Three quarters of the way through another busy year. I married my girlfriend of six years, and we are thriving despite the dismal economy. I have a rewarding electrical engineering job, working on some of the most advanced technology on the planet. My wife has her own successful business, and based on current projections, she has a good chance of passing me in earned income this year.
My wife and I are compatible in many, many ways — but finance has historically not been one. At heart, I am a saver, and she is a spender. That is one reason we have a prenuptial agreement.
When we met my wife was in debt. In contrast I was looking for new ways to invest my money. Those ways included paying off my home mortgage in full, starting several small businesses, and purchasing my first income (rental) property. With lots of coaching and encouragement (and no out-of-pocket money), I helped her become debt free. It was very important to me that she do it on her own, because early on I did believe she was the one for me. On the flip side, I knew that there would be too much tension between us if she could not get here finances together. Luckily, she listened and adapted.
I have my flaws, but discipline with money is not one of them. Over time, I have become less frugal. That has always been part of my plan. Save and grow wealth early; spend and enjoy later. We are living well, and putting away money for the future. I have little doubt that before I turn 40, we will be a millionaire household. Depending on how one counts, we are already. Having at least one million dollars in (reasonably) liquid assets is a goal.
My dreams are bigger than this. I have created a financial portfolio software business I believe has the potential to be worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. It is because of this software,and the ideas built into it, that I have largely stopped blogging here. The software simply has a better business model. The prospects of Balhiser.com, as a financial blog, making even $100,000 a year are very small. It just took me a while to swallow that truth. I haven’t given up on this website, I’ve just put it on the back burner.
Anyhow, back to wedded bliss. There is one truth that mars our bliss: the marriage penalty. Simply put — when we got married our taxes went up. Just for kicks we ran the numbers both ways: single and married. The difference was over a $1000 marriage penalty. And the way things are going, the tax penalty is only going to get worse.
All in all, though, I am happy to be married to my lovely wife.
Wishing my readers all the best. When in doubt, diversify — at least in matters of finance. (Probably best not to diversify in matters of fiancée(s))