I Will Teach You To Be Rich - 160. “My entire paycheck goes to daycare. Should I stay home?”

Episode Date: June 11, 2024

Live in NYC, Carlos and Amanda, 36 and 28, join the show to talk through a recurring issue in their relationship—her earning ability vs. the possibility of staying home with their kids. They recentl...y moved out on their own and Carlos is in school to put himself in position for a higher income. This episode is brought to you by: ZocDoc | Download the ZocDoc app for FREE at https://zocdoc.com/ramit then find and book a top-rated doctor today. Trade | Right now, Trade is offering our audience a free bag of coffee with any subscription at https://drinktrade.com/ramit. Masterclass | For unlimited access to every class and 15% off an annual membership, go to https://masterclass.com/ramit. Rocket Money | Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions – and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to https://rocketmoney.com/ramit. Facet | Get affordable, accessible financial planning with a flat fee membership. For a limited time, the $250 enrollment fee will be waived when you sign up at https://facet.com/ramit. Links mentioned in this episode • Can combining finances lead to long-lasting love? (Cornell Research) Connect with Ramit • Get the Podcast Newsletter and exclusive Q&A about the show • Get Money Coaching with Ramit  • Download the Conscious Spending Plan • Listen to my book—now on Audible • Get my New York Times best-selling book • Get my no-numbers journal • Other episodes • Instagram • Twitter • YouTube • Submit a question for the newsletter iwt.com/askramit  If you and your partner have a money issue and you want my help, I occasionally select a couple to work with, free of charge. Apply for my help here. Produced by Crate Media.

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 I've had the conversation with her multiple times that she's much more valuable than what the education system is paying her right now. I want you to be my partner, not just in marriage, not just in parenthood, but in finances as well. But it's definitely a bittersweet pill to swallow. And we see how much we're paying for daycare. What was the point of going back to work when my whole salary is basically gone
Starting point is 00:00:31 at the end of the month? It kills me as a husband and as a man to not be able to satisfy that for her, not be able to give that to her. If we continue on the same path that we've been on of never coming to a decision, continuing the arguments and the tears, there's going to come a day where one of us says, I can't anymore, you know, and just walks away.
Starting point is 00:01:01 Meet Amanda and Carlos. Amanda's 28, Carlos is 36, and they have two young children and they live in the tri-state area. Now, he wants them to be a power couple. She says she's comfortable with how things are and she doesn't really want to change. But when I start asking questions today, suddenly their story gets a lot deeper. There are tears. They tell me stories about cars being repoed. I hear about gender roles and separate accounts. Let's meet Amanda and Carlos and as we get started I notice an interesting comment they made
Starting point is 00:01:34 in their application. You did say that there are a lot of tears when you talk about money. That's my fault. Oh, what do you mean? Emotions for me are very difficult. Conversations in general like finances have always been difficult for me. It's not something my parents ever talked about to me. Being that vulnerable about it with him and sharing the way that I feel about our finances or what we're going to do next is very difficult for me to share. And I just get caught up in the emotions sometimes.
Starting point is 00:02:12 It's interesting when I asked about the tears, you said it's my fault. You said I get caught up. All words as if having emotions is a bad thing. Do you think that having emotions about money is a bad thing? No, I don't. But I think that's kind of where we balance each other out as well because he's a little bit more logical.
Starting point is 00:02:34 I am a little bit more emotional. And which one is good? They're both good, I think. We kind of even each other out. I pull him up from the logic. He brings me down from the emotions. We have learned to kind of meet at a middle ground. It's been years of growth through these discussions because at first I was very closed off. I've become a lot more open minded to these things, but emotion is just, it comes with
Starting point is 00:03:01 my nature. Just have to cut in here really quickly. In America, we think emotions are weakness. We consider logic to be laudable, even pure. But emotions? Well, you heard Amanda. She has a problem with being emotional. Her words, she says it's her fault.
Starting point is 00:03:20 She gets caught up. I don't really agree with this view. And it's actually one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. Basically every one of us is deeply emotional. Emotions are not weakness and it takes a lot of work, which I'm trying to do myself, to get in touch with our emotions. Notice as we continue in this conversation, Carlos immediately goes back to where he feels most comfortable. Questions about logistics. I can't say in the beginning of our conversations I really understood her emotions and why she
Starting point is 00:03:52 cried when we had more serious conversations. And I used to think of it as bad and impulsive, but again with more conversation and just like the wanting to understand my wife more. I understand the place that her emotions has in our financial decisions, in our life. It's more what to do with the extra money, right? Like what's next? What is our next step? And we have opposing views on what direction we should take. Is that your primary question today? What should we do with the extra money?
Starting point is 00:04:24 What should we do next? Okay, all right. I also think that we don't have a major age gap, but seven years apart, just about. How old are you each? So I'm 36, Amanda's turning 29 this year. So for me, and being in a government position where I'm looking at 20 year retirement plan,
Starting point is 00:04:43 pension, et cetera, or I'm at the stage where I'm thinking about retirement. So a lot of my financial moves now are all geared towards that. Retirement for me has never... Seems like... I don't know, it seems so far away. So it's not something I've necessarily thought about at depth or at length. And I'm a teacher. So for me, I'm just kind of living the day to day, especially being a new mom.
Starting point is 00:05:10 I don't really spend energy thinking on retirement. Yeah, that's fine. Most people don't. I guess the best way to explain that is to... An example. An example. We've been looking at properties and we're considering either moving into a property or buying an investment property.
Starting point is 00:05:29 For me, it's just purely numbers. It's a numbers game. I could care less. We could move into a fixer-upper, spend the next two years redoing little pieces here and there. For her, she puts the emotion into it where it's like, well, we got to move our daughters into it. What is the neighborhood like?
Starting point is 00:05:44 We want to be comfortable here and I think that that's vital because if it wasn't for that I would have us literally starting from scratch in a box the most financially advantageous situation possible because you know we can fix it over time but if I were by myself then maybe that would work but I have a family so I need to put emotion into it. Okay. I like that. It's a healthy perspective. It's like I can understand where she's coming from. Probably makes me a little bit more balanced and you can understand where he's coming from looking at some of these numbers.
Starting point is 00:06:14 Okay. All these conversations take place at home. It's usually at nighttime after our kids have gone down that we... What a surprise. We're around like 930. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Just about. Let's talk money. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:06:27 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. So who brought it up first? Me. Alright. I always bring it up first.
Starting point is 00:06:33 We actually just had one on our way in actually. Oh, fantastic. So you're driving in. We were driving into the city this morning and he asked me if there's anything we want to bring up. I think the biggest area where we butt heads on our finances is that he has all these little business ideas. It's the biggest risk versus reward to go into one of these businesses because I feel a real estate investment has less of a risk in comparison to a startup business.
Starting point is 00:07:08 And he disagrees. He believes that it's similar, if not better, to do the business because it's less cost upfront. There's multiple parts to it. The upfront cost is where we begin, right? With buying a property, you have your closing costs, and then as I've learned from all of your podcasts, you have all the phantom costs, right? We've never owned a property, so we can't even list out all the possible expenses. If it's an investment property and we're getting
Starting point is 00:07:39 a tenant, then we have to factor in, all right, how long until we get a tenant and we have to cover the mortgage until that point, including all of our regular expenses. Then when we get a tenant, because I think New Jersey is a squatters, right, state, you know, what if we end up in that situation where the person is just not paying the rent? These expenses start to stack up, not to include the fact that we're taking on a major loan, right? $180, $200, $300,000, whatever it is. And you can't just get out of that.
Starting point is 00:08:09 I've started a couple of other businesses. I ran my own business for a bit. I put my personal business down to take this full-time government position. And then I had another business that just failed and went under, unfortunately. I understand completely. How does this conversation usually go?
Starting point is 00:08:26 We go back and forth in the pros and the cons and the pros and the cons and then. How long has it been since you made a decision on this? We haven't. We haven't, yeah. It's been a couple months. Months or longer? Longer.
Starting point is 00:08:38 Well, how long? I would say longer because I mean, since we've, since we had our first daughter, he's been trying to do this. We were living at my mom's for a little while, and he decided to take on the... Spa. The spa business that he opened. That went under.
Starting point is 00:08:55 Realistically, this is about the first year of our relationship that we've had to live on our own. Completely independent of our parents and family because since we've lived together six years ago, we've been in and out of our family's home. Oh, okay, living with them. Yes. Okay, why is that? Because he was deployed or I had a baby
Starting point is 00:09:23 or he was deployed again. Gotcha. Or I had another baby. Yeah. Okay, gotcha. So since last April actually, it's been us solely on our own, no parents involved whatsoever. First time in six years with two kids where you're both functioning independently. Yes.
Starting point is 00:09:43 And we've been having that conversation again and again on other business ideas ever since. So it's been maybe about two, three years that this is an ongoing conversation. You're starting, you're coming with an idea saying like, hey, you can do this. And then you're saying, well, what about this? What about the risks? I kind of play devil's advocate. Not because I want to shoot him down But because I'm afraid
Starting point is 00:10:13 Afraid of afraid of the failure that comes with it with the spa business that he opens, right? I saw one how much time and energy it took out of him on top of his regular job The toll that that puts on my plate because he's more absent from home. Carlos, how would you describe Amanda's relationship with money? Complacent? Nonchalant? That would probably be the two words. Those are big words. I used to describe her relationship with money. What do you mean by those?
Starting point is 00:10:41 For as long as I've known her, we've been together, she doesn't necessarily or ever had a reason to stress money. Where is it coming from? Where's it going to? She's never had that. So she's never had to climb out of that hurdle or work her way back up. Because of that, I think that she's just comfortable. Comfortable means? She doesn't have like a sense of urgency to increase her income or sense of urgency to plan for the future. Like these just aren't things on her radar. You know, she's happy where she is. Things are comfortable. Things are paid for. Food is available at any time from any place.
Starting point is 00:11:22 So there's a level of comfort that comes with that. Is that good or not good? For me, it's not good. Why? Personally. I've never had comfort with money. I've had to dig myself out multiple times. I've made enough bad decisions and now that I'm getting older and older and older,
Starting point is 00:11:42 retirement and it's creeping on me. Right and I have uncles who are still working into their 60s and 70s Blue-collar jobs is just not a lifestyle that I want for myself in the future That pressure weighs on me being a dad being a husband like these are all new things for me, too When do you give yourself permission to feel good about money? I don't know. To be honest with you, I don't know what or when that is or what that's supposed to feel like. So I don't even, I have no idea.
Starting point is 00:12:17 Have you ever felt like that? No. Okay. But it's funny because your wife feels like that right now. I don't know why. I think I want security. Okay. I don't necessarily... Like yeah, of course I want more, right?
Starting point is 00:12:33 That's not obvious. Wait, you say... Hold on a second. Of course I want more, but I'm going to venture a big guess. Amanda, do you want more? I don't need more, no. Of course you want more, but, do you want more? I don't need more, no. Of course you want more, but that's you. Okay, and you want security.
Starting point is 00:12:51 What does that mean? Security means I don't want to have to work for the rest of my life. Security means I don't want to ever again find myself in a situation where I'm worried about money. Well, I'm worried about money. Are you worried about money right now? Yes. Okay, you're going to be worried about money a year from now?
Starting point is 00:13:12 I think so, yeah. You're going to be worried about money when you have double the current money you have? I don't know. I'll be less worried. I'll just tell you, you will. You will. That was a trick question.
Starting point is 00:13:23 I don't know the answer. Yes. As long as I've known him, That was a trick question. I don't know the answer. Yes. As long as I've known him, he has always wanted more for himself, for us financially, physically. I mean, he works out like an animal, like you said, right? Like that's just his nature. It's interesting because he is on one end of the spectrum where it's like really pushing himself in lots of
Starting point is 00:13:45 ways, financial, physical, all those things. And the way you described yourself is like, I don't need more. He described your feeling towards money as complacent. Would you agree with that word? I would. Okay, complacent. Yeah. Nonchalant.
Starting point is 00:14:01 Yeah, I mean, I've always said, like like I'm very happy where I am and the dynamic of our relationship we fall Into our gender roles pretty well. How so you know I handle the finances the numbers I worry about where we're gonna live what the cost of it is can we buy a new car etc. So she Focuses on the home right the girls She's a wizard with our daughters and like their calendar and where they're supposed to be what time they need to eat what have they eaten today I mean just everything yeah did you both proactively agree on that we did but I also think we naturally fell into it okay and are you both okay with those roles or would you like some of them
Starting point is 00:14:38 to change we have been until now we've been meaning to open up a joint account oh you don't have a joint account? We do not. Okay so they're separate? Yes. Okay. And I don't know what he spends on, he doesn't know what I spend on, only what we see come home basically. Hold on, hold on, hold on. How did I not know this? So let me guess. Amanda you pay for certain expenses. He pays for certain expenses right?? OK, you pay for like kids clothes. Groceries, daycare. OK. And then you pay the rent and the car stuff.
Starting point is 00:15:13 Am I getting this right? Yeah. All right. He's going to flip the table. It never fails. When couples haven't combined their incomes, they break out their spending almost identically. Women tend to pay for anything child-related, plus groceries, plus things around the house. Men pay for housing, and they almost always pay when the couple eats out. Can you please stop this? Just stop it.
Starting point is 00:15:41 It's not doing you any favors for two reasons. First, when you pick individual categories, it's not fair because those categories are going to change. For example, if you get a bigger house or you have two kids in daycare instead of one, those expenses are going to go way up. But couples who split expenses almost never recalibrate their spending, leaving one person totally out of money and feeling resentment. Second, your account setup reinforces your roles, including your gender roles.
Starting point is 00:16:12 Now if you and your partner are okay with that, great. That's why I asked them, are you okay with that? But there are so many people, particularly women, who are rightfully fed up with taking on more emotional labor, but they pay for all the groceries and all the childcare expenses. It's not simply about one person being a bad person or being selfish. It's about the way that you have structured your accounts and it's about the way that you have calibrated your relationship dynamic. For the purposes of my discussion, your account structure
Starting point is 00:16:43 determines your rich life. Finally, I just want to say there's good research showing that couples who combine finances experience greater satisfaction and they are less likely to break up. That's research from Emily Garbinski and her co-authors at the Cornell School of Management. We'll be right back after this short break. Think about the last time you wanted to make a restaurant reservation. Look at the website, check the schedule, three spots for a 6.30 PM reservation, boom. One click, you got your spot, you didn't have to pick up the phone.
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Starting point is 00:19:34 Give Trade a try for a month and see how you can make better coffee at home. Right now, they're offering 30% off your first month of coffee when you visit drinktrade.com Now back to the show. What about the feelings of money? How does it feel when you have your account, you have yours? Either he feels he pays for too much or I feel I pay for too much. And we're not on the same page. Right. Like it's not a 50-50.
Starting point is 00:20:13 But we've also realized in doing the CSP that, you know, his income is almost. At least double mine. So when mine is all gone at the end of the month, it makes sense that his is not completely gone at the end of the month. Mm-hmm. But we realized if we put all our money in the same account, then we can kind of control and see where the money's going. Yeah. A little bit better. The question was how does it feel?
Starting point is 00:20:41 Unfair. Unfair, okay. Mm-hmm. Okay. unfair unfair okay okay I would say that the way you have your account set up especially for married couple parents of two young kids the word that comes to me is disconnected Amanda has never been one to bring up the topic of finances or money or what's next so I kind of took note of that maybe about two years ago and I'd say within the last year,
Starting point is 00:21:07 I've made a more intentional effort to bring it up to her often. So whenever I come up with an idea, you know I do my little tiny research, you know, sit on the toilet, watch a couple YouTube videos, whatever it is, I'll come up with these little ideas and you know, I'll crunch numbers in my head,
Starting point is 00:21:24 I'll write a couple ideas down and I'll shoot it by her right just to get her more proactive and interested in what we're gonna do with our finances and does it work no not necessarily no I mean obviously real estate she definitely grasped onto that and I think because she has outside influencers on that as well she was more keen to it. Mm-hmm to your parents We've been looking we've been okay actively looking until last week last week. I put on hold Oh why the numbers just don't make sense? I mean, what do you mean? Hold on? What do you mean if you buy real estate it always goes up? That's what the internet is
Starting point is 00:22:01 Allegedly. It always works. How can the numbers not work? Real estate always makes money. Isn't that true? Because we live in the tri-state area and the interest rates are ridiculously high. Even with a veteran's loan. The houses that we are looking at are ridiculously high in the neighborhood that we want. But do you just want to pay your landlord's rent? I can't even do this. Okay, yeah, of course I know. I know where you live it makes no financial sense to buy like zero. Would it be fair to say that's the first time you have truly run the numbers when it comes to family finances?
Starting point is 00:22:37 Yes. Wow. What did that feel like? I've actually become a little bit more addicted to it. What do you like about it? Oh, I'm a numbers person. Maths has always been fascinating to me. So for me, it's like the simplicity of being able to see everything on a piece of paper and knowing exactly what's what. So we would run the numbers on a potential property and the mortgage calculator I threw in the taxes myself,
Starting point is 00:23:08 like I could do it. And I'd be like, hey, this works. You know, like, let's look at this place or let's look at that place. So John Doe throws 50K on top of his offer right now. Right, right. Yeah. And then I bet when you saw other people
Starting point is 00:23:21 buying those properties, were you like, wait, how are they doing that? The numbers don't work. Absolutely. I even said that to him. I was like, how are people, you know, people like us, the similar, you know, bracket, how are they affording these places?
Starting point is 00:23:35 Because if we can't, they definitely can. What do you think the answer is? They can't. So what are they doing? They're just in debt. We live comfortably and we rent right now. So to think that we are, we would be paying at least $1,000 more for mortgage and other people are doing this, ridiculous to me.
Starting point is 00:23:51 Absolutely. Where do you think that comes from? Why would they do that? From that mindset of, I need to buy a house. Because that was my mindset for until, you know, we started talking about our finances. Generationally, we've been taught, especially with immigrant parents, right? My dad came to this country, his first goal was to buy a house. He did it.
Starting point is 00:24:16 And then he bought another one and another one. And now he has three, four properties, which pays for all his bills. He makes a very good living, and he lives very comfortably. So when I see that, I think I can do that also. But realistically, the numbers back then don't match the numbers now. And we're making the same amount of money. The interest rates have only gone up. but our salaries haven't changed. Just I guess the influence from my parents, my mom was a single mom. She bought a house on her own during the pandemic actually.
Starting point is 00:24:55 I was like, okay, she could do it. We can do it too. We have two incomes. But realistically now, it's just, it's not possible. Okay. I appreciate you kind of being humble enough to accept that things might be different. So okay, you ran the numbers. Good job. Did you both run them?
Starting point is 00:25:13 Yes. Yes, together. We've been doing this actively together for the past couple of weeks. You've inspired a lot of growth and development. After watching your podcasts and your videos, we've also realized, you know, we live very comfortably in our apartment living. So sacrifice the comfort and minimize our lifestyle would be very difficult. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:25:35 Especially with two kids now. So we've kind of come to a standstill on the real estate. Honestly, great work. Not because they decided against buying real estate. Please remember I'm not against buying real estate. Honestly, great work. Not because they decided against buying real estate. Please remember, I'm not against buying real estate. I'm against making the biggest
Starting point is 00:25:49 purchase of your lives without running a single analysis. Amanda and Carlos did it. They ran an analysis and they did it together. Great work. But now they are stuck. If we continue on the same
Starting point is 00:26:04 path that we've been on of never coming to a decision, continuing the arguments and the tears, there's going to come a day where one of us says, I can't anymore, you know, and just walks away. Because like anything else, right, it can just build up and it'll be too much. But I also agree that we do need to make a decision. I just don't think my timeline is as rushed as his or as urgent as his is. I understand that his job is temporary and our finances at this moment are may not be the same as three years from now. So I understand his sense of urgency
Starting point is 00:26:48 But I don't necessarily agree With the sense of urgency that he has so yeah, so do you want it to change? Um, I do appreciate the fact that he includes me in all these decisions It kind of makes us partners versus he's the head of the house, you know? So I do see the value in it. And with big decisions like a house and a business, yes, I do want to have a say, I think, because I can see where if it fails, like he says, I may blame him or I may resent him for that because it does
Starting point is 00:27:26 affect all of us. I have to say I appreciate that you both are talking about the roles that you've taken in your relationship. I think it's very important to interrogate those decisions. In my own personal relationship, it would have been really easy for me to be the money guy. Very easy. But I always thought to myself, what if one day I'm not here?
Starting point is 00:27:51 What if one day I get hit by a bus? What if we have to make big decisions together as partners? It can't just be me, it's also not as fun. I see a lot of nods from you, Carlos. Because you're saying what I want to say or what I've been trying to say, I guess. Say it to her. Say it in your own words. I'm not quite as elegant.
Starting point is 00:28:13 I want you to be my partner. Not just in marriage, not just in parenthood, but in finances as well. I have, to my scale, grand visions for our future and the way we could live life. And I want us to live it together and get there together. So pretty please. But I feel like I've always been good at managing money. Maybe she might be better at saving than I am. What does managing money mean to you?
Starting point is 00:28:45 Being able to... Distribute? Like distributing my money more or less, right? Like I make sure I cover the groceries, I cover the stuff for the girls, daycare, what goes into my savings, and then the money I have to spend. Mm-hmm. Like I'm still very meticulous about everything, even though he does pay for the bills. I mean, I've always been taught to save my money.
Starting point is 00:29:16 The stipulation with us moving in together when we first met was we both need to have $15,000 in our bank account before we can rent an apartment together who stipulated that he did Really yeah, why did you come up with that? The truth I didn't I didn't think she was gonna do it And then it was also a symbol of like commitment like she was serious about it and You know if she could do this then yeah, by all means I'll get serious about it too, and we'll make that We'll make that move. How did you take that when he said it? He didn't say that to me until later on What did he say it was just at the time?
Starting point is 00:30:02 He was thinking of moving into New York City. And we were both living in New Jersey and I was like, well, if you move into the city, it's not going to work. That was too far for him to be away from me. Because my whole life was over there. I wouldn't see him I thought. So I was like, okay, I can do it. And I was still living at home.
Starting point is 00:30:24 So he said, fine, I won't move to the city. We'll move together if you save $15,000. And how did you take that? Challenge, got it, done, did it. Wow. Here we are. That's interesting. Okay, so you did it.
Starting point is 00:30:40 Yeah, absolutely. It was no problem for you. No problem. Kind of funny how big life decisions can be made so arbitrarily. Right? Just like 15 plus 15, and you know, you did a little bit of math, but really,
Starting point is 00:30:53 if that hadn't worked, you might not be together. You might not have two kids. Isn't it crazy? Absolutely. The way we make the most impactful decisions of our lives sometimes are just so random. I definitely think we could be a power couple. We have the potential for that because we do communicate very well, or at least we've
Starting point is 00:31:11 learned to communicate very well. I appreciate it and I see where he's coming from. I really do. And I want to be more involved, which is where my effort comes from. What do you hear him say? I love you. And I know that's how he expresses his love to me. Especially, you know, asking me for my opinion. I know from him that's a big deal.
Starting point is 00:31:33 Because like you said, he's always been used to making these decisions on his own. Right. Wow. That's powerful. He didn't say the words, I love you, but you heard that. Yes. And Carlos, that's fair to say, right? Absolutely.
Starting point is 00:31:48 You know, what I notice is a lot of tactical thinking. He says, I want you to save $15,000 in order for us to be together. She says, fine. Then she does it. And that's that. He asks for her opinion on some random business idea. She gives it.
Starting point is 00:32:03 That's it. Now, I do like that when he asks for her opinion, she sees and feels love. I love that. But what I don't hear is an elevation of thinking. They don't have a philosophy on money. For example, they save $15,000, but do they zoom up one level to reflect on that $15,000? What does it actually mean in our relationship? Now this is hard.
Starting point is 00:32:30 It's a hard skill. It doesn't come naturally. One good way to start zooming up with your money is to start using my journal. You can get it on Amazon or any independent bookstore. It'll help you cut through the thousands of tactical decisions you make with your money and actually have a vision. And that vision makes it easy to decide what to do, when it's worth it, and when it's not.
Starting point is 00:32:52 We'll open up their conscious spending plan after this. I recently took a masterclass with Amy Poehler called Prepare to Be Unprepared, where she shares her nine principles of improv. Now this is really important to me because on this podcast, yes, I do a lot of prep before the conversation, but truthfully, I have no idea where the conversation's gonna go.
Starting point is 00:33:14 All I can do is show up, be present, listen really carefully and be ready to pivot like an improv specialist, even trying new approaches if the guest is not responding. Now I love being able to apply lessons from different industries like comedy, design, writing to my work. And I think that's what makes this podcast special.
Starting point is 00:33:36 With Masterclass, you can learn from the world's best. For just $10 a month, an annual membership with Masterclass gets you unlimited access to every instructor. And you can access Masterclass gets you unlimited access to every instructor. And you can access Masterclass on your phone, computer, smart TV, even in audio mode. One thing I loved about this improv class with Amy Poehler, she said, you can't be halfway in, you can't be partially committed. And it reminded me of the exact decision I made when I was thinking about the Netflix show.
Starting point is 00:34:02 Until then, I had been very comfortable living my online life. I had this little corner of the internet. I know how it works. I have a lot of control over my business, but Netflix came around and it was like, am I ready to give up control? And I had to think about it a lot. I talked to my wife.
Starting point is 00:34:18 We talked about it together. And I realized, if I'm gonna do this, I have to go all in. I have to be fully committed, even if I don't feel ready. That principle resonated deeply with me. I think it's true in comedy. I think it's true in business. I think it's true in life. So you can learn so many things.
Starting point is 00:34:34 That's just from one course on MasterClass and you have access to all of them. Right now, our listeners get an additional 15% off any annual membership at masterclass.com slash Ramit. That's 15% off at masterclass.com slash Ramit. Again, masterclass.com slash Ramit. There's three things in life I never wanna do myself. Return my own packages, redo the crown molding
Starting point is 00:35:00 on my ceiling, first of all, what is molding? And third, cancel my own subscriptions. It's not just figuring out the subscriptions you are silently paying for, including the ones you forgot about years ago, then it's actually canceling them, each of them, one by one. Have you ever tried? You do one of them, it feels like you just ran a marathon,
Starting point is 00:35:19 and God forbid you have to actually pick up the phone. Rocket Money helps you skip all of that by helping you find unwanted or forgotten subscriptions and cancel them for you. Rocket Money is a personal finance app that finds and cancels your unwanted subscriptions, monitors your spending, and helps you lower your bills so you can grow your savings.
Starting point is 00:35:38 Rocket Money has over five million users and has saved a total of $500 million in canceled subscriptions, saving members up to $740 a year when using all of the apps features. Stop wasting money on things you don't use. Cancel your unwanted subscriptions by going to rocketmoney.com slash Ramit. That's rocketmoney.com slash Ramit, rocketmoney.com slash Ramit. Now for Amanda and Carlos, let's take a look at their numbers. Remember, they've been living on their own for just a short time after having lived with
Starting point is 00:36:07 parents for years. Carlos got a pay increase and Amanda is recently back in the workforce. Assets $47,638, investments $25,000, savings $48,000, debt $25,000 for a total net worth of $96,076. All right. What do you think about that? Savings $48,000, debt $25,000 for a total net worth of $96,076. Alright, what do you think about that? I don't know because I don't know quote unquote where we should fall. If I'm comparing myself to the couples at the event the other night. I would say it's low.
Starting point is 00:36:46 I think the same thing. I feel like they're low. Again, I spend more time reading articles and listening to other financial advisors and being in my mid-30s, everyone was like, you should have $250,000 saved. And it makes me panic. So I go back into that worry mode when I see this number.
Starting point is 00:37:05 I don't love when people say just a blanket arbitrary number because it never takes into account difference in age, where you live, what your goals are if you want to retire at 55 versus 65, your income and on and on and on. But it is nice to have some basic back of the napkin numbers to know like how we do in general. All right. Income. What's your gross monthly income, Carlos?
Starting point is 00:37:31 Currently monthly is $17,117. $205,000 a year. Now, who knew that you make $205,000 a year out of the two of you? I definitely miscalculated somewhere. That's why I like saw that and I was like, where did that number come from? $205,000 a year out of the two of you. I Definitely miscalculated somewhere Like where did that number come from but I'm also a 10 month employee. I'm not a 12 month old Okay, so it's a bit less a little bit less. All right fine Let's just take a look. Yeah. All right, so it's maybe like
Starting point is 00:38:00 180 190 something like that. That's why I calculated. Yeah. Did you know that? Yeah. Oh, okay. Yeah. So you knew that number, not this number. Yes. Fine, fine, fine. Yeah, we had said like 180. 186, I think. Great, wow, you both know your numbers. I'm going to, good job.
Starting point is 00:38:16 That's rare, honestly, good job, that's great. You get a gold star. All right, very good. So let's now go down to fixed costs. Your fixed costs are at exactly 60%. What do you think of that? Well, from what we've listened to you, we were like, let's cutting it close.
Starting point is 00:38:32 And let's just jump down to the rest and then we'll dive in here. Investments are at 4%. Do you have a pension? I do, yes. Okay, have you ever logged into your account seeing how it's grown? So you know that period of time where Dogecoin was like up and down and up and down and very
Starting point is 00:38:48 up? Yes. I was checking it every single day. Oh, you love crypto. I pulled out my money. No, I pulled it out. Okay. When I was up, I pulled it out because I realized this is ridiculous.
Starting point is 00:38:58 And so I invested it elsewhere. Like where? Other accounts, right? There's one called Equinix. Okay. There's Microsoft Apple I invest into all those I have the Vanguard. All right. So how often do you log in and check it? I'd say at least once a week. Okay. All right
Starting point is 00:39:15 I like to know how much my money has fluctuated So and do each of you know how much the other has in their investment accounts? investment accounts Yeah, I have a good idea. Okay. Alright. You have a prenup? No. Alright. That's fine.
Starting point is 00:39:33 Should we? I don't know, but you know, you're married so... I hear a post-nup is a thing too. Just from the way you're talking, I don't probably think it's necessary. I'm just curious because sometimes if you have a prenup, you have to keep certain premarital money separate or not co-mingled. You don't have a prenup, so that's not the case. I'm just trying to understand how you both treat your accounts.
Starting point is 00:40:01 Oh, so I don't have an automated monthly. Oh. Just because as far as my finances go, I'm at like about 90 something percent every month. Well, look at this. Here it is. Fixed cost, 94%. Yeah. So. And he's at 43%.
Starting point is 00:40:19 Yeah. What do y'all think about that? The unfair rate. It's not fair. We didn't, but like, I don't even know. We just didn't even know how to split it up even more without. Well, here's one. One person is paying $1,881 to daycare.
Starting point is 00:40:40 The next person is paying zero. How about that? I know. That's, that could be split. I'd say so I Was a stay-home mom The question was do I go back to work so we could make a little bit more? But still have to pay for daycare Was it worth it if daycare was so expensive and my salary is basically paying daycare?
Starting point is 00:41:08 And that was a really difficult, I'm going to cry. That was a very difficult conversation for us. So who brought it up first? He did. He's always thought I could do more. Even now as a teacher, you know, he tells me like, there's so much more I can do, not just in my field, but beyond my fields. And as a mom, a new mom and a stay home mom, I was losing my mind. But I wanted to be home. We chose to make that sacrifice and only have one income so that I could enjoy that time home with my kids.
Starting point is 00:41:45 But when it came time to have that conversation of, am I going back to work? It was a difficult pill to swallow. As a new mom, I felt like I was losing out on time with my kids. But I also knew I didn't want to put all the financial pressure on him because he was working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You know, we were fine, but it was still a lot for him alone to cover the finances. Do you feel pulled in two different directions? I did. And you know, I don't regret going back to work and I don't regret the time that I stayed home with the kids, but it's definitely a bittersweet
Starting point is 00:42:28 pill to swallow because I still feel like some days my job is so taxing that what was the point of going back? And then like when we ran the CSP numbers and we see how much we're paying for daycare, what was the point of going back to work when my whole salary is basically gone at the end of the month? Okay. Let's pause for a second. Heather, can we get some tissue? I'm sorry. This is such a difficult topic for parents across America. Child care is one of a handful of times where couples really sit down
Starting point is 00:43:05 and look at the numbers and too often they conclude that financially speaking one partner would be giving their entire paycheck to daycare. So the conclusion is it's better for that parent to stay home and in two-parent households that's almost always mom. Parents rarely talk about what this means for her career down the road or how expenses will be split up or how discretionary expenses should be handled. It's so reactive. Ah, how are we gonna pay for child care? Oh, that's really expensive. I guess it makes sense for you to stay home. And that's that. There's so much more to talk about with this decision. It's one of the
Starting point is 00:43:42 biggest ones you will ever make. Let's keep looking down here. So your investments say 4%, but really, it's a lot higher than that. So I like that. Your savings are at 18%. Let's take a look what you have here. You have vacations, gifts, long-term emergency fund,
Starting point is 00:44:01 and then everything else is at 10%, your guilt-free spending. Is this true? Like, do you spend $1,400 a month eating out? I tested it officially this month. Tell me. We went to the casino. We made some earnings. And then they go I went to the casino, okay carry on. I took I took $700 cash of that earnings, and I said I'm only gonna touch this cash for the next month Well, I'm not spending extra dollar hold on hold on these are $700 in casino winnings. Yeah, okay So now you my own money, so the casino Thank you, Borgata And I still have a hundred bucks left over of that original $700.
Starting point is 00:44:46 That's after one month. One month. Yeah. Okay, wow. So that's, okay great. So that's your spending on guilt-free spending. And I gave her 200 bucks out of that. Okay.
Starting point is 00:44:58 Can you go an entire month spending $700 on guilt-free spending? Can I spend it? Absolutely. Do you? I would say just about, yeah. Okay, so you... $200 on guilt-free spending Can I spend it absolutely do you I? Would say just about yeah Okay, so you could but it's also we calculated in there our date nights So date nights include what we spend when we go out and the babysitter Babysitter is huge expense how much is a babysitter $30 an hour so how long about five hours or six hours? So's at least 180 if I go out 200 bucks and how often yeah we try to do once a week but
Starting point is 00:45:31 realistically we only do once a month mm-hmm we go out say you go out twice a month that's 400 bucks in babysitter plus eating taxi another 200 bucks every time it goes so another, that's 800 bucks. So how can it be that you'd only spend 1,400 bucks a month total if you're spending 800 bucks just on date night? I personally don't, not anymore, right? Maybe I'd say about three months ago,
Starting point is 00:45:58 I really nixed all of the random little spending that I would do here and there. And we do a meal prep service for our food. So I package my foods. The only groceries we pay are really for our daughters. Because as far as the two of us, we use the meal prep service. Sporadically, we'll buy lunch like a salad or a dinner if we're low on meal prep. And then I have a work vehicle as well. So I don't have like toll expenses or gas expenses. So there's really nowhere for me to spend money aside from our daily.
Starting point is 00:46:31 And I quit coffee, so I don't buy Starbucks. You quit totally? No, no, no. You make it home? She walked in here with a Gregory's. Yeah. Well, like occasionally, like we came into the city, so I'll buy it, but I just make it at home or I buy the tubs of
Starting point is 00:46:45 coffee instead to spread it out throughout the week. Okay. Honestly, awesome. Like it sounds like you're telling me $1,400, maybe $1,600 a month is actually pretty reasonable. And I believe you. All right. Clothes are 400 bucks a month. My lovely husband loves to buy sneakers.
Starting point is 00:47:06 Oh, okay. So at least, you know, a pair of Nikes is at least the $200. So that's per month? We averaged he buys maybe one a month. Okay. So yeah. And then for me, it's the girls are my own. That's the $200.
Starting point is 00:47:21 Alright. You're hitting 60%. So I can't say anything. It's you like it's your rich life. Great. And then you're Alright, you're hitting 60% so I can't say anything. You like it, it's your rich life. Great. And then the subscription of 305, what's that? I am part of a Pilates gym.
Starting point is 00:47:37 Okay, fine. You like it? I love it. Can you afford it? As of now. Great. Then fantastic. Alright, good.
Starting point is 00:47:45 60%. That's cool. It mentions here that you have a debt of $25,881. What is that debt? That's the car. It's about 8%. 8%. 8.25 I'd say.
Starting point is 00:47:58 Does this car payment include everything? No, the car payment is $450 a month. Plus the gas and tolls and all that. You factored all that in. Correct. All right, fine. Yeah, that's interesting. It actually mirrors what I had.
Starting point is 00:48:18 I used to have a $350 a month car payment and my total was over $1000 a month. I paid for parking in San Francisco, gas, etc. And it really just adds up. Yeah, gas is what kills it. So you have $450, but your actual out of pocket is basically double that. That's about right. Two to three X is really what people should mark up their car payment for what the true cost when you factor in all phantom costs is. And imagine you do that for a house.
Starting point is 00:48:50 Yeah. Whoa. That's why when we were talking real estate, we said we nixed it because we said only if the mortgage was basically exactly what we're paying for rent. Which you can't find in your area. We calculated up to 36. Our calculations. We said about $3,600 a month. Okay. And it's just not possible. Yeah. It's not. And we're about to trade in your Chevy for a Tesla. What? Is that true? No, no, no. It's a joke
Starting point is 00:49:18 that I've been throwing at her. And the car is just to drive around our two little bosses, the three and the one year olds. So the car, most people look at the car and unfortunately they buy it by just a monthly payment. What they don't realize is that the car you buy today can directly affect your retirement 25 years from now. That's why he's talking about the Tesla. I have a confession. So a little backstory, coming into the relationship,
Starting point is 00:49:44 I came into it with a lot of debt. I had two vehicle repossessions. I had student loans. I mean, it was, my credit was horrible. My debt was really bad. I should have signed a prenup. I had to, hence why our numbers are as low as they are, because I've spent a lot of time and money in just getting myself to where I am today.
Starting point is 00:50:05 Alright, what happened in the past where you got all these cars repos, what happened? Silly purchases for status. You know, I was buying based on the brand and how the car looked. What'd you buy? I had an Audi and then I had bought a, or I co-signed a BMW for a previous relationship.
Starting point is 00:50:25 Okay. Yeah, and you know, the relationship went under and the vehicle also seems to have gone under. Okay. So. Okay, so those cars, you didn't just sell them, they got repossessed. Yeah, yeah, they ended up, both vehicles
Starting point is 00:50:40 ended up getting repossessed. I owned a personal training business, I'd been doing it for many, many years, and the income fluctuates. You have seasons. So unfortunately during the down season, I just had a lot of negatives in my life at the time. I just wasn't making enough money.
Starting point is 00:50:56 So I went upside down on my loan, and before I knew it, they came and repossessed the vehicle. As for the other one, the vehicle stayed with my partner at the time. She stopped paying the vehicle as well, and I got a notice in the mail one day saying, hey, the vehicle was repossessed. You owe X amount of dollars.
Starting point is 00:51:16 Because it was under his name, so his credit went under too. Did you have to pay that? So I paid portions of it, and eventually it was a charge off, because even that, I couldn't sustain it. You know, I took out student loans to go to school for massage therapy in like 2008.
Starting point is 00:51:31 And I remember vividly at that time, like yeah sure, I'll sign, whatever. You guys are going to pay for my school? Sure. And then, you know, four years later, I'm getting bills in the mail. I'm like, I'm not going to pay. You guys paid it already.
Starting point is 00:51:42 Why would I have to pay for it? I just didn't know. I had no concept of like, this is a loan, you're borrowing this money, you gotta pay it back. So a lot of hard lessons I had to learn on my own and pay for them. I hope I learn from it, right?
Starting point is 00:51:58 Even though we're paying $1,000 a month for a new vehicle. But I would say I'm definitely more savvy and wise from those experiences. How do you connect what decisions you made in the past about your finances to how you look at money today? I was tired of always being in debt. I was tired of, you know, feeling like I wasn't financially where I should be, quote unquote.
Starting point is 00:52:20 I knew that if I continued making those impulse purchases or poor financial decisions, that I would really have to pay for it down the road when it was time for retirement, when you don't want to get up early in the morning to clock in to work. So yeah, so a light bulb went off and I made the decision to be more conservative and try to educate myself more on investments. It was, it was definitely very challenging. And it still is today.
Starting point is 00:52:49 Like I still have those impulses, right? I do like nice things as well. I like nice clothes, I like nice vacations. I like nice cars, right? I look at Maseratis every now and then, even though they're horrible cars, but I think they're attractive looking vehicles. And the motorcycles.
Starting point is 00:53:02 Yeah, I'm always looking at things, at toys, right? Watches, my thing, you know, Rolex, Omega, and you know, and controlling those impulses takes a lot of willpower. A lot. I'm just tired of being in debt. I'm tired of making poor financial decisions and then later on kicking myself in the rear for it. You know, and now I got kicking myself in the rear for it.
Starting point is 00:53:25 And now I got a family too, so it's not just me anymore. Now if I make these impulse purchases, how do I afford to continue putting my girls in daycare? How do I afford to buy my wife a nice birthday gift? How do I afford to, I had no restraint from, I've been working since I was 14. So I always made my own money. I always, you know, paid for my own things.
Starting point is 00:53:47 There was just no restraint, no management, no vision for the future. It was just, you know, what can I spend all now? What do I want right now? Instant enjoyment, instant gratification. And it bled into my 20s. And I didn't get a control of it until I decided to get more serious about life and like something clicked, something registered for me.
Starting point is 00:54:10 Do you remember what it was? Remember where you were? It was me. I would definitely credit the majority of it to Amanda, to my marriage and my kids. It introduced a level of seriousness and maturity and eternity into my life that I had to really check myself. I like that. Because I don't want to fail my family, right?
Starting point is 00:54:35 I don't want to make the wrong decision. And we've had that, I brought that to her attention where it's all new territory for me as well, right? So I'm extremely fearful of, you know, if I make this financial move without consulting her and then it fails, the only problem is me, right? I'm responsible entirely. So I respect my wife's intelligence, insight, and wisdom.
Starting point is 00:55:00 So like I try to have those business idea conversations with her to get her input, and I feel like collectively, together we can do better. I realize I'm at my limit when it comes to financial wisdom and decision making. I think, Amanda, what I'm hearing is that he wants you on that journey as well, so that you can be intentional together.
Starting point is 00:55:22 Correct. I see how much time I've wasted in my 20s and I will always be older than my wife. I'll always be a little bit ahead of her in years. So I see the value of her taking it seriously now and when she reaches 36 to my age, how much further than I am right now she can be. And I want to secure that. Hearing about Carlos's journey with money really helps me understand his insistence on taking control of their money.
Starting point is 00:55:54 He admits he spent irresponsibly for years and that he finally had a moment where it clicked that he wanted to change. And he credits a lot of that to Amanda. Now I can see why he's in such a big hurry to change their relationship with money. Hold that thought, we'll be right back. I have this hilarious slash sad thing that happens to me almost every single week in my Instagram DMs. Somebody will write me, they go, hey, I'm paying 1.25% AUM to my financial advisor. I know you've talked about not paying a percentage
Starting point is 00:56:27 to a financial advisor. I just wanna know if it's worth it or not. Where can I ask you a question? I go, just join my money coaching program. It's like 69 bucks a month. I do live Q&A every single month. And they go, oh, well, I'm not really sure that I can afford that.
Starting point is 00:56:44 Listen, the person writing me this exact question will probably spend over $100,000 in lifetime fees. But they are afraid to spend $69 for one month of money coaching. Now, listen, I don't mind if they join my program or not. That's not the point. The point is, isn't it fascinating that people would rather pay a percentage and not even know how much they're paying than to write a small check?
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Starting point is 00:58:09 $5,000 in the first 90 days of membership. Check out their new membership options at facet.com slash ramit. Again, facet.com slash ramit. If you are looking for a financial advisor, if you have a large portfolio, a complex tax situation, or you need specific guidance on something like retirement planning, check out facet.com slash Ramit. Sponsored by Facet, Facet Wealth Inc. Facet is an SEC registered investment advisor headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. This is not an offer to sell securities or investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance terms and conditions apply Now back to Amanda and Carlos So what I want to do is try to bring them back to a vision of a rich life
Starting point is 00:58:56 So we can move beyond these tactical decisions I ever talked about what your Vision for your rich life is? Yes. Extremely briefly. We started the workbook. We brought it up once. Okay.
Starting point is 00:59:10 But it was very brief. All right. Why don't we talk about it now? The reason that I want to talk about it is that all the decisions that you're talking about, whether it's a rental property, whether it's what to do with this income, or even how you disburse the money across accounts. It all flows from that. You start. What's your rich life look like? My rich life. My rich life now or my rich life in 20 years?
Starting point is 00:59:37 Your rich life now, including what it is right now, with more many trips throughout the year together as a family. Anything else? No, honestly, aside from that, I think life is comfortable. Life is good right now. I think being able to do small getaways more often would be a great way for us to recharge as a family. So that for me is my right now rich life. Everything else keeps the same.
Starting point is 01:00:18 I enjoy work, I think you enjoy work as well. Our routine, we like consistency in our routine, so I wouldn't want to shake that up too much. That's pretty much it. What about the toys you like to buy? Motorcycle. I mean I'm happy with my motorcycle as is right now. I don't necessarily see a need to change it I'd say maybe in five years from now. I probably want a different one Can I get this recording so we have that?
Starting point is 01:00:55 And then as far as like cars like go I guess yeah, I would love to have a Toy right like the nice car is a toy that I can enjoy on the weekends, on our date nights, whatever the case may be. But it's definitely not at the top of my list. It's not even in my top 10. I think I have a better rich life. Okay, well it's not a competition, but we definitely want to hear yours.
Starting point is 01:01:19 But what do you think, what did you hear him say? It raises the question, Marc, because to me it sounds like he's content. And yet, every time I'm comfortable, is that a bad word? Yeah, but every time we have this discussion, it's I need more, I need more, I need more. You remember when Carlos said this? How would you describe Amanda's relationship with money? She's never had debt, so she's never had to climb out of that hurdle or work her way back up.
Starting point is 01:01:53 Because of that, I think that she's just comfortable. Is that good or not good? For me, it's not good. Is there something about a longer term vision that you have? Your rich life vision for later? Yeah, absolutely. 55 is kind of the number, the arbitrary number I have in my head as to the age I'll be when I want to kick back and relax.
Starting point is 01:02:18 I would like to have secured multiple investments that could generate some residual income on top of my pension on top of our Roth IRAs, etc. Where we could live comfortable enough that we could live anywhere we want to live and We could always support our daughters if they ever need any kind of financial support. I take trips Drive the nice car, visit our daughter's graduations, performances. I love that. Nice. I really do.
Starting point is 01:02:54 Beautiful. All right. What is your rich life? So he actually asks me this question often. Talk to him, talk to him. It's always, if I think about the right now in my rich life, I have tears again. I would love to be a safe home mom and do everything like for my family. I would cook every day if I could instead of buying meal plans and take care of our kids instead of putting them in daycare.
Starting point is 01:03:30 And physically, like if I need anything, if I would want anything else, no, I would pay for Pilates, go to the gym every day, buy my coffee. My future rich life. I would travel six weeks out of the year if I could. Um, but more so European getaways. I'm okay with not seeing Tennessee. We've always talked about opening a coffee shop. So I would like to do that in the long term if possible. Um, and just watch our kids grow up. So I would like to do that in the long term if possible.
Starting point is 01:04:05 And just watch our kids grow up. Yeah. Thank you. It's an amazing, rich life. I think it's very much aligned with what I want as well. I love the fact that you love our family so much that you want to be home and you want to do everything for us. And I do appreciate that.
Starting point is 01:04:28 And it makes me want to be able to give that to you. Getting emotional talking about the vision. I'm curious why. Because I know that he does want me to have that. And that's why I was a stay-home mom at first. But I know for the long term, it's a sacrifice I have to make. And it's always been very difficult for me
Starting point is 01:04:55 to come to terms with that. And it still is. I do love teaching. I love my job. But I've always envisioned the stay home mom life because I didn't have that and I always wanted that and I want my kids to have that. I feel like with how much I work and then I come home and I'm tired, I don't give my family everything that I can or everything that they deserve.
Starting point is 01:05:27 Like I don't cook anymore. And I feel like that little task is so big sometimes. For me to just have the energy to cook my husband a meal. We share that vision for our family. And I hope it happens one day. I just know it's a sacrifice we have to make right now. I hear in her mind that Or in the way that she's expressing it that she's Almost regretful that she's gonna miss
Starting point is 01:05:58 Time with the kids right now at least at this stage in their life it kills me as a husband to, and as a man, to not be able to satisfy that for her, not be able to give that to her. Because the reality is we can't do all of it at the same time, unfortunately. We can't. We weren't born into wealthy families. I wasn't proactive in my 20s to save and make a financially advantageous situation for myself. So, you know, it's a tough pill to swallow that that's what she wants and that's not
Starting point is 01:06:36 what I can give her. One thing that I noticed about you, Carlos, you take a lot of responsibility for the decisions you made in your teens and 20s. Sometimes when we don't take a real honest critical look at what we did, sure there may have been folks who influenced us or convinced us, but ultimately we signed the paper, etc. If you don't accept that, it's very difficult to make a plan forward. It's like, I did that. What steps led me to making those decisions and how can
Starting point is 01:07:06 I change it? Because you're still very young, both of you are. You have a chance to go forward and change the trajectory of your relationship. Honestly, you're already making very good money. You've already established yourself well. But when I look at these numbers on the page, they're interesting, but they did not give me nearly what I just got from the two of you describing your rich life. You notice that? Nobody cried when we were looking at your savings rate. Inside.
Starting point is 01:07:31 Inside. Inside. Inside. Amanda mentions that her bringing in an income is a sacrifice that they have to make right now. But is it? Have they ever crunched the numbers to see how her income affects their household? When I hear you talking about the business, real estate, generational wealth, I hear things
Starting point is 01:07:54 that are way in the future. And when I look at your life today, it looks pretty good. You go on date night, you have a nice place in a luxury building that's affordable. You're saving and investing quite a bit. So honestly, if we changed nothing, life would be good. Fair to say? Yeah. Good.
Starting point is 01:08:20 You mentioned you would love to one day be able to stay at home. I would. Should we just try to play it out? Let's just see what happens. Yes, sure. You seem nervous about it. Yes, because so we did kind of play it out when we made the decision for me to go back to work and you know we saw it was like an extra $2,000 that was coming in.
Starting point is 01:08:40 Let's just take your income away. Okay. For just a second, okay? I'm zeroing out your income The whole bottle Daycare would go to zero. Yeah, right. Yes Groceries would probably go up an extra 250. No, I don't think so I think it would say this really if not go down a little bit. I think it would go down
Starting point is 01:09:09 I think no prep is expensive meal prep is very expensive when I was cooking it was about Five to seven hundred groceries a month. Yeah, okay five hundred. Did you have two kids back then? Two kids he eats a lot. Oh, yeah. It's a lot hundred bucks Clothes no zero Subscriptions I Mean so I pay for Amazon Netflix, etc But 230 of that is pilates you want want to keep it? Yeah. Fine. Look at the fixed costs.
Starting point is 01:09:46 What number do you see right there? 65. So it went from 60 to 65. But the car would also go down. Oh right. How much? It would be the car payment for 50 plus maybe one full tank a month. 550.
Starting point is 01:10:01 What's that number in fixed costs? 63. Damn. Let's keep going. fixed costs? $63. Damn. Let's keep going. This is crazy. Groceries. Wait, why is there another $200 of clothes? His shoes.
Starting point is 01:10:12 No. Fuck that. No. Phone is fine. The phone went down to $90. Why? We just switched providers. We changed providers.
Starting point is 01:10:20 Great. What is it? Oh my God. Is this cosmic or what? Oh wow. What is the number on fixed costs right now? 60%. It literally went from 60 to 60. Now, it's not done, but just, whoa, look at the looks on your faces. What's going through your heads right now? I knew it. I had this argument many times that it wasn't gonna
Starting point is 01:10:43 make a difference, me going back to work. It answers a lot of questions and it definitely gives me a lot more clarity and direction of where I would like us to go in. Ask her what she thinks. What do you think about that? I don't wanna cry anymore. When we had kids, he knew I didn't want to work until they went to school.
Starting point is 01:11:09 So for me, I already went back to work. There's no point in going back to being stay-at-home mom because my kids go back to regular school in two years and I'm a teacher. I purposely chose teaching so that when I had kids I would be on the same schedule as them So I'm kind of at the point now where it's like too late to go back Unless it's now Tell them what you would want in your ideal world If it were up to me I
Starting point is 01:11:43 Would be home now. When Leia, our youngest, starts school, that's when I would go back to work. The mental toll it was taking on me was only because we were living at my mom's. I think now that we've been living on our own and you know, we've kind of got a rhythm of parenting, of being married, I would handle it a lot better. I went through a lot of postpartum depression. So that was part of it. But I think we finally got our groove.
Starting point is 01:12:22 So if you were to tell me, you know, what do I want to do now, it'd be to stay home now. I also see it as we don't necessarily need to start a business to be okay when we retire. Tell me about that. Well, I mean, if we aggressively invest into our Roth IRA and our 401k, 403b, etc. Then we can continue to live comfortably without ever opening a business or trying out a new venture. It wouldn't hurt, but we would be okay. Wow. What do you think about that?
Starting point is 01:13:02 I think she's right. It's a constant tug of war between logic and emotion. I think that we're at a time and in a position to really capitalize on our finances. And logically, I still believe that it makes the most sense to continue working and then really tighten up our CSP Tighten up our plan and our investments but I'm willing to compromise on my vision and my plan if That is really really really what you want
Starting point is 01:13:41 They appreciate that I appreciate that. This is the magic of really listening and letting people share their stories with me. Of giving people hours and hours to open up and to let them know that I'm not here to judge them, I'm here to listen. Amanda and Carlos started our conversation by disagreeing about random tactics. He wanted them to be a power couple. She said, life is great. I'm happy. I don't need more. But as we got deeper into it, I asked them to describe their rich life.
Starting point is 01:14:10 And suddenly, Carlos admitted he's happy now. And Amanda started crying because she wants to stay home with the kids. And then I started playing with the numbers. If she stayed home, a lot of their expenses would drop, leaving them in a relatively similar financial situation. The work versus stay at home decision is much more complex than this. But what's really important for them is zooming up a level to really ask each other, what do we want for this life? Let's get honest with each other and let's look at the numbers too. Can we make it happen in some form? Now here's a few things I would highly encourage them to do. First, they need to combine accounts.
Starting point is 01:14:52 The way they are spending money and structuring their money is holding them back. And it's not fair to either of them. They need to discuss the power dynamic of one income, including how expenses are going to be handled, how discretionary income will be handled if Amanda stays at home, what will happen if Carlos's income goes down, the career ramifications of Amanda staying home. I would suggest having these conversations now when things are good before they make an irreversible decision. And for both of them, they need to zoom up a level. That means develop a philosophy around money.
Starting point is 01:15:27 What do they really want? What is their rich life? And then making these decisions will be much easier. Amanda and Carlos, I would love to hear back from you a few months from now. Let me know how things are going. Thank you for coming on. Thank you for sharing so much.
Starting point is 01:15:43 And thanks to everyone for watching and listening. Thanks for listening to I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I'm Ramit Sethi. Please follow the show on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven't read I Will Teach You To Be Rich, my book, pick up a copy. You can get it at any bookstore or any library and it will show you the specific tactics for how to build the I Will Teach You To Be Rich system into your personal finances.

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