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relationship, money, kim, great, talked, financial, communication, assets, couples, finances, love, intimate, goals, communicate, credit card, bucket, experience, shannon, tim, debt
Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman 00:09
Welcome back, everybody to the Kickass Couples Podcast. We are having a fun recap episode today, on winning financial strategies. We had a fantastic panel, Kim with three different but similar related background, people who really gave us some great insight on what couples can do to have financial strategies that are intentional and effective in the relationship.
Kimberly Hoffman 02:48
Yeah, I agree. I thought each perspective was unique based on their experience with their clients and loved what they brought to the table on this episode.
Matthew Hoffman 02:58
So what was one of the big takeaways? Like what what do you what was your first aha moment in our time together with that panel?
Kimberly Hoffman 03:06
Well, you know, we came right out asking the question, you know, why are microfinance is so difficult in a relationship. And Shannon had a great response in that in her experience. It’s an intimate topic, right? It is something that can cause anxiety, fear, sometimes in some people, and insecurity, even and everybody has their own money story they bring to the table, a different experience and history with money, which I thought was an interesting perspective. Because when we come into a relationship with each other, we don’t always think about that, that we may have a different money, history or story.
Matthew Hoffman 03:47
You know, I love what you said, Kim, you said finances are intimate and they are and when I say intimate, it’s not necessarily always exciting. But it has deep emotional bonds and connections to how we relate to money. How did we experience a growing up? Were we in lack that we struggled to eat, that we get kicked out of homes? Or did we have everything we wanted and we never had to really think about, but those habits and relationships to money obviously come forward in relationships. And you and I have had to navigate that because you know, one of the things that they said it is intimate, but you don’t lead on a first date and say, How do you feel about credit? You know, what’s your credit card balance like? Or are you a spender or a saver?
Kimberly Hoffman 04:29
said that, you know, those aren’t it’s not good first or second date material to talk about your you know, financial credit card balances.
Matthew Hoffman 04:38
Like most intimate topics and in relationships and finances is an intimate topic. We have a lot of taboo and a lot of baggage around discussing what those things are because we make judgments around how we handle money and how other people handle money. And I think that, you know, I think that Tim said Is he said, everybody has a money personality. Right? Just like, you know, they like to experience intimacy, certain ways. They have ways that they feel comfortable with and acting about and around money. And if you don’t know what the money personality is of your partner, your spouse, you’re not going to know how to relate to them. Because you’re only looking through your own lens.
Kimberly Hoffman 05:22
Sure, and how do we relate to money, right? I might relate to money different than you do based upon my money history. And the way I was raised to think about money. And so those are all things that we have to consider when we get really serious in a relationship. You know, we want to start having those conversations. Right. And Tim, you know, Tim was great, because he, you know, he sits down with couples that are from, you know, newly engaged all the way through, you know, people who are planning for retirement. And so he had a great perspective on, you know, what people are doing at a very young age, and then how it translates later in life when you are older, and you’re planning for retirement days.
Matthew Hoffman 06:12
Yeah, he’s a financial planner, and he said that, you know, when he meets with it, obviously, different life stages, people have different concerns, and relationships to money, and there’s a lot of maturity that occurs. But he said, sometimes, when he gets together with a couple, that will be the first time they’ve had a discussion, right about money, about how they feel about it. What’s it supposed to do? What are their goals? And we’ll talk more about that a little bit later. But I think when I talked to one of the questions I asked Aaron, and he has an interesting approach, Kim is if you listened to the episode, he his website is prenups.com. And he was a divorce attorney. And he said, I saw 1000s of cases of couples getting divorced. He goes, I wanted to get on the other side of it. So a lot of people when they hear prenup, they go, Oh, that’s when it’s when this falls apart, who gets what right division of assets. And that’s a part of it. But he’s really done a great job about expanding it to include, how are we going to relate to each other? How are we going to communicate? What does commitment look like? How are we going to do this marriage thing together? And he said, you know, he thought that people don’t really want to address that. And that, you know, he says people avoid talking about finances. We talked about it already. It’s not sexy. But he said, one of the challenges that he deals with most and you have to get out in front is when two spouses from different socio economic classes come together. They’ve had different relationships with money. And he said, if they don’t handle that, and get out in front of it, it’s a recipe for disaster, because
Kimberly Hoffman 07:46
It’s a real challenge later on, because they both have different ideas, perspectives, and decision making processes based upon that socio economic status. So it’s really important for those people to to definitely sit down and have this discussion.
Matthew Hoffman 08:07
But to all our listeners today, if you’ve not had, you know, where did you come from financially, Kim and I had slightly different or greatly different experiences growing up in relationships to money. And we had to kind of talk about that. And we did get tripped up a little bit because we each think our perspective on finances is what our spouse has is because we’re together. And that’s just not the case and your background, your history, your experience. So if you haven’t had a conversation with your partner about where they came from, and how that’s impacting their decisions in your relationship right now, that’s one of those necessary conversations to get rid of the expectations or the hopes or thinking you’re on the same page when you’re not and you’re acting out differently.
Kimberly Hoffman 09:48
Yeah, and I would say that all three of our guests came back to the conclusion that it really is about communication, communication, communication, right? We say that’s what gives oxygen to have a relationship healthy communication. And it’s plain and simple here as well.
Matthew Hoffman 10:05
Yeah, Kim, I think Shannon had a really great approach. And that was kind of another aha for me. Do you want to share a little bit about what in her she and her husband did? They’re both entrepreneurs, they come from a household of business and what what kind of conversation she said, we had to kind of get rid of issues that might pop up.
Kimberly Hoffman 10:25
What I love that she is that she said, you know, while we were in a really healthy, happy place with lots of harmony, you know, we’re young into the relationship, and we’re both feeling good about it. And so she said, we sat down, and she said, What are the ways that this could this relationship could really go sideways? What are the ways that we could really, you know, put it to each other, and screw each other? And she said, you know, we talked about what that could look like. And if it happened, what we would do about it, and she said, we sort of just took all of the air out of what a big blow up could have possibly been by dealing with it early on, and already asking those questions and already making those decisions on how we’re gonna handle it. I loved it.
Matthew Hoffman 11:12
Yeah, it’s huge. Because you’re, if if you have that conversation, you get into it. And you know, she said, and it’s it was all hypothetical, it was all hyperbolic, you know, is like, imagined, right. But if they each imagined it and dealt with it when things are good, and that’s one of the key things I want to follow up with Kim is a big aha, for me. It’s so easy when you’re Lovey Dovey, and in a good mood, and things are going great to deal with the potential financial pitfalls. It’s no fun. And that’s the proactive muscle, right? And it works in relationships, like it works in business. It’s not, it’s not the right time to address something when it comes up, and you’re heated and hot and angry, never works, especially on finances. Because we both go back, we revert to what our comfort zones are the walls go up. And it’s a fight and a conflict as opposed to a give and take discussion.
Kimberly Hoffman 12:05
Matthew Hoffman 12:07
I think that kind of one of the questions that you asked is you said, if you sat down with two young people, and what would you advise them to do first or right away? And I think Kim, Tim said, You know what they got to get comfortable with where they are on debt. Some people like to leverage it, and use it and maximize it. And some people say, I don’t sleep, and I can’t sleep at night, I don’t want any. And so you got to figure out how you’re going to handle debt in your relationship. There’s all kinds of great courses, we’ve done other special episodes and talked about financing and conflict, right. But I think that Tim said, You gotta get a feeling of how they think about it, and talk about it. So you understand their viewpoint. And you can go forward with those decisions on just the idea of debt.
Kimberly Hoffman 12:54
Yeah. Because you each have to be comfortable with what those decisions are. And exactly, again, coming back down to communication. And then I loved you know, Aaron, he he said that. One of the great things and you know, we think about a prenup, we think kind of oh, that’s taboo, don’t want to have that that’s really going to put a wedge in the relationship. But he said, one of the neatest things about having a prenup is that before it can even be signed and executed and be valid. Everybody has to lay out all of their finances full disclosure of exactly what they have. And I think that’s a great process for couples to have to go through no hidden secrets, you don’t have this little side account over here, or you’re not got this credit card that you’re hiding away to use, you know, whenever you want. It is full disclosure of all the assets.
Matthew Hoffman 13:55
I think that’s huge, because you really have to, there are no secrets, I think, it’s vulnerability, but it’s also no no secrets like, you know, no, no skeletons like, Well, I had chapter 11 One time or oh my gosh, I’ve got this car and I’m upside down in it, or I didn’t pay a credit card and I have a judgment against me my credit score is horrific.
Kimberly Hoffman 14:17
Matthew Hoffman 14:17
Right? All those things you don’t want to it’s about keeping secrets and being vulnerable. And then on the other side, Kim, I think it’s important that when you find out these vulnerabilities, whether they’re financial or emotional or social or whatever, it may be physical, you’ve got to honor them from your partner, and make sure that you’re receiving them in confidence and and trust and not using them later as ammunition getting in an argument. Oh, yeah. Well, you can’t even manage a credit card, you know, deducted out of that.
Kimberly Hoffman 14:46
Matthew Hoffman 14:47
And so I think that, you know, like anything in a relationship, we got to hold those secrets in competence and interest and use it for closeness, not for fodder for a future conflict or fight.
Kimberly Hoffman 14:58
I mean, he stated that that process alone can be really eye opening. And I think it’s because, you know, today couples are getting married a little bit later in life, right. And we’re as opposed to when our parents got married, or even our grandparents, they were getting married in their 1920, really early 20s. And at that point in time, neither had much right than work experience. They hadn’t been independent for a long time. And so now as people are getting married a little bit older, we have to take into consideration that they may have multiple credit cards, they are already may have purchased a home right and have some equity in a home. They already may be putting towards a 401 K plan. And so it looks a little different now than it did
Matthew Hoffman 15:43
Yeah. Other assets. Investments.
Kimberly Hoffman 15:45
Yeah, to be able to put it all out there. So
Matthew Hoffman 15:47
Yeah, I think you said it was kind of like a corporate merger. Yeah. Like getting married today is like, you know, m&a, merger acquisition. All right. What are your assets? What are your liability? Oh, you have this investment? You have that? 401k? Well, you had a previous relationship,
Kimberly Hoffman 16:00
Matthew Hoffman 16:00
kids, assets? Oh, my gosh. So being aware of that is definitely more difficult today. Then, Kim, one of my next big takeaways is I said all right, the question we asked was, when you’re working with a client, you know, and whatever viewpoint or approach it is your talking about success, successful relationships, but what is financial success look like? And I love what Shannon had to say, because she said, You know what? People come to her and she’s coaching them and talking to them about money. And they say, Well, I want to get 20% growth of this year over last year. She’ll say, Well, what does that mean? Oh, we’ve got an extra $250,000. She goes, Okay, well, you got an extra $250,000. What’s that going to change?
Kimberly Hoffman 17:52
Yeah, what does this do for you?
Matthew Hoffman 17:53
It’s not a goal. It’s a metric. And you can say I’ve got more cash or less cash or more debt or less debt or more assets or less assets. But what does it mean? She said, What is it that you’re going to do with that money? And really, oh, well, I want to work 10 hours less a week. And if I have more money invested, I can work less, which means I have better quality of life, more time with my wife, I get to spend more time with my kids. And I think she said she really wants people to get below the surface. It’s not about a new car, a new house more money,
Matthew Hoffman 18:22
Matthew Hoffman 18:22
It’s about what lifestyle what life charges, what do you want to be experiencing? I want my
Kimberly Hoffman 18:28
kids to go to private school, like there are so many money goals that people can have. And I think that was her point and being able to really say what financial success looks like, because she ties it to the goal, right?
Matthew Hoffman 18:40
So when you’re thinking about your financial goal, goals that you have for the relationship, and individually, how’s it going? How do you want it to impact your life? So what impact do you want to have? Then talk about the strategies that are there to give you the impact as opposed to just X dollars? Or more debt, less debt? Because it’s it’s the feeling and the gift that’s going to give you kind of the arrival, which leads to the strategy that’s going to help you get there?
Kimberly Hoffman 19:07
Yeah. What about spending rules?
Matthew Hoffman 19:11
Well, it’s funny, because Aaron brought one up, yeah, actually use that we use the same rule. And so it’s another big takeaway, I think, you’ve got to have an amount of money or spending that you say, we you or me or us whether it’s individually or joint, no one’s going to spend above a certain level, unless we have a discussion about it.
Kimberly Hoffman 19:31
Matthew Hoffman 19:32
Because if you do that, if it’s like, you know, I think Tim was saying he came home with a new car early on when he got married. And he goes, I wasn’t, it was not a good idea caused a lot of issues and some problems in the relationship, you know, committing resources and assets like that, Kim and I say if we’re going to spend more than $500, either one of us or on behalf of the family on anything, it doesn’t matter whose money It’s our money. Then we’re going to talk about Got it, then it might be 250. It might be 100, you might run for doesn’t matter what level it is. But it’s getting that agreement and having that rule.
Kimberly Hoffman 20:09
Yeah,I agree. And another sort of broader thing that we talked about with Shannon was that, you know, when we sit down and have these conversations, we really need to be specific about what our priorities in life are. Right, we want to have a broad view of what our priorities are, and really get specific as to those things ahead of time, so that we can build our life around what those priorities are. And I really love that because we may be a couple that loves to travel, right. Or we may be a couple that really wants to take the money and set it aside to, you know, add on to our house and to do you know, some renovation projects, or, you know, maybe we do want our kids to go to private school. So there’s all those little things that we have to think about, build our life around those as a whole.
Matthew Hoffman 21:04
They talked about the concept of buckets, which I think is great. It’s nothing radical. But if you’d like to travel, Aaron said, You know what we like to travel. So we might take 5% of what we make and put it in a travel bucket. So when we say hey, let’s take a vacation
Kimberly Hoffman 21:17
Matthew Hoffman 21:18
Let’s look at the travel bucket, oh, we have X dollars in there, that’s what we could spend, as opposed to we’re going to spend and crank up the debt. And now we’re living with a lot of debt to take a trip. And those buckets can really be whatever you want them to be. It could be a new car bucket, it could be a re redecorate the bedroom bucket. You know, Kim and I had a bucket, we wanted to do some renovations of a kitchen. But another expense came up and we had to say kitchens gonna have to wait because here’s some other critical things we have to do. So talking about that is great. And I think another Kim, a great takeaway that I got was from Shannon, as she said, having a quarterly business meeting with your partner with your like her and she you were we are not what we spent. But but at the end her approach was she said, How is our is our money doing what we want it to do for us? Great question in all these areas, because your money doesn’t control you, you control the money, you’re deciding what you have to wear what you can or what you’d like it to do. And then man, we’re not saving. We’re spending too much. Our money’s not paying down the debt, like we said it was going to or we’ve taken in more than we thought we would have, what are we going to do with it as opposed to just spending it because it’s there? Or we’re not getting as much as we said, We’ve got to trim the sails and adjust some of our budgets and what we’re spending and how.
Kimberly Hoffman 22:41
Yeah, I loved it. I thought the whole episode was great. I think that I took away that we need to be transparent. We need to communicate, we need to set financial goals. And we need to revisit those goals. And, again, communicate and have meetings surrounding those goals and ask those questions.
Matthew Hoffman 23:01
Yeah, and I think Kim, you know, we have 14 pillars, and that kick ass couples nation platform, and we usually focus on the three C’s, and we’re talking to a couple of relationship, which are commitment, communication and conflict resolution. But most recently, we you and I’ve talked about it the most important pillar that runs through every every pillar in our relationship munication. And if you’re not communicating well, about financial fears, goals, strategies, desires. If you’re not a ninja in communication, you’re gonna fail in the financial arena. And we did a rapid fire with all three of them, Kim and I said, What’s the most important thing and Aaron said, communication. Shannon said, Well, he took mine and it’s communication. Tim said the quality, the frequency of communication. And you know, Tim had a funny thing. He said, Man, if I was a psychologist or more of a therapist, I could coach people how to communicate correctly about finances. So the one takeaway, you know, you’ve heard me say, Kim is that communication is kind of the krazy glue that holds your, your your relationship together. So if you’re not communicating deeply intimately about financial issues, stress stresses, pressures, strains in the relationship. It’s a recipe for disaster. And that’s where the conflicts going to come in and the resentment, so really making sure that you’re having open and quality and deep and intimate communication about your financial matters is really a huge key.
Kimberly Hoffman 24:31
And I think when I think about that, also, I think about it from a perspective of, you know, if you’re the breadwinner, and things are, you’re feeling stressed and challenged, you should be able to come home and relieve those stressors with your spouse, and be able to get all of that out there on the table. And I think that enough of us don’t do that. They don’t come home and say, you know, these are some things that are happening. These are some challenges. Is that I see. And then the other spouse communicating their support, you know, that just brings security and intimacy and closeness back to relationship when you’re able to do that. So I know it’s hard. But again, I think we’ve got to we’ve got to be vulnerable and open and transparent.
Matthew Hoffman 25:18
Yeah, and some openers, guys and ladies might sound like, Hey, I’m struggling with, yeah, I need help on, I’m really bothered to have a lot of stress around. And when your partner shares that, it doesn’t mean they want you to fix it, or change that or relieve that stress. It means they want to engage in a discussion and have you understand where they are, you know, we talked about getting in the foxhole with each other and
Kimberly Hoffman 25:47
You know, both dealing with it together. If I love you, and I’m supporting you, I want I don’t need to, I’m not going to take that on, but I’m gonna be in there with you, supporting you and doing what I can to relieve some of those stressors to be supportive and to be engaged with you.
Matthew Hoffman 26:04
Yeah, so a great episode, listen to the whole thing if you haven’t, the recap is just giving you guys some the Cliff Notes and the nuggets and pros that we took away. So you can think about what you can apply and use in your relationship to kick it up and get onto your own relationship Nirvana.
Kimberly Hoffman 26:20
You got it. Thanks for listening everyone and remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.