Arguments about money can hamper many happy relationships. This is especially true for couples that live together and those that are married, with financial issues frequently cited as one of the leading reasons for divorce. But why is money such a sticky subject? In today’s episode, Kelly and Megan dive into this very personal topic. We discuss how more traditional arrangements between partners have evolved with the times and the value of communicating openly with your partner and your children about money, as well as doing what works for your unique circumstances. No two relationships are the same and individual financial situations can vary just as broadly, so it can be useful to set realistic expectations and discuss money, children, and elderly relatives before you decide to get married or enter into a long-term relationship with someone. Preparing for the unexpected is a key theme in this conversation, and both Kelly and Megan emphasize the importance of ensuring that you are financially literate and learning how to protect yourself should a worst-case scenario occur, especially as a woman. It certainly isn’t a romantic conversation, but it is an important one to have with your partner! We also touch on the challenges that come with blended families, supporting adult children, and what is known as ‘financial infidelity’, so make sure to tune in today for a candid and revealing discussion about financial arrangements in relationships!
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Key Points From This Episode:
Why finances are such a sensitive subject to navigate, especially during COVID.
How traditional financial arrangements between couples have evolved over time.
The emotional relationship many people have with spending habits and personal debt.
The value of communication and doing what works for your unique relationship.
Financial decisions required for managing children and elderly relatives.
Advice for educating your children about finances: communicate openly with them.
While money does not define your family, it can be important to set realistic expectations.
Megan and Kelly share what their own parents taught them about finances.
The benefits of teaching your children about the importance of saving early on.
Kelly speaks candidly about how her adult children manage their own finances.
The value of discussing money, children, and elderly relatives before marriage, not after.
Why it is important to be prepared for the unexpected to happen.
Tough love; why couples often disagree on how to support their adult children.
What has worked for Kelly: separate private accounts and a shared household account.
How to minimize resentment when both partners don’t earn the same level of income.
Some of the additional challenges that come with blended families or second marriages.
Find out what ‘financial infidelity’ is and how having a private account can prevent it.
Kelly highlights the importance of having emotional sensitivity for your partner.
Using your household account for shared financial goals, such as buying a house.
A simple rule Kelly lives by: if you can’t tell your partner, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.
The inherent value in creating a legal relationship agreement or prenuptial agreement.
We emphasize the importance of protecting yourself financially, especially as a woman.
Why it is essential that you are as financially literate as possible; educate yourself!
“Everybody’s relationship is different. Everybody’s financial situation is different. Even within a relationship, the two people rarely have the same financial background and situation.” — Kelly Castillo [0:01:40]
“You can teach the importance of saving so early that [your children] are not completely unaware of how to do it when they have to go out into the real world or if they enter a relationship with someone like me, who is super financially immature.” — Megan Block [0:17:50]
“When you marry your spouse, you’re marrying everyone in their family. The older you get, the more of a combined situation that could become.” — Megan Block [0:27:25]
“There are things that can come up in a relationship that you’re not expecting, as your kids get older, as [you] get older, as your parents get older. There are financial conversations I never expected to have to have with my partner [that] I did when my grandmother needed care.” — Kelly Castillo [0:29:46]
“I don’t want to say that open communication is the key to it working, but I keep hearing a pattern in all these stories of success: the more open you are, the more successful you’ll be.” — Megan Block [0:40:31]
“Mentally, it’s hard to be struggling and have the person that you love and who loves you be free spending willy-nilly. It’s hard.” — Kelly Castillo [0:45:19]
“The last thing any of us wants is for a situation to go bad, but sometimes it does. No matter how hard you try, no matter [what] good people you are, sometimes crazy things happen and people do crazy things. When it comes to money, people do really crazy things.” — Kelly Castillo [0:53:21]
“If you do your research and you educate yourself, there [are] a lot of ways to protect [yourself] because the way people make money and how they handle their money within relationships has evolved so much.” — Megan Block [0:54:21]
“The last thing in the world I would want for anybody is to be in a relationship that they realize no longer works for them or is becoming toxic for them and not have the means to leave.” — Kelly Castillo [0:56:26]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
[00:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to She’s A Full On Monet, a digital lifestyle magazine for women. Every week, our Editor-In-Chief, Kelly Castillo, along with Megan Block and special guests, participate in a deep-dive discussion about recent articles and topics we have covered. We invite you to become part of our community, where everyone’s welcome.
[00:00:27] KC: Hi, guys. Welcome back to She’s A Full On Monet, episode 15. Week 15. Can’t believe that. Today, we are going to be talking about finances within the confines of a relationship. Especially, obviously, finances in a relationship where you live together, marriage, partners, live-in, whatever, and how that really can work and how it cannot work. I know a lot of studies have shown that finances are one of the leading causes of divorce. Obviously, it’s a sticky issue for a lot of people. It’s a very personal issue for a lot of people. Megan and I are going to talk to you guys about that today. Hi, Megan, how are you?
[00:01:09] MB: Hi. I’m good. I’m good. This is a very interesting subject. Because yes, it is one of those heavy, hot button topics when you’re in a relationship, and navigating through it can sometimes be weird and be opposing. Sometimes you have different opinions on how you want to work it, when the more together, you guys become as a unit. It can be tricky. It’s always different for every couple. It’s an interesting subject for sure.
[00:01:36] KC: I feel like it’s a very individual topic, because everybody’s relationship is different. Everybody’s financial situation is different. Even within a relationship, the two people rarely have the same financial background and situation. Also, the same spending habits and financial responsibility, I think, vary so much from person to person that it’s a difficult subject to navigate. Because I mean, people’s finances are something that is obviously very important to them, and a very sensitive subject.
[00:02:09] MB: Especially now, especially in the last few years when things have been so upside down wacky, that even people that were so financially secure are now somewhat winging it. It’s a sensitive subject, because we’re all just – in no way represents us as people, but sometimes we feel that way, especially when we’re not – it’s not our biggest flex, so to speak. We’re like, “Oh, yeah. Here you go.” It can be daunting.
I mean, personally, my husband and I have separate accounts. I don’t know his finances very well and he doesn’t know mine. Of course, now, that’s changed though, because we just recently were accepted into a place in Orange County, and he needed the entire time we were going through the rental application process, he needed financial records. I gave him username and passwords to all of my finances, and it felt uncomfortable, because I was like, “Oh, what is he going to think?”
Sometimes there are moments in life in couples, where you’re moving, or you’re trying to get a house, you’re trying to get a place for, your finances need to be open with each other, if they’re not already. It felt weird.
[00:03:16] KC: It is weird. I think, it becomes even weirder when you come into a situation or a relationship with your finances already in place, if it’s not a first marriage, or first significant relationship. Or if you have children from a previous relationship, or student debt, or anything like that you’re carrying into the relationship in the beginning. It used to be a lot different. People used to get married right out of high school, and they grew their financial situation together. It was a very open book thing. Or, one person took charge of it, and the other person was more passive.
In today’s world, when both partners are usually working and earning their own income, and a lot of times, people are on their second third relationships, or marriages it’s much, much more complicated.
[00:04:04] MB: Way back when, it was that the husband went to work, the wife stayed at home. Now you have women that are far exceeding their – sometimes their spouses, or their partner’s financial abilities. They’re sometimes the breadwinners and carrying it. It’s no longer how it used to be. My mom would balance the checkbook, but she wasn’t bringing home any money. Now, it’s everyone’s bringing something to the pie. They all have a big piece of the pie.
[00:04:32] KC: Yeah. It’s an emotional issue for people, too, because spending habits, or personal debt is emotional – debt is an emotional subject for most people, and so is credit and situations like that. People grew up watching their parents do a specific type of financial arrangement. That may be what they expect, or it may not have worked out for their parents and they want to do the exact opposite. Yeah, it’s a loaded subject.
I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios. I’ve seen a lot of people do it in different ways that works for them. I think, probably, that’s our bottom line here is that you have to do what works for you as an individual, and also what works for your specific relationship. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You just have to figure out what works for you and make that work.
[00:05:16] MB: It may take communication there. Because sometimes, what works for you may not work for your partner. They may want to have a joint bank account, and you weren’t raised like that. That’s not something you’re not comfortable with it. It can get weird. Communication is big. Communication is really big when it comes to finances, and figuring out how you’re going to run it.
Personally, like I said, my husband and I have separate accounts. It’s not that we don’t, like we’re opposed to the idea of having a joint – I don’t feel like either one of us have felt we’ve really made so much money, that’s a – I make enough to handle my responsibilities. Him and I had a conversation, this is what I’m in charge of. This is what he’s in charge of. We make sure throughout our individual employments that we can cover those things. Together, it works.
Some people need to be a complete open book with each other and know what’s going on and how much each other has, and they share one checking account. I think, that works for people. Like you said, it’s just you have to find out what works for you, and make sure what your partner is also looking for. Because if it’s a passive relationship, where the person isn’t used to speaking up, but something like that’s important, you want to make sure that where they’re coming from. Because, like you said, I do a lot of the stuff based on what I saw my parents do. That’s what I know to be. Yeah.
[00:06:37] KC: I think, that whatever your situation was in past relationships, if you had past relationships, you carry that forward, and that creates issues within your new relationship, financially. There are obviously all kinds of baggage, emotional and physical. We’re talking just today about financial. I know, my partner went through a very messy divorce process in his first relationship, and he had been the breadwinner of the family and the earner, but had no information, or control over his finances. That was handled by his ex-partner.
When he went through that divorce and didn’t know, even really – he didn’t even know where they banked. That was how unaware of the finance situation he was. It made him realize, he wanted to take a much more active role in his own finances. He’s much more protective of them now. His personal finances are his personal finances, which I totally respect, because I can understand that was traumatic for him.
My previous relationship, I did all the finances, and my ex-partner really didn’t care, didn’t want to be aware of it. Wasn’t worried about how we budgeted for things. I’m used to being in more control with the finances. As our relationship together has progressed, I’ve taken more and more ownership and control over household finances, bill payment, investments, things like that.
[00:08:02] MB: Initially, it was like, I was burned by this situation. I need to feel I’m going to learn from this. Then, he realized that not everybody is going to treat that situation the same and that you’re actually fully capable. You just had to come, right?
[00:08:16] KC: Right. I mean, I think as our relationship has grown and matured and progressed, so has the roles within the finances. For me, because my partner is still the primary breadwinner of our blended family and has a complicated financial situation. My way to contribute is by handling a lot of the financial stuff that was previously handled by accountants, because I mean, I’m saving that money, and I’m helping him make good decisions. I’m catching mistakes all the time on credit card bills, and things like that.
It is a small way in which I feel I contribute to the household finances, beyond contributing my own. Then, we both came into our relationship with children from previous marriages. That makes the thing even more complicated, because what he does for his biological children may not be what I do for my biological children, financially. That’s a very individual decision that each parent has to make of how long they’re going to support their adult children, and how much, in what ways. If you have elderly relatives, how much support are you going to provide there? If you have family members who ask for loans, is that something you guys are going to discuss as a couple, or is that an individual decision? It’s a very layered, very complicated thing. Finances are very complicated.
I also came into our relationship with – he’s never held debt. He’s not comfortable with debt. He came from a country where the government collapsed. The idea of taking on debt to him is – it’s a very unstable situation. I came into the situation with I already had kids, like getting older where they were needing college and there’s student loan co-signing and things like that. There’s a significant amount of debt that goes along with that and they’re my kids from previous relationship. That makes things complicated too because, when you start combining your finances and mixing things up like that, it’s a different situation. Then when you come into a relationship, young and free of any obligations or encumbrances like that. I think, that makes a big difference as people decide how to handle their finances.
[00:10:30] MB: Did you ever have a conversation with your adult children about finances, like giving them tips on how they should handle it? Especially when they come – I know, a couple of your kids, maybe all of them, I don’t know, are in serious relationships and how they’re handling it. Because we are no longer, like we said, in those days, where it’s traditionally how things are handled. Even though it is individual, children, especially adult children, look to us for advice on how to – Would you have any advice on people who have adult children, or teenage children, how to bring up finances in a way where it’s beneficial?
[00:11:03] KC: Yes. That has been something that I had to have a lot of conversations with my kids about during their childhood, middle school, high school age. Because I raised them when they were very small, in accordance with my financial situation at the time, single mom. I was working a job where I was well compensated. It was not the level of opulence that we benefit from today. When I moved in with my partner, which I mean, was years ago, but not decades ago, so my kids were of an age where they were very aware of their surroundings, the house, they lived in, the cars we drove, the trips we took, that thing.
It wasn’t a very abrupt change. We lived in a beautiful community and we were very privileged, but this is a different level than they were used to. It did happen progressively. It wasn’t overnight. It was a big –
[00:11:55] MB: It wasn’t like that Richie Rich story, where they moved in from this to –
[00:12:00] KC: It wasn’t like Beverly Hillbillies, with the truck full of junk. It was a big difference. I did have to have a lot of conversations about, yes, now we live in this particular house. We’re very blessed to be doing that. This is his. He had this house before us. This is his financial situation. I really talk openly with my kids. I don’t mince words. We joke around. I mean, my kids are my best friends. I would tell them, even when they were in middle school, or high school, “Alex’s financial position maybe this, but we are not that.”
[00:12:35] MB: No, that’s a very [inaudible 00:12:36].
[00:12:37] KC: Yeah. Adjust your expectations, because friends would see the house that they live in and stuff and then say, “Why are you driving a used car? Why are you this or that? Why are you paying for your own college?” Those things. It had to be communicated. Because I also told them, not that I can’t afford you to buy a nicer car, but I bought you, I think, boys first car, was a used Hyundai, right? Hyundai Accent or whatever.
I told them, “One day when you graduate college, and you get your first grownup job, and you want to buy yourself a car, I don’t want it to be a big step down from what you have. Because I want you to be proud of what you’ve accomplished on your own. The first car that you can buy for yourself, I want you to be proud of it. If all I do is buy you brand-new Range Rovers, or whatever, and then when you go to buy your first car, it has to be in something like a Hyundai Accent, I don’t want it to feel like a letdown, because that should be a moment of monumentous pride.”
Same thing, when you get your first apartment. It might be not the best apartment, but you did it on your own. I want you to be really proud of it. It’s harder when you come from privilege, like extreme privilege to be happy –
[00:13:44] MB: Anything else is like a big step down. When, really, in reality – It’s the lens that you’re looking through. You’re dealing with the cards you’ve been dealt with. At the same time when you have this mixed card think situation, where you’re like, “We weren’t born into –” Because I always remember, I was so proud. You’re always just like, “I want to always feel I could be in a two-bedroom apartment and drive a car. I can take care of myself and my kids and I will be fine. This does not make us.”
[00:14:13] KC: Yeah, it doesn’t define us.
[00:14:15] MB: This is not who we are. This is not my DNA.
[00:14:19] KC: Right. It doesn’t define us to the point where it’s a requirement.
[00:14:22] MB: Doesn’t define you. You are always genuine about. It was a very throughout and I’ve known you forever. Always. No matter how privileged your life seemed to be, you always made sure, never define you, or your children. They were aware of that, too. You’d be [inaudible 00:14:39] any of it.
[00:14:42] KC: Yeah. I don’t look around at my surroundings and think that if I had less than this, I would be disappointed. Because I was raised by a single dad. My dad always taught me that, you need to be able to row your own boat. It’s okay to be a passenger if that’s the choice that you make, but you have to be capable of rowing your own boat. Because if you’re not and your passenger who literally cannot row, it’s a very vulnerable situation to be in as a woman. It’s a scary place.
[00:15:07] MB: You’re literally the passenger, too. Because even when things are smooth sailing, you’re like, “What can I do? What can I get my hands on?” Because you’re always trying, and you’re an entrepreneur by heart, but you’re always trying to self-create something that benefits the world, but also brings home something, because you like to be in charge of yourself and feel you’re not a forever passenger. That has never left you. You could be completely fine for life and beyond and you’d still want to be active, I’d feel, and still want to be [inaudible 00:15:40] and providing somehow.
[00:15:41] KC: I like to be productive, for sure. I don’t like to have a lot of idle time. Also, my dad also taught me about the need for what we’ve always referred to as a fuck you fund. I think, we might have talked about it on the podcast in the past. You never know what your situation is going to be. If you end up in a relationship that becomes toxic for you, or a housing situation that becomes toxic, a job that becomes toxic –
[00:16:07] MB: You never know when it’s going to happen. You need to have that –
[00:16:10] KC: You need to have that money set aside that is accessible only by you. Where, if you needed to leave a situation for your own physical safety, mental safety, emotional safety, you know you can make that decision. Because my dad always told me, “I never want you to be somewhere and not have the ability to get yourself out of that situation.” He taught me things, even something as simple as how to drive a stick shift.
[00:16:33] MB: Some people are raising eyebrows like, “Dang. He raising you, fuck, real fast.” No, I mean, those are really important things. You never talk about it, because it’s too adult. My parents never talked to me about finances. I got access to my bank account at 18. I went to the mall, and I spent that sucker like it was the apocalypse. Then, I had bills to pay, and I’m still learning the proper way to save. I still don’t save very well. I’m terrible at finances. I’m so immature at finances, it pains me.
It’s because, I’m sorry, my mom and dad never really taught me about finances. I’m not blaming them. If you don’t have those semi-adult conversations on, like your dad did, like you had with your kids, then they’re just going to go out into the world completely naive to it and think that it’s all going to work out. I was raised in Orange County with a bank account and nobody watching me. I was like, “Whatever. I’ll figure it out.”
I dropped out of college, because like, “I’ll figure it out.” There was no plan set in place. The more you talk about your kids, maybe not when they’re four, but when they’re – maybe when they’re four. There’s so many great ways to teach kids about saving and finances and stuff like that when they’re four, like those cool mechanical piggy banks. You can teach the importance of saving so early that they’re not completely unaware of how to do it when they have to go out into the real world. Or if they enter a relationship with someone like me, who’s super financially immature. You don’t want two financially immature people trying to pay rent. That’s awful.
Luckily, I was matched with someone who’s very financially mature and handles most of – He doesn’t handle, financially, the bills, but he lays it out and goes, “This is what we need to do. This is how much you pay. This is how much –” I rely on him, because I’m, unfortunately, very financially immature. I never really took the time to sit down and say, “This is what I need to do.”
Here I am, like a real adult. Now, I need to really do it. I really want to teach my girls something along those lines, so that they don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Because we had to work for our money. I had to work. I got allowance. I got my first job when I was 15 and a half. I’ve always worked, but I don’t really have that savings ability. If I were to enter a new relationship with someone right now, they wouldn’t be too gassed. It would be like, “You keep your side. We’ll join together later.”
[00:19:00] KC: I mean, I think that’s true for a lot of people. People have made financial mistakes. Maybe they have a lot of credit card debt, or they filed bankruptcy in the past. Whatever the situation is, when you come into a relationship and you’re having those difficult conversations about finances, that’s something someone who’s been financially responsible from day one would be really concerned to hear about, because it does affect them, too. I think, you have to have these conversations early. I mean, I did with my kids, and I would tell them, even when they wanted something, I would tell them, it was something maybe that ordinarily, I would just – they asked for it, I would just buy it.
Instead of doing that, I would give them the actual money for it. Then, they would have to make the decision if they wanted to spend the money when it was in their hand for the thing they thought they wanted. Or, if, once they had the money in their hand, they realized that they would rather spend it on other things.
A lot of times, I would tell them, “Okay, I’m going to give you the money and you buy this thing. I’m just telling you, if it was me, I wouldn’t do it, because the toy looks like it’s going to break in about two minutes. If you still decide you really want it, here’s the money.” It feels different when someone hands you the thing that you asked for, versus –
[00:20:09] MB: Now, what age are [inaudible 00:20:10], because I a 1000 percent know, if I were to give my four-year-old this, she’d be like, “Yes, let’s do it.” She’s bought the most ridiculous stuff. I’ve tried to tell her like, “Girl, you have this. You have five of these.” She’s like, “No.” If I were to give her the money, it would just be like, “Here, this is even more fun.”
[00:20:24] KC: That’s too little to understand.
[00:20:26] MB: My nine-year-old, she would be like, “Oh, but I really want that laptop. Maybe I’ll save up.” You know what I mean? I feel like, that would work for that age, for sure. It will cause them to stop and think about how much the value of the bill, or whatever you’re giving them were how far it could go elsewhere? Or what am I wanting in the future, or do I really need this? Or is it worth it? That’s a really good idea to do.
[00:20:51] KC: When my daughters got to be older and they wanted designer stuff, I would say, “Okay, this holiday is coming up. If you really want that thing, I’ll give you the money to get it. I’ll give you the money for how much it costs in the store. Then, what I want you to do is to try to see if you can find it somewhere else less expensive. Or maybe once the cash is in your hand, you realize that you really don’t want to spend it on that thing.” Because having cash in your hand feels different. Having to hand over bills to someone for a thing feels different than if someone just gives you the thing as a gift.
[00:21:24] MB: I’m in such a different stage of life right now that, I kid you not, if you give me cash, I will spend it on baby wipes and diapers. I physically need someone to buy me the bag, because I won’t buy myself the bag ever. That’s not everyone, but I’m just saying like, man, if you give me cash, I’m going to make a less cool choice.
[00:21:44] KC: I mean, I taught them, once they have the cash, then that bag maybe on the reel-reel, or one of those consignment shop sites looked a whole lot better, because they were going to save 30 percent, 40 percent doing that. Then, they’d have the extra. There were a lot of ways. They’re making better decisions.
[00:22:04] MB: They’re making better financial choice there. This may be too honest of a question. How are your children, adult children’s financial decisions thus far? I mean, some of them are in their mid-20s. I’m being honest. I’m in my mid-30s, I’m still not doing so hot. If they’re doing great, which I’m sure they are, they’re very mature individuals, good for them. There’s at least four good ones out there.
[00:22:28] KC: I mean, again, everybody is very individual, right? My oldest is 27. He’s very uncomfortable with debt of any kind. He keeps his expenses really modest, so that he doesn’t – Money stresses him out. Being in debt stresses him out. Having a high level of bills stresses him out. He would rather rent a room from someone than have his own place just to cut his bills a little bit, so he feels a little less stressed.
[00:22:51] MB: The real pressure of life is exactly – I know that and I get that.
[00:22:55] KC: Yeah. Then my 25-year-old, he has some pretty heavy student debt. He has heavy student debt because he was on academic probation for a period of time. Meaning, he didn’t qualify for normal financial aid. He had to do private financial aid. The interest rate is much, much higher. He’s been paying on it now for about a year and a half, two years. He’s realized, he’s not even made a dent.
I make comments to him about how some of the money he spent on things that were just purely for pleasure over that period of time, could have been thrown down at that balance. He’s starting to get it. He just got a very significant raise.
[00:23:30] MB: You know what Dan’s parents did was they – You don’t have to do this. They took care of his debt, his student loans, and then he paid them back, so that the interest just accumulate like crazy. He paid it off, but it was a softer fall.
[00:23:45] KC: Yeah. I am helping him with his federal student loans. These were a direct consequence of not – It was really, two semesters of school that he decided to mess around and not take seriously.
[00:23:57] MB: There’s only so much you can do there.
[00:24:01] KC: Yeah. He just got a very significant raise at work. The day he got the raise, he called me and told me about it. I told him, “That is awesome, honey. What I would do if I were you, again, not my decision. You’re an adult. What I would do if I were you, pretend I didn’t get the raise. Keep living at the level I was living and throw all that extra money at that debt. It could be gone within the next 18 months.”
[00:24:23] MB: You would one month and you’ll keep doing it. It’ll feel good that you made a grown-up choice for two seconds, that you want to do it again.
[00:24:33] KC: Yeah. Then my oldest daughter is 23, and she’s about to get engaged. She’s been with her fiancé for a very long time. I think, five or six years now. They’ve lived together for a significant period of that time, probably at least half of that time. She’s very, very independent. She does not share finances with him. His name is not on their lease. She is very much, until we are married.
[00:24:56] MB: I want to be Sam when I grow up. I’ll say at 50 million times, until it happens. She’s just as –
[00:25:01] KC: She’s a very big feminist.
[00:25:03] MB: She’s like the boss bitch.
[00:25:05] KC: She is a boss bitch. Yeah.
[00:25:07] MB: She’s always been very clear about that. I am going to go in through this world, and I’m going to make my mark and I don’t need anyone.
[00:25:18] KC: Sam very much takes care of Sam, which I love about her. I mean, even her landlord would tell her if someone’s living in the unit, their name needs to be on the lease. She emailed back and said, “We are not married, and I am not going to have any man ever tell me, “Get the hell out of my house.” Just so you know, until we are married, no, my name is on the lease. If we break up, he can go.” She was so –
[00:25:43] MB: Can we have your daughter as a guest on this podcast once, just so I can ask her so many questions.
[00:25:49] KC: I don’t even think they’ve ever had an argument. They’re so well-suited to each other. It’s not like she has an unstable relationship. Their relationship is perfect.
[00:25:56] MB: No. It’s not like, he’s very, very super passive.
[00:26:00] KC: He would never say that to her in a million years either.
[00:26:03] MB: No. They’re great together. It works really well. That’s fine. Because he also brings stuff to the table. He also need her. They’re very financially, independently secure. We’ll figure that out as they go along.
[00:26:20] KC: Yeah. He’s a very responsible guy. He’s got a great career. He’s a fireman EMT. He’s a very stable person. Going forward, now that they are getting married, now the financial situation will be somewhat combined.
[00:26:33] MB: She is open to that. Yeah.
[00:26:35] KC: Yeah. She’s very open to that. I know they’re having talks about how that will work, how they will combine their finances in whatever way they choose to. Because he has a mom, he has a single mom, only child. There are conversations that need to be had about, what happens when my mom needs care?
[00:26:55] MB: I don’t even have those conversations with my husband.
[00:26:57] KC: Right. What happens if she can’t live alone? Will she live with us? Will we pay for her to have help? How does that work? That’s a conversation you should have before you get married, or –
[00:27:07] MB: Is it the conversation you’ve had with Sam about a conversation she needs to have? Okay, because sometimes as a mom, we’re like, “Oh, maybe they know.”
[00:27:16] KC: No, how would you? I mean, this is something that we have to teach our kids, that these kinds of conversations need to happen on the front-end, so that you don’t have a big mess.
[00:27:25] MB: When you marry your spouse, you’re marrying everyone in their family. The older you get, the more of a combined situation that could become.
[00:27:31] KC: Yeah. If my ex-husband was the type of person – He’s very family-oriented. His family and him are very close. They all share everything. They help each other out financially on a very regular basis. It’s like, what’s mine is yours. That’s very different from how I am.
[00:27:49] MB: Is that a cultural thing?
[00:27:50] KC: It might be a cultural thing. Yeah.
[00:27:52] MB: I mean, there are definitely cultures where everyone takes care of every – and it’s just so ingrained in that culture. My friend is married to a Hispanic man, and they all take care of each other.
[00:28:03] KC: Right. His background is Spanish and Filipino. Those are both very family-oriented cultures.
[00:28:08] MB: It could be a cultural thing.
[00:28:09] KC: Yeah. His brother passed away from cancer years ago, just after we were divorced. He financially contributed to his hospice care. He has supported his widow since that time.
[00:28:23] MB: That could draw strain in a relationship if that’s not where you come from and that’s not your cultural background, and you’re like, “Hey, this is our life that we’re having. You’re literally giving it.” Then they look at you like, “But this is my brother.”
[00:28:35] KC: Right. You don’t say no to family. I mean, when we were still married and living together, he would open up the house to family members to live with us without even asking me. I understood where it was coming from, but it was uncomfortable for me, because my family is not that way. It took a lot of communication and understanding, because I wasn’t used to having this house full of house guests for indeterminate periods of time. Like months sometimes. Months and months.
Yeah, a lot of it is cultural. These conversations need to be had before. If you didn’t have them before and you’re already in the relationship, it is what it is, right? The sooner you have them, the better.
[00:29:13] MB: It’s still never too late to have them. Because you don’t want to wait until the mother-in-law has nowhere else to go, where you’re now having this conversation. I know. It’s like, no one wants to have these talks, but they’re so important when you’re making this choice of being a couple forever. Moving in together.
[00:29:31] KC: If you have kids from previous relationships, and those kids are not doing well at adulting, or having struggles, are they allowed to move back into the house? Are you going to financially support them? If so, to what extent? There are things that can come up in a relationship that you’re not expecting, as your kids get older, as you guys get older, as your parents get older. There are financial conversations I never expected to have to have with my partner now that I did when my grandmother needed care. She suffered from dementia and she needed full-time care. That was a conversation I would have never even thought to have had, because I hadn’t been in that situation before.
[00:30:10] MB: Sometimes, you don’t have a sibling, or anyone else to talk to. Sometimes it’s you and your mom and the world.
[00:30:19] KC: I had a unique situation, where my adult child needed a long-term inpatient hospitalization that was only very partially covered, if at all, by insurance. We really need to fix this. Mental health is health. Anyway, but that expense was not something I ever in a million years would have guessed would have come up. I’d never had that conversation with my partner. It was a conversation I needed to have.
[00:30:44] MB: Be prepared for the unexpected to happen in a relationship. If you have a very family-oriented person, be expected for that to take precedence and be softer, too. I don’t know.
[00:30:57] KC: I have close friends who have – the couple I’m referring to have a regular issue, major issue in their relationship about finances. The issue is not how they together split finances, because they were both extremely successful people. The issue is how they support, or do not support their adult children. One partner has adult children who are highly functioning adults and have careers and are doing great. The things that he helps them with is home purchases, or things that are big investments.
[00:31:33] MB: Yeah. If you were killing it everywhere else in life – I mean, as parents, those things are great to be a part of. That’s a big part of their – I think, my parents had their parents helped co-sign with their house. Try not having your parents help in that moment, right?
[00:31:50] KC: If you have the ability to gift your children a house, or a down payment for a house, that’s a huge privilege.
[00:31:56] MB: Yeah. Great.
[00:31:58] KC: But the partner of that person has children, who are not doing at the same level of adulting and helps them regularly with just monthly expenses. That has been a serious issue in their relationship. I know that they’ve tried to navigate that, but it’s just a point of contention. I think, that happens a lot for relationships.
[00:32:20] MB: Oh, yeah. Especially when you’re in a relationship as a, say, you’re an empty nester, and your adult children have left and you’re now joining a new partner. I mean, I still ask for help sometimes. It’s just because things are tricky right now. I’m aiming to not do it. Some adult children are like, “Oh, I know if I can’t, mom and dad will help me.” I think, subconsciously, the partner knows that they’re not doing their very best to try and get out of that situation of constantly needing that help. They’re just relying on it and mooching a little bit. That can cause a real strain, because it’s like, they’re not making a valiant effort to not rely on you anymore. They just know that you’ll say yes.
[00:33:03] KC: Right. Or, if you have a child who has substance abuse issues, or mental health issues, and your partner may not be understanding of that, because they’ve never gone through it. Or they may have a different viewpoint as far as tough love, versus support.
[00:33:15] MB: How you should handle it.
[00:33:17] KC: Right. From myself, and a lot of my friends, what I have found works the best is for both partners to maintain separate, private accounts. Then, to have either a household credit card, which is used for all household expenses, or a household account, which is used to pay all expenses. Each partner contributes to that household account at a scale that is equivalent to wherever their financial situation is.
Because another major issue is that a lot of times, the partners do not make the same level of income. Maybe you took time off to raise your kids. Maybe you work in social services, or a teacher, or something where your income is at a set level, and your partner maybe works on commission or something, where the income is uncapped. Those are major stumbling blocks.
[00:34:12] MB: It’s going to be my life. I’m hoping, Dan’s new job will provide him a much higher income than he’s used to. That’s all commission-based and that’s all what, based on what he does. I’m at home watching both the kids all day while he’s doing that. There’s only so much, even at Avengers superhuman level, I can do in a month financially to contribute.
I love the fact that we’re having this conversation simply, because I think I’ve learned a lot. Because now, I love this idea of having that household expenses credit card. There should be a set idea because, say, he can contribute 8 grand and I can only contribute $800. Well, that should have a conversation, because I’m never going to match that, but there should be an area where we can both dive in and get shared means, that –
[00:34:59] KC: Yeah. I think, you just have to spell it out ahead of time what the housing is going to be. Who’s going to pay for things when you’re traveling, or going out to eat, I think it makes sense for everything to be paid out of that household account for stuff like that, and for you guys to contribute equivalent to your income.
If no one has any resentment or anything about that, that allows that personal account for things – I mean, I have the same situation. I have a personal account that’s just for me. My partner doesn’t see the statements for it. Doesn’t even ask. There’s no comments about, “Oh, you buy a lot of fast food, or takeout.”
[00:35:37] MB: Yeah, it can get, like I said, awkward, when I had to give him the statement when we moved. I was like, “He’s going to know how many smoothies I buy,” or something.
[00:35:42] KC: How many times you went to Starbucks this month, or this?
[00:35:46] MB: Yeah, it’s going to get bad. You say, you can only make this much and contribute this much, but are these needs? It can get really dicey and weird. Who wants to explain why their mocha is a necessity to life, when you don’t feel the same way about a mocha? These are, hence, why so many fights and so many fights happen with finances. Finances, it’s what that means.
[00:36:13] KC: What it means in a larger picture. If one of my kids comes to me and says, “Mom, I got a ticket. I can’t afford it. Can you help me out?” I send them money that month, I don’t want to have to explain. I don’t even mention it. It’s not anybody’s business. I don’t want to hear, “Do you have to get your nails done that much? It’s really pricey.” This is my fun money, my spending money that I do with what I want. I pay my own bills that are my obligation out of that. I choose to cover my adult children’s cellphone plan. I choose to cover their car insurance. That’s my choice.
[00:36:46] MB: We’re adults. We know going in that this is what I’m choosing to do with the money I make. I don’t need to explain it to anyone, whatever that is. You could be donating to the Wildlife Fund every month. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. You love flamingos. It’s your thing.
[00:37:02] KC: It’s your business.
[00:37:03] MB: That’s your choice. You work hard for your money, and you don’t have to – even though you’re married to someone, that still doesn’t give you this obligation to have to share every piece of your life with them.
[00:37:15] KC: I would really strongly encourage, even women who are homemakers, who stay home, take care of the house, take care of the kids, maybe you’ve never worked. In my mind, okay, you could feel totally different about this. This is my opinion, please. Opinion. I find it demeaning to have to ask my partner for an allowance.
I would rather have that conversation one time in the very beginning, and have that money be auto-transferred to me every month into my own personal bank account, so I spend how I choose whatever the amount is – I have a close friend. This is the perfect scenario. I have a close friend. Her and her husband are close friends of my partner and I. Her husband is very successful. She was working in the education industry for the school district for many years. Her husband said, “You know what? I really want to travel a lot. I want to do these things that your job isn’t allowing you to do. I’d like you to leave your job.”
She spent some time thinking about it. She said, “You know what? Okay.” They have children together as well. They’ve been married a long time. She said, “Okay, I’m willing to leave my job. This is the caveat. I want you to transfer to me once a year, every month, whatever, what my salary is now, and what it would be as I would have grown in my career.”
[00:38:27] MB: Oh, she’s a boss bitch. I like that idea.
[00:38:32] KC: Her income, her salary was literally a small, small percentage of what his is, because he’s wildly successful.
[00:38:39] MB: [Inaudible 00:38:39].
[00:38:42] KC: This was her career she was giving up. I mean, it wasn’t a joke to her. He does that every month. He gives her the equivalent of what she would have been making if she had stayed in her career. She stays in touch with the people she worked with, to know what they are earning, so that it stays fair. She spends that money the way she spent it before on her own personal maintenance, on things, special things she wants to do for the kids, going out with their girlfriends, things that she doesn’t want to have to ask him for money for. Their living expenses, he covers. The travel and stuff like that, he covers out of their household income. This to her –
[00:39:18] MB: She never like, “I don’t have to ask him, ‘Oh, can you cover my nails this week?’” It’s like, I would have done this had I had not left. Oh, man. She’s got – People I admire in this world.
[00:39:33] KC: She was sacrificing. I mean, she was giving up the career that meant a lot to her, in order for them to be able to do the things that he had worked so hard for them to be able to do. It makes, to me, perfect sense. This is such a minor amount to him, that it doesn’t matter at all to him. She wants to buy herself something at Nordstrom, that’s what that money is for. She doesn’t have to contribute it back to household expenses. That worked for them. Every person and every relationship is very different.
[00:40:01] MB: Always has to work for you. I know a couple who ever since they were together, they have that big whiteboard, where all of like, rent, water. Everything is so calculated, and they thrive on it. Every other week, they get together and have financial talks. They’re so successful. They went from condo to purchasing their own home in California in no time, because they were very financially in sync with each other. They were also open with the communication.
I don’t want to say that open communication is the key to it working, but I keep hearing a pattern in all these stories of success: the more open you are, the more successful you’ll be. Because then, there’s no room for – I don’t know. I also think that it’s also very important to have your own personal account, where it’s for you, too.
[00:40:52] KC: I remember, when I was growing up, my father had gotten divorced, not from my mother, from a step-mother. Then shortly afterwards, had remarried. I remember hearing as a little kid, I was probably 12 maybe, 13. I remember hearing them fighting about how his alimony payment to his ex-wife was coming out of their combined account. Seeing that, having part of her deposit into that account go to pay alimony from some other woman that he had been married to before, was a real issue for their relationship.
[00:41:26] MB: Yeah.
[00:41:27] KC: A lot of times. I mean, if you’re in a relationship where it’s a blended family, or you’re coming in as a second marriage, third marriage, your partner, either one could be paying child support, spousal support, all kinds of issues like that, that if you don’t have your own two separate accounts besides the household bills, seeing that, even just seeing it every month is like having a rock in your shoe, or something for some people. If it’s not your responsibility and you’re paying for it, it can cause some serious problems.
I also think that having the two separate accounts, and then having one shared account, and having the privacy of having your own account, it removes one of the biggest issues in marriages that I’ve heard of, which is what they call financial infidelity. Because you do have your privacy. Financial infidelity, when someone takes out debt without telling the other person, when someone spends their kids’ college accounts without telling their partner, you could have a gambling issue, you could have stuff going on, also spending –
[00:42:36] MB: [Inaudible 00:42:36] character was taking out money and he was thinking, “Oh, my wife’s going to kill me.” That feels like you got cheated on. You feel lied to. You feel deceived, in such a way that almost you got cheated on. That’s a perfect way to describe that.
[00:42:51] KC: Yeah, it is. Or, if you have one account that you’re sharing, and your spouse gets a raise and doesn’t tell you about it, is siphoning off that money for their own personal reasons. The two separate accounts really solves this issue.
[00:43:06] MB: Yes. [Inaudible 00:43:07].
[00:43:09] KC: Yes. Majorly. I think, it’s really important, because it does feel like a betrayal. Financial stuff can feel like a betrayal. Even though my partner and I have two separate financial situations, and we have one shared household account, if I’m going to spend – I have free rein to spend on myself whatever I choose. That’s our relationship. We have had from the beginning an agreement. He follows that even though he doesn’t need to, because this is the money he’s earning, he really doesn’t owe me this. If either one of us is going to spend over a set amount on an item that we want, and we both agreed to that set amount, we let the other person know.
If I say, “Hey, honey. I just ordered something. I just ordered a new bag. I really wanted it.” He has no issue with that. It’s just the honesty of telling him that a specific chunk of money is going to that thing, it has created communication within the two of us. I think, having something like that, where even if you have separate accounts, say set amount, say if you’re going to spend over, I don’t know, $1,500 on something, you let the other person know.
[00:44:15] MB: Oh, yeah. It’s a big purchase, and it’s not talked about. I also believe that you probably do that, because you know how big trust in finances is for him. Whether you do it 50 billion times, as long as you’re in the relationship, because of how bad of a past, he’s gotten burned. How bad of a past relationship he was burned from, you’re always going to be showing him that you’re wanting to be trusted with when it comes to finances.
If you buy a $10,000 purse and not tell him, even though that’s okay, I think, a part of his brain would be triggered from that past trauma of like, “Wow, she is recklessly spending money and not informing me. I feel a little deceived.” I’m also aware of where he comes from and wanting to be respectful of that.
[00:44:58] KC: Yeah. For me, since our financial situations were so different for so long during our relationship, it was hard for me if he was going to come and say, “Hey, I’m going to buy this boat,” and I’m struggling to pay for my kid’s braces this month. That was an issue. Not that he owed me that. Not that that was his responsibility to pay for that. Mentally, it’s hard to be struggling and have the person that you love and who loves you be free spending willy-nilly. It’s hard.
[00:45:27] MB: They have a right to. It’s like that. Like, we know better, but it doesn’t matter thing. It’s a hard thing.
[00:45:37] KC: My kids are not his responsibility. It’s not that I would want him to pay for their braces, or whatever it was. It’s just having some emotional sensitivity to your partner, and understanding whatever their particular situation is. I know a lot of couples who one, works in social services, or social worker type work, which is low paid, unfortunately. It shouldn’t be that way. The partner works a much, much higher paying job. It can be hard sometimes when you’re struggling with financial issues, and your partner is not. It can be hard to navigate. Again, communication. Communication is so incredibly key. If you guys –
[00:46:20] MB: You can base on what your expectations are, because it’s not open communication on everything you have. Because like we talked about, the importance of having your own private account that is only available to you, and only accessible to you is also important. If somebody may find out that you have want one and go, “Why do you need that?” Why do I have to explain why I need that?
Communication on where you stand with your finances, where you stand with being in a relationship with your finances. We all come into a relationship with our own personal expectations of how we want to be treated, and how we want to go into that relationship. There are certain things, like finances, religion, that you really shouldn’t have to feel you need to dim your sparkle, so to say for. You have a right to privacy, or you have a right to open communication. If you don’t speak your truth to your partner in a way where it’s set in stone, it can get dicey.
You don’t want to wait for that situation to come up to have that conversation, because it’s already heated. You know what I mean? You don’t want to wait to find out that your partner has been secretly supporting his gambling addicted brother on the side for six months, and you’re heated to have that conversation. You know what I mean? It’s like, I don’t know when’s the best time, but it’s not when the confrontations come up to have them.
[00:47:35] KC: I think that just as important as having an account to pay your mutual household bills out of, and deciding ahead of time the ratio that you’re going to contribute to it, I think, you also need to use that account for shared financial goals. Because if you guys have a specific goal, maybe you guys are saving for a house, and you’ve talked about how you want to buy a house, but you don’t have a specific plan, and he’s doing exactly what you just said, supporting some other relative, or buying a boat, whatever it is. You’re like, “Hey, I thought we were saving to buy a house.”
[00:48:06] MB: Chipping away at your future.
[00:48:07] KC: You haven’t been specific about it. You haven’t said, “Okay, we’re saving for a house. That means, every month, in this household account, we’re going to try to contribute a total of this much. This much from you, this much for me, and that we won’t touch that. It will be for a house.” Or it could be a trip to Disney. It could be anything.
[00:48:23] MB: Yeah. I worked in a bank before. There are accounts where you can literally put money in automatically and literally cannot touch it, no matter what for three years, five years, six months. It’s called [inaudible 00:48:31]. You can put timeframes on it. You can make sure that partner, when you guys talked about at the house is putting and contributing towards that. If they want to use their Starbucks money to help their brother, that’s their choice, but it’s also not ripping away at your future. Because then, you know.
[00:48:46] KC: Yeah. Or if you guys decide you’re going to contribute, you’re going to max out your 401k contributions, whatever the goal is that you’re saving for, having it be scheduled and having it be agreed upon. Then, if they do want to do something of their own on the side that to you is not important, is frivolous, can wait, that’s fine, that’s their choice. Because they’ve contributed what you guys agreed on. Again, communication is so important.
[00:49:14] MB: Think of how many women wouldn’t have to hide their Amazon packages from their partner, if they just had open communication. I see so many funny TikToks of moms or women like, “Go away.” Hiding them, because they don’t want their spouse to know what they’re buying, or that they’re spending the time during the pandemic. It’s like, I was like that. My husband’s never asked me, or questioned it, because I take care of my stuff. I said, I’m not in debt, or at least, he hopes I’m not in debt. He knows that I’m financially secure to where my purchases don’t get ridiculed.
Sometimes, people feel they have to hide their purchases. You can buy that weird thing on Amazon, because you work 40 hours a week. As long as you’re taking care of the household contribution, you know what I mean? You can [inaudible 00:50:02]. As long as it’s not putting something else in debt, or you’re not being shady about something else somewhere else, because that’s where the relationship.
[00:50:09] KC: Right. That’s where it becomes borderline infidelity in a relationship; financial infidelity.
[00:50:16] MB: Just any type of real, big deception like that feels like that –
[00:50:20] KC: Yeah. Well, I mean, I would live by the rule. If you have something going on in your life that you feel you can’t tell your partner, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. That’s just my opinion. It’s how I gauge –
[00:50:31] MB: How far does that go? Because like I said, Starbucks and I are really good friends. I add those up, and I’m like, “Dang. I know how much that is.”
[00:50:42] KC: Yeah. No, I know.
[00:50:43] MB: Not everything. I don’t want to tell him how many times I hit the drive thru. At the same time, maybe that’s the voice that you should be listening to. If you can’t tell your spouse it, then maybe you need to check it, or see if that’s really something you should be doing.
This was another heavy topic. I feel something that’s very, I learned a lot. I feel in this day and age, where everyone can be a millionaire in a matter of – I know so many entrepreneurs – not personally, but I know so many people that are young and think of something cool, invent an app and come into money really fast. They have no idea how to invest it, or what to do with it.
I feel like, this is a great conversation to have with people, kids, my oldest and all the way up to kids your age, because that’s when you really start to make those decisions. Sometimes, they can happen almost overnight nowadays. You don’t have to go work for 40 years to have a good –
[00:51:38] KC: That’s very true.
[00:51:41] MB: You can make good money real fast nowadays.
[00:51:42] KC: Yeah, you can. It’s crazy. I would encourage anybody who’s going into a serious relationship and has kids from a previous marriage, has debt from previous situations, or has significant assets that they are bringing into the relationship, I know it’s not romantic, I get that, but it’s smart, for women particularly, but for everyone. You really need to consider having a relationship agreement, a legal relationship agreement if you’re not married, or having a prenuptial agreement. If you didn’t do that, but now it’s becoming an issue, there are such things as post –
[00:52:17] MB: You don’t know who people are when they are taking you to court. I personally, when I lost my mom, I came into a good chunk of money. I didn’t do anything with it to protect just me, because I trust my husband. What if we go to court, and he does something real shady and tries to get half of my mom’s money that he didn’t do anything for, and I have no way to protect myself?
[00:52:41] KC: Yeah. If you already are married, and you didn’t do that, and now you’re realizing you should have –
[00:52:46] MB: I’m just [inaudible 00:52:44].
[00:52:47] KC: There are such things as a post-nuptial agreement, where you can – it’s like a prenup, but you do it afterwards. You both agree. Sign. It’s a legal document. It protects assets that you brought into the relationship. It protects assets. Or if you’re building your own business, and you want to protect that separately from your marriage, you have the right to do that. If you want to leave your adult children specific things out of your estate, and you don’t want there to be any conflict between your spouse and those adult children, have it all be in writing, create a trust, create a post-nuptial agreement, whatever you need to do.
Because the last thing that any of us wants is for a situation to go bad. Sometimes it does. No matter how hard you try, no matter how good people you are, sometimes crazy things happen and people do crazy things. When it comes to money, people do really crazy things.
[00:53:34] MB: My mom didn’t have a lot of money, but she had a big house. She had no life insurance, no will, no nothing in writing. It literally tore my family apart for years, because everybody was trying to do the right thing by my mom, but she didn’t have it laid out. It was a mess. It can tear people apart. You have people saying that they own things, all of a sudden that they don’t, because things come out when those moments happen.
The more prepared you are, the more open in communication you are, the more educated you are, anything you feel unsure of, there’s probably something to protect you. I just said out loud, I don’t feel I have any way to protect myself from my mom’s money from my husband. You said that there is a way. I’ve done zero research. I just assumed there was no way. There goes to show you that if you do your research and you educate yourself, there’s a lot of ways to protect you because, like I said, the way people make money and how they handle their money within relationships has evolved so much since you started.
[00:54:32] KC: Yeah. If you have money, maybe that you inherited before, or during your marriage, and you want that to go directly to your kids and you’d want it to be really clear, set up a trust and have it all written out that way. I know for me, I will be leaving my children a significant amount of money and I want to protect that money from – it’s not that I don’t love their spouses. I really do, but I want to make sure –
[00:54:57] MB: You’re not their mother. That’s not their money.
[00:54:59] KC: If their relationship was to go ugly and get divorce breakup, whatever, I want to make sure that my children’s assets that I leave them benefit my children alone.
[00:55:09] MB: That I feel like my mom would have said. I believe, every mom agrees to that statement. There’s ways to protect yourself. Just make sure you do that.
[00:55:16] KC: Make sure you do that. I mean, I’m all for newly married couples building their nest egg together, building things together, but you have to protect yourself. If you’re getting into a relationship, and you are not the earner in the relationship, it’s even more important to get things in writing. Because you could be in a very vulnerable situation overnight, you never know what people are capable of, and people change.
[00:55:40] MB: You can only trust yourself. I don’t mean to be like, so dark. Really, you don’t know what anyone’s capable of. People who were the most in love have had the ugliest, ugliest divorces, because you just don’t know what someone’s capable of, until they’re backed into a corner, until money is presented in front of them. Or somebody’s spouse is not doing so well. All of a sudden, the adult kids come out of the woodwork. It’s like, money can bring out some really evil things in people. You want to protect yourself when possible, because [inaudible 00:56:10] to do so.
[00:56:11] KC: I understand that it’s not romantic, and nobody wants to imagine the end of their relationship, but we need to protect ourselves. That goes for men and women. We need to protect our situation. You don’t want to end up in a situation where the rug is pulled out from under you. The last thing in the world I would want for anybody is to be in a relationship that they realize no longer works for them or is becoming toxic for them and not have the means to leave. Having things in writing, having your own separate account, building that fund, that emergency fund, all of this is so, so very important.
Thankfully I’m seeing, it seems like, at least from my friends and family, that women are becoming much more involved in finances, where in the past, they left that up to their husband. I love to see that. I love to see women investing. I love to see women doing their own 401k, their own investing. It’s very, very important.
[00:57:06] MB: We are truly capable of doing all these things. We just are ingrained to think that it’s not what we do.
[00:57:14] KC: Yeah. I mean, if you’re a stay at home mom, a homemaker, I think that’s fantastic. Believe me, I know it is the hardest job in the world. Protect yourself, because you may not know what your options are. You’re not contributing to your retirement. You’re not contributing to Medicare and social security for yourself. I know, a lot of women in their 60s now who were homemakers their whole life and just realized that they won’t get social security, and they’re completely reliant on their spouse’s pension or their social security.
I would really strongly, really strongly suggest that we think about that early. We think about that when we’re in our 20s and 30s. We do start IRAs, 401ks. We do understand our rights as far as our spouse’s pensions, or social security goes. We set aside something for our own retirement, even if we never work, because you don’t know. I mean, I have friends whose husbands passed suddenly in their 40s. They never expected it.
[00:58:15] MB: It doesn’t have to be a relationship issue. Sometimes life can just throw you a really hard curveball. All of a sudden, you’re a homemaker with three kids and the breadwinner, and your husband is now gone. You can’t even grieve properly, because you’re freaking out about how –
[00:58:30] KC: How to support your kids. Yeah.
[00:58:32] MB: When, really, you should be just taking care of you and your children at that point. It’s so sad. It happens too much. It happens –
[00:58:40] KC: I have three friends, who that exact situation happened to, who were stay at home moms, and they lost their husbands young and unexpectedly, and had absolutely no idea how they were going to support themselves and their children.
[00:58:52] MB: Yeah. [Inaudible 00:58:53], because we go into fix it mode. When really, we just lost our partner unexpectedly. That’s all the we should be focusing on. That and the health of the children. Just now, we have to worry about this, too. Then, you don’t want to have to have that self-reflective like, “Oh, maybe I should have done this.”
[00:59:11] KC: That’s not the time. The time to think about it is before anything happens. You want to give yourself time to grieve, hibernate when stuff like that happens. I mean, I know. I need to hibernate for a while when I lose someone. I think, this is such an important topic. I’m so glad that we covered this. I know there was probably a lot we didn’t even touch on.
[00:59:31] MB: We can talk a whole long time about this topic.
[00:59:33] KC: Right. The point was mostly, to start the conversation. To start the conversation with our listeners and our readers and hopefully, for you guys to start the conversations within your relationships. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but I think, you can’t put it off any longer. We may think we have forever, but that’s not guaranteed.
[00:59:51] MB: You may think you know someone’s finances, and then you have that conversation. You go, “Oh, okay. I need to start a personal savings account.” You just don’t want to ever be blindsided. This just prevents the blindsided feeling, the infidelity feeling as much as possible. It’s a good thing to do. Again, life’s not a fairy tale all the time. It’s not the most romantic thing to talk about but, iff you guys are serious about starting a life together and succeeding in that life, especially in certain areas of the United States, it’s really hard to succeed in life. It’s hard in California to buy a home and maintain that home. You need two working people in the house to do it.
The more conversation you have about where you are currently, where you want to go as a couple, then you can actually start to see what is out there in place for you to actually be successful. Because if you just think putting in a cute little mason jar and put ‘house fund’, no. Because then, things are going to come up, and it’s just going to be taken out of. There’s better ways to do these things. It all starts with that conversation, about who I am, this is where I want to go. Does this mesh well with you? When it comes to finances, I really don’t feel like, you should have to compensate what your beliefs are on it.
[01:01:06] KC: I have friends whose husbands passed away or they got divorced and weren’t expecting either thing to happen and realized they had mortgages that they didn’t know they had. They were deeply in debt, they thought they had a really secure financial situation, because they drove nice cars, and they had a nice house. All of it was financed, and there was actually no equity in anything. You want to know, at least start asking the questions. Take a look at the statements. See where your financial position is.
[01:01:32] MB: If they’re hiding information from you. That’s not a good sign, you know what I mean? Start the conversation. Because you don’t ever want to be blindsided by that. It can change your whole life.
[01:01:42] KC: It can change your whole life.
[01:01:43] MB: Really rip your savings account clean to take care of debt. You have no idea that was coming. It’s not even you. It was your spouse that’s no longer around. It’s awful. It’s awful.
[01:01:54] KC: Yeah. There’s a lot of resources out there. There’s a lot of social media influencers who focus on women’s finance. If you have no idea at all, you don’t know anything about money, I would definitely go and look up some of those accounts and follow those people and just start to learn, start to read a little bit on your own about what things are. Get familiar. If you don’t touch your tax returns, you just sign wherever your husband tells you, or your partner tells you to sign. Read that stuff. Because you never know what’s going on. You want to –
[01:02:26] MB: You may not have that spouse to tell you, next time tax season comes around, to guide you through it. You want to feel as financially independent as possible.
[01:02:33] KC: Yeah. Or you could be your own legal self could be at risk if you’re just signing things that you didn’t read.
[01:02:42] MB: Yeah, that too. Very true.
[01:02:45] KC: You want to make sure that you’re onboard with whatever the situation is. If you’re not, and you find this out later, I’m so sorry for you. I know how that feels. It’s really awful. The IRS has something called the Innocent Spouse Act. Go look it up. It’s amazing. If you find out that things are not being reported properly. Have these conversations. Have these conversations with your children, with your partner. I know, finances aren’t fun for anyone to talk about, but it’s really important.
[01:03:14] MB: Yeah. It makes our world go around, unfortunately. If we do it wrong, it could really affect us and your relationship.
[01:03:20] KC: Yeah. You might live to be a 100. You might need long-term care. You might need a lot of help when you’re older. You might have significant medical bills. You need to know where you stand and what you have in place to plan for that. Because you don’t want to end up being a burden to the state. You don’t want to end up being a burden to your children. Yeah, this is important stuff.
[01:03:42] MB: Fun.
[01:03:45] KC: Not a great feel good topic, but important. Yeah.
[01:03:47] MB: Yeah. Watch me not go buy a Starbucks now after this talk. I’m like, “Well, let’s just go put it in my CDC account.” That’s good. No, it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing.
[01:03:56] KC: It’s a good thing. All right. Well, we will be back next week. If you guys want to continue the discussion, please go to our Facebook page. We have a discussion group on there. Again, we really appreciate every single reader, every single listener, all of our watchers on YouTube. Please take the time to rate and review us. It really helps with the algorithms. Subscribe to our channel, if you haven’t already. Sign up for our newsletter, all that fun stuff. You don’t want to miss any of the great topics that we’re talking about. We will see you next week.
[01:04:25] MB: Bye.
[01:04:25] KC: Bye.
[01:04:30] ANNOUNCER: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to bookmark our site, shesafullonmonet.com. Subscribe to our newsletter. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If you’re enjoying this podcast, it helps us a lot if you can follow, rate and review. See you all next week.