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March 14, 2019 69 mins

Being a parent is costly. And that's just the money.... This week, Fatherly Podcast host Joshua David Stein and co-host Postell Pringle go looking for peace of mind on all things money. Spoiler alert: They don't get it. Instead, they get schooled by Brookings Institute economist Richard Reeves, author of "Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust," and financial coach Jacquette Timmons, author of "Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship With Your Money and Your Mate," on how families make money and keep it. Long book subtitles are also discussed.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Welcome to the Fatherly Podcast. I'm your host, Joshua david Stein.
Today we are going to explore why I, your host,
am so broke all the time, but generally we're going
to speak about the cost of raising me a kid.
Did you know it costs two hundred thirty three thousand,
six hundred ten dollars to bring a child from infancy
to the age of seventeen per kid. That's thirty thousand

(00:28):
dollars more than it cost in nineteen sixty when the U.
S d A first started tracking those numbers. It's a
lot of money. It's money that I don't have. I mean,
I'm a fairly successful writer. I have a podcast which
you're listening to. But still, that's fourteen thousand dollars a
year for one kid. I have two kids. It's twenty
thousand dollars a year. Okay, We're gonna talk to two people,

(00:50):
um who have a lot of expertise about money. One
is Jacquette Timmins, who is my financial coach Althoss. She
calls herself a financial behavioral list. And the other is
a brilliant I think theorist and scholar and author Richard
Reeves of the Brooking Institute, who wrote a book called
Dream Hoarders. How the American upper middle class, which is me,

(01:13):
is leaving everyone else in the dust, Why that is
a problem and what to do about it. I also
want to introduce and acknowledge the presence of a new
soul in the studio, and that is Postel Pringle, who
is my co host. Postel takes a seat once occupied
by Jason Gaye. Now Postel is very different than Jason Gaine.
I'll let him introduce himself a little later in the program.

(01:34):
Postel is a artist and a writer and a actor,
and he has kids of his own. And I think
we have good energy. You tell me. Anyway, let's get
into the program. Time is money. Welcome Terfogly podcast. I

(01:54):
hope you're enjoying this show. How are you doing? I'm
doing well. I'm here with PASSI. How you doing is
pasta wrinkle? He is? How are you doing? I'm doing wonderful? Okay, Richard.
Your book is called dream Hoarders, How the American upper
middle class is leaving everyone else in the dust, Why

(02:15):
that is a problem and what to do about it? Um.
The reason why we're talking to you other than you're
interesting and you have a very mollifluous voice. Is actually
mollifluous if if I made up I just think it
a longer. I just really went a long title one
of my life, one of those really really long titles.

(02:35):
In fact, the story is that I sent it on
an email to the publishers and just said it's look,
this is basically what the books about, and yeah, that's great.
Next thing, I know it's on the front of the book.
That doesn't really mean that as the subtitle, but there
you go. I kind of feel like you decided to
do a subtitle that way. First of all, it kind
of reminded me of Shakespeare a little bit, like, you know,
like he has a title and you know or what

(02:55):
you will like that kind of thing. But and then
I'm going to explain the joke in the subtitle exactly. However,
I will say, you must have known that you were
going to do such a lovely job with the with
the audience the audio book, because you actually have a
very lovely speaking voice, so you gave yourself more words
with which to like, bless us with your beautiful tenor

(03:19):
well that's a very very kind of you. Also, the
story there is you know I had to audition for
the part you had the audition for your own book
I did. I said, they said we're gonna know your
book and I said, I'm fine, I'll read it. Well,
you have to do an audition and I said, well,
I have to audition for the part of myself. It
was between Patrick Stewart. Yeah, exactly who is your competition?

(03:41):
You know what? I said, what are you? I said,
what you're gonna do if I don't get get the gig?
And I said, we'll find some of our work British actor. Um. Well,
the reason that one of the many, many reasons you're
on the show is because this whole episode is UM
kind of a occasioned by a financial crisis, personal financial

(04:04):
crisis I'm going through, UM, and the constant financial crisis
that I'm going through constant to gets this like every
month that rented do I think at some point, if
it's a constant financial crisis, it's just cool prophecy. But
see anymore. But that's the kind of the thing. I mean,
that's a whole point, right, Like, Um, we'll get into

(04:26):
your book, but like I am, I think upper middle
class you you define as household income of over a
hundred twelve tho dollars a year. Right, Well that was then.
I mean, you can update it now if you want.
It's probably it's probably close to h now. Actually, okay,
do I make it? I don't make it. Well, actually
there's some years I do actually have a question relating

(04:49):
to that, but I'll let you continue. Oh yeah, it
also depends. It also depends how many people are in
the household. And you know it could get really boring
really fast. Well, basically, yeah, I I should be in
the comforty, like the financially comfortable zone, and yet I'm
living paycheck to paycheck. You know, when the government shutdown
happened and that STAD came out to like eighty seven

(05:10):
year eight percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck,
that was a crazy wake up call and it made
me realize that's what it's also what I'm doing. And
I'm under a lot of financial pressure even though I
make a fair amount. I think I hit that one
forty threshold. But I have child support which I pay um,

(05:30):
and I have my own rent, and I have credit
card debt, and I'm a freelancer, so I have a
ton of unpaid taxes, you know, like every April my
my account, it's like, oh, you're like twenty grand to
the I R S. And like, great, I have no money.
I don't know, like that's wonderful. It means nothing to
me because I'm never gonna pay it. Um I mean,

(05:51):
if the I R S is listening, I will pay
it eventually on installments. But um so, it's very easy
for me to kind of get sucked into the woe
is me I am poor feel like mentality when in
point of fact, I am very privileged and fall under
the upper middle class umbrella that you're talking about. Um So,

(06:12):
only probably maybe only just I would say, but yeah,
I can't tell obviously from without knowing lots of lots
more about you. But that is the kind of bottom end.
You know, the middle of that upper middle class group
is like two hundred thousand comfortably into two hundred thousand.
So if you want to put yourself in the middle
of that group, always, if you take the kind of
line you're gonna get, that's where the case is going
to feel like, really, are you up the middle class

(06:32):
if you're just on the line. But that's true of
any line. Um So, people, right next to it are
the ones that as hardest justice find it. But but
I hear what you're saying about paychecks, the paycheck, and
I think that's a really important issue because um, that's
really a question of how it's coming in outs going out.
I'm not going to stu just this is true of you.
But there was this piece that I think around on
Bloomburgh a couple of years ago, that a couple of

(06:53):
making five hundred thousand dollars a year in New York
and then they broke down their expenditures and they were
living and they proved quite commence, and they were living
paychecks paycheck. Wish they were because by the time they'd
pay for their massive mortgage on their house a partner Manhattan,
the mortgage on their house out somewhere on the shore,
private school fees, that there's car payments on two Germans,

(07:15):
expensive German automobiles there, you know, skiing trip wherever it is.
They were absolutely it was absolutely true. But your heart
might not bled for those people as much as it
would for somebody in different circumstances. So in a sense,
the paycheck, the paycheck thing, it doesn't tell me all
that much until I know, hey, how big is the paycheck?
And b how much of that is because you've made

(07:37):
a whole series of life choices about how where you live,
how expencibility is that make your life expensive? Responsibility? I
hate it. D Come on now, I was going to say,
how much, like how much how much adjustment do you
have to make for the actual cost of living in
each city with that number? You know what I mean?

(07:59):
Even makes a lot, and it makes it. It doesn't
make a big difference, right, although, um, you know, when
I remember when I kind of brought the brook out,
let's say, it's like, let's say as hundreds fifteen to
get into that popcorn Chile nationally in in New York,
it was like a hundred, right, So it's like, so
it's quite a bit higher, but it's not three hundred.
It doesn't suddenly it doesn't. So you do. And and

(08:21):
there are various ways you can adjust for the cost
of living locally, So you might take your income on
national level and just the local cost of living. And
the truth is that it does make quite a big difference. Right,
So a hundred thousands follows year income, it's quite a lot.
In Detroit, it's not very much in New York City
by comparison to everyone else around you and by comparison
to the cost of living in those or rather it
puts you in a different place from distribution. So that's

(08:43):
all true, but it doesn't change the fact that people
still systematically rank themselves as much four of them they
really are um and kind of ascribe and put themselves
into this proof that the kind of struggling middle class
when they're really by any reasonal measure, even for their city,
towards something constribution. You are talking about me, that is

(09:04):
how Yeah, that's how I think of myself. But the
reason But but you know, as it pertains to the book, right,
I just want to like preemptively check myself before I
fall into that trap, to talk a little bit about
some of the trends or the ways of passing on
intergenerational social and economic inequality that I would probably say

(09:28):
I'm guilty of, not only on the receiving end of
being where I am, but of what I'm going to
pass on to my kids. So this whole episode doesn't
just turn into like here's JDS upper middle class guy
bemoaning his lack of savings. You know, like I think
one of the you know, in your book you lay
out basically three big ways in which the top of

(09:52):
the American population is peeling away, leaving in the dust.
As per the subtitle, the bottom U eight percent of
earners through UM what is it delluginary zoning, zoning UM
UM entitlements for UM, I guess I should say legacy.

(10:12):
And then also does internship fall? Is that a different
category or is that following and needs the one. It's
one of these opportunity holding mechanisms. I mean, they're not,
of course the only or indeed the main ways that
inequality gets passed on UM. The main ways in equality
gets passed on are through education, UM that my stability,
neighborhood stability, etcetera. And really is a very very big

(10:34):
story is about education. The relationship between your parents paincome
and your chances going to and through college and especially
two or through at least college are just extraordinary, right,
you can predict that interce and that's that really drives
massive intergenerational mobility. And that's a huge policy problem. But

(10:55):
it's hard to describe that as aarding. You know, if
your kids gets to go to a better, better college
because they come from a reasonably affluence background and therefore
went to Padicaid World School and had parents that were
attentive to their education, maybe read to them, went to
teach a parent parent teacher knits or whatever they're called,
um and do better. Well, why is the problem in that?
The answer is there isn't a problem in that privately,

(11:15):
but the opportunity Horden thing is really getting it kind
of where we were starting to rig the system in
our favor. That's a bit different. That's not just helping
your kids to do better in a fair society, kind
of rigging it this unfair society. And three of those
are the ones that you kind of mentioned, were just
sewing up internships for yourself, your own kids, or doing
the same for your neighbors or friends kids. Playing the
legacy card in college as missions, which probably isn't so

(11:38):
much a top twenty percent issue, frankly, it's more of
a top five maybe ten percent issue, you know, getting
more towards the top because those are the elite school
um uh, and so I think more closely gets to
put more legacy preferences there. But internships, you know, the
chance to interns, intern up for things or uh, you know,
for a media company or on a podcast or whatever
those are. Those are kind of really big labor market opportunities,

(11:58):
and half of them are unpaid, and probably about the
same number aren't really handed out very fairly. They tend
to be done on a base who you know. And
as soon as you start giving Google opportunities based on
who they know or who their parents know, you're introducing
I think some intrinsic unfairness in the system. And so
it's the kind of hoarding mechanisms that the housing one
is because I mean that's the whole episode and not itself.
You know, the US housing market is very badly rigged

(12:21):
in our favor, in favor of those of us like myself,
for way up the income distribution living in a zone,
single family neighborhood in says the Chevy Chase Maryland. I mean,
the cost of land just becomes incredibly high, and then
we wonder why people aren't moving as much and why
we've got growing economic and equality, and it's partly because
we've rigged at the housing market in our favor. Well,

(12:42):
it's just interesting to me that you're making a distinction
between the overall systemic inequality um, like I think you
could probably, I don't know if you could make the
connection between the lack of funding for public education and
which seems very systemic and it's not about I mean,

(13:03):
I don't know. To me, that also seems about hoarding,
like if there are if um, they're wealthy, are voting
in politicians or however you want to use that mechanism
in order to decrease your tax burdens, So they're not
funding public education. That's a systemic inequality, this intergenerational apart
from on the margins of that um legacy, you know,

(13:27):
legacy admissions, Like legacy admissions is just the sort of
softer blossom on a on a poison tree. Yeah, it's
a little bit of a lottery. Yeah yeah. Or rather,
I mean I would the analogy that I think it's
more like rubbing salt in the wounds, right, Yeah, it's
it's like you already got these systemic inequalities that mean

(13:47):
that the kids of the affluent and well educated are way, way,
way more likely to get into these phill universities anyway. Right,
they have this master effect start anyway, and then you
give them this additional advantage. So I think it's more
of a rubbing salt in the wounds thing, and I
read that those are sort of relatively some of those. Certainly,
the legacies I think to some extent internships are marginal

(14:08):
in their kind of aggregate effect. Doesn't mean that they're right.
It's one thing that I addressed in the book. Right,
just because something may not be having this huge overall
effect doesn't mean that it isn't wrong. That's a very
bad way to think about morality. It seems to me,
you know, it's there's only if you only murder someone occasionally.
Is that okay? Cheating wrong? Cheating is always wrong, whether

(14:29):
you do it once or a hundred times, or whether
everyone is doing it or not. Um. But the systemic
thing I think is right. And the question then becomes,
at what point is the decision to sort of vote
for a particular institutional arrangement in education? Is that form
of hoarding? And I think that's a really hard line
to draw. I try to draw. I try to draw

(14:49):
it away the sort of distinguations between like individual responsibility,
but it's very very hard. And I do say that,
you know, if you vote the wrong way on certain
things integrated schools and stuff and then you know that
probably drifted into inter hoarding. But on the other hand,
it's quite kind of quite hard to change the system
within which within which you kind of currently after trying
to get at that difference between the individual level and

(15:09):
the systemic one. But you're right, I mean, just take
higher education, the funding of public education generally, but um,
it's almost legacy. Legacy admissions wouldn't be such a a
such a big deal if generally there was affordable education
for all, right that it's kind of like, yeah, it's
the stakes were a bit lower. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
I think that's that's probably. I mean, it wouldn't make

(15:31):
it right, it would still be wrong. It would mean
that the stakes will be a bit lower. And so
what you're seeing is this growing divide in the funding
that is available to private institutions and public institution. That's
true at the K twelve level, and it's definitely trends
true at the post secondary level. Um. And so the
if the alternative was well, I didn't get into that elite,

(15:53):
but I go into this great wealth funded public, then
it has less saying it as we're constantly starving the
public sort of puble funds means that that's that choice
gets stuck. And I always remind people that of the
kids from the bottom eighty percent that go to college
from families in the bottom eight percent, the modal institution
is community costs. So the institution they're most likely to

(16:14):
go to from the bottom eighty percent is true for
the middle six percent actually is community coste. And the
median American student goes to a college less than twenty
miles from where they grew up. The median Okay, so
that's the world as it lived by middle class right.
By that, that's the world as most people know it.
That is not the world that we know. It's not

(16:36):
the world that we know that, it's not the world
that up middle class people know, right the idea that
is going to be they radius and that community college
is a modal institution and is absolutely not the world
of living. And that divides modal. Yeah, Like like as
connected to molde, it's just a really really annoying stink

(16:59):
tank way of saying the most common OA, like like
I totally put like oat milk in my quartado, but
sometimes I put whole milk. Okay, Yeah, I'm I'm motally
like mixing some um some Greek yogurt into my odel.
But yeah, I'm not I'm not going to live down

(17:21):
the modal comment anytime. So but actually actually getting get
into let's get real four minute um, I uh, going
back a little bit on what you just said, UM,
I think about, like, so much of what you said
is uh spoken about how systemically these things are hard
for us to combat and the way that we need

(17:42):
to combat him is stystemically. But I think about myself, um,
in what I can do as an individual to combat them.
And going back a little bit to the idea of
the internship, I think about, um, my own experience of
having like an internship that my mother, uh you know,

(18:02):
she made a few phone calls. I grew up. I
grew up in a in a very clear like um,
very clear middle class uh family, and so any sort
of connections that who you know sort of thing was
very very important, uh in terms of moving ahead in
my in my family. Although although we didn't have tons

(18:25):
of money, we they they knew enough about how the
other class lived to be able to try and capitalize
on things for me and my brother, for instance. So
when I think about for my kids, um, of course,
like and like you've written in your book. Like you
wrote in your book, you know, a parent is gonna
want to do anything that they can to to give
their children a leg up. But what can we do

(18:48):
individually as people to make sure that we actually are
leveling the playing field for everybody else? Does that mean
like we don't make those calls to get the get
that internship to that law office for our kids? You
know what I mean? Yeah? Well, yeah, it does mean that. Um.
And that's I think where that's where the rubber starts
to hit the road. You know, it's very easy to
talk theoretically about these things. Um, and it's going to

(19:11):
be very different for different different people. But let's take
you know, I think there are various versions of this
and they're radical to the moderate, um if you like.
But yeah, I think that if there is m I mean, see,
what you want is to create a social norm where
you wouldn't think of making that core because you know
that you're the person you pull is going to say,

(19:33):
come on, really seriously, you want me, you want me
to rig this for you. You know, I've got a
whole bunch of kids, um, from really poor background and
who are going to benefit way more from it than
your kid is. So I'm really sorry, but no, and
you really shouldn't have made that cool. You know, it's
slightly it's got a triple a little bit ashamed of
yourself for making that cool. I have a comparison which
might be completely off base. You guys want to hear it? Yeah,

(19:56):
you know how like the knock against the US and
other developed nations for um carbon emissions and climate change,
carbon emission caps and all that stuff. The knock on
it from the developing world. It's like, you guys fucked
us up too, are ready to get where you are.
Now that you're arrived, you're kind of like all hoity
toity and pulling up the ladder and saying, don't pollute,

(20:19):
don't use cold, but like that's the only energy we have.
Like what a privileged position to say, don't use these
tools you've already arrived. Like white people's problems. Yeah, um, yeah, yeah,
I do think races. Races an interesting race custody process
in a way. It's quite interesting, not least because actually,

(20:39):
black kids born into the top don't stay there. There
is anything downwardly mobile. So dream successful dream hoarding defined
as keeping your kids in the top appears to be
a white phenomenon. That's super interesting, you know, and I'm

(21:00):
I'm black, so no, I think it might change. So
it's fine. I mean, what if your kids, like, what
do you do? Does this apply equally across racial lines?
And actually, given those statistics, actually, and given that there's
this risk of downod mobility for black kids, especially in

(21:21):
black boys above all, um, it's actually quite hard to
say that it's exactly the same, um, and that the
kind of that the you can apply the same moral
calculus to these decisions as if race didn't matter. And
now you hope you hope you get to the point
where I can say just as unequivocally to a black
upper middle class person, yeah, that's stream holding. You shouldn't

(21:41):
do it as I could to a white I can't
right now, because the evidence points to the fact that
the risk of down mobility much higher, and so black
upper middle class parents are right to be more worried
about how their kids going to fare in the world
than a white middle upper middle class parent is. There
are those very big differences. I'm about to publish on
this autistical risk pud and downwards mobility. It was okay

(22:06):
from it was okay for my mom. I mean, I
actually think that that gets to the I don't know
if you've you see it this way, but it's like, um, basically,
it's like, are you creating a more just and equitable world?
If the answer is yes, but the means by which
you're doing it is dream hoarding. That seems like it
passes a moral smell test. If it's your dream hoarding

(22:30):
and you're creating more inequality, then it's no, right, like yeah, yeah,
But and the difficult thing is that, like it might cut,
the answer to that is going to different different for
different groups, particularly in this case by race and kind
of income given an example. Right, So actually it helps
to me personally, I am personal. It's the personal. Basically,

(22:52):
the whole book is an attempt to make inequality of
personal issue, and to some extent that kind of personally
uncomfortable issue, almost regardless of way and not so. My
eldest stunt Court, asked me if I would help him
get an internship but my publishing but my publishing company,
and I said no, I won't. Hm, you're on your own. Now.
That's a difficult decision for any kind of parent to

(23:12):
make um because you know you might say, well, what
kind of you know? So one dress says, what how
kind of father are you? You know you denied him
that opportunity that he could otherwise have had. He ended
up getting the internship anyway, actually without my help. There's
a in a way that the story has less by
the little otherwise do um. But I said no. And

(23:34):
the reason I said no because I actually think and
I explained, I said, it's unfair. They published me, so
I'm one of their authors. If I call them and say,
will you give my son an internship, they'll probably say
yes because they want to keep me happy and keep
me an, keep publishing. So they're going to gi him,
this uper middle class white boy who has huge advanges. Anyway,
they're going to give him yet another leg up. And
I don't think it's fair. But because you were just,

(23:55):
by the pure chance born to someone who has as
a chance to open that door for you, And I'm
going to say, and so the answer is going to
be no. And I hope that they high that they
take honestly interms somebody who will benefit significance anymore from it,
because the truth he would have benefited if at all
marginally from up but he ended up with at the internship.
Yeah you got it. He applied to that and you
help and he got it anyway. And he's only after

(24:16):
he was there and he started talking about my book
in the meeting that he then has to sort of
she because she say, well, actually that's my father, that's
my dad, but really, why didn't you tell us? Well
two things say did you read? Did he say, did
you read my dad's book? That's why I didn't tell
you nice to read any of my books. Um, but
I think, yeah, like I have two things to say. Anthony,

(24:37):
our producer, remind me if I forget the second one. Um,
the first one is, you know, I think that's so
hard for parents because I'm thinking about like your son
otis right with my son Achilles. It's like if he
asks for help, all of a sudden becomes like a
systemic and equality thing versus like a dad, do you
love me? You know, It's like, man, that's not even

(25:00):
robber hitting their oad. It's like, yeah, I don't know
the road hitting your face. Yeah, I was about to say,
I mean it becomes straight up a like paternal type
of thing, like almost like a paternal reaction. Of course,
you want to do anything you can for them, but
they want and they expect you. They I mean, you
train your kids their whole lives that you're gonna do

(25:21):
things for them to help them because you love them.
And then they're asking you to do something to help them,
and you're like, well, no, because systemic inequality. Yeah, but
I guess what Richard's saying. Like also at the same time,
like it's in a in a weird way, in a
weird way, maybe it's connected to like teach a man
to fish, kind of like if you teach, if you
if you are actually raising your son to actually go

(25:41):
after the things and he wants and he's going to
get them on on his own based on based on
the ethic that you taught that you taught him that
ethic as opposed to you know, you know, I mean,
it's hard, but at the same time, it's do you
teach a man to fish in a dog eat dog world?
How do you teach a dog to fish? And the
dog world? It's very it is very confusing now because

(26:03):
you've got men and fish and well, you know, you know,
they're all kind of like best friends. Wait, wait, Okay.
The other thing I wanted to say is, right, your
argument for not giving your son, an upper middle class
white child leg up through your own personal connections that
you're publishing house internship is because you didn't want and

(26:24):
you didn't want him to get an advantage because he
was accidentally born into the family he's born into, but
he's also accidentally born systemically white and upper middle class. Right,
So it's like, this goes back to what we started
at the top, is like you're ameliorating some of the
marginal inequalities, but the structural inequalities still exist. I mean
like you're not resolving anyone. That's the right. I think

(26:48):
that's exactly the right, and a very very deep criticism
of my whole argument. And so the first point to
say is that this is all about where we draw lines,
and so just you know that the idea that it's
like this is like are you good? Do you love me? Dad?
Versus systemic inequality right and saying kids, well, you know
I'm not going to do that because the systemic inequality

(27:09):
right is a very very hard kind of conversation to have. Um,
but there is a line, you know, would I bribe somewhat. Um,
you know, it's what about it's not an internship, but
it's a job. What I call someone and to say, hey,
are you going to give him a job? Would I
say to this person, hey, if you give him a job,

(27:31):
I'll give you a contract. Would I say, how about
if I give you this lucrative freelance gig, come do
stuff for me and maybe in exchange you'll do something
for my stunt because I've got the money and power
to do that. How how do you feel about that?
You know, at what point? Where do you Where do
you hit a line which says do you know what? Actually,
that's just wrong. We all we all have those lines.

(27:55):
And my hope is that just by having the and
the lines, by the way, are drawn differently by different
people in different places at different times. Right, So segaty
preferences was unthinkable in the nineteenth century, Now it's common.
It was common in the nineteenth century in the UK,
now it's unthinkable. So norms do change in places, and
so I'm trying to shift norms and most important people

(28:17):
just to reflect on where's the line? Because in the end,
the big goal here is reduced stomic inequalities. I have
no chance of persuading people to do the things that
I need them to do to reduce systemic inequalities. If
I can't even convince them that these relatively marginal things
things they should be willing to do, you know, it's
almost a litmus test, right. If I can't get people
to read just to the tiny thing, I've got no

(28:39):
chance of getting them. I think another thing about your
book was so challenging and uh probably didn't make you
very popular among your friends set is you're not really
setting up the traditional one percent verse. You're implicating a
lot more people in this issue. The top represents, as you,

(29:02):
I think wrote, pretty much the entire professional class. Yeah,
I mean, basically you're having a dinner party. You're basically
saying nobody is safe. Anybody who um is reading too
Yeah exactly, yeah, exactly, anybody who's reading it because anybody
I think, I think you stay in the book. Anybody
who is reading that book more than likely is in
the upper middle class. Because I know the demographics of

(29:22):
this podcast, anyone who's listening to this podcast. There you go. Yeah, yeah,
I don't know the demographic of the boy, but that's right.
It didn't it didn't. Um, everyone systematically placed themselves in
the wrong position. And I think that the politics of
this kind of the moment at the moment, it is
that the people don't just think of that one pulling away,
and if they do, that kind of just empirically wrong.

(29:44):
Although it's not one for them doing very well. Um
there's it's much more structural in that it's much and
it's a professional class is mostly college graduates, mostly married
to other college graduates in their own homes. They're making
comfortable of you know, ex Figure six, figuring the family
is the reason we stable. They are living an increasingly

(30:05):
different kind of life to everybody else. And that gap,
that class gap, is the one I'm really interested in
which cannot be reduced to this top one pervent thing.
And most importantly, the idea of i's just the top
one CENTI is that to be depressed is the rich
or whatever just gets everything, just lets everybody else off
the hook. And I think that that has been profoundly damaging.
The constant chase just say, it's just this tiny press.

(30:26):
The point is the one persent's point one present, it's
the point point point one. Then it's just a really,
really really really really rich. They're the problem of inequality
is just too curically wrong and morally very troubling because
it just means a whole bunch of us gets to
let ourselves off the hook and pretend that we're just ordinary,
struggling middle class Americans and it's just those plutocrats at
the top of the problem. And that's just wrong and
it won't create the space that we need for the

(30:47):
kind of big changes I think we need. So in
order to can I ask one question in order to
make those changes, is the idea to think or to
draw a sort of ethical line in terms of um
in terms of whatever decisions you make, you to think
about them for the community of people as opposed to
just yourself, or maybe not even your community if you
live within a upper middle class community, but like the

(31:09):
community at large. Yeah, it's it's an attempt to try
and very modest attempt to try and do exactly what
we're just said. It's just try and shift our sort
of moral ecology to recognize that they're always going to
be trade off between what is the most optimal things
for me to do right now for myself, my family,
my kids, and what is the collective thing that we

(31:29):
all need to be agreeing to to make kind of
society better, and to recognize that sometimes making a fairer
society and a better society to require some of us,
especially those are the thin positions of power, authority, and affluence,
to lose a little bit, to give up a little bit.
So one analogy I don't feel work. I've never tried
this analogy before, but it's a bit like your traffic deploy.

(31:49):
When you're moving in traffic right, the individually rational thing
to do is to swing out right into the heavy
traffic and get yourself out, jam out. They hit the horn.
It's you get out and you get away, and maybe
you get home three minutes earlier. But the result is
there's more truck. Whereas if you just let someone go,
everybody flows a little bit, everyone gives a little bit,
You sacrifice a little bit. In the short term, it

(32:10):
means all the traffic flows better, and in the long
run we all benefit from that society without sacrificing anything.
Seems to me to be for the birth well. Richard Reeves,
author of Dream Hoarders, how the American upper middle classes
leaving everyone else in the dust, where that is a
problem and what to do about it. You know, we

(32:30):
have many interesting interviews, but this was modally super interesting. Yeah. Yeah,
this modally fits into like my favorite of conversations. Actually,
I will take it. I will take the load rather
than the median thank you and really enjoy great spe
Do you guys take care for one thing? I mean,

(33:10):
I think talking to Richard was interesting because I I
always I grew up I think upper middle class, and
I still think I'm upper middle class, and I still
spend like I'm upper middle class. Yeah, that's the biggest
part of it. You still spend like you're up in
middle class and I'm not. But then you zoom out
a little bit and I still am. But I'm struggling,

(33:32):
you know what I mean. I'm still living paycheck to paycheck.
I don't know what about you. I mean, where did
you fall when you were growing up? What was your outlook?
I would say that I grew up like solidly middle class,
solidly middle class, like like my background was, um, where'd
you grow up? Well? I grew up in Decatur, Georgia, which,
for for those who don't know, Decaturs like in Atlanta.

(33:54):
Sometimes I mentioned the Cator and people like they look
at me. You know, you know people I work in Chicago.
Lot of people like the Cada Illinois like no, um,
no Decata Georgia indicator is like is in Atlanta? This
is You could just say Atlanta. I could just say Atlanta.
But if you're from the Katie, you say the k
you know exactly. I mean, you gotta be proud of that.
You've gotta be proud of that. I really but yes,

(34:16):
I could say Atlanta in the Atlanta area. I went
to school in Atlanta. I actually went to this school
called the the Pidea School, which was um a private
school that was built upon a educational theory about create
how you create a commune the best community to uh
to foster the best sort of education for people. And

(34:38):
it's like the whole idea is that you do create
a community kind of like each one teach one sort
of thing. Kids are have a say in their actual
education and uh meaning like you know, there's Monday morning
meetings and people can uh people can actually um try
and get certain courses in certain and in certain curriculums

(35:01):
at the school. Like we actually created a black history
course when I was in school, you know what I mean?
And found a teacher who, like, who would sponsor and
then they found a teacher who would teach it. And
like there's so many different aspects to that, but that
was just basically hippie private school. Yeah. To get back

(35:21):
yet getting back to the point, getting back to the point.
I went to this really rich, like uh, really rich
high school. Uh. And I was a solidly middle class
came from a solidly middle class background as a bad
My dad, yeah, he he was a pastor. Um. How
he made his money. How he made his money was

(35:44):
working for the government. He was a criminal investigator for
the Department of Health and Human Services and did some
work with the FBI and stuff like that. Uh. And
then my mother worked in the education field. Um. But
my parents also got divorced. My dad actually remarried. Um.
But there was so long and short of it is
like we lived definitely from paycheck to paycheck, definitely from

(36:09):
paycheck to paycheck. And yet and still my family, you know,
made the sacrifices and did the certain things, and um
tried to get you know, got me a scholarship to
go to an institution, to go to this private school
that costs a lot of money, and something that I
was like saying to you at some point in the time,
was that, Um, I literally got to see to some

(36:32):
extent um how both the poor side lived and the
rid side lived because I went to this school where
I had peers and classmates who had tons of money,
upper middle class and very very upper class um and
then was in dedicator school system for some period of
time and had there were kids from the projects who

(36:52):
my peers from the projects who were bust in and
definitely they did not have money, did not have money
at all. When you were growing up, did you feel
like there's gonna be either a steady state you'd stay
at the same economic sort of like class you were.
Were you gonna go up? We're you gonna go down?
Did you think about that at all? You know, I

(37:14):
always assume that I would go up, And you know,
I think some of that honestly has to do with
like being from the black community. We're very when it
comes to like money sort of things, where to some
extent very aspirattional, you know what I mean. Um, I
mean that's one of the reasons why like we never
look bummy, like you can't you know how like, uh,

(37:35):
there's that thing of like you know, uh, my white peers,
white boys try to like they get a new pair
of shoes and they try to scoff them up like
guys like bright boys. We gotta keep our stuff like
crispy and fresh. Like one of the things you never do.
And I tell this to my son, never step on
the black man shoes. Never, Like that is like a criminal.

(37:55):
What I say to my white side is look just
off of your shoes. Um. But you know, I never, um,
I should say, I assumed. I assumed that that my
economic situation was going to improve to some extent, but

(38:16):
um yeah, I never thought that it was going to
necessarily dip. However, I grew up in a way where
I was prepared. I was prepared and perhaps to a
detriment um like developed the developed the mechanisms to actually
live from paycheck to paycheck, you know what I mean.

(38:36):
So like I didn't really learn to save, and I
didn't learn to invest from like my parents, you know
what I mean. Even even you know, I think even
if they did that to some extent at some point
in time, that's not information that they disseminated to me,
you know what I mean. It was just go get
that money. Yeah, it's it's just I'm I'm thinking back
on the things that Richard talked about, exclusionary zoning, um

(39:01):
uh internships and legacy college admissions, which I think I
represent like a part but not the entirety of how
you perpetuate um opportunity hoarding. And I think that though
I didn't benefit from those specific you know, like those
like maybe I did benefit from exclusionary zoning, but to

(39:24):
my the best of my memory, I didn't. I didn't
have a legacy admission, and I didn't use my parents
connections for internships, but I used a whole range of
other sort of like inherited, entitled entitlement and privilege in
terms of like, so I got an internship at Harper's magazine,
which is how I began my career because I was
the friends of the daughter of a family friend of

(39:46):
Samantha power Um, the writer, the later ambassador, and like
I helped her on her book, and then like Harper's
folks were like impressed that I knew Samantha, and then
like that ushered in this this whole world opened up
for from that. But I think about my son's I

(40:06):
think about my family, and I think about what my
general level of like where I think they'll be when
I project my level of optimism, if you can call
optimism of what I think their financial security will be
like in the future. And I know that even though
I make more money than I know, I make more
money than my mom ever made. Um. I don't know
about my dad, but like, UM, I do live paycheck

(40:30):
to paycheck for sure, I live paycheck behind like see
my AMICX bill and Jacquette our next guest knows that
because she's my financial coach, so she'll tell you I
have a lot of money. Um, but I don't think
that they'll have the same opportunity that I'll have. And
that's what's so interesting about Richard told thing is like
one half of my parental brain is thinking I want

(40:52):
to give my kids any sort of leg up I can,
because I'm not. I haven't saved any money for them.
I don't know how they're going to go to college.
I don't on any of that. And then the other
thing which he says, which is also true, is that
if we wanted more fair, equitable and just society like those,
that's not what I should do. Right. You have to
actively level the playing field. Yes, but how do you

(41:13):
do that? Like all you all you ever want to
do is all you ever want to do is give
your give your progeny a leg up. That's because that
is exactly furthering systemic inequality. It absolutely is, It absolutely is. Anyway, Um,
wait before we talk to Jacquette. Uh, well, you don't

(41:34):
live Indicator anymore. Now, I don't live Indicator anymore. I
live I live in Bedstad And what do you do?
This is our big thing? This is a who is postment?
If this is who is past um uh short for
short for Pastel Pringle. To know me is to love me? Kidding? Um,
I hope that's the case. But um, but I am

(41:56):
a an artist uh, actor, playwright, musician, producer. Um. I
work for a work with a company called Cute Brothers Collective.
They're based in Chicago, but I live here in Brooklyn.
I'm the I'm the Brooklyn night Member. UM. We are
best known for making hip hop musicals, although that's not

(42:18):
the only thing that we do. But I'm also an
actor here in New York and as well as at actor.
Yes and yes actually notably notably for do do do
grand theft? Auto? For yeah, anybody who plays you know,
I still get weird like random messages on facebilk from

(42:40):
people who like from people who loved Playboy X that
was the name of my character, and the common thing
that they are most proud of is that they killed me.
I don't know how, yeah, exactly, I don't know. I
don't know how to feel about that. And your dad, Yes,
And I was also I was also in the most
recent one red Dead Redemption to Yeah. Yeah, I did

(43:00):
actually three different characters in there. Did I pay the bills? Um, Well,
you know it's really interesting. Well, no, it pays your
bills for it, pays your bills for the time that
you're getting paid to do it, but you don't get residuals.
So I mean that's something that's still messed up about
that part of that industry. Yeah. Yes, So it's very
important to have people like Jacquette who can tell you

(43:23):
what you can do with your money. WHI while you're
while you're getting it, while you're having awesome, We'll take
a break and we'll be right back with jacket. When

(43:45):
I separated from my wife, I realized I wasn't going
to have a financial backstop, and there was no breathing room.
In addition, I was going to have a lot more
financial commitments and it scared the bit Jesus out of me.
So this guy Tie at work suggested that I talked
to his financial coach. I've never even thought of going
to a financial coach because the whole idea of financial
literacy fills me with agita and scares me. But I

(44:08):
met this lady, Jacquette Timmins. Um. She's great. She has
a book called Financial Intimacy, which seems to be I
could have used when I was still married. But it's
never too late to learn. And she's been really helping
me get a handle on my whole financial landscape, which
I'll just out and say it is not great. Um,

(44:29):
but Jacquette is and she's joining us now maybe she
can help me. Okay, Jaquette, I know you because you're
my financial coach. And the first time we met was
in Park Slope maybe like a couple of weeks ago.
And as I mentioned at the time, uh, you know,
I'm having financial issues, like I'm not in a good

(44:51):
place and i've child support and my rent and I
have crazy credit card dead and things just aren't looking
so good. For me. Uh, And I didn't know it
at the time, although now I do know that. You're
also an author of Financial Intimacy, UM, which is all
about navigating your relationship with your finances with a mate. Yes,

(45:14):
I am mate list but pass has a mate. Oh yeah,
when you say financial intimacy, I kind of had. I
kind of had the impulse to go, oh that part
of that behind that. Yeah, financial and you're on a
quiet store yes, of how to pay your bills on

(45:37):
time or just at all. Yeah, just this note my bills, Like, oh, hi,
I see you. Let see you there anyway. Um. You
came at the at the recommendation of a co worker,
Ty Trimble, um, because I think you also worked with him,

(45:59):
and I think it would just be for all of
our listeners and for you and me. I think it's
a good conversation to have just about how to stop
being broke all the time. One of the things our
previous guest, Richard Reives, talked about. I was kind of
bitching about living paycheck to paycheck. That's something really interesting,

(46:20):
is like that's actually meaningless to him because it depends
on what your expenditures are, Like he needs to know
more to have that be meaningful, But I thought the
idea of paycheck to paycheck might be a good place
to start for us. Sure, And so actually, before we
get to there, I just want to anchor the conversation
so that listeners can really understand what I do and
why I do it, and why I think it's important

(46:41):
in terms of my particular focus. So, yes, functionally I
work as a financial coach, but the way that I
describe myself as as a financial behaviorist and the reason
I do that is a couple. If you think about it,
regardless of where you fall on the income spectrum or
are on the wealth spectrum, very broadly, there are four

(47:02):
things that you can do with your money. Earn it,
save it, invest it, and spend it. That's true for everybody.
What's also true is the science of math, two plus
two is going to always equal. For So if that's
the case, how is it then that two people that
are similarly educated, uh similarly skilled, working in a similar profession,

(47:24):
earning similar salaries, living in the same region of the country,
so they're probably their compensation probably is on par. How
do you explain their different financial experiences and their financial results?
And for me, the way that you explain that is
by way of their behavior and their choices and their
motivation behind that. So when we get to the conversation

(47:45):
around paycheck to paycheck, a couple of things come up
for me. One is it true? And I know that
that may seem like a really really odd question to
lead with, but is it true that you really do
indeed have more expenses going out than money coming in?
Or is it really a cash flow issue? Is it
that the timing of when the money is coming in

(48:07):
is not in sync with when your demands are needed
in terms of your financial responsibilities. So it could be
exactly exactly exactly take us to school. Because also I'm like,
I'm nodding, like please continue, yeah, to be in right now.

(48:31):
Tell me about your bells. Well, the cash flow thing
that that really that really hit me um hard in
terms of I am also basically a freelancer. I do
not work in a way that I can always expect
money to come at a specific time when I do

(48:51):
know the money that is coming, like it's already basically spent.
But y yeah, yeah, but yeah exactly. But the thing
is I can't account for can't account for all the
other times when I get hit up for that money,
you know, and that's when it really becomes a cash flow,
and that's when you really feel broke, right because you're

(49:11):
you feel like the demands that are being um, well,
some our obligations and so there they are what they are,
but you feel like what's being asked of you is
more than you can actually handle. And it could just
simply be that you either need to get a little
bit more coming in in terms of your pipeline, or
you need to readjust when your obligations are do so

(49:33):
that they perhaps are more even throughout the month. Man
go on exactly exactly, this is this is sweet hard music.
So that's that's one aspect of it. The other, um,
the first one is is it true? Yeah, the first
question is is it true? So you may you know,

(49:54):
ask that question and come to the conclusion that yes,
it is true. Well so, and that means that you've
got to ask different questions and um there they are
a bit harder, and they are harder because that means
that you have to make some trade offs. And we're
not always comfortable with the trade offs that are in
front of us that we need to make. But one
of the ways that I try to make it easier

(50:15):
for people is to invite them to take a look
at their banking statements and their credit card statements and
to go through whether you print it out or some
way shape or another highlighted um if you do a
PDF or Excel spreadsheet or Excel spreadsheet, yes really, I'm
really I love it exactly. Don't let anybody else tell

(50:35):
you differently. When I figured out how to make conditional
formatting from one page like to feed into the cell
of another sheet, like it just changed your world kind of,
that's really into it. However, a very terrible expread set

(50:59):
it up if you have him set it up for you,
and then you just have to enter the information while magic.
So what you want to do, however, you capture your
data printed out online, PDF or Excel spreadsheet, go through
and identify the individual line items and you know the

(51:20):
ones that made you happy. Either label them AH for happy,
or give them a color code cod sho they're Mary exactly,
the organizer, lady Conda exactly. So that's one. That's one

(51:41):
data point. The other is to go through and look
at the items that were mandatory, so label that m
like they are what they are. And then the third
category are the things that perhaps you purchased and initially
they made you happy, but now you regret them, and
that's an our, okay, Like buyers are more sort of

(52:03):
thing exactly like every eight salad. Yeah. Sometimes it's really
really good and nutritious for you and that's what your
body needed, and then other times it's like really, So
go through and then tally up really the number of
ours that you have, because if you if you look
at the number of ours, it makes it easier to

(52:24):
cut those things out, either for a short period of
time or for an indefinite period of time. M Yeah,
I feel like that. It cuts so quickly though. Two
like a financial conversation to like an emotional Yeah, emotional
therapy conversation. It is money is always emotional. Just I

(52:49):
had the exact same reaction. It feels like that feels
like hard emotional work is Yeah. So I have a
question for you, um. And actually this is before we
get back to dual intimacy. UM, thank you, UM, thank
you Barry, UM. Before we get back to that. Actually
I even have I want to attack on the idea

(53:11):
of um, the issue of saving, particularly when you are
when you're working in, you know, the freelance sort of
gig economy as it were. That is one of my
biggest issues. I actually do not have too much of
an issue with living within or below my means. I
think that that was just because of training, because of

(53:33):
one of how I was brought up in two because
of like the chosen field that I that I went in.
I literally, like my very first job out of college,
I earned fifty dollars a week, um, and so like
you learn how to, like, you know, you know, make
a dollar out of fifteen cents, you learn how to
like yeah, yeah, how to squeeze yeah, you know, you know,

(53:53):
squeeze it to that ego brands. Yeah exactly. So like
I mean, I got good training in that way. I
got good training in that way. However, what it did
not do is give me the skills to figure out
how to save. I feel like the only way that
I save is when I get like my big payday,
and I don't have too many of those calendar days

(54:15):
coming up where the money is going to go out,
Like take the chunk of money and throw it in
and then forget about it. Yeah exactly, you don't forget
about it and you can't be touched, you know, But
that doesn't feel like an entirely like sustainable way to
actually save and then also like continue the growth of it.
So is there like when what do you suggest? Because

(54:36):
because you know, I could go according to percentages, like
percentage percentage of every single paycheck I get, but again
that messes with sometimes if it's a small paycheck, then
that messages with the when the bills are due, you
know what I mean. So I pretty much only save
when I know I get a huge abundance kind of

(54:57):
and it does, but that doesn't feel like the right
way to do it. So I think it's just like, um, exercise,
I want to use that as an example. So I'm
a I'm an avid runner. I could run all day
every day, ran today, Like I just run all year round.
Outside what I'm not good at though, it's strength training, right,

(55:22):
And so someone said just do ten push ups every
day because I just I'm like those things are boring
to me, and they're like, well, you're not going to
get the same high from running or from doing you know,
strength training and push ups that you do from running,
So just do ten every day. I'm like, Okay, I
can do that. I'll let you know how it goes.

(55:45):
Exactly literal it was. However, my point they're being is, um,
you just have to do it. So, whether it's five dollars,
whether it's ten dollars, you have just got to put
that dollar amount away. And maybe it's not based upon
a percentage, but it's a flat dollar amount, and it's
like it's a it's a gesture of saving that's important

(56:06):
and that kocular it's it's a muscle, right, And and
then I would say if you decide that the total
let's say the total dollar amount is ten, I would
say you put five in that account that you can
tap into because you know, stuff happens. But then have
another where you put the other five in an account
that you don't touch like no matter what. Because here's

(56:28):
what typically happens. You have the intent of saving, but
the money comes in, the bills go out, and you
leave saving as the last thing to do. And then
what happens is if you keep doing that as your pattern,
three months go by, six months go by, and nine
months go by, and a year goes by and you
haven't met whatever was your savings gold because you prioritized

(56:49):
everything else over the savings, Whereas if you include saving
as a bill and it's up at the top and
you have more on where you're like, oh, I don't
have enough left over. I don't have enough left over.
It invites you to have a different kind of conversation
with yourself about what needs to change. I just feel
like I'm constantly triaging, Like there's no moment where I'm

(57:15):
not spending like intense emotional and intellectual energy on just
worrying about my money or lack of money, Like it
takes up. We had talked about this the other day,
um in terms of like emotional overhead for like freelance work,
like how much effort and time do you spend to
get that one paycheck from that magazine versus if you

(57:37):
have a steady gig, you don't take up that real estate.
I feel like generally I take up There's so much
of my emotional real estate is taken up with like
just not knowing, like I just don't have a system,
And I'm like like, yeah, you don't have a system
for what though. It's just like a blank terror and

(57:57):
like total disorganization. When I think about my financial life,
it's like I have some idea that like some money
is going to come in, and I have these obligations
and I know that I'm getting other money in and
I know, but it's not it's not organized and yet
and I think because it's not organized, I have so

(58:18):
much anxiety around it. And you know, to bring it
back to kids, it's like then in my particular case,
I have child support, so I have something I need
to pay every month, which I'm getting used to now.
And and the lead into this was UM that I
realized that I it wasn't an option. It's not an
option for me any longer, not to have my ship together,

(58:40):
Like I can't fall behind on that, and I want
to have a happy life, and like something needed to change.
So if you mind, I just wanna also now till
to your idea of like financial intimacy, Yeah, yeah can
because Okay, so I have a partner and uh, we
key our finances largely separate. That is that has very

(59:03):
much everything to do with just the fact that she
makes um, she typically makes much more than I do.
There may have been one year in the time that
we've been together where I made more or equal to
the amount that she did. So we um you know,
we have like maybe one um um joint account, but

(59:25):
we do not pay our bills from that or anything
like that. She pays these bills, I pay those bills.
We just make sure all that stuff is together. She
is incredibly good with her finances. My job is just
to like not slip up. Basically. Yeah, it's seriously exciously yeah. Yeah,
and and again, part of the reason why my job
is to not slip up is because I my my

(59:48):
actual income fluctuates largely from year to year. Um. So
I gave you all that primer, but I really want
to hear what this financial intimacy thing is a out
and how I can get more of that in my life.
So we can just make sweet love financially. I love

(01:00:08):
that voice. Um okay, So a couple of things. Number one, uh,
I don't remember the stat any longer. But research, there
is research out there that proves it more than likely
you will end up being with someone who's the financial
opposite of you. So, if you tend to be a saver,
you'll end up with someone that's a spender. If you
are a spender, you'll end up with someone that's a saver.

(01:00:30):
And on the off chance that you were both the same.
Perhaps it's God's way of having a sense of humor.
One of you will scale back. So, if both of
you are intense savers, one of you will scale back.
If one of you, if both of you are uh,
you know, spenders, one of you will scale back to

(01:00:50):
somebody has to go back to a light drizzle. Yeah, well,
as a way of just I guess, preserving the unit. Right. Um,
But so for me, the whole thing about financial intimacy
is using money as a tool to deepen your because
I actually think of money as a communication tool, and
if you use it as a communication tool, you'll have
conversations that you might not have had before, and that

(01:01:13):
will end by that nature, deep in your intimacy with
what do you mean use it as a conversation tool
because most times when we're talking about money, we're not
just talking about money. We're talking about people's values, their beliefs,
their expectations. We're talking about you know, what did they
see growing up? How are they reacting to that? Are

(01:01:33):
they continuing what they saw in their families? Um? Are
they doing the opposite or are they do they think
that they're doing the opposite and they're actually doing the
exact same thing. So it's really a window into getting
to know someone through a lens that you might not know,
and that means being vulnerable. It means exposing some things

(01:01:55):
about how you think, how you feel, your habits, your behaviors,
and that can get really tricky for folks. But the
financial intimacy with your partner the sounds please oh yeah,
oh yeah. Um, so you work with a lot of partners.
What are some of the common roadblocks or problems that
you you come across, especially for the nature of the

(01:02:17):
podcast with parents. Yeah, so one is um expecting that
someone is going to approach money exactly how you do.
So here's a really good example, UM, one client, they
lived together for four years before they got married, and
while they were living together, they split everything fifty fifty

(01:02:39):
and they had separate accounts. And just as a pause,
I feel like, you do whatever works best for you.
So some couples have yours mind and hours. Some couples
do everything joint, whatever works best for you. However, in
this particular instance, they had separate accounts, but they split
everything fifty fifty. They get married, and I did say

(01:03:00):
they lived together for four years, right, Okay, so now
they get married. After they get married, she is expecting
that they will now have joint accounts and that things
will not now be done proportionally. Was this not discussed?
That's that's why I'm saying I and and for and

(01:03:24):
and why did she have that expectation. She had that
expectation because growing up her father was an entrepreneur. Her
mother was a stay at home mom, but her mother
handled all of the finances, so for her, that was
her frame of reference, and she thought that they only
did it differently because they weren't married, and that once
they got married things would change. He, on the other hand,

(01:03:46):
grew up with divorce parents, both of whom were professionals,
so he never saw them, uh talk about money. He
never saw them negotiate anything, and so everything was separate.
So for him, he was like, we've been doing this
for four years and this worked perfectly fine. Why in
the world would we change it. She thought it would
be proportional in the sense that she made she would continue.

(01:04:11):
He thought, Yeah, I think I had a similar situation
where like my partner grew up with actually very financially
like responsible parents, and I think that they actually taught
her that my parents did not, and I grew up
with divorce parents. Uh, and I never actually saw them
like dealing with like bills if anything. Whenever there were
moments that we fell on hard times, what I saw

(01:04:34):
was like how to survive despite that, but not not
like how to not not how to uh create the
system with which to not fall behind you know, yeah, yeah,
exactly and so and so. Actually, when I'm thinking about it,
connecting all the all the dots, you know, coming out
of college, and I mentioned the fact that I liked

(01:04:56):
a job where like for eight nine months where we
get paid fifty bucks a week. Um. Coming out of that, like,
I actually felt very proud of myself for being able
to do that. Um, but that still didn't make up
for the fact that once I did start making money,
Like basically it's like I knew how to I knew

(01:05:18):
how to like live, like like I was making two
hundred bucks when I was making fifty bucks a week.
But then once I got two hundred bucks, I knew
how to live like I was making five hundred bucks
as opposed to two hundred. Once I got five, I
live like you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, but
I didn't actually learn any real financial like yeah, And
for me it was like, um, I grew up with

(01:05:40):
divorce parents too, and my my ex wife didn't. And
I always thought, Okay, you meet your family obligation X
amount and then whatever else it's left over is yours
and Anna's which now I subscribed to relatedly, but it's like, um,
you have the family. The family is the main planet
in the solar system, and that's where the money goes

(01:06:04):
and anything, and that's the center of gravity, like and that.
And to talk a little bit about how the emotional
logic informs financial decisions, my emotional logic, which was problematic
in other ways too, is that I was still, as
an individual the center of gravity, and that had all

(01:06:24):
sorts of financial implications which were only latent because, as
you alluded to, many couples just don't talk. It's a
weird conversation to have and not sexy and not romantic,
and like falls under the falls under the like you
are my business partner and voice you can get for

(01:06:46):
Barry White when things are more financially harmonic, right, harmonious
couples not communicating clearly and explicitly about their financial outlooks Okay,
so that's kind of like entering into a relationship. But
all I would say, if not remedied a long standing
um issue which just crops up over and over again,

(01:07:07):
if that's not rendered explicit. Yeah, And I think the
other thing, though, is that we we also have this
I'm not quite sure where it stems from, but this
idea that you only have a conversation about money once
it's one and done and you're good, and that doesn't
really quite match up to the dynamics of how life works.

(01:07:28):
Things change, uh, and certainly not how partnership works exactly.
And so yeah, exactly, everything evolves. You evolve, the relationship evolved,
your goals evolved, your priorities evolve. Um, maybe you you know,
last year you didn't have children. This year you have children,
so you've got to change that. Like things shift, but

(01:07:50):
people don't necessarily shift a their expectations around money in
accordance to those things. And they also don't keep up
with having ongoing conversations. So don't treat it as one
and done, but think of it as your money conversation
is one that you're going to be having forever. And
much the same way that I remind people that your

(01:08:11):
relationship with money is one of the longest ones you'll
ever have. You can be married to whomember you're married
to for eighty years, and your relationship with money will
still be your longest relationship. Do you suggest people like
talk about it in key one, Q two, Q three,
Q four, or like schedule it like you have? I
suggest people have money dates actually and and depending upon

(01:08:32):
where you are um in that money space, if you will,
I would suggest to some folks that you have a
conversation once a week, and it doesn't have to be
more than thirty minutes. It can just be a check in.
For others they can do it once a month, and
for even others they can do it once a quarter.
I was gonna say, what does that look like? Now
that actually sounds that's sounded to feel romantic right there. Well,

(01:08:53):
you know, one of one of my one of one
of my clients. What I suggested to them is that
they have a conversation each week over a glass of wine.
Still not romance. I wasn't say I might get I
might get that wine thrown in my face at the
end of the at the end of the date. Well

(01:09:16):
that's it for us. At the Fatherly Podcast. This episode
was produced by Anthony Roman and me Joshua david Stein.
I'd like to thank our co host Postel Pringle, our
executive producer Andrew Berman, our engineer Deco Sha Turma at
Atlantic Sound Studios. I hope you like this podcast. If
you did, rate it, review it. If you don't, don't
do those things. Um, subscribe to the I Heart Radio

(01:09:38):
app or wherever you subscribe to your podcast, and we'll
see you next week. Fe

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