 3 people present followed by lunch with 30 at a nice restaurant.  No engagement rings, my dress cost $79 on sale, no gift registry.  The cake was the main splurge and it was a gift from my mother.  10 years later we couldn't be happier.

I remember at the time, my one older relative who is happily married (everyone else in my family is divorced unfortunately) told me that her wedding back in the 60s was just like ours.  Family members who had flashier weddings are now divorced.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 12:42:09 PM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

I agree.  Nothing wrong with an old fashioned back yard type wedding.  Nothing wrong with wearing nice normal clothes rather than crazy expensive wedding dress/suit.  We had a courthouse wedding with 3 people present followed by lunch with 30 at a nice restaurant.  No engagement rings, my dress cost $79 on sale, no gift registry.  The cake was the main splurge and it was a gift from my mother.  10 years later we couldn't be happier.

I remember at the time, my one older relative who is happily married (everyone else in my family is divorced unfortunately) told me that her wedding back in the 60s was just like ours.  Family members who had flashier weddings are now divorced.

I've seen the same thing, pretty much.

Car Jack

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 12:45:04 PM »
I saw a study a few months ago that found that the length of the marriage corresponded to the inverse of the money spent on the wedding.

So if you have a lavish wedding that everyone will remember and you had the time of your life, you can expect to do it again real soon.

moof

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 01:15:28 PM »
Backyard wedding (or equivalent) for sure.  One of the better weddings I've been witness to was in a national park among friends and in a favorite place for both the bride and groom.

Next up, spend the next 13 months having those hard/awkward conversations around money, bills, kids, retirement,religion, extended family, etc.  Now is your chance to hash those out, however un-romantic they are.  A divorce due to failure on these major items will destroy your finances like nothing else.

talltexan

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 03:16:11 PM »
Make sure you're on the same page about when kids will happen, and how many of them there will be.

alexpkeaton

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 09:29:27 PM »
Make sure you mention you're on your honeymoon at every hotel you stay at for year or so after you're married. At good hotels they'll send up a free bottle of Champagne. (Probably won't work at the Holiday Inn.)

Otherwise start filing taxes jointly. 95% of the time it'll save you money over filing separately.

nawhite

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2017, 02:04:36 PM »
Look into your health plans at work and at your state's exchange. Getting married is one of the few times you're allowed to change your plans outside of the annual enrollment periods and if your works are on different calendars for that it can be a pain to sync it up later.
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Cwadda

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2017, 02:21:38 PM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

Important to note - there exists an inverse correlation between long marriages and expensive weddings.

This sound interesting.  Do you have some data or literature to share? I'd be interested in reading more.

GuitarStv

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2017, 05:45:48 PM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

Important to note - there exists an inverse correlation between long marriages and expensive weddings.

This sound interesting.  Do you have some data or literature to share? I'd be interested in reading more.

Sure!  I couldn't find a non-paywalled version though.

"we find evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony" - https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2501480

elaine amj

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2017, 07:35:50 PM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

How is it possible that is cost you nothing? I don't get it
Google travel hacking. We also have a good thread on here somewhere.

It is entirely possible. I have been travel hacking for years. Basically u sign up for credit card bonuses (most have a minimum spend of $3-5k within 3 months). You can apply for multiple cards over the course of the year. And the crazy wedding spending will help meet all those minimum spends.

Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk

My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

ixtap

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2017, 07:43:24 PM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

How is it possible that is cost you nothing? I don't get it
Google travel hacking. We also have a good thread on here somewhere.

It is entirely possible. I have been travel hacking for years. Basically u sign up for credit card bonuses (most have a minimum spend of $3-5k within 3 months). You can apply for multiple cards over the course of the year. And the crazy wedding spending will help meet all those minimum spends.

Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk

Or, you could forego the crazy wedding spending. Our wedding would not have covered the minimum on a single card promo. Of course, we didn't get a "free" honeymoon, but we made choices that reflected our priorities. We even found out a month after the wedding that we could satisfy our priorities for a quarter of what we expected.

elaine amj

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2017, 06:31:36 PM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

How is it possible that is cost you nothing? I don't get it
Google travel hacking. We also have a good thread on here somewhere.

It is entirely possible. I have been travel hacking for years. Basically u sign up for credit card bonuses (most have a minimum spend of $3-5k within 3 months). You can apply for multiple cards over the course of the year. And the crazy wedding spending will help meet all those minimum spends.

Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk

Or, you could forego the crazy wedding spending. Our wedding would not have covered the minimum on a single card promo. Of course, we didn't get a "free" honeymoon, but we made choices that reflected our priorities. We even found out a month after the wedding that we could satisfy our priorities for a quarter of what we expected.
Definitely a better way to go from a financial perspective! :)

Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk

My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

Cwadda

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2017, 08:49:31 AM »
Elope or have a simple, cheap wedding. The marriage is the important thing, not the ceremony/party at the beginning.

Important to note - there exists an inverse correlation between long marriages and expensive weddings.

This sound interesting.  Do you have some data or literature to share? I'd be interested in reading more.

Sure!  I couldn't find a non-paywalled version though.

"we find evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony" - https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2501480

I read the whole thing.  Great article!

Dicey

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2017, 04:15:50 AM »
Congratulations!

1. Make sure your soon-to-be-spouse shares your dream of FIRE.
2. Elope, unless your soon-to-be-spouse does not share your dream of FIRE.
3. If the latter part of #2 is true, then Run, Forrest, Run!
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NeonPegasus

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2017, 11:20:36 AM »
Get some premarital counseling to ensure you two are ready for marriage and compatible. Divorce is a net worth crusher.

The three biggies for killing marriages are:
1. Disagreements about kids (how many, how to raise them)
2. Disagreements about money
3. Disagreements about religion

A dude in my gym came in yesterday with that saddest face I've ever seen on him. Long story short - he and his wife are having a very rough time. She was never religious and over time became atheist. He was moderately but quietly religious but over time has  become more devoted. They have a young child. He went to a 2 hr bible study last weekend and it set off a huge conflict that brought into question the future of their marriage. He wants to raise their son in the church and she thinks it's nonsense. He said they never really talked about it before they got married.

ixtap

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2017, 11:22:16 AM »
Congratulations!

1. Make sure your soon-to-be-spouse shares your dream of FIRE.
2. Elope, unless your soon-to-be-spouse does not share your dream of FIRE.
3. If the latter part of #2 is true, then Run, Forrest, Run!

Actually, if they do not share the dream, there is an intermediate step: are their dreams that you share that are even more important to you than FIRE?

Shanksy

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2017, 11:40:44 AM »
I love hearing about weddings and marriages! I'm a newlywed (how long do I get to say that? 10 years?), we just tied the knot in March of this year. We spent $3000 on our wedding, my mom gave me $1000, and we put up the other 2k. We are in our thirties and did not need more household goods, so we didn't ask for gifts at all, people assumed that meant we wanted cash and we received over $2000 in cash and gifts cards.

We talked about a lot of ideas when we first got engaged, we thought we might want to do a destination wedding, but I vetoed that because my family would never be able to afford plane tickets. I did the majority of the planning and I'm the more frugal between us so that helped considerably. The things that were most important to us were great food and lots of booze and our closest friends and family. We had a guest list of less than 50, and spent over a third of our budget on food and booze. We did a backyard wedding at my MIL's because she has a lovely big horse property with grass and trees and it looks great in photos. Having it at a private residence saved us TONS, because it was free for the venue and we weren't locked into using their catering or having to hire a professional bartender. I bought our booze at Costco!

Some suggestions for your big day:

Make the guest list ASAP, don't spend much on paper stuff (nobody cares and it gets thrown away eventually), try to find a free venue, don't let other people tell you what you want, and don't listen to other people when they inevitably make disparaging remarks about your wedding. People have a lot of opinions about how weddings should be done but they aren't the ones paying for it! Don't stress about writing your own vows, literally no one remembers, try to remember the vows you heard exchanged at any wedding you've ever been to? You can't, so go traditional or google generic ones that sound nice in the moment. Unless having personal vows is super important to you, then ignore me cause I'm being a hater.

I'm so excited for you! Planning our wedding was such fun, and being married is absolutely lovely. BEST WISHES!!!!!!

LifeHappens

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2017, 11:43:09 AM »
Pr-marital counseling is one of the best investments you can make.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2017, 11:51:37 AM »
Don't spend a fortune on the wedding! Look up travel hacking to get a free or almost free honeymoon.

This^

We travel hacked our honeymoon. A full 9 days in Maui, hotel, first class flights and the whole thing cost us nothing. We used the wedding spending to hit the CC bonus limits.

How is it possible that is cost you nothing? I don't get it

Sign up for the Travel Miles 101 e-mail course (free).

In this case, OP and fiance could sign up for 2-4 credit cards (or more if they have an anti-mustachian wedding) as they are purchasing things for the wedding.  They will accumulate big sign-up bonuses in doing so and should be able to accumulate 200,000 points/miles in the process.  Use those points/miles to book airfare and hotels and pay pennies on the dollar (basically just unavoidable fees) for their honeymoon.

It's pretty simple.  You just have to be organized and know what you're doing.
The Chase Trifecta:
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2Birds1Stone

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2017, 12:30:25 PM »
Subbing as I just got engaged in August myself.
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Bicycle_B

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2017, 06:33:03 PM »
Congrats, 2Birds1Stone!

nawhite

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2017, 09:55:57 PM »
Best bit of advice I got for wedding planning. Use Anchoring Theory to your advantage.

Most people come up with a big long list of 200 people they might maybe want to invite to the wedding but then they feel really bad about cutting people when they can't afford or don't want a wedding that big.

Instead, come up with what your 10 person wedding looks like. You each get 5 people including family and that's it, no plus ones. What does that list look like (if you know you're going to have a ton of family coming, do it with a list of 20, 10 each). I'm not saying your wedding will be that small, just think of who really matters for a group that small. This list is now your anchor point.

Now come up with who else deserves to be on the same list with those 10 people. In this way, you will likely invite fewer people (and thus have a less expensive wedding) while also not feel as bad about not inviting people. In your head, it stops being, "Sorry I had to cut you." Instead it's "Sorry, we were trying to keep things small we couldn't invite everyone."
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Dicey

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Re: Just got engaged, how do I capitalize on this?
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2017, 06:25:00 AM »
Congratulations!

1. Make sure your soon-to-be-spouse shares your dream of FIRE.
2. Elope, unless your soon-to-be-spouse does not share your dream of FIRE.
3. If the latter part of #2 is true, then Run, Forrest, Run!

Actually, if they do not share the dream, there is an intermediate step: are their dreams that you share that are even more important to you than FIRE?
I could have phrased that better. In order to FIRE, one must choose to live a fairly frugal lifestyle. Finances are said to be the #1 cause of marital discord, ergo it's incredibly helpful if both partners' spending styles are  relatively compatible. If Partner A dreams of a fairytale wedding with doves and horse drawn carriage, and Partner B dreams of FIRE (hence their presence on this forum) and wants to elope, that's a huge potential for conflict.
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...