Pop Quiz: Making Big Decisions

Mr. Dragon and I have been having lots of heavy-duty conversations about what the future holds, making big decisions and sorting out our plans””and I think it has a lot to do with getting married.

We’ve always had buying a house and having kids as future goals, but they were pretty abstract in that there was no timeline in place aside from “relatively soon.” Under two months out from the wedding, however, Mr. Dragon and I ended up accidentally hammering out an actual plan, with dates and everything.

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Baby Dragon””hello, future!

I’m curious if getting on the road to marriage, or actually getting married, has firmed up anyone else’s major life decisions! To be fair, this kind of skews toward people who have children and real estate in their future, but I’m really interested in all perspectives.

QUESTION 1: Do you and your partner have a long-term plan?


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QUESTION 2: For those who have a plan, when did you make it?


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QUESTION 3: Do you plan to buy/have you bought a house/land/condo/etc. with your partner?


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QUESTION 4: Did getting engaged/married give you baby fever?


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QUESTION 5: Do you feel like you’re following a “typical” newlywed path (house, 2.5 kids, picket fence, etc.)?


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QUESTION 6: Did you change or acquire different insurance (life, property, etc.) after getting engaged/married?


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QUESTION 7: Did you create/revise your will after getting engaged/married?


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QUESTION 8: Do you feel like you’re “on track” with the other engaged/newlywed couples you know, in terms of major life decisions?


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I’ll share my own answers with you here.

For Question 1, my answer is Yes, but just for the next year or two. While it’s in a document titled “[Mr. and Miss Dragon's] Five Year Plan” (and Mr. Dragon is the one who made me create it before you think I’m crazy!) it basically gets us to Winter/Spring 2014. I realize that these things aren’t set in stone, but I’m really enjoying having a road map for what lies ahead.

For Question 2, my answer is After we got engaged but before we got married. I suppose we would have figured it out after we got married and had to start making decisions, but it’s nice to have it in advance””I have things to look forward to after the wedding!

For Question 3, my answer is Yes, after marriage. Saving for the wedding actually taught us we could save, so we’re going to keep on saving and work toward a mortgage.

Question 4””the truth is I already had baby fever before we were engaged/married. Not terrible baby fever, but I know I want kids. Luckily, so does Mr. Dragon! This is one of those things that was an eventual guarantee but now has a timeline attached to it.

For Question 5, my answer is Yes. I know there’s not really a truly typical path for anyone, as that’s a pretty huge generalization, but when I think about the couples I know who have married recently, most of them went out and bought a house ASAP and have kids on the horizon. I don’t think we’re going to shock anyone with our plans!

My answer to Question 6 reveals my laziness””We plan to but haven’t done so yet. Mr. Dragon has life insurance through his employer of which I’m already a beneficiary, but I imagine some paperwork will need to be done post-wedding. Of course, buying things like a house makes for different property insurance, and I suspect our vehicle insurance will change too. I’m putting it all off until we get married, though!

Question 7 is the exact same: I plan to but haven’t done so yet. Right now, I don’t think I need a will as I’m basically worthless in terms of assets, and Mr. Dragon knows my end-of-life desires should he have to deal with that. Once we have property to contend with, and especially when children enter the picture, a will becomes a lot more important in my eyes!

For Question 8, despite all these lofty goals, I’m going to have to go with I feel like I’m behind. That’s because we’re not actually there yet, so I’m not really sure if our plans will work as we’d like them to. If we manage to have a house and kids on our preferred timeline then I’ll feel like I’m right where I should be, but if things start falling through, I can’t help but think I’m going to have some “but what about me?” feelings.

So, there you have it! A bit more serious and complex than picking out flowers and DIY’ing pretty things, but there’s a practical side to marriage, too. I can’t wait to read your answers!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Dragon

Location:
Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012
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  1. Member
    radishtime 316 posts, Helper bee @ 4:29 pm

    Our wedding is a month after my college graduation (six months after his) so our plan is no plan. We’re both going to look for jobs after graduation and just work for a year, but after that we may want to go to grad school, or move, or switch jobs, or whatever.

    We have decided that we’ll go where life takes us for awhile, and start talking about a house and kids 5 years after the wedding (when we’ll be 27/28

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    S, Guest @ 4:31 pm

    Interesting topic! My FI is in the Army and it makes this kind of planning *really* hard because so many aspects of our life are both unpredictable and out of our control. We have a rough idea of what we want out of life and talk about the future frequently but topics like kids/buying house are all scattered with disclaimers like “if we live in X city”, “if you’re not deployed”, “if we live anywhere we might return again” “if we live near family” “if you decide to renew your contract”, etc. But I guess I knew I was signing up for this kind of life when I married him and so I’m prepared to just live life as it comes at us :)

  3. Member
    debeachgirl 536 posts, Busy bee @ 5:12 pm

    1- only 2 yrs Bc its buy a house have kids. We both have real jobs I’m 32 hes 37 (in 6 days) so beyond that if doesn’t matter.
    2-made before we were engaged. We had been together 5 yrs before getting married it obviously came up.
    3-no house yet. Its in our plan but we need to save more.
    4-had baby fever. Ti knew the longer it took to propose the less time after the wedding before Tycho. Again see our ages.
    5-this again goes back to age and how long long we’ve been together. We know each other spent 4 yrs bytime were married together. I think were a bitnlore advanced.
    6-we were already each others benes
    7-we have no wills. I am a barred non-practicing attorney. I will take care of this post wedding.
    8-I know we arebehind 90% of our wedding party is married with kids, but I don’t care we did this in our time on our terms.

  4. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 5:17 pm

    @radishtime: Lots of big life changes in one period! I think taking time to just ‘be’ after graduation is a really good idea! I know that right of out school, I probably wouldn’t have made the greatest decisions.

    @S: Oh, I can see how that’d make things an extra challenge! :) Of course no one can really know EXACTLY what they’re going to be doing in one or two or five years, but you have a really good attitude about it!

    @DEBeachGirl: Age really does factor in, huh? I doubt I’d be as worried about kids if Mr. D were closer to my age, but I feel like, with him being 11 years older than me, we should get started sooner rather than later.

  5. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:44 pm

    I like this! And I am with S. Hubby’s in the Army. We have plans, but we are subject to the greater good :)

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    lasveagesdj, Guest @ 5:59 pm

    nice post these are good things to ponder before you march down the isle

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    lasvegasdj, Guest @ 6:03 pm

    excuse me thats lasvegasdj1

  8. Member
    JanineO 16 posts, Newbee @ 6:39 pm

    We went totally backward. 2 kids, then the house, then engaged and now the wedding! in 19 days! I’ll get all that other stuff, insurance, will done after that since I dont want more things to change my name on!

  9. Member
    Eulalia 169 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:46 pm

    I chose other for 3 and 5 because I bought my own house long before I ever met my guy! And yes, I do have a white picket fence- I helped my father put it in and painted it myself!

  10. Member
    mslyre 512 posts, Busy bee @ 6:50 pm

    I already owned my house when I met Mr. Ly, but we are currently refinancing and adding him to the mortgage. Otherwise, I feel like we’re the average couple, house, kids in the not so distant future, no picket fence for us, but maybe at our next place!

  11. Member
    SouthernmostBride 111 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:07 pm

    “Feeling behind” really hit me yesterday! It’s Facebook’s fault. Sure – I’ve been overexposed to baby photos on Facebook for awhile now, but yesterday people were posting pics of their “baby’s” first day of school! Made me feel waaaay behind.

  12. Member
    lotto 789 posts, Busy bee @ 8:53 pm

    Ugh I am always jealous of people who can manage to even consider owning a home and having children. We are both graduate students and live in New York City, so both of those are completely impossible. Five year plan I guess? Once we go somewhere for his academic career that has reasonable housing prices where we could put down 15-20K instead of 100K like you need here.

  13. Member
    scone 181 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:45 pm

    We own our home and we are running away to the East Coast… so average newlyweds kind of… we figure there should be an adventure before babies… but that adventure might have moved up the baby schedule… who knows but the whole settle into newlywed life isn’t happening just yet ;)

  14. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 6:16 am

    @Future Army Wife: Kudos to you guys! It must be difficult — but probably very much worth it. :)
    @JanineO: Yeah, I’m kinda going crazy with changing things just to change them again. Super annoying!
    @Eulalia: :) We were looking at buying a long time ago, before we were even engaged, but it just didn’t work out. I think a lot of things go “out of order” these days!
    @Miss Lyre: I don’t think Mr. D will ever let me have a picket fence! :)
    @SouthernmostBride: Hah! A lot of Mr. D’s friends have kids that are eight, nine, ten years old — and his son is turning 12, so it’s a pretty sharp contrast to my FB feed full of newborns! :D
    @lotto: Ouch, that’s a lot of money!! Our real estate prices seem to be not TOO bad. We make a lot less than the average income here, but I think we’ll be able to make things work.
    @Mrs. Scone: We do have a bit of time left to have some pre-baby adventures! :) We kind of figure babies can come along on the rest of our adventures, though! It sounds like your life is pretty exciting right now!!

  15. Member
    anna4041 98 posts, Worker bee @ 8:19 am

    As far as the baby thing goes, I want to have at least one before I’m 30 (almost 28 now). If it were up to him, we would have had kids 4 years ago. I put down my foot saying no kids until we were married (nothing aginst others that do, just my preference).

  16. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:16 am

    The baby thing is pretty huge for my FI and I. Up until very, very recently, we were pressured by his entire family to bring children into the world. His family is full of people who had kids young, going back multiple generations, and it’s so frustrating. “When are you guys going to give me a little _____?” (niece or nephew, grandkid, cousin, etc.) Even the younger ones will get in on it. “All of us cousins got to grow up together, wouldn’t it be SO NICE if our kids could do the same?!” It is literally one of the most frustrating things on the planet. I’m upfront about everything so I have no problem explaining to them that it’s not happening for a while – what frustrates me is that I have to repeat this over and over and OVER again. We want to be Mr. and Mrs. before we’re Mom and Dad and this is ‘new’ to them. They mean well, of course, and they aren’t obnoxious about it (much less so than they used to be, anyway). We totally plan on having children, but it’s on the 5+ year plan (we’re youngish, I’ll be 24 when we get married and he’ll be 25).

  17. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:36 pm

    I wouldn’t say we’re *actually* behind in where we are, because we’ve bought a house, we’ve talked about the future, we have a general plan for the next year and a half at least, but I still feel like I’m not mature enough to be making major life decisions!

  18. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:22 pm

    What a great quiz. The only two I felt I needed to comment on was the baby question. I have always been clucky, getting engaged didn’t really change that! Also the question about planning it out, my fiance and I have talked about our priorities and yes a house first and then kids are on the horizon for us, but we are wanting to travel first! So we don’t have a set deadline on when those big important things will be coming but we have a rough idea and we both do want these things so it will happen eventually!

  19. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 12:08 pm

    @anna4041: Mr. D was very concerned about being married before we had kids, too. It didn’t really matter to me, but my parents were never married, so I was a kid born out of wedlock. :)
    @StephK527: My sister wrote that my niece, her daughter, needs a cousin — on her RSVP card!! It was funny, but yeah, I’m getting the point, hah.
    @Mrs. Hyena: We’re going to be amongst the first in our group of friends to do things like get married and buy a house and have kids — Mr. D’s youngest brother is totally freaked out by it, I think because he thinks he must be next. ;)
    @Jacofblues: We were of the “it’ll happen eventually” mindset for quite some time, but one day, it just shifted!

  20. Member
    nowdontletsbesilly 1489 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:29 pm

    I only feel behind because I thought I would have been married awhile ago! But we do have the literal white picket fence and just bought a place, and I feel like we have a little time before we can really consider kids. And we have general ideas about our life plan, but nothing set in stone, because we do want to be flexible if some amazing opportunity comes up. Especially if we were able to live abroad for some amount of time – that would be worth postponing our plans!

  21. Member
    Bebealways 4698 posts, Honey bee @ 5:08 pm

    We’re not on the normal path. We’re childfree and have no interest in buying a house or land or even a car — we’re very “go where the wind takes us.” We have a five year plan but are open to opportunities that might change it.

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