Episode 4: Sarah & Taylen

July 3, 2018 | 46 minutes

On this episode of The Money Date podcast, we talk with Sarah and Taylen about trophy medals, Davis water, and how they've managed to use their different money personalities to their benefit.

"My parents are both pretty frugal and so they did a good job of spending. As a kid, it was annoying or it just kind of bothered me that I always had the off-brand of most things. But when I became an adult and had to start paying for things on my own, I thought “Oh, this actually makes a lot of sense.” And then I start to think back that as kids, we got to go on a lot of trips together as a family and we got to do a lot of other big things. My parents were smart about money and didn’t spend it on the name brand shoes. Instead, they put it towards saving for something fun as a family. And that all clicked when I became (as most parental advice does) an adult. So I just kind of learned from them." - Taylen

Transcript

{INTRODUCTION}

Aditi: Hey guys, 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: That's right. 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.

{MUSIC}

{00:00:23.43}

Dalmar: All right, welcome to our latest episode of the money date. I'm Dalmar and I’m Aditi. And we're joined today by our friends, Taylen and Sarah. Welcome to the show guys.

Taylen and Sarah: Hello, Hi!

Dalmar: So, we were just talking about how the two of you met and Taylen you said that you usually tell this story and so wanted to give Sarah the chance to tell it from her perspective. It sounds like Sarah you might be the better storyteller anyway so take us away.

Sarah: I was living with one of my friends from high school who had a friend Amanda. And Amanda's mom wanted to have a 50th birthday party where she went out dancing with all of Amanda’s friend.

Aditi: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing.

Sarah: Yeah, it was super fun. So we went out to dinner and then we went to Blondie's in the City and I love to fuckin dance… Wait, am I not supposed to curse? I'm sorry.

Dalmar: Cursing is on the table. This is not a children's show nor not meant to be. We're getting you guys raw and unfiltered so curse away.

Taylen: So we hadn’t covered that before so I didn’t know how to react.

{00:01:32.58}

Sarah: So I was doing my thing. I tend to get really into the groove and stop paying attention to most things and that certainly happened that night. I have type 1 Diabetes and my blood sugar was really low so I ended up going home. That's all I remember of that evening. It wasn't until later that I learned that I actually met Taylen that night. Though the first time I remember meeting Taylen, he was dressed up like a woman at a Halloween party that we were having at our home.

Taylen: A pumpkin carving party.

Sarah: Yeah that's right. We were having a pumpkin carving party. Taylen was just dressed to the nines, wearing a little tube top…

Aditi: Wait, it wasn't a Halloween party, it was a pumpkin carving party with Taylen?

Taylen: It was the following week.

Sarah: I also remember him touching my ass which I was horrified about. But that is how we met through friends.

Aditi: At a dance party that you don't remember meeting him at and Taylen dressed as a woman. That's a hell of a story guys.

Taylen: The dressed-as-a-woman was a separate night. I was dressed just regularly for the night we actually met because we were going out dancing. I'd become friends with Amanda fairly recently right before that and she'd invited me and another friend to come along. I remember seeing Sarah on the dance floor and being very interested because here was this woman who had not-a-care-in-the world and only cared about dancing. And it shows because she doesn’t remember meeting me even though I talked to her a few times that night.

Sarah: A few times??

Taylen: Yeah! I went up to her, tried dancing, tried talking to her a couple of times, or talking in a group of friends. And then eventually, weaseled my way through Amanda, to get an invite to a very exclusive pumpkin carving party.

Aditi: So let's just say that changed your life so hey.

Dalmar: That's incredible and you know coincidentally the first couple we had on the show also met each other on Halloween night and they're there now happily married as well.

Aditi: There’s clearly something magical about that night.

{00:04:11.13}

Dalmar: So that was how you met. How much after that did you know Sarah, that Taylen was the one for you?

Sarah: Umm, it took a while. I tend to be pretty cautious and Taylen also has a kind of reputation, being kind of a whore bag.

Dalmar: Was that a reputation well-deserved Taylan or are we embellishing here?

Taylen: Uhhhh… let’s just say it was like a fun year.

Aditi: Keep in mind that we're going to send this podcast to your parents, Taylen.

Dalmar: That was a very diplomatic answer, very nice.

Taylen: Yes, I guess. From what Sarah knew and from what my friends knew, yes.

Sarah: So it was when I was done with my first year of grad school. We were four years in and we were living together. Taylen just really stepped up. It was a really hard time for me and Taylen, without me even really having to ask, just sort of stepped up to the plate and really took care of me. And at that point I was like okay.

{00:05:41.36}

Dalmar: So, the two of you met on Halloween night and looking forward, at what point did you start to talk about finances?

Taylen: That's a good question. I feel like for me, money is something that's kind of just on my mind. So, it probably started with little things, maybe a year into our relationship. One thing that I remember us discussing at one point is that I would pick up the tab when we go out to eat and Sarah would pay for groceries. You know we're still in that dating phase but we'd also eat at Sarah's place. So that was one of the first kind of bigger conversations we had about money as a couple.

{00:06:37.46}

Aditi: How did that start to evolve as you guys moved-in together and things started to heat up and get more serious?

Taylen: Till today, we still have our own separate checking accounts. I feel like we always just kind of had independent money but we talk about it freely and we discuss it as a household item that we're both going to benefit from. But there were a handful of bigger purchases where I remember Sarah had gotten some birthday money or maybe Christmas money or something like that and wanted to buy a mattress. And when that happened, I remember feeling pretty guilty at first about the fact that this was something that we were both sharing and she paid for the whole thing. And then, I tried paying her for my half but Sarah said “No, this is something that I wanted, something that I got the money for and wanted to buy.” I feel like it's conversations that have just happened between with us.

{00:07:34.26}

Aditi: Yeah, you know we can totally relate to that. I remember in the early days when we were living in New York, Dalmar was a grad student and I was working full-time. It was a constant conversation of one-off purchases. And you know I could afford it because I had a full-time job and Dalmar was a student, so it was just a very different dynamic. So I totally understand that feeling. And when you guys got engaged or got married, did any of that change? Did you start to formalize that stuff more or did you just sort of ease into it?

Sarah: We kind of eased into it. I remember that that was one of the big things people asked “Oh, does it feel different?” It's shifted how I thought about money. I saw it like it was our money, one big pot.

Taylen: Yeah, we don't nit-pick a whole lot. Before, when we were dating, we never really picked on… Well, I paid for dinner the other week so you should pay for this Target run. Or I bought gifts for the nieces and nephews so you need to… You know, it wasn’t really like that. Now, I feel like there's a pretty even split even though it we could have been way off. We did a good job of balancing out and never really having the big sit down conversation but just kind of making sure that we were talking about stuff. If someone did buy a bunch of stuff and if it felt uneven, we'd talk about it. It was never a big thing, just a one-off comment. So back to the question about formalizing, I guess we just immediately saw it as our money instead of my money and Sarah's money.

Sarah: Oh yeah, though when he started paying my student loan that was like a weird moment for me.

{00:09:43.85}

Aditi: Were you guys married then or were you not married yet?

Sarah: We were married. But it got real.

Aditi: Yeah, it got real.

Taylen: I look at it as, from my perspective at least, that putting money towards her loan was tackling a goal that we both have. So you know, getting out of debt and being able to save for other things. It was formalized in my mind but we didn't actually formalize any plan. We did have a conversation where I sat down and made a spreadsheet.

Sarah: Naturally.

Taylen: Haha yeah, naturally, I love my spreadsheets. So I guess not long after we got married (or maybe it was even right before), I sat down and put together a spreadsheet. Okay here's what we spend each month. Here's how much we each take in. Here's how much debt we have to add to this. If we want to put together an emergency fund, this is what we need to do. If we want to get out of debt, this is what we need to do. So there was that kind of thought form of formalization. But I'd also been doing financial spreadsheets for myself already so it was something I wanted to do.

{00:11:01.06}

Dalmar: Did you have to adapt anything about what you were doing when you and Sarah started doing this together or did you just follow the same rules?

Taylen: Mostly just follow the same blueprint because like I said we, we have our own separate money.

Sarah: I would say we did something pretty significantly different in that we talked to a financial adviser for the first time right before we got married.

Taylen: Oh right, yes.

{00:11:24.58}

Aditi: What questions did you guys have for this advisor?

Sarah: So, my parents had a dowry for us. And Taylen and I made a decision that we didn't want to spend all that money. We wanted to keep it and wanted to figure out what the best way to deal with that chunk of money was. Do we put it all toward the loan? Do we put some in savings and some towards the loan? What's the best strategy? That was the main question.

Taylen: Yeah also, I had racked up credit card debt over the years. And I wanted to ask what to do about it. Do we go after our debt for her? His advise was to create an emergency fund and set up a nice little safety net for yourself. Yeah. And then attack the debt that you both have. So that was a big thing that kind of formalized it too as we talked to someone. Because we knew we had these XYZ things we had to do but weren’t sure of the order.

{00:12:44.58}

Dalmar: Had you tried other approaches before moving to a financial planner? Had you tried asking family or friends. And if so, what was it that they couldn't answer for you that a financial planner could?

Taylen: I guess we went to family. We talked to Sarah's dad. He's the one who suggested talking to the financial planner that he had been using. He set up a meeting for us.

Sarah: Yeah, he didn't have a clear answer for us and we didn't have the equity to hire Andy, who was the financial planner we saw. He agreed to take us on as a favor to my parents.

Aditi: That's awesome. That's really helpful to have someone you know who will give you advice that’s in your best interest and it for free. Even better.

{00:13:29.77}

Aditi: Honestly, after listening to you guys, you sound pretty savvy about money - you know about emergency funds and debt pay off and savings. How did you get this smart about money?

Taylen: For me, my own dad. He's always been good with savings and figured out where to spend but also investment wise. He's done well there and been able to pass along little tidbits here and there as he's gone along. My parents are both pretty frugal and so they did a good job of spending. As a kid, it was annoying or it just kind of bothered me that I always had the off-brand of most things. But when I became an adult and had to start paying for things on my own, I thought “Oh, this actually makes a lot of sense.” And then I start to think back that as kids, we got to go on a lot of trips together as a family and we got to do a lot of other big things. My parents we're smart about money and didn’t spend it on the name brand shoes. Instead, they put it towards saving for something fun as a family. And that all clicked when I became (as most parental advice does) an adult. So I just kind of learned from them. What about you Sarah?

Sarah: My dad is always asking me if I’m saving up for retirement. He’s constantly trying to convince me to go to their retirement seminar “because it's really important that you start that when you're young”.

Aditi: That's good advice.

Sarah: Yeah, my parents came from really different backgrounds so it was interesting watching them navigate. I was frustrated as a kids sometimes because of the things that I couldn't buy or couldn't do but. But walking away from that and seeing how they did it was insightful. I ended up reorganizing my dad's office and went through all of his financial documents with him. And he has records from the 70s!

Taylen: Not anymore.

Sarah: Well, not anymore.

Aditi: Isn't it a seven year rule. You should keep records for seven years and then you can chuck em.

Sarah: That is so true Aditi but his rule was you never know. Or what you spent on a remodel project on a house you no longer own.

{00:16:32.21}

Dalmar: Sounds like my approach to most receipts. It's Aditi’s continuous frustration that I have receipts from 2011 for a thing that I don't even own anymore.That's another story. So if that's what forms your past, what forms the foundation or financial understanding for the both of you.

Aditi: Babe, you sound so formal. You’re such a funny person. He's just moves naturally into this radio person voice and I'm like, who are you?

{LAUGHTER}

{00:17:12.05}

Dalmar: How often do you talk about money today? When do these conversations come up?

Sarah: Taylen think about more money than I do, I would say. But I like that he talks about it with me like “Ok, so we need to think about down payment or life insurance now or having a kid you know”…

{00:17:43.63}

Aditi: Taylen, would you describe yourself as a planner?

Taylen: Yes, that’s one word.

Dalmar: Why are you laughing Sarah?

Sarah: Because Taylen is an absurd planner to an extent that makes me…I guess if I had to do the kind of planning that Taylen does, I would blow my brains out.

Taylen: It's kind of that line from New Girl where he asks her if she'd rather plan a trip or go on a trip, she says she'd rather plan a trip. I'm not quite that bad but I do enjoy planning trips and just kind of anything in life I guess.

Aditi: Taylen, we should have planning parties together.

Taylen: Sarah is more of kind of laid back.

Sarah: Yeah, it will work out.

Dalmar: Sarah it sounds like you and me are very similar.

Aditi: Hold on a second. Yeah, I like to plan our future but I do not like to plan our present. You like to plan our present.

Dalmar: I suppose. I do tend to take a more of it'll figure itself out sort of approach with respect to the future I guess.

Aditi: Yeah. Whereas with the present, I don’t doubt that we’ll figure it out.

Taylen: On that note, I like to plan both present and future.

Dalmar: Haha, you've got it all covered. You know if you ever want to plan for anybody else and you feel like you've run out of things to plan for, you and I should have a conversation.

Taylen: When things start to go-off-the-rails or when my plan starts to fall through, I do take a very ah-it-will-all-workout type attitude. I trust myself to figure it out but I do love the plan.

{00:19:20.87}

Dalmar: And so Taylen, it sounds like telling you're the one who brings up these conversations about money. Do you have sort of a set plan for when these conversations come up?

Aditi: Well, he definitely has a set plan.

Dalmar: Haha. How regularly do you plan to bring up conversations about money?

Taylen: Thinking about this podcast and in the weeks leading up to it, I used to have a more kind of formal occasion where we would talk about this and that. Like, hey I'm going to go look at life insurance, are you ready for me to ask you some questions or have some time to give me feedback. But recently, I’ve done a bad job in the past few weeks of this where I’ve gotten into a bad habit of bringing up money when it's about a purchase that's Sarah made and I get frustrated. That's the worst time to bring up money, when emotions are on the line. I don't know if you’ve felt that Sarah but I certainly have as I'd like reflected on it. All this has not been very good of me. So our more recent money conversations have been along that line. Or even if I'm feeling guilty about spending so much money on travel or whatever, these are not the times. But they do tend to just kind of come up. There's no set schedule or a set plan. They just kind of come up when they come up. I mean, maybe it will be because I'm planning to look at life insurance or I'm planning to make some changes to my budgeting or I just happened to be looking at my spreadsheets and something caught my attention on the one with Sarah. So that's kind of how it comes up.

{00:21:06.91}

Dalmar: Looking back over the last few weeks, these conversations have tended to come up when you feel it sounds stressed about something and you said that that's not always a good idea. Why is that?

Taylen: I feel like it clouds your judgment and set yourself up for a conversation not based on logic anymore. Sarah has a very calming presence for me, for the most part, so it usually goes okay. But I feel like it's not a great time to have those conversations because emotions can get in the way. I'm frustrated at her for making a purchase or just getting rid of much of my stuff was something that happened recently. That can be a bad time to talk about things like money.

Aditi: You're absolutely right. One of the tricks that we’ve found that helps us is that we have these monthly conversations, that we put into our calendar, where we sit down and look at things. What I find really helpful about that we end up getting to look at everything holistically rather than talking about a one-off thing whether it's good or bad. Because sometimes it's like, oh I got a refund for $250 and you're like “woohoo”. But when you sit down and look your overall finances you're like, crap I need to use that towards this other thing that we've been trying to plan for or make happen.

{00:22:38.44}

Aditi: Cool, so one other question for you guys.You know, we talk a lot of couples about how they're hacking money together in a productive way. But I'm really curious - when it comes to your finances, what frightens you the most?

Taylen: Not having enough. Not being able to achieve our goals. Coming up short.

Aditi: Totally fair answer.

Taylen: Letting Sarah down, I guess. And now we’re getting…

Sarah: Oh god. That’s a great question. It sort of highlights the key difference between us in that...

Taylen: You’re not as worried.

Sarah: Yeah, I’m not as worried. That's true. But I do worry because I have a chronic illness that I’m dealing with. I do worry that terrible shit will happen to me or I’ll have complications or that I'll drain all the money from our family or something. I worry about that sometimes. My dad was really eager for me to get on a long-term health care plan that had a pretty cheap rate for my age. But they denied me so it put the seed in my head that I need to do that because if don’t, I’m gonna bankrupt my family.

Aditi: This is always one of my favorite questions because it speaks to some of the stuff we don't always think about all the time. But when you tap into your fears, you start to understand the drivers for some of the decisions you make about other stuff that you don't even realize it impacts them.

{00:24:56.06}

Dalmar: I wanted to move on to our rapid fire section. At the beginning of our conversation, before we got on the call, Aditi and I asked you five questions...

Aditi: I prefer to refer to it as the Honeymoon Game.

Dalmar: Ok, moving onto the formerly known as the Rapid Fire section, newly promoted to the Honeymoon Game.

Dalmar: Great, the second section of our conversation has to do with the Honeymoon Game questions we asked the two of you before we got on our call and we'd like to turn to that now. The first question I'll start with you Sarah. If Taylen won a million dollars today, what do you think he'd do with the money?

Sarah: Pay off my debt and put the rest in savings to buy a house. Probably invest some because he's more of a risk taker than me.

Aditi: Taylen, how’d she do?

Taylen: Pretty much nailed it. That would be pretty much what I'd do. I'd maybe throw in a nice little travel fund as well.

Sarah: Oh yeah, you do love that.

Dalmar: Ok, very cool.

Taylen: That would be like the one little thing I’d do for fun in there. Most of it would be very risk averse though - get a nice savings account, make some investments. You pretty much nailed it.

{00:26:06.52}

Dalmar: Taylen, would what would Sarah do with the money?

Taylen: Buy some nice household items and a house to put it in.

Dalmar: Sarah, how well did he do?

Taylen: That’s my nice way of saying, buy a house with it. I kind of went on the track of what one thing instead of a few things. But I definitely think she would put some in to say save for retirement or save in general.

Sarah: Yeah, I’d like to pay off the debt so that we can buy a house. That’s the next exciting financial thing we're thinking about.

Aditi: You know you're talking to money masters when they say the next exciting financial thing we're gonna do is pay off debt. It's pretty awesome to hear those words come out of your mouths.

{00:26:50.40}

Aditi: Next question. What's one purchase that your partner has made in the last year, that you're still trying to understand. Sarah why don't you go first this time.

Sarah: So Taylen does travel a lot for Spikeball which I understand that. But the thing I don't get is the trophies, medals and T-shirts for fuckin everything. Like do we really need to waste money on this shit? Part of me understands it but a part of me is like “More junk for people to throw away!”

{00:27:32.63}

Aditi: Taylen, do you really enjoy buying trophies? Tell me more about this.

Taylen: I run a Spikeball volunteer league in San Francisco so I'm buying shirts and hats for different things. So it’s less spending money and more spending the revenue that I've generated.

Sarah: Whatever. But you could have more revenue!

*{Taylen and Sarahh talking over each other} *

Dalmar: He's just reinvesting it in the business.

Taylen: That's right. It's early stages. You have to spend money to make money.

Sarah: Shut up Dalmar!

{00:28:05.24}

Aditi: And Taylen, what was your answer?

Taylen: I put down a couple of things. One of them is Davis water. So we have a water cooler in our apartment in our kitchen that has imported water from Davis, California (Sarah’s hometown). There's an “H2O to go”...

Sarah: It’s the best water in the world. Davis water sucks so you have to find places like “H2O to go” to get drinking water. And even if you live in San Francisco, which according to their employees is still some of the purest water in all of California, I still prefer Davis water.

Taylen: I mean, I drink it and I definitely take advantage of it but I also drink tap water just the same.

{00:29:05.11}

Aditi: Do you notice the difference Taylen? Be honest.

Taylen: I do not.

Taylen and Sarahh talking at the same time: Sarah does. I do - they did a blind taste test on me!

Taylen: Well, I think the better story is the time that I had come home from a big tournament last year and I had this big jug of water left over. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I just poured it into the Davis water cooler (which was getting pretty low). And Sarah grabbed a glass, takes one sip and says, “Ughhh, did you put trash water in here?” She instantly knew, she could tell the difference. I honestly can't. But I I have pretty trash taste buds so I'm not the person to ask. I'm sure there is a taste difference. I bathe everything in hot sauce.

Aditi: What else was on the list?

Taylen: New bedding so frequently. That's the one that I always scratch my head with her. She does like new bedding pretty frequently. We've gone through a lot of it in our relationship. I scratch my head because I mean I had one pair of sheets for the first seven years of bachelorhood.

Dalmar: Okay, that’s excessive.

Taylen: I guess I kind of understand better now because it does feel nice getting into the nice sheets.

{00:30:35.05}

Dalmar: Cool, next question. Complete the following sentence: When it comes to money, one thing that we can't agree on is ___.

Taylen: What is considered frivolous.

Sarah: Haha, that’s true.

Dalmar: All right. So what's something that you consider frivolous that Sarah may not agree with?

Taylen: Davis water. That's that's probably the best example. They come up here and there and on the spot, I can’t think of anything. You know, the reverse of that would be balls, shirts, and trophies. Even making a trophy for our fantasy football league would be something she, I'm sure, considers frivolous. But I see that as community building.

Aditi: Mission critical.

Taylen: Yes.

Dalmar: How about you Sarah?

Sarah: I said investing it. I remember talking to him about that. We were talking about - how much do you how much would you be comfortable investing with? And I said, “Mmm, maybe $50?” I remember his being significantly more than me. It feels like gambling to me and it makes me really nervous.

Aditi: And then I guess that speaks a little bit to what you were talking about earlier about you being a little more risk averse than Taylen.

{00:32:15.53}

Aditi: So the second to last question. What money question do you guys think is important to ask your partner when things start to get serious in their relationships?

Taylen: My answer was: what are your three financial goals?

Sarah: makes booing noise.

{00:32:32.29}

Aditi: Did you ask Sarah that too?

Taylen: I feel like we talked about that pretty early on.

Sarah: Did you? Ugh, I don’t remember that.

Taylen: She doesn’t remember a lot of things that I said apparently...

{00:33:09.14}

Dalmar: So, how would how would you answer that question Taylen? What are your three financial goals?

Taylen: My three financial goals would be getting out of debt, saving for a house/family and then saving for travel. The fourth one on there is obviously retirement everything but I’m talking a little more immediate needs we have coming up in our lives.

{00:33:12.28}

Dalmar: And Sarah how would you answer that question? Top three financial goals.

Sarah: I think the first two would be the same getting out of debt, saving for children family. But I would go straight to saving for End of Life and Retirement sort of stuff. I am not as excited about travel as Taylen is.

Aditi: Well your dad would be proud.

Sarah: He sure would.

{00:33:46.42}

Dalmar: And how would how would you answer that question. Sarah, what money question do you think is important to ask your partner when things start to get serious?

Sarah: What's your relationship like with money? Like do you save it, spend it, balance it? Do you worry about money? Do you not worry about money? Do you have family shit with money? Like what do you how do you feel about money and life and what place does it have in your life.

Aditi: I love that question.

Dalmar: It's a good question.

Aditi: Did you ask Taylen those questions?

Sarah: I never asked him outright but I did observe it. It was a big issue of contention with my parents and so it's something that I'm always sort of watching out for in people.

Aditi: Yeah absolutely. So much of our habits are inherited from what we saw our parents go through or frankly what they did themselves.

{00:34:39.68}

Aditi: Okay final question. What's your spending number the number that you guys like to check in with each other on before you spend that amount of money?

Sarah: I feel bad because, I haven't wanted to tell him this, I put down a number and then I realized like I did a little room project and I totally spent more and didn’t talk to him about it because I was feeling wild and crazy. I put $500 or between $500-$1000.

Taylen: And I put a number based on the fact that I don't think that there really is a number. I feel like we both have trust that we're working towards the same goals. Also it very much depends on what I’m buying. If I'm buying a lampshade for $20, I'll check in with Sarah because I'm not sure what to do. But if I'm buying a plane ticket to go on a trip that’s $100, I won’t. My first instinct was $250. But honestly there isn't really a number.

Sarah: That answer is really important to our financial compatibility. Because it's the fact that I feel guilt because that's how I was raised but the fact that he's like “Eh, whatever.” is very important to me.

Taylen: Yeah, Sarah will spend money and if it bothered me, we'll talk about it. It’s come up a bit more recently, and even if those aren’t the best time to talk about it, it's good to talk about it at some point. Overall, I know that Sarah has our best interests at heart and has our goals in mind. It's just good to have those monthly money days where we sit down and talk and say, “Hey, so here's where our goals stand. Are we on track? Oh, looks like we spent a lot more this month. Why, where, how can we be better next month?” And if we were doing great then good job, let’s keep this up.

{00:37:18.83}

Aditi: That's awesome. Is that a question that we didn't ask you guys that you wish we'd asked you?

{00:37:34.73}

Dalmar: Well, maybe a different way of putting it is: what question would you like us to ask other couples that you would like to hear an answer to a great big question?

Sarah: Because my sister is going through a divorce and I think about it sometimes...

Taylen: Divorce?

Sarah: No. Well, yeah! I don’t know. I just think …

Dalmar: Slow down a little bit on those trophy purchases Taylen.

Sarah: I know it’s a shitty question to ask when you’re talking to couples on a podcast but have you thought about what might happen if “shit happens” and it doesn't work out? Have you thought about what your financial future would look like independent of your spouse or your ex? Because it is something that I think about and that my sister has talked a lot about “Oh, don't share accounts…”

Dalmar: It's an interesting question. I mean, the fact of the matter is that a lot of people get divorced in this country. So there's that on the one hand but on the other I worry that that sort of thinking, even though it might be important to ask those questions, already puts you in sort of a defensive mindset and might bring up things that you wouldn't consider otherwise. So things like you know you decide not to share an account because you're worried about the eventual outcome even though it makes practical sense today.

Aditi: I totally disagree. Yeah, I totally disagree. Dalmar and I have slightly different perspectives on this. But for me, my parents got divorced when I was 10 years old. And I think it's incredibly important to plan for the worst case scenario. And obviously I would never want us to end up in that place. But I prefer knowing that if that were to ever happen for whatever reason, we have a clear understanding between the two of us about how we would handle things and what would happen and how it would all play out. And I totally understand when people say “Well, I don't like to think about that because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing.” But honestly, when you don't have that and you're going through it, it's a really ugly process.

Taylen: Actually when Sarah and I were engaged, I brought up the idea of a prenuptial. I think I even talked to you or to Aditi about it. But Sarah and I discussed it and quickly abandoned that idea. I think Sarah's reasoning was that it puts it in your mind or kind of sets you up for failure - kind of what you were talking about there, Dalmar. I was coming from the more of Aditi’s perspective. I don't think we're going to get divorced and I'm not planning on getting divorced. I'm madly in love with you. But you know, people change, things change, circumstances change. Do we want to look out for that? But Sarah has a different viewpoint on it.

Dalmar: As you know, Aditi and I did end up getting a prenup. What changed things for me is her experience with all of this is. She took the attitude and the view that “I don't want things to end up there but I know that if they do (and there's some chance that they might), we're not going to be in the best headspace. So given we are now and while we have an abundance of love and affection and care for each other, let's think about this clear headed.” So that's the spirit in which I went into this - it’s a failsafe of some sort.

Aditi: The only thing I didn't want was for it to be a retaliatory or contentious thing that was thrown around because I think money and kids are the two things that always get tangled up in a divorce. And dogs (I consider Goose our kid). I remember when we got Goose, Dalmar and I were dating and I sat him down and had a serious conversation about what would happen if we broke up. He was so clever about it because he said to me, “Oh I feel like that's a very easy answer.” And I was thinking, “Oh great he's going to say, you know how to handle dogs, you get to keep the dog.” But instead he said “I know you would just never take my first dog away from me.” And I was like “Oh my God.” It was the most manipulative shit he’s laid on me in our relationship. Hahaha.

Dalmar: Yeah, that was a low point.

Aditi: So to avoid situations like that… Thank you guys for spending the time with us and talking to us about your own experiences including your frank and honest discussions about how you’ve hacked and navigated all of these money conversations. There's one final question I'd love to ask you guys before we close this out and wrap this up. Sarah, why don't you tell me what one of Taylen’s best money habits is?

Sarah: He’s very aware of what's coming in and what's going out and I. I think it's a great habit and one that I aspire to and one of those things that I don't do even though I probably should.

{00:43:27.63}

Aditi: And Taylen, what about you for Sarah?

Taylen: For Sarah? She lets me be a little crazy. I can get overzealous sometimes and gung ho about money things and she lets me get away with that it and is open to having conversations about it and has our future at heart with what she does. So, I think that's one of her best things. It’s not necessarily a habit, it’s just how she is.

Dalmar: You bring up a really interesting point there. A lot of people tend to think about money habits or good behavior in terms of techniques or tools that they use or a cool gadget that they found or a hack that they have. But you put your finger on it. One of the things that one of my financial heroes, Warren Buffett and Charlie Monger, talk about is that this has nothing to do what sort of techniques that they use but a lot of it is just personality and having the patience and ability to discern when to let something be. It sounds like you're speaking in that sphere. It's not so much a technique or hack that Sarah employs but a personality or a disposition that she has that allows the two of you to do well as a couple when it comes to your finances.

Taylen: So, I think about money more and I have the spreadsheets and the apps and the different things that I use. And even though I'm the more money conscious person, Sarah has control of our joint savings account and that's kind of on her. It’s the counter-balance that we have between us which sets us up nicely.

Dalmar: Very cool. Well, thank you both so much for sharing your stories with us. I had a blast and I've learned a few things about you, Taylen and the two of you as a couple. One of the things I enjoy very much about these conversations is looking into how other people are managing their finances or how they're talking about some of the things that Aditi and I talk about on a daily or weekly basis. So, thank you for sharing your time with us.

Taylen & Sarah: Thank you for having us.

{MUSIC}

{END}

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