Episode 6: Barry Choi

October 4, 2018 | 32 minutes

Our guest, Barry, is a personal finance expert and blogger (www.moneywehave.com). Barry talks about the conversations he and his wife had when preparing for a newborn, the unique challenges women face when budgeting, and he shares a few tips about how they were able to make things work despite being on a reduced salary.

The Maternity Spending Account (Episode 6 with Barry Choi)

"I think our personalities balanced each other out over the years. Over the years, I've become a little bit, I don't, not necessarily spending more, but more open to spending. Um, and same with her. I think she's realized that sometimes it depends on the value, right? It's like, hey, you're right. You know, maybe if we don't spend it on this, we can spend it on something else instead. So for us it's always, it's, uh, a big thing on it is about experiences for us. We love to travel, so we don't have a problem saving more money for travel, even if that means say, sacrificing eating out more or something like that, right?" - Barry Choi

Transcript

{INTRODUCTION}

{00:00:00:45}

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}

{00:00:23:24}

Dalmar: Welcome to this episode of the Money Date. On today's show, Aditi and I talk with Barry Choi, a Toronto-based personal finance expert. Barry began educating himself about finances when he realized that his financial advisor didn't have his best interest at heart. He's since started a blog, Money We Have, and has been referred to as one of Canada's most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. Barry talks with Aditi and I about strategies that he and his wife have used to tackle investing, savings, and preparing for a newborn. We had a great convo, so sit back, relax, and enjoy.

{00:00:55:19}

Dalmar: Thank you, Barry, for joining Aditi and I on the Money Date today to talk with us about, uh, about all things finance. Now, you've been in this space for, for a while and have written about it extensively. Why don't you tell us and our audience about how you got involved in personal finance?

Barry: Yeah. You know, finance was always just like a personal interest, but nothing crazy. You know, my parents were immigrants to Canada, so they taught me some very basic things, you know, not spending more money than you make, you know, you try to live on a single income if you can. Uh, and you know, simple things like saving. But as far as it comes to blogging is concerned, I really got into it after I basically had a bad experience with a financial advisor. To make the long story short, essentially, not that he was ripping me off, but he wasn't being truthful as far as speeds were concerned. And once I realized what was going on and called him out on it, I realized that, hey, you know what? No one's going to care more about my money than myself, which is why I kind of started the blog and just started to educate myself and others, because I really didn't want them to make the same mistakes that I made.

{00:01:58:23}

Dalmar: What was the hardest thing about getting started on that? You talked about educating yourself.

Barry: I know it's funny because it sounds really hard, but now that I'm in the game, it's so easy. It's really just reading a book. You know? Yeah, like personal finance, like everyone's like, oh, I don't know anything about investing. I don't know about this. And I didn't manage my money. But when you actually start reading a book about personal finance, it's actually really simple. It's really about like some things we talked about: not spending more than you make, understanding a budget. And even when it comes to investing, I'm not, I'm not a day trader, I don't pick individual stocks. But there's a lot of ways you can invest without being too involved that will still, you know, make you enough money for your retirement. And that's what I'm more interested in that.

Aditi: I love that response because you know, I'm, I'm such a believer that like a lot of financial institutions have made finance feels scary and convoluted so that they can charge you for services. Really when you break it down, it's like basic concepts and basic pieces that people just essentially get scared of because they sound so complicated in the market.

Barry: Yeah. And that's the thing: the basic concepts of investing, you know, asset allocation or even understanding what equities and fixed income is. Um, you, you quickly realize that everything that's talked about in the business world relates to that in the end, right? So, you know, when I'm younger, I can take a little bit more risk because I'm 40 years away from retirement, but when I'm older, I need to take fewer risks because I'm closer to retirement. You know what I mean? But like once you understand those basic concepts, you’re like, oh, that's what they're talking about. Or even after you’ve read that book, you’re like: that's what everyone means when I listened to it on TV or on the radio.

{00:03:29:54}

Aditi: Right, right, and Barry, you know, learning about personal finance on your own, I imagine was, was: you're in complete control, you can handle your own finances. How did that change at all when you got into a relationship with your wife Carla and how did you even broach the idea of finances?

Barry: Yeah, as far as relationships are concerned, it's a bit tricky. So, you know, my wife and I are, we were together for a long time before we got married and during that time, while we were engaged and dating, that's where I started to kind of realize how important finance was. So it's not like I need to talk about it right away, but again, it's those basic things. And you know, when I got engaged, I knew we needed to save x amount of dollars to pay for the wedding that we wanted, right? So you just do a reverse math. Okay? Like, you know, I'm making this number up, right? Let's just say we're 18 months away and the wedding is going to cost $18,000. That's $1,000 a month you gotta save. It's that simple. Right? And as a couple it shouldn't be too hard. If you set those expectations, that means $500 each if you're doing it evenly. Right? So something simple like that, we're just like, hey, you know what, if we want to have this wedding, we have to save this amount of money. And fortunately, it wasn't a big issue. Um, the nice thing is also is because I was already learning about financing, you know, this is my girlfriend, my fiance, she knew I was starting to educate myself. So it wasn't really a weird subject. So it was just something that came up as a normal conversation. But the nice thing about these books that I read is they made it very clear that finances is something that you do as a couple. You don't want to get into that mindset where it's like one person controls everything because what happens, what happens if I die tomorrow or something? Then my wife would have no idea how to access the money. So I, I made it a point where she should learn also. Um, but the interesting thing is she found a book that appealed to her. Like, I had my recommendations, but she found the book that was really, spoke to women and to me, I was like, hey, that's great. You found something that works for you. And then if she had any questions, she could just bounce ideas off me. And that's kind of where it all started and led to.

{00:05:29:64}

Dalmar: That's interesting. And what was it about sort of the messaging of that book that, that spoke to her? Is that something that you can, you can speak to at all?

Barry: Yeah, it's something really simple, if you think about it, it's the fact that — it's going to sound awful — women live longer, right? It's just a stat. So you need to save more money. And unfortunately right now, we still live in a society where women make less money than men. So you need to save more on that end too. Uh, you know, there's also the loss of income when they take maternity leave. So there's a lot of things working against women, unfortunately. So, it's really just about: I have to save more.

Dalmar: Got It. And this, this book was especially good at highlighting maybe some of those differences and challenges?

Barry: Yeah, exactly. And talking about it as a couple in the same things we were just discussing — how you can't just expect someone else to take care of your money for you. Uh, you know, like I said, if I die, I'm sure a lot of couples, if the partner who manages finances died immediately or wasn't able to pay the bills, they might not have an idea like, wow, how do I pay the mortgage? I mean, like something simple like that.

{00:06:29:43}

Aditi: Absolutely. And I'm actually curious, are you guys the same sort of money personality? Are you guys both savers or spenders or um, a masters?

Barry: I think I'm a little more frugal than she is. Maybe. Yeah. Maybe a lot more frugal. Um, that being said, I think our personalities balanced each other out over the years. Over the years, I've become a little bit, I don't, not necessarily spending more, but more open to spending. Um, and same with her. I think she's realized that sometimes it depends on the value, right? It's like, hey, you're right. You know, maybe if we don't spend it on this, we can spend it on something else instead. So for us it's always, it's, uh, a big thing on it is about experiences for us. We love to travel, so we don't have a problem saving more money for travel, even if that means say, sacrificing eating out more or something like that, right?

{00:07:19:36}

Dalmar: So it seems like this open communication between the two of you, as well as a relationship that sort of predated your engagement and your eventual marriage, made it easy to talk about finances together and integrating those finances together. Was there anything that was challenging along the way?

Barry: There's always challenges, right? Like, you don’t always see eye to eye on everything, on every purchasing decision. You know, I'll still never understand how jeans for women costs $200+, but that's just me. Right? And obviously I will probably never understand why people need so much makeup and why makeup costs so much — it’s something I will just never understand. Um, but that's part of life, you know what we're saying? It's a learning experience. Um, but you know, I think it's all right. We just, the open communication is key. And one thing that really opened my eyes is, um, before we got married, we took a standard marriage course. And then some of the questions, they were trying to get, the whole point of this course is it gets you talking about the subjects that you may have not talked about before. And the finance section was something that we had already discussed. So it really was not a problem for us, but you could see some of the other couples, they were struggling to discuss things and it was clear that this was the first time they had ever thought about talking about money to each other. And you were kind of like, oh my goodness, I hope things work out. But they got heated in the arguments and we’re just like, uh oh, they were already in. And this is just the first time they were talking about it.

Aditi: You know, one of the goals that we had with this podcast was really to share ideas and ways and strategies for couples to sit down and talk about money. And to have the, the conversations that feel sometimes difficult, but frankly can be a lot easier if you're more open to it and feel less anxiety about it when, when the topic of money comes up.

Barry: Yeah. You know, it's, it's just the truth, right? Like, speaking about money is not sexy. Right? Like it doesn't, it doesn't...

Aditi: I don't know Barry, I kind of like it.

Barry: Well, I do too, but for most people you think about, they'll talk about anything else. Uh, you know, a good example is like when we bought our home, I can't believe how many, like, you know, shades of paint we looked at or how many coffee tables we looked at, right? But like you think about the fraction of the time, the reality is more people, most people spend more time picking their outfit for the day than they do talking about money for a year. It's just the sad truth. So, you know, the point of these podcasts or even my, my website is to educate people that the money talk is important. Yeah.

{00:09:51:23}

Aditi: Yup. Absolutely. So switching gears a little bit, Barry, you know, when I'm imagining, you guys have this, like, peaceful marriage, you, you've had a great relationship, you've been able to talk about money, and then suddenly Carla gets pregnant and then you're expecting a child. Uh, how did, how did you guys even go about preparing for your newborn and how did it change your finances?

Barry: Well, it wasn't a surprise surprise, if you know what I mean. Like we had always wanted children, so, you know, it, it starts way back. So with mortgages, uh, we knew right away, like listen, the bank actually approved us for $1 million and we kind of laughed in their faces. Like, I'm a first time home buyer and you want to give me $1 million home? No, I'm good. Right? So we literally took half that amount because the banks don't factor in the costs of having children, the cost of unification. So we always had this rough estimate. Uh, this is probably extreme, but we knew, I was like, oh, kids are gonna cost us x amount, so we should not buy x house or whatever. Just so we have that buffer. So it was always good. And then like you said, once she got pregnant, then the real numbers start coming in, right? You start calculating a, there's a lot of startup costs. I know it sounds weird with the child, but it's true, right? You would probably spend $2,000 to $3,000 just at the beginning getting everything ready and there's ongoing expenses, uh. In Canada and my wife was on employment insurance so she wasn't making her full income. So it's just rebalancing our budgets and making things work. And for the first year — my daughter's now 14 months, about — uh, we realize that, you know what, it's not going to be as bad as we thought. We won't have any savings, but we also won't be going into debt. So that's not a bad thing, uh, for the year.

{00:11:29:46}

Aditi: Yeah. I'm actually really curious, how did you guys figure out how much a child would cost?

Barry: Well, they're just estimates, right?

Aditi: Is that what you guys used?

Barry: Yeah. You never really know how much a child costs. I can tell you there's, there's plenty of surprises. So, you know, you can estimate at the beginning, okay, you know, a crib is going to cost me this much. Um, you know, a mattress, diapers roughly. And then you, you figure out ways to save on those things. You know, is it worth buying certain items secondhand, like a stroller, possibly. Car seats you shouldn't because of safety issues. But then other things like diapers: oh, if I subscribed via Amazon, I can save 20%. Small things here and there. But you know, there’s all of these things you don't factor in. Uh, you know, it sounds weird, but, you know, even vaccinations, you know, in, in Canada, a lot of our health care is free, but there are certain optional vaccinations that you’ve got to pay for it. Not terribly expensive, but at the same time, if you weren't expecting to pay, you know, I don’t know, another $150 for the month, it could ruin your budget. Right, right. Um, so there are things like that, or I always joke that, um, you know, every parent will talk about how their kids aren't really sleeping, their newborns, you're just frustrated. Um, I was willing to pay for magic beans at the time, if it meant my daughter would sleep. Do you know what I mean? It’s not just spending money, not like crazy, but it's just like, let's try this. Let's try that. Anything to get her to go to sleep, right?

{00:12:49:54}

Dalmar: Right. And so, what we're talking about spending now and in one of the things that stood out to Aditi and I, you know, that we wanted to ask you about was your maternity spending account. Help us understand and help our audience understand how that works and how you decide how much to put into it.

Barry: I think that was something my wife read from that book, to be honest, where she came up with the idea. And, and when she brought it up to me, I was like, you know, that's a great idea. Uh, it was, it was just one of those things where it's just like, you know, when the wife’s on maternity, quite often they feel guilty if they're spending money on a coffee or whatever. But that's not fair because you know, yeah, they're not making an income, but they're taking care of your child, right? It's like, so what if I'm the one, I'm working, I'm making money. It's still like a joint thing. But she came up, she got the idea, it's like: Hey, let's start setting aside x amount of dollars every single month just so she doesn't need to feel guilty when she's buying stuff or we're not dipping into savings. Now as far as the amount is concerned, I don't remember how we came up with the set amount, but we kind of just estimated. It's like, hey, you know what, roughly I want to spend this much while I'm off. Which wasn't a lot if you think about it because really it's just getting coffee or snacks and lunch, right? Like every so often. A lot of times she was at home. But we also discuss, it wasn't fair, at least I didn't think it was fair that it was coming out just from her own savings, so I was like, no, no, no. I should be contributing to this account too, even though you're spending it, it's still like a joint thing, if you think about it.

Aditi: And just to synthesize for our users, a maternity spending account is essentially a savings account, it sounds like, that you guys created it where you contributed to before you got pregnant and before she went off on maternity leave. So she had a pool of money to spend from.

Barry: Yup, that's right. It's just literally another savings account that was dedicated for maternity funds. So, so, you know, we've got a dedicated accounts for vacations, for car maintenance, uh, you know, things like that. So if you just set aside account, automate the savings, then it's there when you need it.

{00:14:41:36}

Aditi: And that was an account that she soley spent from or did you spend from that as well?

Barry: Uh, it was just for her personal spending only. Like I said, those coffees, lunch dates. If anything that was baby related, like diapers or anything else, we had a separate account set up for that.

{00:14:57:46}

Aditi: Got It, got it. Um, and, and so Scarlet's now, as you mentioned over a year old and, and you've written about how you made more money mistakes than you would have liked. Uh, which I love because you're, you're a personal finance guru. So give us, give our audience a few pointers on what you would redo or turn back, um, if you had the chance?

Barry: So, so the one thing I laugh about all the time as a personal finance expert is, you know, all the rage was cloth diapers at the time. There was a few other experts who were having babies. So yeah, we went by a cloth diapers because that saves so much money. And then you realize, and then I had the kid and then I realized how much she was pooping and peeing. I mean, it's, it was like, it's not that simple. And then you, you gotta wash it. It's like, like it's, it's, it's nuts. And then I literally it was, it was the first day I'm like, I'm not using these cloth diapers. Forget it. Order two boxes from Amazon. And like, I didn't even use them. It was a joke. I just like, I cannot believe how much they poop and pee. Yeah. So, you know, it wasn't a huge investment. It was like $80. And then obviously if I had actually stuck with it, I would have saved more in the long run, but I just can't picture myself just doing it nonstop. It's, you know, the funny thing is at the beginning, like the poo is like pretty much liquid. So it's actually not a big deal, but after they start eating real food and it's like, you know, normal poo. I know we've talked about poo for too long, but you know...

Aditi: You just made this podcast R-rated. Thank you Barry.

Barry: Yeah, yeah. It's just one of those examples. But even like you, you know, like I was telling you about anything to make the baby sleep, you know, we tried different sleep sacks, miracle blankets, uh, you know, sound machines, anything you possibly could have done and, um, a lot of those things — and it's always, in hindsight you, I realized, I could have bought those things secondhand. Kijiji{?} is huge in Canada. It's easy to source a lot of baby stuff, you know, I can go on right now, and probably find 50 baby outfits for, for $10 Canadian, right? And I probably, you know, had I bought that, it would have cost me $200 to $300. So there are so many ways to save. Uh, but as a new parent, sometimes you just, your mind's not there.

Aditi: Yeah, yeah. And is there a way to prepare? You're saying just buy this stuff ahead of time or have a plan ahead of time, because these are things that you don't expect that suddenly pop up. And like you said, it's like driving under the influence, right? Right. You're just, you're sleepy, you're tired. You don't really want to think about your money expenses at that point. You're just like, get it.

Barry: It's totally is, right. And then it's like, and retailers have it set up these days now where it's like, it's so easy to just buy it. Like obviously Amazon Prime is like, oh, I can just have it delivered the next day. I don't even need to leave, it’ll be delivered in the morning, right? So it's, it's a, it's a bit tricky. And then, you know, I just, I say I made a lot of mistakes, but at the same time we were, we, we made a lot of smart decisions, too. We really got back into the, you know, cooking our meals, uh, after just a couple of weeks. You know, some people go months before they even attempt to cook at home, but, you know, we had a good support system. It's this, you know, it's just asking for help. There's nothing wrong with asking friends to help prepare meals, especially if they're offering it or, you know, most people, most parents are happy to give away baby clothes. We have tons of baby clothes that we'd give away to any friend right now who needed it. Cause what are we gonna do with it? Right. She doesn't fit any of them.

{00:18:17:44}

Dalmar: And so you've talked about some of the things that you would redo if you had a chance. I'm now thinking as, as, as a father and as a parent. And if we maybe were to look even further back, you know, in the years that you've been writing about, about personal finance and blogging about it. And I imagine that there quite a few things that you've learned that had you known years prior, you wish you'd done sooner. Well, what are some of those things?

Barry: Um, you know, for me, one thing that stands out is just knowing your employee benefits. I was fortunate to work for a company that had a defined benefit pension plan, and for those who aren't familiar with that, it's basically a guaranteed income source when you retire. Um, but for me, I was also sitting in RSPs, which is another retirement savings vehicle in Canada. So I figured I didn't need this pension, but also no one really explained it to me what it was. So five years later when I realized that, no, it's guaranteed money and the company matches you — and I was working for a big company where like, you know, it was unlikely that they would default — so I literally gave up five years worth of contributions. And you know, if you did a math, like, you know, it doesn't sound like a lot, but when you factor in over 40 years, if I had stayed there — I'm no longer with the company — it could mean like $80,000 to $100,000, right? It's, it's nuts.

Aditi: Should have done it!

Barry: But then other things, yeah, yeah. People don't realize how valuable stock plans are. If you have them. You know, they, they're more concerned about, hey, getting that $1 an hour raise, but it's like your company's matching you and you know, I'm making this number up: 25, 30, 50%. That's more valuable in the long run. Uh, so to me it's those small things, or another thing we talked about earlier is understanding fees and how they work. You know, 2.5% management expense ratio may not sound like much for a mutual fund, but again, compounded over 40 years, we’re talking about tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, right?

{00:20:13:56}

Dalmar: Exactly. How have your finance changed now that you have to think about Scarlet, now that you're a father?

Aditi: And now that you have 14 months under the belt, now that you have learnings and lessons?

Barry: It's like an ongoing process. It's weird. Um, you can always estimate certain things. So you know, when daycare comes along, you know, in Toronto, in major cities, so it's actually really expensive. It's $1,800 a month on average. That's a huge chunk. You know, that's a mortgage payment. There's a reason why a lot of people don't go back to work. Um, but it's kind of like those things where we, we prepared for it on an ongoing basis by not buying that home, that huge home — like I discussed earlier. Um, but it's also making other sacrifices like: okay, we've got this daycare expense. Where do we cut back, right? Um, to pay for this. So we had to cut back on savings a little bit just because it was a huge amount. Um, we cut back on eating out a little bit, but we still eat out. It's not like we never eat out, but the point is, we don't spend nearly as much as we did before. And even certain expectations right now — we take yearly vacation, uh, which is great, but if we had to cut back on it, we probably would, right? As you know, the baby’s the priority. And there's other things to factor in. Also, you know, in Canada there's an education matching program from the government for Scarlet’s postsecondary education. So to me that's free money, but we still have got to find that money and set it aside. So it's really just reallocating our resources and seeing what's the best benefit to begin with and then, and then just spending what's left, right?

{00:21:44:54}

Aditi: Yeah, that makes total sense. And Barry, it sounds like you guys almost revisit your budget as each of these life changes happen. So Scarlet, you know, is ready for daycare. It sounds like you sit back down and say, okay, where are we going to cut? How are we going to balance this budget?

Barry: Yes. So that's a nice thing we've always done. We've always been pretty good at budgeting. We've got a spreadsheet where we just track it, and then whenever we got a raise or a life event, then we updated it. So once, as soon as we found out Scarlet, or we're going to have a baby, we started kind of cutting back a little bit to begin with. And then when my wife went on maternity leave, we calculated: okay, now we're on a single income plus employment insurance. That's our new budget. And my wife just went back to work two months ago. So we re-did the budget. Um, usually it's easier, but with the life event, with Scarlet, it was a bit trickier. But it's certainly not that bad when you think about it. Cause like I said, it's really just reallocating your money. Because in the end with an excel spreadsheet, the numbers just balance themselves out, right? So you just kind of need to see what goes where.

{00:22:46:32}

Aditi: Yeah. And one of the things that you know, we often chat with couples about is the fact that when they're having their baby and they're taking maternity or paternity leave, there is a loss of income. Whether it's, you know, that, um, women have to get paid a little bit less. They, in the US, they sometimes have to go on short-term disability, um, or you know, whether it's that, um, parents and fathers want to take some time off and they may not be supported through their employers. I'm really curious to hear how you guys approached that in your own relationship, given that your wife, it sounds like, Carla was making less, you know, 40% of her income during that time.

Barry: Yeah, so fortunately in Canada, my wife qualified for employment insurance, so yeah, it was a 40% less. Um, but you know, you look at an overall income, it’s probably like maybe like a 30% decrease between the two of us total. So it wasn’t a huge hit. But at the same time, um, you know, I was already side hustling, so there was extra income coming in. So we were looking at, it's not like we're purposely looking for ways to increase our income, uh, because Carla’s income would be decreased. It just kind of happen that way. Um, but to me, it really goes back to what I was saying earlier about how we did not buy that huge home. We knew that buying a huge home would affect our finances moving forward. And unfortunately, I do know couples who bought a big home, got their dream home, and as soon as they had their child, they realize that: oh, this is going to change everything. I can't take a vacation anymore. Daycare has to be grandma and grandpa because I can't afford daycare. But you know, I understand that I'm fortunate, we're fortunate, that we can afford to put my child in daycare without having to worry about it. But it's, you know, some of the decisions we made early on that allowed us to do this.

{00:24:38:52}

Dalmar: Yeah, that's, that's incredible. Is, you know, you've walked us through some of those decisions and there were forks at every stage. You know, when you're presented with such a large mortgage, you're right, most people will say: wow, okay, I guess I can afford more house than I thought. But they really can't, right? It's how much the bank just presented them, were giving them the opportunity to spend. And you decline that and, and it's some of those early decisions that really, uh, that really helped you get to where you are today. And you could see how if someone makes the wrong decision at a fork opportunity, how it could lead to a completely different path.

Barry: 100%. And it also goes, it's beyond just like those money decisions, specific decisions. You know, we talked about how my wife and I had, my, uh...we had open discussions about money. So think about all those couples out there where one partner is just obsessed with getting that dream house and the other partner just gives in, right? Because they never had those discussions, those open discussions. They’re afraid of confrontation. Because we constantly had those discussions. We knew, like, we don't want to affect our lifestyle. That means a smaller home. That's fine. Um, you know, we could care less about how other people judge us and it’s true, you know, we had family members judge us because yeah, it's like, you know, everyone's like, oh, I can't believe you bought such a small home. You can't raise a child in that home, or I can't believe the location, you paid how much? Like everyone wants going to criticize you in real estate, right? Yeah. Uh, especially when you live in a city like Toronto, where real estate prices are incredibly high.

Aditi: I was just going to say that, I mean, sometimes it's, it's a choice between a smaller home or a larger home, but sometimes, for a lot of millennials, it's just a choice between a home at all. And you know, in San Francisco for example, where we live, this is the cost of a one bedroom apartment is over half million dollars. And that's really difficult when you don't have the ability to necessarily say, oh, okay, I'm going to take less. You know, I'm going to take what I actually can afford, because you can’t buy a house with that sometimes. Um, so I totally understand why people make that decision, but you're absolutely right. The ramifications of that decision sometimes aren’t felt until many years later, when you're trying to do other things.

Barry: Oh yeah. And especially in Canada, we're, uh, interest rates are low and we've got, our mortgages are a bit different, where our terms only lasts four or five years depending on what you get, right? So, yeah. You know, two years ago when rates were low, everyone was buying, right? And prices continue to go up. But when their term is up in five years, well, interest rates have already gone up 1% since then, right? So if you're already tapped out when you got the mortgage…

Aditi: It's even worse.

Barry: Well, you're going to be forced to pay more now, right? Like, like who, who knows what's going to happen and these same people, they may have not started saving for retirement. You know, I, I take pride in being able to say that I'm saving for my retirement, or I've got x amount saved up. And by having that kind of rough plan in place, it allows us to make smarter decisions. Because even though we talk about saving a lot of money, I know I'm tracking to hit where I want to be at a certain age. So if I spend a little bit more now, I don't feel guilty because I know it's not affecting anything long-term.

{00:27:33:43}

Aditi: Right, right, um Barry, in the, our last and final question for you is sort of thinking about the future, right? Like you think long-term about retirement, but I'm curious, as you guys think about potentially expanding your family for a second child, how do you, now that you have the experience with Scarlet, um, behind your belt, how do you guys go about approaching that? Is it just taking the exact same approach that you outlined or has anything changed in that planning?

Barry: You know, it's tough. We talk about it and then, you know, I talked about how daycare is so expensive. Yeah. And if we were to have another child, I honestly don't know how some people, you know, afford two kids, right? All right. Like, sometimes it just, there's, we have one child and just, you know, what amount of stress, amount of work it is. It's like, it's not even possible. Um, the truth is we haven't really thought that far ahead yet, because as much as I like to think we're great planners, you know, having kids is expensive and people say, oh, it gets better when they're no longer in daycare, but then other expenses come up, you know. There's after school or before school, um, programs that you need to put them in, you still got some, you still need some forms of childcare because you know, schools might only be 9 to 3. Well, you know, you've got to drop them off before work and pick them up after, you got to figure that out. Um, you know, soccer, tee ball, art classes. You know, there's so many expenses that come up. Uh, you know, my wife and I are fortunate that we earn a higher income and it probably won't be a big deal, but definitely there is going to be more sacrifices. 100%, I think I can tell right now, we won't be doing those yearly vacations anymore. It just won't be possible, right? And, and that's okay. Right. You know, we're lucky that we did a lot of great experiences when we're younger, before we had a child and that's when we have no regrets there, right? But kind you just see what happens. Right.

Aditi: Yeah. Man. Paying for a second daycare alone scares me. So I, I totally understand, uh, the decisions and the conversations that you guys must be having.

Barry: Yeah. It's a bit terrifying at times. And you know, I kind of, I know there’s no real statistics, but I sometimes wonder, especially with like, you know, you talked about real estate in San Francisco, uh, Toronto and just aligning as the salaries aren't there. It'd be funny to see if there was like some new survey where all of a sudden, like parents are having kids a couple of years apart instead of like, you know, one or two. They’re waiting three or four years because yeah, they're waiting for one child to get out of daycare before they have another, uh, uh, like, you know, I know among friends, we talk about it. So you know, if you're talking about it, you might be seriously be considering it and like, I'm sure there's no real statistic, but I think people were thinking about it.

Aditi: Yeah, well Dalmar’s mom makes fun of us. She says we plan too much and that we should just go ahead and take the plunge and we'll be fine. It’s sort of her approach.

Dalmar: I think she's just ready to be a grandmother, to be honest.

Aditi: Right.

Barry: Well, I get that. That's fair enough.

Aditi: Well Barry, thank you so much for your time and for all these great insight. You know, we, like we said, couples are really curious to understand how, how do you even tackle this idea of having your first kid and planning for them. And I think in, in chatting with so many parents, the number one refrain I've heard is, oh, things were going great and then we had our first kid and things just went out the window. So getting your insight, some of the tactics you guys used and, and frankly, some of the lessons you've learned with Scarlet was super helpful.

Barry: Happy to talk to you guys, man. I’m happy to share advice anytime.

Aditi: Oh, Barry, we appreciate it.

Dalmar: Thank you so much,

Barry: Yeah, no problem.

{END}

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