My Wife Deserves a $2M McMansion

My wife is the nicest, kindest, and most caring person in the world. She deserves everything under the sun. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to increase her happiness.

So when we first met 9 years ago, my mission in life was clear:


“What my wife wants, my wife gets. Even if it kills me.”


Seems like a pretty good goal, right? Wrong. Here are the problems I’ve learned over the 9+ years my wife and I have been together…

  1. What I think my wife wants, and what she actually wants, are two very different things.
  2. What she deserves, and what she actually values in life are completely different also.

It’s taken me years to realize this, and I’m still learning! Let’s go through some of my past failures when trying to provide my wife a better life…

My wife deserves Lululemon outfits: (FAIL)

The year was 2010. She did yoga classes, she had yoga friends, she ate the foods that yoga people ate… It only made sense that for our first Christmas together I would buy her the fanciest Lululemon outfit I could afford.

But the very next morning after unwrapping her brand new $90 pants and $140 sweater, she left for yoga class not wearing them!

When I asked her why, she replied “Are you kidding? Those clothes are way too fancy to workout in!”. To this day, my wife has never spent over $30 for a pair of pants.

*Note to self… My wife doesn’t value expensive clothing.*

My wife deserves a massive diamond ring! (FAIL)

After dating for about three years, we started discussing plans for marriage. You would’ve thought I knew her interests fairly well at that stage, but I guess I was still clueless. Definitely clueless about jewelry.

A friend at work gave me 2 pieces of (horrible) advice on the subject of engagement rings. He told me to: 1) spend as much as I can afford on a ring because this type of thing only happens once in life, and 2) Think about my wife sitting around having lunch with her friends… you want her to have the fanciest ring to show off.

My gut told me he was wrong. And after browsing through $10-20k engagement rings I felt sick. I quickly came to my senses and asked my wife what she wanted…

ME: “Hey honey, what style of diamond ring do you like? Want to go shopping this weekend?”

WIFE: “I hate Diamonds. And I don’t really want a big ring.”

*Note to self: Los Angeles is full of hyper-consumers. Don’t fall into this trap!*


My wife deserves to never work a day in her life (FAIL)

After my personal experience with a couple of crappy jobs right out of school, I was convinced that work is the enemy in life. The quicker I could quit the rat race, the better. I thought if I could bring home the big bacon, my wife wouldn’t have to work at all. I could save her from being miserable, like me!

Well, what a massive fail. As it turns out, my wife’s work aligns with her values and passion in life. She’s a teacher. And a damn good one too! We need MORE teachers like her in this world, not LESS!

Work for her is not about money. It’s about how she wants to spend her time in life. My wife’s days are spent helping, volunteering, mentoring, and educating the youth of America. She’s making the world a better place.

Shame on me for ever thinking that she should not work. She’s made more of a difference in the world in the last couple years than I’ve done in my entire lifetime.

*Note to future self: Always support my wife in pursuing meaningful work. Encourage her to do it and do it and do it as much as she can in life.*

My wife deserves a McMansion! (FAIL)

I love real estate. Everywhere I go I can’t help but admire all the beautiful houses, apartment buildings, hillside properties and beachfront views out there. I want to give my wife the very best living experience money can buy.

As it turns out, my wife doesn’t like massive houses. She thinks they’re too big and ugly. Multiple useless rooms to clean, lots of decorations and crap needed just to fill space, expensive maintenance and repairs… Although she deserves a mansion, owning one would be a burden to her!

So what is my wife’s favorite house?… Ask her and she’ll tell you it’s “the small duplex rental property we bought 3 years ago in Texas.” She’s never even stepped foot inside it and values it more than any mcmansion out there. This little investment property spits out ~$700 in excess cash flow each month and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. “Forget buying mansions – let’s buy more of these!” my wife says.

*Note to self: Buy my wife more B-Class multi-family rental properties.*

My wife deserves her dream car! (FAIL)

ME: If you could have any car in the entire world, what would it be?

WIFE: An old beautiful Volkswagen Beetle

ME: That’s it? They’re cheap! Let’s go get one this weekend!

WIFE: No, that’s a dumb idea. I like riding my bike to work

One of the best recent gifts I got for my wife was a new set of handlebar grips for her bicycle. They were only $6 from Amazon. I would have just as happily dropped $6-10k (plus ongoing maintenance, reg, insurance) on a nice Volkswagen Beetle for her. But she wouldn’t even drive it!

*Note to self: Simple pleasures mean way more to my wife than dream cars. Future gifts should be centered around being outside, in the sun and enjoying nature.*


And she deserves much, much more…

I could go on forever about the finer things that most people want in life. My wife deserves them all, but doesn’t want them.

So what does she ultimately want? What are some things that I could provide that do align with her values? What will she treasure forever?…


My wife deserves more time with ME? (WIN!)

For most of my life I’ve been in a commission-based sales role at work. Like most sales jobs, the harder (and smarter) you work, the more you get paid. So it made sense that I would work all-day-every-day and never go on vacation.

But what I’ve come to realize is overworking is unfair to my wife. She wants to spend time with me. Quality time. She wants to travel the world with me. Take long vacations with me. Watch movies with me. Have coffee with me in the mornings.

*Note to self: Taking time off work is one of the best gifts I can give. Time is way more valuable to my wife than more income.*

My wife deserves a healthy husband? (WIN!)

Given our family history and health, there’s a good possibility that my wife will outlive me. What a horrible thing to think about! My wife deserves a husband that does everything he can to be with her for as long as possible. Not taking care of my health is so selfish!

Physical health: When my wife and I hang out, she wants me to be active, motivated, and fit enough to try new activities. To achieve this I’m working out more regularly, eating healthier foods, and drinking less.

Mental health: In the past when I was having a rough time at work, it was easy to bring that misery back home. These days I’m very conscious about my personal mental health and how it affects my wife. She deserves me to be happy, alert during our conversations, funny, and always have a good attitude.

*Note to future self: Work out, eat healthy, and take care of yourself. Grow as old as you can together. Always think positive and be fun to be around*


My wife deserves the FREEDOM that Financial Independence provides. (Ultimate WIN!)

One of the main benefits I foresee in achieving Financial Independence early in life is having more freedom. Freedom to do whatever it is that we want to do.

It’s sad to admit, but most of my decisions in life up until now have been centered around money and how much things cost. (Ironically, this is the very practice and financial diligence that helped me achieve most of our FI goals at a young age).

Anyway, moving forward, my wife and I are switching to more lifestyle based decisions and can start ignoring the financial consequences. Financial Independence allows us to be more free thinking.

Financial Independence gives my wife the freedom to:

  • Do more life exploration
  • Have more time for creative outlets and hobbies
  • Go back to school if she wants
  • Spend more time with family
  • Take job positions purely for the love of them
  • Lead a non-traditional and interesting life

And there’s so much more still to learn…

After all this, I’m still figuring it out. What we think we want, what we deserve, and what we’ll truly value at the end of the day, all takes time to find out.  And I’m so thankful to have an awesome and patient wife to find it out with.

Forever learning,



*Featured mansion pic Nick Romanov

25 thoughts on “My Wife Deserves a $2M McMansion

  • Literally, couldn’t stop smiling throughout this entire post. Your wife is so awesome and I can totally picture her making all of these comments. Thanks for sharing that not all women are gold diggers and out to spend as much money as possible. Can we get together again and soon?

  • You are very lucky, your wife sounds amazing.

    Mine on the other hand…

    No I’m just kidding, mine is great too, but very different from yours. The way you describe your wife, it’s basically reversed in our household. My wife in the past, and still does, tries to get me the expensive version of whatever and it always kills me because I would have been just as happy with the version that is 1/3 the price…but I know her heart is in the right place, which it sounds like yours is too.

    • Haha great to hear. It’s difficult accepting gifts that are too expensive. But sometimes the best gifts are things you would have never bought yourself. Thanks for reading!

  • Its a good thing you stopped when you did, logically you were pretty close to realizing that your amazing wife also deserves a much richer, buffer and better looking husband! Then where would you be? Seriously my wife sounds like yours. She wanted a $71 gold band when we married, no diamonds. We bought a small house and although we added on it is still modest. And what she likes the best is spending time together which we do when we run, play tennis, hike, fish, off road, cook and ski. I’m not telling her she deserves a better husband either.

    • Well I wish her good luck in finding a new husband who can move, and shake, like thisssss… sss… (get it?)

      But seriously, sounds our wives would get along well. Maybe they’ll bump into each other at the 99cent store one day?

  • Wow, this was an outstanding post and one I decided to share with my wife. I think the whole argument about “deserving”, “wanting”, “needing” can be super tricky and in some cases I would argue to make decisions based on value they bring to your life. If it’s happiness then what is it that you “value” that brings you happiness?. Great post Joel, you have a new follower :).

  • This was a fun post to read. You wife sounds like a cool chick. 🙂

  • I loved reading this post. It remind me a lot of our relationship. It is so great to have such simple needs that don’t require breaking the bank. The freedom that comes with financial independence is priceless.

  • Great post Joel! I like the part about the big diamond ring. You found a wife with simple and great values, congratulations! I am not in a relationship at the moment but I can see some of the topics coming into my parents relationship : my mom deserves more time with my hard-working father for example.

  • Hey Joel,

    I love the open-mindedness of this post. The reality is that our perception of what someone wants is quite often far from the mark of what they themselves actually desire. Recognizing that is the first step toward more effective communication.
    Keep moving forward on the right path, brother.

    Take care,

    • Cheers Ryan. Even just writing this post has now made me think about the assumptions I have about other friends and family. Communication is key.

  • I had to share this with my husband! I’m a teacher and considered selling my (small) ring to go on a vacation one year. When he bought me a Mac for Mother’s Day, I returned it and paid for landscaping to clear trees that were creating termite issues. The only difference I’ve found is, with kids, I want to teach less and spend more time with my own children. There are many women who value simplicity over high cost living. Looks like you’ve got a keeper. 😉 Thanks for a great post!

    • Thanks for reading! Love hearing these stories… swapping the Mac for landscaping is an awesome move! Just told my wife and she agrees!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post, probably because I could really relate to so many ways in which your wife reacted and the value she places on money. Kudos to both of you for understanding and alligning that in your 9 year journey.

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