#12 How To Go From Managing Money As An Individual To Working As A Team With Your Spouse

November 4th, 2019 · 23 mins 15 secs

About this Episode

In this episode Dan talks about how couples can start working together as a team to manage their money.

Resouces mentioned in this episode:
Radical Candor (affiliate link)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People (affiliate link)
How to Talk About Money With Your Spouse: The Ultimate Guide

About Dan:
Dan helps newlyweds get on the same page with money and stop the money fights before they start.
Website: adultingwithmoney.com
Email: dan@adultingwithmoney.com
Social Handles: @adultingwithmoney on FB and IG, @adultingwmoney on Twitter
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/adultingwithmoney?sub_confirmation=1

Full Transript:

Hey, this is Ashley with the money mindset podcast and today we are talking with Dan Heinz with adulting, with money.com. He helps newlyweds get on the same page with money and stop the money fights before they start. Welcome Dan.
Thank you Ashley. Thank you so much for having me.
I'm so happy for you to be here because you know, couples fighting about money is such a huge factor and just stress in their lives and their family situation. So, you know, I'm so excited to talk to you today about things that people can do to get them on the same page with their spouse. So,
so excited about this podcast today. Yeah, and thank you for having me. I mean I, I even had, I was just telling you before we started recording that I had a dentist appointment this morning. Uh, and so I was telling the a dental, a dental, uh, assistant hygienist, um, about what I do and she, Oh, and so she started asking me all these questions and I'm just like, ah, ha, ah ha. You know, just sitting there and like, well, I can't really answer you, but I'd love to.
Exactly. And it's so important for people to talk about this. So I love it when people just randomly start asking us questions about, you know, managing their money better. So
yeah. But when they have all this stuff in your mouth, it's like, what are you talking to me? Oh yeah. Well, and it's, and I'm so grateful that I come off as so helpful and that people just start asking me questions. Um, you know, I, I really do take that to heart as to say, well, if they didn't like me or trust me enough, they just wouldn't be asking periods and be like, Oh, that's neat. And then they move on, they move on. Just a polite nod and a wing, like, okay, well that's nice. So how's the weather going? So tell us a little,
a bit about yourself and how you kind of got started on this journey with helping, uh, newlyweds with their money.
Oh, sure. Yeah. So, I mean, long story short, I have an engineering degree and then I got an MBA and I was with Edward Jones as a financial advisor for a couple of years. Um, but I knew that I figured out that wasn't really the past path for me, but really my personal finance journey I guess, um, started when my wife came home one day with these giant bags from target and while she had bought, I think pillows, that's why the bags, the bags were extra big, just gotten married. I was sitting on the couch in the apartment, I can see the front door and I can still see it now. And she walks in and the first thought I had was, what the F did she do?
And, but, you know, being a new husband, I also, my second thought was immediately, I need to never think that again.
So I wasn't, but I wasn't sure how like, okay, now I know what I want, I know why I want it. I want to keep our marriage going for more than six months. Um, and so that, how do I go about doing that? And so that really sent me on my journey to, to try to figure it out. Um, but I realized pretty quickly that a lot of these personal finance books and financial coaches and stuff that you listened to oftentimes are geared towards a single person. Like I'm a big fan of Romy SETI and his book, I will teach you to be rich and grant. Um, I can't, his last name is French. It's not, no a Sabbath's here. Um, but that's not the French way of saying it. But anyway, super nice guy. He has another book called financial freedom. Um, but it's a, you know, it's, it, it takes a little while to get to talk about like, okay, I understand it, but how do I get my spouse on board?
How do I get my partner on board? And so like, cause when you want to start budgeting and you bring that B word of with your partner, they just, their, their, their buttholes just clinch up like, Oh, what are we getting into? Right. And so that's where I come in as a coach is to say, okay, I'm going to help you guys. I'm not going to, but you're adults. I'm an adult. I'm not going to tell you exactly what to do cause you, you lead your own lives. But tell me about what's going on. How can I get you to, to a better spot? Um, and so as a coach, I listen a lot and then I tell you what to do, but I let you play with stuff and toy with stuff and you know, um, you know, I'm not trying to assume that you're a square peg and I'm going to pound you into a round hole either. So that's kind of, I guess that was, you know, how I started my journey, but also how I help as well.
That's great. So what are you have like first some tips for newlyweds or just people trying to get on the same page as their spouse, even if they're not newlyweds, you know, they could be married forever, but they really want to start or one of them really wants to start getting their money under control. What, how do you help somebody like that? Right. Um, I think the first lesson to learn is that you might be thinking about, Oh, should we have joint accounts or separate accounts? That's usually what a lot of couples like jump to like how should we,
uh, organize our finances or our bank accounts? But the problem is, uh, goes back to like goal setting. So the best advice I've ever gotten in my life for anything is that when you want something, you have to first define what you want. Um, and you also have to define why you want it. So like that died, uh, that dental hygienist this morning, um, she was like, Oh, we, I think we should get separate accounts. And I said, well, what is it that you want? And she said, well, I really want to save for retirement. I said, great, why do you want it? She was like, well, I want to retire one day. I said, perfect. And then the third thing after those two is who, who can help me? Because you've never solved this problem before. And it's better to go out and find someone that has solved it and then they can just tell you the how, um, the, the trouble is, and having an engineering degree myself, I do this a lot and I've had to overcome it is I jumped straight to the how, how I know what I want.
Uh, but what, how do I go about getting it? So I'm wrapping that back to the, the joint accounts and the separate accounts. That's a great question, but it needs to be like the fourth or fifth question that you're asking. And in a, in the beginning you have to sit down as a couple and talk about what, what is it that we want and why do we want it? So, so that's what I do with all my couples. And that's my first suggestion is just start having conversations about and start talking about, well, what is it that you want and, and, and why do you feel bad about some things that are going on? Or why do you feel good about some things going on? Um, that's really kind of where I start.
That's great because you know, you really have to think about yourself as an individual and then put it together as a couple and work towards the same goal. So I love that. That's how you start with it.
And yeah, you hit the nail right on the head with the individual part, especially with newlyweds is because as a society we are getting married at an older age, which also means that we've gone through college and, and used our own money, maybe gotten our own debt. Um, you know, had our own job, our own apartment, our own car, our own bank accounts, bank accounts. And then all of a sudden you're trying to combine that with another person who's been very individual with all of their stuff. And so how do you come together as a team, as a family, as, as a couple and, and start to do that together. Um, and so that's also really what I'm helping with when it comes to newlyweds, is to, to bridge that gap from individuality to, okay, now we're a team and specifically a team with money. How do we do that together?
That's great because you know, uh, as you were saying that, I was just thinking, you, they, you also have your own money habits, whether they're good or bad. And so you have to work together with your spouse is good or bad money habits as well. So I love that, you know, you uh, work with them to work together like that.
Yeah. Yeah. Or develop new habits together is to say, well, let's, you know, maybe there's a not a good or bad bad habit that we have at all, but just let's, we need to start a new habit.
Yes. That's a good way to think about it too. Cause you know, especially with newlyweds, it's like a start to kinda recharge and kind of restart your whole money life and habits and everything. So what is something, um, or maybe the most important step to start communicating better with your spouse about money? Like how do you help them communicate better?
Yes. So the first thing I do is have them go through basically a goal setting session. But when I say goal setting the, well, let me back up just a tiny bit. There's a great book I've read that's called, um, Oh gosh, it just popped out in my mind it is a book. Um, and in the book there's a this advice that when you're having meetings, sometimes people are coming into a meeting with different expectations. And by expectations, I mean, some people were like, Oh, we're having a brainstorming meeting. And some people were like, Oh, we're here to meet to get something done. And so when you have people that are like, Oh, let's talk about stuff and throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. And some people were like, I got stuff to do. Let's make a decision and move on. That's a huge conflict in that meeting.
Um, and so when you, um, so the first thing to do radical candor, that's the name of the book I knew, I think of it as radical candor. So anyway, so when it comes to couples is I have just do a brainstorming meeting. Like, Hey, let's talk about it. There's no decisions that are going to be bad. Let's just talk about it. Um, so I'll have them go off on their own for five minutes and, um, write down as many things as they can think of with money. What is it that they want? What is it that they're afraid of? What do they want to pay for? Um, all everything that they can think of. And if they can, if they can't think of it in that in five minutes, then it's not important today. It might be important to some day down the road, but just today, what is it that you want?
And then come together and talk about those lists. Like what is on your list and why is it on your list? Why do you want a big emergency fund? And, and we, you know, we dig into like, well, this is how I grew up. This is how my family handled money, but I really didn't like it or this is how we handled money. And I really liked it. And so you get to know each other on a little bit deeper of a level when it comes to money, but you're tying it specifically to like, okay, how do we each feel about debt in general? How do we each feel about, um, you know, our student loans in general. Do, do either of us want a house? And then after that I have them pick the top five things on their list that they want to deal with individually and then come together as a couple and have a top 10 list.
So that means that something's going to be number one and number two, but your top five as an individual will be on the, the top 10 list as a couple. And again, I, you know, I talk about this all in my guide, so everyone listening, um, we'll, we'll give the link later, but the guide has these step by step process that you can do later with your partner as well. Um, and so, but yeah, have them create a top 10 list and say, okay, what's number one? Let's start going after that. How are we going to go about that? That's
awesome. I really like that idea because you know, you're really focusing on the individual mindset, why they think what they think about money, and then coming together as a couple. So,
and everyone is afraid of being wrong or, um, made fun of or put down, even if it's your partner, you're just like, you know, there's still a little bit of either embarrassment or fear that they're not, they're going to think I'm weird or think differently. And even though you're married or maybe about to be married, um, it's still there. I mean, and maybe it's not money. Maybe it's, you know, sex that you're feeling very uncomfortable about or just talking about kids or something going on in the family. So certainly, certainly it's there and it's normal to feel a little bit of hesitation. So I, the first thing I do is just try to set up this meeting to say, Hey, we're just talking about stuff. We're not gonna make any decisions. We're not here to judge anyone. We're not here to, uh, we're just here to learn and listen to each other. And then we'll go from there. But we gotta we've gotta have that broad conversation first and then we'll get to the, like the how and the what to do next, the strategy.
That's great. Do you, um, work with couples like online or do you meet with them in person or both?
I've done both. Um, I'm mostly online, so I mean if, uh, if you're listening to this and you download my guide, I've got a YouTube channel that I'm starting up. Um, so if it's something that you want to follow along, I'm trying to make my business completely online. So, so starting out, um, I, you know, I've dealt with individuals and couples. Uh, there was this one woman that, uh, I helped and she was in the Navy and over in South Korea. So we, the time change was a bit tough, but we made it work and we, we were, I was able to help her out and coach her. Um, I've had a couple here in my area. Um, I've had couples in California that I've helped, um, and uh, Ohio and Indiana. Um, and so it's, it's all over Florida.
Oh, that's great. Yeah. I love working online and working with people online
and we do it by video calls as well. And so, I mean certainly I want you to see me and I'd love to see you guys is that, you know, on the couch together, snuggling or maybe not snuggling, depends on how to say, um, and then help you the best I can. And it's, you know, I really as a coach, I look for those nonverbal cues is when I ask a question and I see how the eye contact is working, uh, or not working, uh, between you as a couple or with me just as a coach looking at the camera. Um, those, it helps me a lot, be a better coach as well. So I love doing video calls.
Now you did bring it up earlier. Um, I was, I was wanting to get your thoughts cause I get this question all the time, but what do you think about shared bank accounts? Like is it a hard and fast? Yes. You need or maybe, maybe not. Like, what do you tell people when they ask you if they should or, um, what they should do about bank account?
Yes. And that's exactly what the dental hygienist um, asked me this morning and I tell people that it's an important question, but it's a secondary question. Um, I had this post that I put on Reddit in the personal finance subreddit and it made it to the front page of Reddit. And so, yeah, so you know what that is, but for anyone that has no idea what Reddit is, um, it's a website and basically to get to the front page, a lot of people have to like upload it. They have to like it. And I got like something like 400,000 views and 17,000 up votes and uh, like, uh, like 1700 comments on this post. I mean, a lot of people were just arguing back and forth and we were, but whatever, it Rose to the top. And what I learned from reading hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments was that there are very happy relationships and marriages where everything is separate, where everything is joint or there's something in between.
And the common thread is communication is that if you're not talking about money on a regular basis, and regular could be [inaudible] yearly, it could be monthly, it could be quarterly, it could be weekly if you really need to. But if, if you're talking about money on a regular basis, you have that habit, um, then you're going to be fine. Cause that's where most of the troubles come into is that, you know, I, it's like, Oh I want a separate account so I can just do what I want. But the deeper level to that is that maybe your isn't listening to what you want or, or you're feeling guilty of buying stuff. So you want to hide your money over here and not have to ask for permission. Um, and so the, usually when I hear that, I know immediately that there's kind of a, a deeper level to that. So it is an important question. We should talk about separate and joint and all that stuff, but that it's secondary. It's not the first
conversation we're going to have. Yes, I agree 100% because there's so much more to it about, you know, why they want a separate one or don't want a separate one. And it all goes back to their individual mindsets about money, which we've already talked about as well. So it kinda just, it all comes together, but it usually comes out from this question, just like you said, you have to back out,
figure out why they're asking in that money, that money mindset that you talked about. I know Ramit Sethi, his, his, he did a second version of his book and he talks about something called money dials, where we all have kind of that one topic or that one thing that we actually really love to spend money on. Um, you know, sometimes it can be closed, sometimes it can be travel, you know, maybe, uh, you know, it could be guns or it could be a hobby. It could be computers, it could be video games. Um, that we're, we love actually enjoy spending money because what we're spending money on is valuable to us. And that's why we have that first conversation is to find out like, what is it that you really value as an individual and then how do we kind of, how do we combine that as, as a couple? Um, for myself personally, I love spending money on, uh, educational things. I love going to workshops and seminars and buying online courses. I am, I just am constantly trying to improve myself, whereas my wife, she just spends all of her money on a heart. Our dog, she just loves our dog. She wants, you know, a nice carpet. And she in Disney world, while I like spending money going to Disney world too, that's where, that's where we as a family, as a couple of, we are 100% together on,
Oh good. Yeah. But you need to be to spend that much money on godly, his knee. Oh yeah. Yeah.
So, and I know that, um, there's like, Oh, well, you know, I'm a spender or I'm a saver. And I, you know, I, I don't like to put people into those categories. It's, it's more about trying to understand yourself as an individual and the nuances and to say, okay, well, you, you don't, just because you're a saver, quote unquote doesn't mean you're a saver and you're frugal on everything. Um, and just because you spend on one thing doesn't mean you spend on everything. Um, and so it's defined that nuance as a couple and to say, okay, well what, let's, let's dig a little bit deeper into that to figure out how we fit. How are puzzle pieces fit together?
I love that. Uh, so I, and I always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is because, you know, the studies have shown that millionaires, uh, read at least I think it's one book a month. And so I always love to find out people are reading and what their favorite nonfiction book.
Sure. Okay. Um, well, gosh, I've already mentioned like five already, but I, so for me, my favorite is the seven habits of highly effective people. Um, and I guess I really pick that because that was the first nonfiction book that made me realize, wow, I don't have to like go to school or a teacher or a particular, you know, you know, the, the system in order to learn something amazing, it can be in a book and I can read it. And so, you know, and this was before that blogging really got started. Um, and so, you know, it was books and magazines for a bit there. Um, before blogging got popular enough, they're like, Oh, well I can follow someone on a blog or a podcast or YouTube to learn stuff. But the, for me, especially being in engineering and being younger person, that one of the habits is seek first to understand then to be understood.
And that's basically a motto that I've kept for years to say, okay, rather than being some sort of pretentious person and trying to be a know it all. Is this like, yes, it's good that I know many, many things, but I don't know everything. And when I'm listening to someone, I need to understand exactly where they are and where they're coming from in order to help them next. And so that's, um, you know, I got that habit from that book. Uh, and that's been kinda always on the top of my mind and why it's my favorite, not to say it's the best. I think I got some other favorites that I really like. Uh, but that was the first that really kind of unlocked that door for me.
Yes. That's a very good book. I love that quote. That'd be perfect on the, uh, you know, Facebook share it on, but it a graphic.
Yeah. Stephen Covey, the seven habits of highly effective people.
Now, do you have any last words of wisdom?
Um, follow me on YouTube. That's, that's my, my next step. Um, I'd, so I'm starting my YouTube channel today. I'll have a video up by the end of the week and I, my personal goal is to have a video up every week for the next year. So the first 52 episodes or videos or, or whatever you want to call it, but I, I mentioned earlier a guide. And so I've written a, a 20,000 word ultimate guide and it has that brainstorming that, that, um, goal setting exercise that I talked about. So if you go to adulting with money.com/b M E so that stands for budget's made easy adulting with money.com/b M E you can download that for free. Um, and so that's, uh, so that's where you can get that guide. Uh, but then also follow me on YouTube adulting with money. And that's the last piece of stuff I've got, unless you have any more questions.
No, that was there. My next question was going to be where to find you. So I think you've got that covered. Everything is that adulting with money, correct. All your social media.
Yup. Adulting with money.com on Instagram. It's adulting with money on Twitter. It's adulting w money because adulting with money's too long in my handle. Facebook, it's adulting with money. And then you can search for Dan Heinz as well. Um, and yeah, it's uh, but yeah, definitely YouTube is what I'm going to be focusing on the most over this next year.
I can't wait to see it. I try, I started YouTube, like I have like four or five videos up in the night. I just gave up and moved on.
And that's okay. I mean, certainly I'd, if you were a client of mine, I would say, Hey, you tried and you, and you found out it wasn't for you. The same thing goes with money. Like, Hey, we need to try some things and try this app, see how it goes. And if you don't like it, we'll try something else.
Exactly. So I might get back to it. We'll see. But I'm really loving doing this podcast and getting to talk to people like you. Yeah,
no, thank you. And thank you for having me. I really do appreciate it. You're welcome. We will talk to you later. Bye. Alright, bye Ashley.