3 Ideas: Expensive Weddings, Pendulum Swings Back, Anti 5 Year Plan


written by oz chen

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Welcome to the Rich List, a weekly newsletter of 3 ideas to increase your wealth, well-being and wisdom.

Idea 1

A famous study of 3000 couples suggest that getting married via big, cheap wedding is the best way to stay married.

Some more marriage + money stats:

  • Higher divorce risk: more expensive weddings, more expensive wedding ring, those who cited looks as a decision to marry
  • Lower divorce risk: more money spent on honeymoon, more people that attend the wedding*

My armchair psychologist takeaway for these stats: it’s all about values.

Weddings test how values are prioritized.

Do I spend an extra $5K on flowers because my future mother-in-law says we should have nice flowers, or do I save that money for a nicer honeymoon?

Getting clear on one’s own values is hard. Doing it as a team is even harder.

My takeaway is that couples benefit from focusing on themselves more – rather than seek external validation.

One other thought I share before I shut my bachelor mouth up: a wedding is often the biggest project a couple pulls of together in terms of cost, effort, stress and logistics.

Perhaps doing big projects before getting married – and reflecting on how that collaboration went – can help couples decide on the scope of their wedding.

Married readers, what’s your take on this? Did you have an expensive or cheap wedding, and how did it go?

*Bigger weddings imply a wider social net to support the couple.

Idea 2

Imagine this POV of a tech worker:

2020: “I’m just glad to have a job.” > Stays at cushy remote job.
2021: “Screw this job, I demand more!” > Quits job.
2022: “Quiet quitting is cool, I’m going to slack off.” > Gets laid off.
2023: “Uh oh, economy sucks. I just want my old job back.” > Regret.

The general economy makes a big difference in how we feel.

Good economy? People get overconfident. Bad economy? People become more conservative.
Macroeconomic conditions are like lava.

My learning here is twofold:

  • Get it while the getting is good. Take advantage of the job market while it’s hot.
  • Don’t get sucked into trends. Just because broader trends like quiet quitting is a good idea for one person doesn’t mean it’s a fit for you.

I’ll end on a brighter note. Recessions on average last 10 months. That means there’s still time to scoop up stocks (index funds!) while they’re cheap, and that this recession will have an end in sight.

Idea 3

When making 5 year plans, most people write down the goals they want to achieve.

I find it just as helpful to write down what I don’t want. Here’s the prompt:

“If you had to ensure you’d wreck your life in 5 years, how would you do it?”

My version of how to wreck my life in 5 years or less:

  • Stress myself out by engaging in a new business that I hate, but only want to make money from
  • Prioritize someone else’s needs over mine, e.g. stop doing a hobby my partner doesn’t like
  • Play status games. Trying to impress people or fit into a group I actually don’t care about
  • Be obsessed about reaching a FIRE number at the cost of present happiness
  • Get married and have kids with the wrong partner
  • Buy more material things instead of experiences
  • Become even more addicted to screen time
  • Destroy my sleep and wake up habits.
  • De prioritize my health and fitness
  • Do zero reflection
  • Stop writing

This exercise helped me become present to what could be worse, which ironically makes me more grateful about where I am now.

Just for fun

Do you want cheese in your quesadilla? Wish I had content like this to learn Spanish when I was younger.

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