Wedding Budgets, Not-So Passive Income & Savings Exercise 🤸‍♀️

May 9, 2023

Happy Tuesday, happy people!

One day, a psychologist named Richard Wiseman set up a “likability” experiment…

He staged two actresses in a busy mall, and asked them both to sell blenders…

The first actress was instructed to give a perfect sales pitch. She performed a flawless demonstration, blending a smoothie in front of potential customers.

The second actress had the exact same sales pitch, but was told to accidentally leave the blender lid undone during the demonstration. The smoothie exploded, spilling juice all over herself in a big embarrassing mess.

Guess who sold more blenders that day?

(It wasn’t the perfect one)

Research shows that people are attracted to vulnerability, authenticity, and imperfections. This is because they are more relatable and trustworthy than “perfect” people.

Anyway, just something to think about this week. Embrace your flaws! You’re more attractive and likable than you think. 🤗

OK, on to the money stuff! 👇👇👇


Exercise Instead of Buying

I know that no one wants to read this, but hear me out!…

Often, when we click open that Amazon tab during work and start shopping, we’re looking for a quick dopamine fix. Something to lift our spirits and make us feel excited. But shopping isn’t the only way to get a hit!

Engaging in physical activity can result in the release of dopamine and serotonin, which boosts your mood. And best of all, it’s free, and comes with lasting health benefits.

So your mission this week (should you be crazy enough to accept it) is to hold off on buying something and get outside for a brisk walk instead. Saving money + getting fitter = win 🤜 🤛 win.


Passive Income — A Myth?

The term passive income sounds so nice… Getting an endless stream of money, without ever having to lift a finger or think about it — that’s the dream, right?

But the truth is, every dollar that comes into your life has some form of underlying time/effort/activity attached. Passive income must be built, bought, or in many cases still requires a little ongoing maintenance.

So is passive income a complete myth? Not necessarily. Having your ‘money make money’ is the end goal in all our wealth building journeys. We should all strive for it.

But the end goal and the starting point are very different. To grow a money tree (or several), you’ve gotta plant the seeds and put in the work. We actually prefer the term leveraged income — which is leveraging your time/effort now, in exchange for a long term income stream later.

Remember this iceberg picture when you see influencers flaunting their passive income achievements on Instagram. What you’re likely seeing is the flashy top side, not the invisible underbelly.

Related stuff:


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2023 Wedding Budgets & Stats 💍

Today’s fun facts come from Zola’s First Look Report — a study across 4k+ couples getting married this year.

As for budgets, the average couple plans to spend about ~$30k getting married. This is about the same as it was in 2022. There’s a wide spread though, with 16% of folks having an under $10k budget and another 16% above $50k.👇👇👇

Other interesting (and cool!) stats from the report:

  • Although inflation has increased many costs, couples are keeping their overall budgets the same. Basically, being more intentional and mindful with what they spend on, vs. just increasing the budget. 👍

  • 81% of couples are asking for “cash gifts”. Biggest uses will be for honeymoon, helping pay for the wedding and home down payments. 🙌

  • 19% of folks plan to thrift for their wedding attire! There’s a huge increase in upcycling as more couples believe outfits aren’t worth splurging on. 🤩 

  • 26% have been saving up money for years already, and 29% plan to optimize credit cards to make the most of rewards/cash back. 🥳

  • On average, couples marrying in 2023 have been engaged for 18-24 months and have attended 5 different friends weddings this past year. It seems watching everyone else get married gives them fresh ideas on areas to save money, and time to reflect on what’s really important to them individually. 🤗

All in all, it’s great to see people putting more thought into wedding costs and cutting out elements that don’t mean much to them.

Related stuff:


News and Updates

Money Market vs. HYSA 🤷‍♂️
If you’re wondering why interest rates vary so much across savings products, here’s a really detailed post about Money Market Funds and HYSA’s and how they differ.

Skills Gap 👨‍💻
The latest Future of Jobs Report has some really interesting stats… As some careers are phasing out (think bank tellers, front desk clerks), new careers are phasing in (think AI specialists, robotic engineers). Apparently in 2027, about 44% of all workers’ skills will need updating. A great reminder to keep on learning and progressing your knowledge/skills!

Too many bikes! 🚲
When the pandemic hit, biking became extremely popular. Now there’s an oversupply in many places, leading to a surge in discounts. Great news for those in the market for 2 wheels.

Medical Debt 🩻
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have now officially removed any medical collection debt below $500 from being included on credit reports (regardless of whether the debt has been paid). This was first announced last year, but only just went into effect April 11th — so if your credit score suddenly got a lil boost, this might be why!

Rate Hike 📈
Last week the Fed announced yet another interest rate hike (+0.25 points) in their continued effort to bring inflation down under 2%. Bad news for people with variable interest rate debt (pay it down asap, people!) and good news for those with cash in HYSAs (switch banks if you’re not earning much interest on your cash!)


Priscilla, 35, Brookhaven, GA 🏞️

Occupation: Accountant
Salary: $125k (AUD)

Paycheck deductions: I am self-employed so I pay this directly but $1,750 taxes and $330 insurance.
Housing: Currently sharing rent with a roommate and pay $1200 each
Other Debts: None!
Living expenses: ~$1,500/m

Leftover savings each month: $1,600!!!

How are you investing your excess savings each month?
$200 invested in VTI in a Roth account – there’s roughly $8K in other investments too. I need to increase this but I’m building my emergency fund back up

Biggest “craft beer equivalent” splurge:
Makeup products – why so expensive?

Best savings hack/advice:
Learning to say no to things and drinking at home first.

Recent money win? How did you celebrate?
Promotion at work – took myself to Marcel (an upscale steakhouse)

Biggest money challenge right now?
The USD/AUD currency exchange rate! And the cost of housing.

Anything else you want to share?
Currently working on two side businesses to add extra income. These are hobbies that I hope to make money out of. One is writing a book – it’s a science fiction novel. The other is animated world building that tells a story as part of a series that I want to put on Youtube.

**Have you got a story that might help or inspire others? Fill out the form to be featured! (We won’t share anything you don’t approve first) And thank you in advance for helping our community grow richer and happier, together.

Cheers for reading and wishing you the most awesome week ahead!

Best friends out 🍻

PS. Congrats to the winners of our sock giveaway last week — Angela H, Katy R, Tyler N, Rachel D & Josh C!

And for all those who didn’t win, stay tuned… next week we’ll be giving away a car!!! Oops just kidding. But seriously we’ll be doing more giveaways coming shortly. 😉

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