This is my journey through life so far and the tips I’ve learned from each period – college, marriage, and kids. Life is crazy, buckle up.
It was the time of my life, It is simple as that. I met my wife, best friends, and learned may important life skills. I guess I learned a little bit about business and economics as well. My parents did not pay for my college, although my mom got a job at my school so I got a nice discount on tuition. This made college somewhat affordable for me, at least.
I decided to pursue my MBA directly after college because I received a great scholarship. This helped keep my total student loan balance down, but I still graduated with about $35,000 in student loan debt. I didn’t think it was too bad compared to some others that I graduated with. This was still a daunting task, especially when my first payment was due and it was over $450/month. I realized that if I took the recommended 10 years to pay off my loans it would cost me over $12,000 in total interest. This was just not an option, I needed to get my income up fast!
Key tip: Don’t increase your lifestyle once you get your first job, you are still technically broke with debt!
As I mentioned earlier, I met my wife in college and we dated for about two more years after college. I decided that I wanted to dominate life with her, so I sold my stock (including NVDA at $12, ouch) and bought a ring. This was still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It started a landslide of expensive life events. We were the first of our friends to get married, so we still invited all of our college friends to our wedding – about 350 total people. We had an amazing wedding, and it is a night that I will never forget. However, it was damn expensive. I still can’t believe some of the costs, including a cake that cost over $1,000! Soon after was followed by multiple other friends’ weddings and expenses, but we were DINKS so life was still easy.
Key tip: Don’t let that wedding guest list get out of control!
Similar to our wedding, we were the first of our friends to have kids. I’ll never forget that feeling when my wife text me during a work meeting about three years ago that she needed to talk to me immediately. Our life would never be the same. We had no clue what we were in for. Kids are expensive. Diapers, toys, daycare, and medical expenses all add up pretty quickly.
We instantly made it a priority to pay off our student loans. Every bonus, tax refund, extra income went straight to the debt. We successfully paid them off about two years ago and it felt great! About a year ago we found out that we were expecting kid number two and decided to buy our dream home. Shortly after we would learn that it was TWIN BOYS! This sent our life into a tailspin of medical appointments and craziness. A new house, new car, and amazing nanny later, I’m here to tell you we made it through.
Key tip: Buy used, borrow from friends, and accept help!
This is just a quick glimpse into some key periods of my life recently and some tips that I learned along the way. Looking back, I am glad that we were prepared for the twins by paying off our student loans, and saving for the down payment for our house.
Fresh BREW recommendation while reading: Tröegs Nugget Nectar