Today my brother-in-law is getting married. I love that he is getting married on a Wednesday so I can take a day off in the middle of the week.
We thought long and hard about what we would give the newlyweds for their present. It turns out it may be the best and most boring wedding present in history. I think it’s the best so you know what my wife thinks it is…
What Do You Need
My brother-in-law is probably the least ready of everyone in our family to get married. He is still in college and doesn’t even know what he is going to major in or what he wants to do in life.
Luckily his soon-to-be wife has a pretty nice job although not the highest paying. He works too, but it’s not a career-type job, but it pays the bills while in school. This is the last of the brothers and sisters to get married so it will be nice to get past this phase of life.
My wife asked her brother, “what do you need?”
“I need a TV.”
No no, not what do you want, what do you need, “what do you need, not what do you want.”
Do You Really Know What You Need?
Since he hasn’t paid a bill in his life other than his car and now the reality is coming around in a few hours that he is responsible for everything in life it got me wondering if we really ever know what we need that early in life.
Sure we know we should work hard and earn money, but looking back when I was out of college and then later in life when I got married, did I know everything that I really needed at that point in life? Not really. I had good money habits, but a severe lack of financial knowledge to make my money really grow.
The best lessons are learned and experienced in life. You can book learn as much as you want in life but honestly, once you live it you remember the pain or joy from the experience much better.
The Best and Most Boring Gift
I told my wife we should get him an emergency fund for his present and the conversation went something like this:
“We should give them an emergency fund.”
“You mean cash?”
“No, an emergency fund.”
“It’s the same thing.”
“Well yes, but we’ll give him a letter explaining the benefits of an emergency fund and why it’s so important to have, and how he’ll be able to save and use his money for other things. Especially now being married.”
“Whatever…it’s going to turn into a TV.”
“Well…that is his choice and finance lesson learned…right?”
….followed by an eye roll from the wife and an exit from the room. My wife wasn’t upset at the idea of the gift at all, she just thinks it’s pretty boring and that her brother is just going to ignore the letter after seeing the cash. She prefers to give kitchen gifts that get used frequently.
Previous Wedding Gifts
Like I said above we normally give kitchen things as wedding gifts. In Utah you don’t really go all out on gifts because you get invited to a wedding every other week it seems like. You would go broke trying to go over the top. Since it’s my wife’s little brother and since we’re doing really well in life why not try to teach someone a finance lesson that needs it?
What is a Belgian waffle maker or set of plates going to teach him? The nice thing is he will have a wife to help make that decision now as well. If they really want to succeed financially in life, they need to work together and be on the same page.
Best Wedding Gifts
This made me think of some of the gifts we received at our wedding reception. I was 30 and had a house and my wife had an awesome paying job and neither of us had debt or payments other than my house…so we asked people to tone it down because we didn’t need that much.
We received lots of stuff and ended up taking a lot of it back to the store. We had to take both of our cars to hold all the presents and it filled up two full carts and went back to Target and just picked up gift cards which lasted a long time. (Sorry everyone who brought us something….thanks for coming!)
The highlight of the presents was a card addressed to my wife that she opened and several one-hundred dollar bills kept falling out. Come to find out that it was the random guy who came through our wedding line with his shirt unbuttoned all the way down and hair popping out everywhere. I asked my wife who that was and she said it was some guy she worked for as a teenager.
As soon as my wife read who the card was from her sister blurted out, “ha, I knew that guy had a huge crush on you…so sick!” My wife smiled and said, “hey it looks like it paid off in the end!” Fun times.
What is the best or worse gift you have given or received?