Around 1992 I had a great plan. First, I was going to graduate school to earn two degrees: an M.B.A. and an M.A. in TESOL. After that, I figured that I would go to Brazil and open up a language school. Eventually, I would find a beautiful Brazilian wife, and we’d live happily ever after. Then in July of 1992, I met my future wife and all those plans were instantly irrelevant.
How We Met
Here is the Reader’s Digest version that I love to tell my students. Don’t worry, it’s not true:
Class: Sr. Mills, how did you meet your wife?
Me: When I jumped out of the cake, our eyes met and it was love at first sight.
Class: Gross! Disgusting! That image is seared in my brain!
Me: You’re welcome. ¡De nada!
The True Story * We met at a party in Atlanta. I was there having a good time with some old college buddies that I hadn’t seen in years. Edwina was there hanging out with some of her friends. At some point…actually after many beers, I decided that it was time to talk to the cute brunette who caught my eye. Just prior to talking to her, someone spilled keg beer on me while I was sitting on the couch. Naturally, I did what any stud muffin would do in that situation…I took off my shirt and reveled on.
A little later, I somehow managed to shirtlessly impress Edwina enough to get her phone number. A few days later, we started dating and we’ve been together ever since. I later learned that prior to our first date Edwina had verified with our mutual friends that I wasn’t a psycho (I’d like to thank them right now for lying on my behalf!). Knowing what I know now, I should have proposed to her the night I met her. Edwina says that would’ve sent her fleeing…I guess she’s not as romantic as me. All jokes aside, we’ve been inseparable since the summer of 1992.
In January of 1997 I made the best decision of my life when I married Edwina. She is the love of my life, and she has been my infinite source of joy. On top of that, she is the mother of our awesome and incredible son, another font of endless joy. Okay, I think you get the picture: she’s my everything.
Wow, enough gushing already. Apart from being minha paixão, marrying Edwina is also the greatest financial decision I ever made. Without her my trillionaire dreams would have died on the vine long ago. Here are some of the reasons that I consider her my greatest financial decision ever:
- She makes as much money as I do. Heck, some years she’s even made more than me, and that’s alright by me. By getting married, we effectively doubled our household income. At the same time, we began sharing most of our day-to-day housing and living costs. Getting married was a double win for us in this regard.
- She is more frugal than I am. Like me, Edwina hates to squander money. (We weren’t always like this.) Before buying anything, she reflects on whether or not she really needs the desired item. I have many friends who would kill to have such a frugal spouse.
- She believes that money is for saving and investing. Edwina has always been all in when it came to us putting money aside into our various retirement plans. From day one she seemed to intuitively understand the upside of our hardcore savings approach.
- She can put her head down and work a financial plan. When I suggested to her that we take jobs in rural Georgia to boost our savings rate, she took a hard, detailed look at the spreadsheet that I had prepared for her. After a few minutes, she said, “Yeap, let’s do it!” Later, when we took the new jobs to work our plan, she never wavered as we aggressively saved month after month for three straight years. She worked the plan again in a few years later in Douglas, GA. Because of her ability to understand and follow through on a plan, we were able to save over $500,000 in five academic years.
Marrying Edwina was easily the best decision I ever made. It’s amazing that I didn’t have to pay to marry her…what a bargain! Let me end this post with one final thought because today is a very special day for her:
Happy 50th Birthday!
|Health Savings Account: We use Elements Financial to access commission-free, low-cost Vanguard ETFs at TD Ameritrade.