Stupid Tax: First Paid on Our Honeymoon

Dave Ramsey uses the term stupid tax to describe the price you pay for making bad financial decisions. You chalk them up as lessons learned in the game of life, hoping to never have to pay that "tax" again. For the next few weeks, we'll share with you some of the lessons we learned the hard way. We really hope you learn from our mistakes and save yourselves from paying the same tax. It all started on our honeymoon, or probably even before, with our lack of financial planning.

We went on our honeymoon without a spending plan or a care in the world. Basically, we did whatever we wanted and spent money on frivolous things without putting a thought to how it was being paid for. Why not? We just got married, we certainly deserved to have anything we wanted on our honeymoon, right?

Looking back, we don't think so. This was the start of our poor financial planning and decisions that would eventually cost us thousands of dollars through the first two years of our marriage, or B.D., as I like to call it (Before Dave). Taking Dave's Financial Peace University course transformed the way we think about money. It's still a work in progress, but it changed our lives and helped us become debt-free.

We honeymooned in Santa Monica in October 2006. We found the nicest hotel on the water and booked it. It wasn't an all-inclusive deal, so unlike couples who choose that option, we spent even more money once we got there.

The ocean wasn't warm enough to swim in, and we laid on the beach one day but it was a bit chilly. So we spent most of our time eating out and shopping. At this point in our lives, we both had good jobs back home and were living in an apartment, so we had the income to support this week-long spending binge.

But what it did was start us out on a marriage filled with frivoulous spending and a feeling of entitlement.

Entitlement to live how our parents live currently--except it took them 30 years to get where they are. We wanted that lifestyle instantly. And so began our marriage, happily ever after--as long as happiness could be purchased with a Visa card. We paid off our credit card every month, but we didn't have a budget and we weren't putting any money into savings.

Have you learned any lessons about money the hard way?


Other posts in this series: