I am 23 and have fallen in love with a 28-year-old who earns $135,000 a year (a lot more than me). He works in construction six days a week (overtime on Saturdays) and he is absolutely set on buying a house ASAP. I love his commitment to the future and to us, but he is always tired and rundown and is rarely available to spend time with friends and family. Is he doing the right thing by working as much as possible? I would like him to take Saturday off occasionally, or am I being immature?
I’m pretty sure my wife said the same thing about me when we first met!
Sounds to me like your bloke has his head screwed on properly: he’s working hard for the future. You can get away with doing that in your twenties, before the triple Ms (marriage, mortgage and midgets). After that it gets tougher: your time isn’t your own. It’s often said that you spend your twenties learning and your thirties earning — and that it sets you up for living a very different life in your forties and beyond.
There are two books I’d suggest you read — both of you I mean: The first is mine (obviously!), which sets out the Barefoot Steps that will keep you safe. The second is How Much Is Enough? by Arun Abey. This book has practical exercises that you can do, as a couple, to ensure you put work and the accumulation of wealth in its proper context.
I’ll leave the final word to my dearly departed 92-year-old grandmother, who always advised:
“Whatever you do, don’t marry a lazy person.”
Good advice, Grandma.