July 21, 2019 | 41 minutes
Danielle & Adam are the masterminds behind the raw and funny Marriage & Martinis podcast (check it out - it’s very good), and we were lucky to host them on the Money Date to talk about life, love, kids and WTF purchases. Danielle and Adam have managed to negotiate life’s challenges with honesty and a laugh. They’re a blast, and we hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
Because a big piece of who you are as a couple today, are people who are transparent about what works and what's challenging about making a relationship work. So it’s awesome that that's continued. But we’ve seen that one of the things that's challenging for people is having honest and transparent conversations about money...
Aditi: Hey folks, you're listening to The Money Date podcast, a podcast that my husband and I launched to help young couples get real about their money.
Dalmar: We'll ask our friends and a few strangers all the uncomfortable and awkward questions about how they handle their money.
Aditi: All the gory details and hopefully a few tips and tricks along the way that you can pick up and use in your own relationship.
Aditi: Welcome to the next episode of The Money Date. Today we have Danielle and Adam who are one of my favorite couples because they podcast frequently and very honestly about the trials and tribulations of their relationship. Today they are joining us to talk to us about money and how they have navigated money decisions (or lack thereof) in their relationship
Dalmar: We are really excited to have you, you’re really fun and as Danialle admitted before we started recording, open books so that’s one of the reasons we wanted to have the convo with you. I’m very excited to jump right in, but before we did so, a little background for us and for our audience tell us a little about how the two of you met
Adam: How much time do you have?
Danielle: Our story is actually - do you want me to tell it Adam? Yeah cause you'll take forever. We met in high school when we were both juniors in high school and Adam and I went to prep schools right down the street from each other and he was the known "bad boy" at his prep school. My friend got some reason thought I would like him and set us up. We dated for like 2 weeks before I realized he was like the worst human on the planet.
Aditi: I wanna see Adam's face.
Adam: Okay, first of all, the reason we were first introduced was because I heard 'oh there's this girl going around my school dating all the guys'
Aditi: Ohhh, the plot thickens!
Adam: And I was like 'yeah let me get in on this, what's this all about.' Like I'm the bad one.
Danielle: So then we didn't talk for like two years. Fast-forward a few years when we'd had some like miscommunication of him trying to get together with me while I was at college and vice versa and then I was on- in 1999 I guess when I was a senior in college, I went on a dating app and saw his picture and was like 'oh my god! I know that guy!'
Danielle: But on a dating app they don't have the real name it's like a fake name.
Aditi: What was his fake name? Do you remember?
Adam: You know, I don't remember. I so wish I did. I'm sure it was super cheesy, but no I don't remember but I messaged him and was like 'um are you Adam who went to the * school and graduated?' And he messaged me back and it just took off from there.
Aditi: Our story is very similar. We met when we were little kids in middle school but reconnected in college. It's always fun to come back together and see each other many years later.
Dalmar: I thought you were going to say our story is similar 'Dalmar is also the worst human being'.
Aditi: Similar reputation I would say.
Adam: But in her mind you were great right?
Dalmar: Yeah, of course. Perfect in every way and that hasn't changed up until today.
Dalmar: So what had changed in the interim? Obviously time had passed, Adam went from being 'the worst human being in the world' to one that you were entertaining possible having a relationship with. What changed in the interim time?
Danielle: I think we both-
Adam: Wait wait wait, let's back up. I wasn't the worst human being in the world.
Dalmar: Stand up Adam.
Adam: No it's true, you never thought that. We had a solid connection and we were both kinda bad people in our own ways.
Danielle: I guess so
Adam: And we connected because we had that
Danielle: Right, we always had a deep connection and I think, with some time passed, he got over some of the bay boy stuff and I had been dating a lot in New York and realized that guys were kind of jerks in general. And when we reconnected, what I really liked about him was that after the first night we went out, the next day- you know, in New York, people play all kinds of games right? Like 'oh, you gotta wait four days' and 'don't message her too soon' and 'oh, I can't act like I like her.' We literally like went home and the next day, by 1 o'clock pm he was calling me like 'I wanna see you again.'
Dalmar: That's awesome.
Adam: You know true movie Swingers?
Dalmar and Aditi: maybe?
Adam: So that was a big movie for us back in our dating days but I was big into it before I met Danielle. There was that scene in that movie where he meets the girl at the bar and he goes back to the table with his friends and the whole conversation about 'well, how long do you wait to call?'
Adam: They go back and forth about that whole thing and that stuck out in my mind tremendously. I think that was probably one of the reasons that I didn't want to screw it up and wait too long. So I owe that movie the respect because I called you the next day.
Danielle: Mhmm! That's, I think, what did it.
Aditi: That's amazing!
Danielle: It is! It solidified it!
Dalmar: Oh! Okay, I thought you were being sarcastic.
Aditi: You were like 'This guy's serious. He's into me'
Dalmar: And transparent too.
Danielle: Yeah, he's not playing any games which was so refreshing you know? When I was dealing with just dating guys who you know, nothing was upfront, everything was very annoying.
Dalmar: Yeah, and that stuck right? Because a big piece of who you are as a couple today, are people who are transparent about what works and what's challenging about making a relationship work. So it’s awesome that that's continued. But we’ve seen that one of the things that's challenging for people is having honest and transparent conversations about money and we're curious, how long after getting serious did finances and the money conversations come up in your relationship?
Danielle: A week and a half ago
Aditi: Mind you, I was gonna say we have to catch up to today. You have three kids today. How many dogs do you guys have?
Danielle: Yeah we have three kids, we have two dogs. We have a 13 year-old girl, an 11 year-old boy, a 7 year-old boy and 2 rescue dogs from Puerto Rico.
Aditi: I imagine it’s a busy life.
Danielle: It is - very busy!
Aditi: And so money came up a week and a half ago?
Danielle: Yeah, first of all we got married very young. We got married when we were 24. I basically graduated college and went out into the world with Adam and we had a very traditional relationship from the start. You know, I worked for a few years and then I got pregnant. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and he seemed on-board with that so we sort of just took over the roles - very traditional roles of me staying home and him going to work. And sort of had those separate departments in the relationship which at the time seemed to be working, but probably was not.
Aditi: Adam, what do you think?
Adam: We made all of our major decisions when we were very young. Kinda like Danielle just said we were married very young. We had kids very young. We moved into a house very young. So we made all of our big decisions when I think we were probably too young to do so. On top of that, we’re both very irresponsible big spenders - it's always been that way and it wasn't until a week and a half ago, so five years later, that...
Danielle: No, itt wasn't a week and a half ago!
Adam: Ok it's been very recent that we're starting to get on top of our money game and honestly I think it has to do with this podcast because we've been talking to so many different people and discovering so many different ways to actually make this a reality for us. So we, unfortunately, don't have any great info yet as to how we're doing so far because it's very new and we're just starting to make this thing happen.
Aditi: But what I love about your guys' story is you guys have been really honest about the stuff that's not gone well. We sometimes have couples on the podcast who talk a lot about their successes because talking about your failures can feel embarrassing or terrifying.
Adam: Oh absolutely, but I think that's kinda what makes us different and kinda caught on everybody's thrilled to go on and say 'Hey, I've done this and I'm very proud about this' but we started talking about our differences, the negative things that have happened in our marriage and our relationship and it relates to a lot of people and most people can finally say 'Oh my god it's not just me!'
Aditi: Coming back to something you said: you both played these traditional roles, did the same thing happen with money? I know in the past I've heard you talk about this, Danielle, you talk about how Adam typically was sorta the money decision maker in your relationship. What was that dynamic like? How did you even settle into that dynamic?
Danielle: It was hard because Adam sort of felt like - I think he was maybe feeling resentful that I was staying home. I sort of just made the decision that I was gonna stay home and I don't know how much we really ever talked about it. Then I think he also would have liked to have had a two person? Two working?
Aditi: Two income?
Danielle: Two income family, thank you. I think he really did want to make big purchases, you know? He really wanted to buy a big house, he wanted nice cars, I was a little bit more comfortable with staying in a smaller house and not having maybe the luxury items so I could stay home and everything. I was very comfortable like that but I think he wanted more. So it was hard because I was sort of willing to settle and he wasn't. So that made it difficult.
Dalmar: Working through the podcast together has made you pay attention or put a spotlight on your finances again. When it comes to figuring this out or figuring this out differently, what's the first thing you did and how did that go?
Danielle: What was the first thing we did? That's a good question. I think probably just realizing how much more we were spending than we really could be saving. Also, realizing that we really want to do this podcast and stuff, but the first year or so you don't make much money. So if we're really gonna do it, then we wouldn’t go out to dinner as much. We used to go out once, twice, three times a week sometimes to dinner. We used to probably go, Adam's big into Atlantic City he used to go to Atlantic City all the time, he hasn't been doing that. We used to go to New York probably once every other month, we're not really doing that. We're still trying to spend time together but we're being definitely a lot more aware about it.
Aditi: Totally, and what changed when you guys had kids or when you got your first dog? Did any of those money dynamics or those conversations evolve at all?
Danielle: Yeah it's really true.
Adam: We honestly did not have money conversations for years just to be completely honest it was just 'alright, we have some money, let's spend it and not even talk about it.' You spent it on whatever. I spent it on whatever. And hopefully there was still money left after the day was over and we didn't really concentrate on it
Aditi: Yeah, so indulge me a little, tell me about some of those bad money habits. Like tell me about what being the spender looked like for you guys.
Adam: I think, like what Danielle was just saying, the constant going out to eat, always having nice(ish) cars, the houses, vacations, I was going to Atlantic City a lot, but also tech stuff. I love Apple products I always have, I've been a fan forever. If I wanted it, I bought it. And like I said, the tech stuff I was huge also into these monthly box clubs that are huge now, that are all over the place. I was signing up left and right for those things and loving everything I received. We love wine, buying tons of wine. Probably better wines than we should have been buying.
Aditi: Are the better wines better? Just tell me Adam.
Adam: I think in my mind I thought they were, so they were. But look, if you're buying crap, it's not good. Like if you're buying Boone's Farm I mean, you're gonna get crap.
Danielle: They're sponsoring us by the way
Dalmar: Sorry Boone's...
Adam: Yeah, really. But there's a price range, if you stay over the $10 a bottle kind of price range, you're fine.
Danielle: I think there's something to be said about walking into a store and being a big spender and how you're treated and how you feel.
Adam: Yeah, that's a good point
Danielle: When Adam would walk into the wine store, everybody knew him. They would immediately take him to the nicer section, you know, and there's a feeling that comes with that.
Danielle: Yeah so, that probably was part of it too.
Danielle: Well also, just having kids. We live in an upper-middle-class suburb and it's not like, I don't know where you all grew up or what your parents were like as far as your activities but when I grew up my parents said to me 'you pick one activity and you do it.' Right now, in our area, there are kids playing three sports at a time and it's insane and, you know, they're there every single day something different and it really gets expensive. Especially when you have three kids. Camp is ridiculously expensive but you know, sleepaway camp can be per child $12,000 per summer. And if you have three kids you know, you can't offer to one and then not offer to the others.
Aditi: Hunger Games this. One kid gets to go.
Danielle: Exactly. But you sort of hope: 'you don't want to go to sleepaway camp, right?'
Danielle: I mean, having kids is super expensive and you look around you and you're like 'well I'm not gonna be the parent whose kid is sitting home Monday-Friday. And I'm not going outside and teaching them soccer myself. It's hard.
Dalmar: We take financial conversations at maybe too nuclear of a level sometimes thinking that this is a conversation that's happening in someone's head or between a couple but really what you're talking about and highlighting is that what other parents do, particularly if they have children and you have children, and the decisions they make for their kids have a spill-over effect on how you decide to handle or manage your finances. If a kid comes home and says 'well I want to go to camp because Billy or Jane is going.' It suddenly changes your dynamic and your conversation at home.
Danielle: Yeah, definitely. And I don't know if everywhere is like that. I think there are places where maybe it's not quite as bad but where we live it is; 1) an expensive place to live anyway, 2) there's just this whole overscheduling thing. It's almost like an epidemic, it's just so much money.
Aditi: This is exactly why parenting terrifies me. It's stories like these that I hear and I'm like 'oh my gosh' or even the mom phenomenon that you hear a lot about. Moms who work versus moms who stay home and the battle that ensues between.
Danielle: Yeah, it's all challenging but it's also so rewarding and if it's something you choose to do, you learn along the way which is exactly what we're doing and you figure it out. Now my daughter’s 13 and at this point I'm sorta like 'okay, they could be doing more around the house so we don't have a cleaning person once a week, we could have one every other week. We're trying to make those changes now which is obviously harder than doing it from when they were younger but it's better than never doing it. That's what you do, you learn along the way and you're gonna make mistakes and hopefully you get back on track.
Dalmar: You're talking about change there and there are some changes that we're comfortable making, but you talked about all the habits, the spending habits that both of you have had to change. Of those changes, are there any that were very frightening? What were they and how did you sort of negotiate those challenges and that fear?
Aditi: Or ones that you guys didn't agree on?
Danielle: The scariest thing for me was the prospect of going back to work. That was really scary because for me, raising three kids is a full-time job and everyone always says that as they get older you don't need to be home as much, well I totally disagree, for me and for my situation. I feel like as my kids are getting older, they need me more and more. Probably when they were younger, in some ways, it was easier to drop them off at school and just pick them up and know that they were okay. Now it's like a whole different ball game so the podcasts, in some ways, hopefully is a way of making some money and it’s giving us some options. But for me to go back to having a full-time job now, that was really, really scary for me.
Aditi: How about for you Adam?
Adam: I pretty much, like I said, for the most part, have cut out most of the extraneous- extranuous?
Adam: Is that the right word? Extraneous purchases?
Danielle: Um.. Extra?
Adam: I’m not good with the words, but I try. Yeah, like I said, the extra stuff. Like I said before the wines, those boxes, the going out to eat, going to Atlantic City; all of those extra things, I pretty much, for almost a year now, cut out. And it hurt at first but I’m at the point now where I don’t even miss them. I miss the time that me and Danielle where we were able to go out and have dinners alone and be out alone but I feel the same way about us doing this podcast because we get to be alone doing this together so it kinda compensates for instead of going out to dinner and spending $150 or whatever it could cost to go out for the weekend. Also I think the New York city trips we did a lot. We haven't done a vacation in quite some time. So, for me it's the extra stuff. It's getting rid of all of that stuff. And that's what we have done so far, we still have a ways to go with our daily everyday spending agreements and budgeting so we're not quite there yet but that's kinda the next step for us.
Aditi: Yeah, totally.
Adam: Yeah, so we could come back to you with what happened after that.
Aditi: I will! Follow up conversation scheduled. I'm curious, as you guys are driving into some of these money things like, what is the motivation behind 'getting your shit together' so to speak?
Danielle: We have, like I said, a 13 year-old we have about four more years to think about how the hell we're going to pay for college. We think she's gonna go.
Adam: It’s like with camp, we're like 'you don't wanna go to college right?'
Danielle: No, no, NO, NO. Yeah so that really gives you some motivation for 'where the hell is the money gonna come from?' And maybe it's an overall sort of societal thing now too but I think for a little while we were 'stuff, stuff, stuff, we want stuff, we love stuff' you know? The nicest, newest stuff. Now it's more, like Adam said about the podcast, sometimes when you start something that you really love and you redirect your energy and you redirect your attention, there's a happiness I think that it’s bringing us and a satisfaction that it’s bringing us that is replacing what those purchases were making. We're feeling more fulfillment doing this and we don't need all that other stuff anymore.
Aditi: I relate so strongly to that Danielle because I felt very similarly starting Zeta and like focusing on building the company all of a sudden I was like 'I don't care about all the extra stuff," I just like wanna go home and spend time on my family when I have that time. The rest of the time I wanna get my work done.
Aditi: Just the way you said it, I thought just captured that feeling so beautifully.
Danielle: I think for a while we were both sort of searching for something to make us feel worthy and like we were maybe doing something that was giving back and that was worthwhile and this podcast, as much as it's been exhausting and is a lot of work, it also has given us this sense of fulfillment and also doing something together for the first time ever. Like really doing it together.
Adam: Yeah, we love doing this together, but this is enabling both of us to pursue our separate passions as well because Danielle was always a writer, she went to school for.. something..
Adam: Yeah, so with that she gets to do a ton of writing and writing down her ideas and writing whatever she writes on Instagram cause I'm not allowed to look.
Dalmar: Oh you should, it's quite good.
Adam: I sneak in every once in a while. But uh, so she has that too. So when we're not together she has that to work on by herself. When I'm doing my stuff without her, I love doing the website stuff, I love doing the tech stuff, I love doing the editing so this is enabling me to play and build a website and have fun with it knowing that it's going to a good purpose and a good cause for us for the podcast.
Aditi: Coming back to what Danielle said early on. Danielle when you made the decision to become a single income couple, and Adam she mentioned you felt a little bit resentful about that. How do you guys handle that today?
Adam: I think I was always a little bit resentful of Danielle staying home. But if she was working, it would be a very different situation for our household and more of a we gotta split the responsibilities of raising the kids and I don't know if I should be doing that, Danielle does a much better job than I do or ever would.
Danielle: Well I don't know that you would have done that so that's the difference. I don't know that you would have stepped up and done that.
Aditi: You feel like you would have had to own it all Danielle?
Danielle: Yeah I think so, and I think that happens a lot. We just did this episode on the mental load, I think that a lot of the times the moms pick up a lot of the slack at home even when they're working.
Adam: What you're saying is uh-
Danielle: If I was working, I don't know that it wouldn't have been - we're both working and-
Adam: Well a lot of moms say that even if they both work or if them and their spouse work, typically they still carry the burden of raising the kids.
Danielle: Absolutely, and I think that's true.
Adam: Right and you wouldn't be able to handle that and it would be a mess.
Danielle: It would have. I really think that for us, as much as it would have benefited us financially to have a two-income family, a lot of the things that we've dealt with and we have gone through, me being home was sort of the only way to deal with it. Had I been working on top of that, it might have broke us.
Aditi: I hear that completely
Danielle: And we're still here, so something is working!
Aditi: Dalmar's got a photo of you guys in the background on Instagram and he's just staring at the photo almost as inspiration to as he talks to you...
Dalmar: No no, it's a good photo but it's the caption I'm actually reading, it's one that you put up a couple of days ago, Danielle and you're talking about how you wish that you'd known or that someone had sort of advised both of you to remember to laugh at each other and at life especially when things are hard and not take things so damn seriously. And one of the challenges is you sort of come upon these nuggets of wisdom a little late sometimes and hopefully not too late to be able to make a change. I'm wondering if we applied that to your finances and finances generally, is there anything that you know and have observed today that you wish you knew then?
Adam: Anything financially that we look back and say 'huh'?
Danielle: Yeah, everything .
Adam: Pretty much, but I'm not gonna say all of it because we've had some really great times together spending too much money, let's say it's a vacation-
Danielle: But that's not even the stuff I would say, I would say the biggest mistake we made was we bought a very big house.
Adam: That's where I was going too. That’s something that I would go back and change.
Adam: Like doing certain vacations we did together because I think they were- they cost too much money but they were so important to us together that I wouldn't change it. But the things that I would are the houses and the cars and all of the stuff that was just a waste.
Danielle: I would have liked to tell myself there's time, you don't need to prove it all now.
Aditi: You don't have to have it all.
Danielle: We did make a lot of mistakes but also, so we moved into this huge house and that was a really big issue for us. We were very- I didn't want to move, Adam wanted to move and as much as it caused a lot of issues for us financially, we also made some of our best friends moving into that house. You know? And they'll be lifelong friends.
Adam: That's why I did it.
Dalmar: Well done, Adam
Adam: Listen, I'm always looking out for the best thing for-
Aditi: Should we just refer to you as Oracle, like is that a better name? Should that be your dating profile name
Danielle: Right, exactly
Adam: Honestly, you're getting to know me very well
Adam: My name is Oracle Stud actually
Aditi: Oracle Stud, that's not a bad name. What about your kids? Now that you have the hindsight and the perspective and you have the ability to impart some of that onto your kids, is there anything you guys are doing or even thinking about in terms of prepping and setting them up for success with their finances in the future?
Danielle: Besides telling them to marry rich? No, I'm just kidding.
Aditi: That doesn't hurt
Danielle: I must say that we do have very kind and generous kids. We have kids who are good souls, they're good human beings. I think they like nice stuff but I don't think that they're motivated by it.
Adam: What I'm learning is: teach by doing, not by speaking. They've seen us for 13, 11 and 7 years spending like crazy and whatever we want, we bought and we didn't even think about it and at the same time say to them, you need to save your money, you need to not buy this thing. So it was kind of not fair of us to teach them in that way, so I think one of the really great reasons that we need to get on top of our game is to so they can see we're really living the talk.
Aditi: Totally, and for a little bit of added inspiration, when I advise couples on their finances the number one thing they talk about is wanting to get their shit together because they've seen their parents not have their stuff together, or they've been motivated by their parents to get things together because their parents did a great job, so it's really- it's a massive impact the kids have in terms of exactly what you're saying Adam, seeing how their parents did things and learning from that.
Danielle: It's hard because you have so many lessons you want to give your kids and you're trying to figure out how to do it. You don't want to be lecturing them all day long about everything so it's so hard to pick and choose. For us it's constantly 'be nice and be kind' and so sometimes maybe we slack in some of the other departments because that's what I'm still concentrating on and maybe that's what we're better at. I'm just not good at teaching them finance stuff, but I can say I know how to say 'this is how you be compassionate' and 'this is how you be generous' and whatever. It's a tough balance.
Dalmar: Oh I imagine it is. Aditi brings up the point because we've noticed just in those conversations that both poor and sort of good habits, money or otherwise, are things that seem to be passed down. So they come up organically in the conversations we've had where someone will say 'I do this thing' and Aditi is just like that's fantastic, that's remarkable, where did you pick that up? It's actually one of the hardest things/lessons to learn from a personal finance perspective. Sometimes a story will be as simple as 'Oh, well mom or dad always did this one thing and I don't think they were teaching me as much as just doing that thing.'
Aditi: It’s even the way we fight though. Like Dalmar and I, we always joke about this, Dalmar came from a family whose parents just never fought in front of their kids where as my parents were the complete opposite and so, you know, I'm much more comfortable being like 'wait, what did you just say?' Where as he's like 'babe shhhhh'.
Dalmar: confrontation much?
Aditi: 'People around, dogs around, don't talk about it.' Totally different vibes!
Dalmar: Ok so Danielle, Adam, we wanted to jump into the Honeymoon Game. So before we started recording...
Aditi: The Money Game.
Dalmar: What did you call it?
Aditi: Should we call it something fancy like the Money Honey Game?
Dalmar: We can call it whatever you like.
Aditi: The Honey Money Game.
Adam: Man Dalmar, you’re learning fast.
Dalmar: Thank you Adam. Adam and I are clearly a team. Apart from the minimal running shoes I think I lost you on the barefoot shoes but-
Danielle: That’s alright, Adam’s shoes aren’t much better, I have to say.
Adam: What do you mean?
Dalmar: So that might be a topic we talk about in just a minute because one of the questions is what’s a purchase that your partner has made in the last year that you're still trying to understand. But we will jump into the first question first, which is, Danielle we'll start with you; if Adam won a million dollars today, what do you think he’d do with the money?
Danielle: First of all, I have to say, what he would do now and what he would have done 10 years ago are completely different.
Dalmar: I like that twist actually, maybe we could focus on what he would do now then give us your answer or your best guess at what you think he would have done 10 years ago and we can talk about how those are different.
Danielle: Yeah, I would think the first thing he would have done is something luxurious like probably going to New York and do the shopping and dinner thing and he would have taken a vacation that would be for sure. But now, I think he would probably do some really smart things with the money. I think he would probably pay off the mortgage and maybe put something away for a rainy day and actually take some time and think about what the right things to do were. So I would be a lot more confident now with what he would do with a million dollars than 10 years ago.
Aditi: From the worst person in the world to super smart, that's quite the transition…
Adam: You know what my answer would be?
Aditi: Tell me
Adam: I think today, my answer would be nothing, for six months.
Danielle: You would sit on it for 6 months?
Adam: I would sit for 6 months and think
Danielle: Well while you were sitting, I'd be out shopping so..
Aditi: Is that what you wrote Adam?
Adam: Kinda, well no, what I wrote was she would take the money and run and go save dogs.
Danielle: Oh yeah, that might be good. I would save dogs.
Dalmar: The venn diagram of Aditi and Danielle just got very interesting because Aditi's sort of end goal, like end state, is rescuing all the dogs in the world.
Aditi: Yeah, my million dollar goal is a dog sanctuary.
Danielle: Oh me too!
Adam: After the shopping spree and…
Danielle: Well first I have to save my kids I guess, and then I can save them.
Aditi: Set the kids up then spend the rest on the dogs, makes sense.
Danielle: Yes, so yeah, that was my first thing, I was like 'Yeah'
Dalmar: Those are really good. Second question is: What is one “WTF” purchase that your partner has made in the last year that you don’t understand? Let’s go with you first Adam.
Aditi: Babe you make ‘WTF’ sound so formal.
Dalmar: Okay, what’s one ‘What the Fuck’ purchase.
Aditi: Thank you
Dalmar: That’s the R version
Adam: Ironically enough, Danielle does this probably weekly,
Danielle: Oh boy. Oh shit. Is it food shopping?
Adam: Danielle doesn’t buy too many things that I look at and I’m like ‘really? Like what are you doing?’ It’s really when I see the charge come up on the phone that she just food shopped and then I come home and there’s no food in the house.
Adam: And I’m like ‘What is that purchase?’
Danielle: Organic food is really expensive.
Aditi: It’s true
Adam: So I don't get it once in the last year, I get it like 52 times a year.
Danielle: Yeah, some husbands will be like 'honey why were you at Neiman Marcus again?’ he's like, ‘Did you go to Wegman’s again?’
Aditi: It’s always the largest bill after rent or mortgage.
Danielle: I don’t know if this was in the last year, it might have been the last three years, but it really sticks out in my mind so I need to talk about it.
Dalmar: Let’s lay it out there.
Danielle: I would come home at, like Adam said, he’s a tech guy
Adam: You don’t have to talk about it, just mention it.
Adam: You don’t wanna talk about it.
Danielle: What don’t I wanna talk about?
Adam: No, you said you really wanna talk about it, but just mention it and move on.
Danielle: No, I need to say it. So I come home one day and we have like beautiful tvs all over the house. Flatscreen tvs, we have the Sona, just all kinds of stuff. So I come home and I walk in my family room and our 48 inch tv is now off the wall and there’s some monstrosity hanging on the wall.I look over at Adam and I’m like ‘Our other tv was perfectly okay.’ And then I see two more boxes of TVs just sitting there. So he’s like ‘They were having a two for one special’ which I knew was a lie first of all. He basically was replacing all of our totally fine, working, beautiful tvs with new, little better-
Adam: A lot better.
Danielle: Okay fine. And I was like ‘What the fuck?”
Danielle: Like really? I was pissed. I was really upset because 1) he didn’t consult me about it and 2) it wasn’t even just one tv, it was three! That boggled my mind.
Aditi: Any defense here Adam?
Adam: Yes I do have a defense, ‘cause I always have a defense. We had a tv in the basement that came with the house that we bought that our son used to hook up to his game systems; either the X-box or Playstation or whatever. And that tv went out, it stopped working. Literally one of those big heavy box tvs.
Dalmar: Oh god, I don’t miss those.
Adam: Right? So I said, ‘Okay, we have to replace that’ So instead of replacing that, let’s take the TV in the family room, put that downstairs and replace the family room TV with a much bigger, better, awesomer one. See my rationale here?
Dalmar: Following you 100%
Danielle: Our son could have gotten a crappy $150 TV and that would have been totally fine, he would not have cared.
Adam: But that's not how the story goes when I tell it.
Danielle: Oh okay.
Aditi: So this is the perfect segway into the next question which is: complete the following sentence: ‘When it comes to money, one thing we can not agree on is ____.’
Danielle: Okay, college.
Aditi: Tell me more.
Danielle: Well Adam didn’t go to college, I did. I come from a family where college is a really big deal, you know, it’s not an option. You go. And while I’m not 110% convinced that everybody needs to go to college. The reason should not be because you can’t afford it. They’re not going to go for some reason and I’m very much going to push for them to go because I still think it is an experience whether or not going to be a lawyer or a doctor or whatever it’s going to be. Those four years of my life were, you know, huge. And I learned and grew and became culturally aware and all this other stuff that you don’t get in other areas of life.
Adam: I think there’s plenty of good reasons to go to college today but college is very different today than it was twenty years ago. And for a lot of reasons, I don’t think today it’s as necessary as it was twenty-thirty years ago.
Dalmar: Let’s look at the flip side: ‘when it comes to money, the easiest thing for us to agree on is __.’
Danielle: We like it.
Danielle: What were you gonna say Adam?
Adam: I said having fun, spending time together, spending money on us.
Danielle: Yeah I said spending money on spending time on being alone. On just the two of us
Adam: Yeah, for us, the best way to spend money is a night or two in New York City. Together. Alone.
Dalmar: I thought you were saying different things there. That Adam was saying the best thing to do is to spend it together and Danielle for a moment there I thought you were saying ‘Just on me, myself and I. Alone’
Aditi: I did too. So I was like, uhhh are you guys saying the same or different things?
Danielle: I mean sometimes I would like that to be the case.
Dalmar: The last question...
Aditi: I’m excited about this question because of their TV story.
Dalmar: Ah, okay. Go for it.
Aditi: Okay, what is the max you would spend up to before you checked in with the other? Adam, what did you say?
Adam: I'll let you know when we check in with each other.
Adam: We kind of talked about this before but we really have never done that properly.
Danielle: Well, I think now is much different. I would never make a big purchase without him. I would never spend more than maybe $500 before checking in. But before he would buy whatever he wanted because you know, he was the breadwinner and he kinda felt like... it was a much different mentality. I think now, we would talk about it.
Adam: Yeah, funny enough, now, I'm not looking for those purchases anymore. So I'm more focused on what we're doing here and not about the stuff.
Adam: So, I can't even think of anything now that I would even have to say to Danielle, what do you think about this purchase?
Dalmar: That's wonderful.
Aditi: So those TVs still are in the house?
Adam: It is, and let me tell you...
Danielle: And they better stay until we die.
Adam: ...she’s watched them every single day since I purchased them so she can’t get too mad at me.
Danielle: Well I would watch them if they were a lot shittier too. Sometimes he'll be like, ‘oh, you see the difference of the HD?’ And I'd be like, ‘What are you fucking talking about?’
Aditi: I don’t. I do not. I seriously do not.
Danielle: Exactly, like no, I don't, and I don't care.
Adam: You’d care now if you went back, I’ll tell you that.
Dalmar: You’d notice the difference going the other way.
Aditi: Well, Adam and Danielle, thank you guys for joining us tonight. We're so thrilled to have you guys. You guys are great. You're a ton of fun. And just appreciate your candor and the sort of lightness that you bring to the conversation.
Danielle: No, thank you. And we appreciate, you know, we're still a very new podcast. We're not even a year in. And so, uh, and you guys really believed in us and took a chance on us and we're really grateful for that.
Aditi: Absolutely, we loved getting to partner with you.
Dalmar: As should our listeners, folks, Marriage and Martinis, check it out. Both the podcasts and the Instagram feed, which I'm a fan of. Very funny, very honest.
Danielle: Yeah. And I know a ton of our listeners are now using Zeta, as are we. It's been great and you know, you're doing something awesome and there's a lot of couples out there who are going to benefit from it so that's so great.
Dalmar: I have one parting question - the financial discussion conversations are a recent event for you guys, going through all of that now and sort of the ups and downs that comes with; is there any advice that you'd give to people who are maybe in your position but maybe just a bit earlier in the process?
Danielle: So much.
Danielle: I would say try to find something that you can do together that is going to bring you fulfillment that isn't money-related. Try to have things in your life that you enjoy that don't revolve around spending. I think that was a huge mistake of ours was that one of our biggest, you know, we love to shop together. Everything we did revolved around money. You know, when we were first dating, we used to play tennis all the time together. And, had we kept doing that, we probably would've been just as happy. We just, for some reason, we replaced it with material possessions and, you know, I would like to go back and have different hobbies and, you know, find things to do together that wasn’t so money centered.
Aditi: The Money Date podcast is an initiative of Zeta, a company I launched to help couples track and manage their finances together. If you are inspired by what you heard on this show, you can learn more about us at askzeta.com
Dalmar: And if you would like to support the podcast, here are a few ways to do so: you can subscribe to it, leave reviews on iTunes, Anchor, or wherever you happen to listen to your podcasts, or share it on social media with your friends. If you would like to be a guest on our show, write to us at podcast at askzeta.com.
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