A Message From My Wife:

Greetings and salutations! I am the newlywed Mrs. My Dividend Growth.

For about a year and a half Ryan has been documenting our financial journey, and I’ve played a small role in this blog as the editor of most of his articles (not including the ones with spelling or punctuation errors). During this time I have gotten to know many of you, reading expositions and comments here and there while discussing the similarities and differences of our methods with Ryan over dinner. It was through this that I truly began to understand the power of dividend growth investing and the importance of proper money management. You have changed my life exponentially, and I will forever be grateful.

When I first met Ryan almost 7 years ago, I had nothing to my name. Very little money, an unfulfilling job and no hope for my future. I was living paycheck to paycheck and figured that’s just what life had to offer for me. I had always been a frugal person, growing up in a low income household and then at one point of my life being homeless, but I never correctly allocated my finances to accumulate enough for a savings account. Soon thereafter I moved in with Ryan to a room with the square footage of an office, and unbeknownst to us everything would metamorphosize in a matter of time.

After 2 years of living in our cramped space, we were able to upgrade to a small studio apartment but still barely got by; right after signing the lease and obtaining the keys, I along with dozens of my co-workers were let go from our jobs due to “budget cuts.” I distinctly remember Ryan and me sitting on the floor on opposite sides of the room, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of space we had and frightened that it would soon be taken away from us. Once Ryan acquired his first job in the television industry, he began reading the blog of Dividend Mantra and this changed his and my perspective of finances forever. When Ryan explained everything to me we figured that with his research and income and my organizational skills and discipline of frugality, we were equipped to begin our long road towards financial independence.

We created budget and portfolio spreadsheets to better formulate our cost of living and stock purchases, learned easy and fast recipes to reduce our dining out and grocery expenses, and tried to refrain from purchasing anything we didn’t need. For Ryan, this last point was easier said than done and to this day I still have to talk him out of spending money. However, if I had it my way we would never spend money on anything (unfortunately this sometimes includes experiences) so we balance each other out quite nicely.

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Fast forward to the present day, Ryan and I are moving along stronger than ever. We recently had a lovely wedding and went on a honeymoon that took our breath away. Five years ago, I would have never dreamed either of those to be a possibility in my lifetime. The cost of our wedding accumulated to about $4,530.00 which included an intimate celebration with 18 family members, a lot of hand made decorations and months of diligent planning. Because we made it a point to pay for it all ourselves in order to not burden our family, I wanted to make sure that everything was aesthetically beautiful without spending an excessive amount of money. While this wasn’t the dream wedding I had always imagined as a little girl, it was exactly the wedding I wanted as a responsible adult who has a plan for the future that is far more important than all those bells and whistles. I wanted a wonderful memory of being with those I love most on the best day of my life, and I got just that. The cost of our two week honeymoon in Greece and 3 Greek islands (Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini) was around $6,546.00 which included 2 round trip plane tickets, 4 different hotels, 4 ferry rides to the different destinations, meals, cab rides, activities and enough gifts to open our own Greek souvenir shop. The averaged total cost of both events was $11,076.00. Now this is a huge amount of money to me, especially knowing what it would have been worth in the future if we had invested it, and at times I felt that we went overboard; however, the average cost of a Los Angeles wedding without the honeymoon in 2014 was $38,735.00, so I think we did well. Here is a breakdown of cost:

COST OF WEDDING:
Rental of Chapel – $900
Minister – $300 ($100 was a tip)
Photographer/Videographer – $200
Decorations (handmade) – $250
Attire (for both of us) – $400
Rings (for both of us) – $180
Dinner – $2,300
TOTAL: $4,530.00
COST OF HONEYMOON:
Plane tickets – $2,076.00
Travel Package (hotels for 4 locations/4 ferry rides/9 cab rides) – $2,470.00
Spending cash (gifts/food/activities) – $2,000
TOTAL: $6,546.00
 greek-islands

There is no doubt that life can be a hard grind at times, but that is precisely what motivates us to look forward to a future that doesn’t have to be. Granted even if we were billionaires I would still be as frugal as ever, but I’ve just never really liked the idea of money keeping us from experiencing new and exciting things. If you share a similar vision, find a method that is suitable for your income, lifestyle choice and aspirations. Your journey will be different than his which will be different than hers. Just keep organized, keep moving and stay focused on your desired outcome. And to all of you bloggers: please continue writing for I will surely continue reading.

My Dividend Growth

http://www.mydividendgrowth.com

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31 thoughts on “A Message From My Wife:
  1. Jason Fieber

    Mrs. MDG,

    Nice to meet you!

    Looks like you and Ryan are on the same page, which is really wonderful. You’re set up for a really great partnership together, being able to augment each other like that.

    And congrats on keeping the costs down. That’s pretty impressive considering the fact that you guys went to such an amazing spot.

    Wishing you guys nothing but the best!

    Cheers.

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Jason,

      I’m a huge fan of yours and thanks for the kind words; we wouldn’t be where we are today without your blog. I’m so happy that Ryan and I share the same mentality when it comes to our finances, especially now that we’ve learned so much about dividend growth investing.

      Looking forward to your next post!

      Best Regards,
      Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Mar,

      Thanks for the comment, but I can’t take credit for this particular image. However, our views really did look like this picture, and we are excited to create our own home video with all the footage we took. 🙂

      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  2. dividendniche

    Dear Mrs. MDG,

    It enjoyed reading your post about how you and Ryan began your journey. I was also inspired by Dividend Mantra to begin dividend growth investing.

    It is great to hear that you two had your ideal wedding and honeymoon, without going overboard on the budget. The wedding industry will gladly charge inflated costs for items and services. Some of the markups are inexplicable, but some research and taking on some of the items can greatly reduce these costs. Making a good plan with a budget and sticking to it was a great approach.

    It sounds like the trip to Greece was amazing. Travel is also an important investment and it is great to have those memories and experiences.

    I look forward to hearing more insights on DGI and how your journey is going!

    Best wishes

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thanks dividendniche for the comment! Yes, it is unfortunate that the wedding industry sometimes loses sight of what marriage is really all about. The purpose of a wedding is to celebrate love and family not to go bankrupt.

      Greece was truly unbelievable. It was our first time travelling outside of the United States, and we surely want to do it again in the near future.

      Best wishes to you as well!
      Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  3. JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit

    Congrats again on the marriage and the honeymoon looks awesome. Y’all did a great job keeping costs down on the wedding. That’s really the only thing I wish we had done a better job of but it’s in the past so there’s no point in dwelling on it.

    It’s pretty amazing what can happen when you get put in a situation where you back is up against the wall. For the two of you that’s when you both figured out a much better way to deal with money and you’re both so much better off for it. Y’all now have a plan in place and a common goal to strive for which will continue to bring the two of you closer together.

    Hope to hear more of your take on things in the future.

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thank you much JC! It took a lot of planning and hard work, but it was worth it. I’m sure your wedding resonates many wonderful memories as well, and even if you did pay a little extra, at least it was for a worthy cause.

      Although I may not have known it at the time, I am grateful for my financially tumultuous past because it really taught me the value of a dollar.

      Keep up the great work and looking forward to reading more of your posts.

      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  4. Roadmap2Retire

    Hi Mrs. MDG,
    Nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your story. Oh and congratulations on the wedding 🙂

    You are building a great future together by learning, saving and investing together. Keep up the great work and financial freedom will be yours to conquer.

    Best wishes
    R2R

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Hi R2R!

      Thank you for the comment. It’s really great that Ryan and I are on the same page when it comes to our future; it makes achieving it that much more plausible.

      Wishing you continued success in all your endeavors!
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  5. Dividend Gravy

    Nicely written article, Ms. MDG. It’s great to hear that you two compliment each other so well. Yes, money is important, but you will never forget your honeymoon trip. While it may have been hard to spend the money, I doubt you will ever regret it years from now. I say that because you seem to be doing a great job at growing your portfolio and dividend income.

    You are young. By the time you reach retirement age, I suspect that your portfolio will be more than sufficient and you will view the wedding/honeymoon as money well spent. Congratulations on starting your life together.

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Thanks a lot Dividend Gravy! Really appreciate the good advice and the reassurance that I shouldn’t regret spending money on something as memorable as a honeymoon.

      Also, thanks for the positive vibes!

      Best regards,
      Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  6. FerdiS

    Now that was a fantastic post! Congratulations Mrs MDG and Ryan on your wedding and your journey together to financial freedom. Best of luck and I’ll be following along (as long as you post!) with interest.

    Cheers
    FerdiS

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Investment Hunting,

      I had always wanted to post an article, and I’m very glad I did; the hospitality that everyone has shown me is really amazing. Thanks very much for making me feel so welcomed and for taking the time to comment!

      Best wishes,
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  7. Vivianne

    Hey! I didn’t know I’ve been spied on. Ha!

    I fall in love with you Mrs MDG. Ryan, you lucky man you, she’s a keeper for life! I’m happy you both find your other half, Greece honeymoon sure is romantic. You’ll have stories to tell you kids, grandkids. I’d probably spend more on honeymoon than the party itself. Looking forward to more articles from you.

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Ha ha Vivianne! It’s really been an inspiration to learn so many people’s stories. I am glad to be a part of this world.

      I think it’s a great idea that you want a moderate wedding in order to spend extra on the honeymoon; everyone should do what’s right for them.

      Keep up the great work with your blog!
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  8. shamonne

    Awesome post! Congratulations! I really enjoy your blog, hoping to see you guys achieve your goal and I too can follow!

     
    Reply
  9. Tawcan

    Nice to meet you Mrs MDG! Sounds like both of you are on the same page when it comes to finance, that’s awesome! Although the expenses look big, I think you guys did a great job keeping in low. As a part time wedding photographer I’m shocked that you only paid $200 for the photographer. I’d charged a lot more haha. 😉

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Tawcan

      Likewise! It really is awesome that we see eye to eye; it makes things more manageable. Thank you for the positive vibes, and I’m glad to know we got a good deal on the photographer!

      Take care,
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  10. Dividend Gremlin

    Mrs. MDG,

    Awesome that you were able to pull all that together for that cost. My wife and I have huge families, so we were not able to keep the costs down to your level, but we were below the average so that counts for something.

    It’s great you two cooperate on the whole financial front. Having a combined strategy is so important. My wife just tasks me with doing this stuff, which works for us. However, I understand how nice it is to be on the same page – or at least in the same book (that is more along my lines there).

    – Gremlin

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Dividend Gremlin,

      Thanks a lot! I’m happy that we were both able to pay below the average yet still cater to our needs.

      Ryan and I do work well together, but there are still times when our opinions will differ and be a subject of debate. A lot of our decisions are compromises.

      Best Wishes,
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  11. Brazo264

    Are you currently working? I would have liked to hear details on how you got out of your bad situation. I’m sure you could share tips etc.

    Best to you two

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      Brazo264,

      Yes, I am currently working. I was originally going to go further into detail, but didn’t want to go too off topic since it was my first post. 😉

      Truth be told, when I lost my job it was very difficult finding a new one. I applied everywhere but to no avail. It was at this point that I shook my first at all the time and money I spent on education and settled for a part time job. After many months of diligent searching, I finally found my current job.

      I’ve made quite a few mistakes when it comes to my education and career paths, but I am trying my hardest to atone for them by striving towards being financially independent.

      Best regards,
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply
  12. DivGuy

    What a pleasure to meet you Mrs. MDG! I admire the work both of you are doing. Your journey and numbers are pretty impressive. It’s very rare to see people understanding AND applying the dividend growth investing concept so fast.

    For the frugal part, I sure ain’t the best example. I’m slowly becoming more minimalist, which I personally prefer over being frugal because it means more lifetime experiences in my mind. However, congrats on the low wedding costs! That’s very smart of you.

    Hope you find some time to follow my blog as well! 😉 I’m the guy who’s planning an RV trip with his wife and three kids next year! I’ll surely have plenty to share.

    Cheers to you Mrs. MDG!

    Mike

     
    Reply
    1. My Dividend Growth

      The pleasure is mine DivGuy! Thank you very much for your comment; I’m glad to be part of a community that helps each other learn and grow.

      It’s definitely important to manage your finances properly while simultaneously living a life full of meaning. Ryan and I are excited to read about your and your family’s adventure; we will definitely be taking notes!

      Best,
      ~Mrs. MDG

       
      Reply

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