Our Honeymoon Spot – North Georgia Mountains (photo by Matt Phillips)
Today my wife and I celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary! In some ways it seems like just yesterday that I was nervously glancing at my watch every few minutes while my grandfather (my best man, and still the “best man” I have ever known) and my stepfather attempted to calm my nerves. I was admittedly nervous about the wedding ceremony itself, hoping all would go smoothly. I was not nervous about my choice in bride.
My wife and I were best friends for the year and a half we knew each other prior to engagement. We met in college and instantly recognized we were soul mates. We had many things in common, from similar family backgrounds (both sets of parents divorced when we were roughly the same age), to sharing a love of college football (how could I go wrong!). In fact, our first official date was to hear a motivational speech from Rudy Ruettiger, the real-life inspiration behind the movie Rudy. After the speech, my wife encouraged me to stand in line for over two hours to shake Rudy’s hand and get an autograph. I was so excited to meet the man that had inspired me not to give up in so many areas of my life, but the real prize was sharing it with someone who recognized how much it meant to me, and showed such patience for me to fulfill my dream. That was only a glimpse of the sacrifices my wife has made over the last decade.
After a short honeymoon, my wife relocated to live in a small home with me and my grandfather in my home town. Unfortunately, I was broke at the time, and was working two part time jobs because neither employer would hire me full time. I finally landed my first “real” job two months after our wedding and a year later we learned we were expecting our first child. My wife wanted to be a stay-home-mom and decided to leave her short-lived career in a medical office and returned home with our newborn. Eight years later she still serves in that most-important role, and is one of the best mothers I have ever known.
The first few years of marriage we doted on our new baby, and did many of the foolish newlywed financial things like take vacations and buy a new car. It wasn’t until sometime later that we both were “cured” of our spending addiction (her on scrapbook supplies, and me on anything electronic). We both subscribed to a life of frugality and have made a debt-free lifestyle our number one financial goal.
Experts agree your choice of spouse has a lot to do with your ultimate success. In my case, that could not be more true. My wife supported my decision to return to school after our daughter was born to pursue my undergraduate degree, something I had given up on in order to support our family. Over the next few years she stayed home to raise our child and spent many an evening alone while I toiled away at school, four nights a week. The day I graduated I told her I wished they could print both our named on the diploma because I felt she had worked just as much for it as I had, if not more. She continues to be supportive in my current career, and here with my venture called Frugal Dad.
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to write about my wife, “Frugal Mom,” on this our special day. Here’s to another ten frugal years!