Episode #119: “He’s not ready for marriage. So why did we buy a house together?”

Candace and Brad are 31 and 33. They’ve been together for five years—buying a home together after just one year of dating. Candace is ready for a wedding, kids, and family life; she’s getting impatient. Make sure you stick around for the absolutely shocking ending to their story. 

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Show Transcript

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[00:00:00] Candace: There’s no quality of life. We’re house poor. It’d be nice to have some type of life again.

[00:00:05] Ramit: Was there any concern about the two of you buying a house not being married?

[00:00:10] Candace: I felt that marriage was going to come. And that’s also why I bought the house, because I envisioned we would be getting married. We probably have a kid, maybe two by now. Four years later, I didn’t expect my life to look the way that it looks.

[00:00:26] Brad: That’s always been the long run picture for me. 

[00:00:29] Candace: It’s just a lot of frustration on my end because I know what I want. It’s very wishy washy, all over the place answers. And it’s like, when I say, well, when do you want to do this? It’s someday. Well, what the hell someday?

[00:00:42] Narration: [Narration]

[00:00:42] Ramit: Meet Candace and Brad. Candace is 31. Brad is 33, and they’ve been dating for five years. Candace used to be the breadwinner, and she was supporting Brad while he went back to school to be an electrician. Now, he earns more, and that change in financial dynamics has put some surprising strains on their relationship.

[00:01:03] She wants to know what’s next. When are they going to get married? He doesn’t feel ready to commit to marriage. And they own a home together, which has become a very sticky topic because their expenses are about to go way up. Now, when you finish this episode, please make sure you watch the video follow ups.

[00:01:25] Interview: [Interview]

[00:01:25] Candace: We’re strapped. I literally transfer$66 of pay to fun money because everything else is going to bills, and debt, and mortgage. And I feel like the only way that we can get ahead from where we currently are is to sell our home and have a reset.

[00:01:43] Ramit: Okay. And Brad, what do you think about that?

[00:01:45] Brad: I will say, for the longest time, I was very against even the thought of selling the house. I don’t know. We bought the house together. I thought we both really liked the house. And then, I will say, the last few months, as we’ve talked about it more and more, it seems to make sense, but then we would have to go back to either renting or downsize quite a bit. So maybe that’s where the hesitation lies with me maybe not wanting to sell the house because I don’t think we’d ever get a mortgage for what we’re paying now.

[00:02:21] Ramit: Okay. The challenge here is the house. Is that it?

[00:02:26] Brad: It might be the biggest challenge. 

[00:02:29] Ramit: Okay. Candace is her tongue. Don’t worry, Candace. We’ve got plenty of time today. We have plenty of time to talk about everything that’s on your mind. Candace, do you think it’s the house that’s the primary challenge, or is there other things too?

[00:02:46] Candace: It’s the relationship in general. I feel like it’s deeper rooted than money, which, obviously, that’s a different day, different topic, but yeah. I don’t know. I just feel like in general, we’re behind in life. When you look at our investments, we should be further ahead in our 30s than we are. I just feel like we’re never going to be able to invest more if we keep this house, especially when you look at we don’t talk about the future, really. We’re very day-to-day.

[00:03:11] Ramit: Okay.

[00:03:11] Candace: So that’s concerning for me because I’m a planner. I’m type A. Very organized.

[00:03:16] Ramit: You don’t say. That’s shocking. That’s shocking considering I’m looking at your conscious– I’ve literally never seen this much text on a conscious spending plan. I’m like, am I reading a dissertation here? I asked for 10 numbers. There’s 5,000 pages of text. I’m like, what the hell?

[00:03:33] Candace: And I hear you say it takes 20 minutes, and it took us three hours.

[00:03:36] Brad: Yeah.

[00:03:37] Ramit: It took me three hours to read this thing. What is this? All right. Um, and just so I understand, you two have been together for five years. You’re not married, but you bought a house together.

[00:03:48] Candace: A year in of dating

[00:03:49] Ramit: Wait. What? Why’d you do that?

[00:03:51] Candace: I was perfectly happy renting. Um, his mom works for the bank. 

[00:03:57] Ramit: Okay.

[00:03:57] Candace: And she kept saying, you can’t keep running, you can’t keep running, you got to get a house, you got to buy a house. It moved so fast for me, that process. I don’t even remember that week. It happened so fast. 

[00:04:11] Ramit: Aweek? Wait. You go a house in a week?

[00:04:13] Candace: It was just so fast, the whole process. It was very quick because– 

[00:04:18] Ramit: It took my dad longer to buy a car than it took you to buy a house.

[00:04:22] Brad: I don’t think it was just a week. Once we found the house, it happened that fast.

[00:04:26] Candace: Itjustwas like that.

[00:04:29] Brad: We looked around at other houses before for a couple of weeks.

[00:04:33] Candace: Not many.

[00:04:33] Brad: Not a long time, though. No. It did happen very quick.

[00:04:35] Ramit: This was your mom advising you guys to buy a house?

[00:04:39] Brad: I would say, she was a little bit, but at the same time, I think Candace was already looking to buy a house. Even at first, from what I remember, I thought she was looking to buy independently, without me even on the lease or on the mortgage.

[00:04:57] Ramit: She’s shaking her head furiously.

[00:05:00] Brad: That we did find a house, and we did end up going in together, and we did buy it. Yes. And it did happen very quickly.

[00:05:07] Ramit: Candace, would you like to correct the record?

[00:05:10] Candace: I don’t recall ever– like I said, I was very happy renting. I had everything under control. I had my two-bedroom apartment, underground parking. I thought it was just great. My rent was– you know what I mean? I could cover it. I still had plenty of disposable income left over after all my bills were paid.

[00:05:28] I was like everybody else. Was like, yeah, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to buy a home. I’m 27. That would make sense. And when she kept talking about it, it was like, yeah. She works at the bank. She knows what she’s talking about. That’s probably what we should be doing, buying a home. You can’t rent forever. That whole thing, which I’ve now learned is BS. You can rent, and you can be further ahead financially by renting. Yeah, it’s frustrating.

[00:05:53] Ramit: Was there any concern about the two of you buying a house not being married?

[00:06:00] Candace: I felt that marriage was going to come. And that’s also why I bought the house, because I envisioned we would be getting married. We probably have a kid, maybe two by now. And four years later, I didn’t expect my life to look the way that it looks right now. So that’s also why I’m at a crossroads, I guess.

[00:06:21] Ramit: What is the crossroads?

[00:06:22] Candace: If that’s not something that is important to Brad, um, or if he doesn’t see doing those things with me, those are things I value, so it’s like I don’t want to keep putting my values on the back burner because I do feel like I’ve been very lenient with things up to this point, but I also think because I’ve been so lenient, that’s why the way that it is, and we haven’t taken those steps.

[00:06:47] Ramit: Let me hear Brad’s perspective. Brad, you got into this process of looking at houses. It seems like it moved pretty fast. 

[00:06:55] Brad: Yeah.

[00:06:55] Ramit: Were you ready to buy a house when you both did?

[00:07:00] Brad: I would say at the time, no, I was not a 100% ready. Because like I said, I was still in school, so I wasn’t really making a whole lot of money at said time. I had a little bit of money saved up. 

[00:07:11] Ramit: So you got this house. Were you concerned about buying a house without being married?

[00:07:18] Brad: No. That’s always been the long run picture for me. And that was definitely a big part of buying the house, was like that’s just one of the steps forward. To me, it didn’t have to be in any specific order. It didn’t have to come marriage, then house. 

[00:07:36] Candace: I just feel like five years is long enough to know if that’s what you want to do. Even if it wasn’t a wedding, at least be engaged to be like, we’re heading that direction. And I just think even that’s hard for him to want to do. And I just think it’s not about the money to buy a ring. I think it’s deeper rooted.

[00:07:53] Narration: [Narration] 

[00:07:53] Ramit: You heard me ask both Candace and Brad if they had any concerns about buying a house without being married. Here’s why. Because that is a very bad decision. Literally, every single week on financial forums, there are people who say, yeah, we dated for two years, but we decided to stop throwing money away on rent and buy. 

[00:08:12] Unfortunately, last week, we decided to break up. What should we do with the house? And this becomes a financial and often legal nightmare. What if you have to sell, but one of you doesn’t want to? What if you can’t afford to maintain the house? What if one of you makes more than the other, or you end up having to sleep in the bedroom next to the person who cheated on you?

[00:08:33] At least with marriage, there are legal precedents on what to do. So I’m going to be extremely clear here. If you are not married yet, do not buy a house together. And if you do, because you want to ignore my advice, make sure you both have lawyers who look over the agreement. 

[00:08:54] For Candace and Brad, let’s also note that it’s not just that they’re unmarried and they’ve bought a house. It’s these other dynamics. They’ve got the mom whispering in their ear. They’ve got the rush from everyone around them to buy a house. I mean, damn, I spent more time deciding on my in and out order than they spent buying this house. 

[00:09:13] Interview: [Interview]

[00:09:14] Brad: I just think maybe financially we haven’t totally gotten there yet because, like I said, I just finished school last week, this time last year, so then things flip-flopped where now I make more money than she does, and now things are just back to basically where we started.

[00:09:32] Ramit: I see.

[00:09:33] Brad: So now we’re still just, like she said, spinning our tires. We’re just in the same spot.

[00:09:40] Ramit: Okay. I understand why your income has gone up, Brad, because you finished school, you got a job. I think you got a raise recently, right?

[00:09:50] Brad: Yeah. Three months ago, I got a 30% increase, what I’m making right now, if you had asked me even five years ago, I would say I probably might not even in 10 to 15 years be making what I’m making right now.

[00:10:04] Ramit: Okay. Wow, congratulations. That’s awesome. So your income has gone up, and then Candace, am I reading this correctly? Your income went down?

[00:10:13] Candace: Mm-hmm.

[00:10:14] Ramit: Okay, why is that?

[00:10:16] Candace: My trade is dental hygiene, so we were laid off work for quite a period of time, and during that time off, I guess I just thought, okay, if I’m going to do a change, this is the time to do it kind of thing. Anyway, so now I’m working from home. I’m still in the dental field for a dental insurance company, but it’s a nonprofit. But I’m very happy. My mental health and emotional, everything, I’m better in that sense. But I am starting to feel like I’m falling short of my potential with the pay that I’m at because I know what I’m capable of, but I don’t really want to go back to the clinic.

[00:10:51] Ramit: What was the pay decrease?

[00:10:53] Candace: At my peak, I was making 64,000, four days a week.

[00:10:58] Ramit: Okay. And now?

[00:11:00] Candace: Now I’m at 43,260.

[00:11:02] Ramit: So, um, how do you two make decisions when it comes to money?

[00:11:09] Candace: Well, up to this point, it’s just been an understanding that he pays the groceries every week when we go get groceries. Any bills, it’s just been him. I just take care of the mortgage payment, basically. Um, he sends me that 360 now. We just started that a couple of months back.

[00:11:27] Ramit: Okay. Uh, just to go back to the mortgage for a second. Before, you were paying a 100% of the mortgage. Now, how much are you paying?

[00:11:36] Candace: Um, well, the mortgage minus 360, I guess. It’s going towards the mortgage basically. The $360 that he’s sending towards me is for the mortgage payment. I pay the mortgage. It fully comes out of my bank account. Um, and we had that set up, that it came out of my own because when we bought the house, again, I was the breadwinner. So we just set it up that it came out of mine. Just recently, Brad finally started to contribute towards the mortgage.

[00:12:02] Ramit: Okay. And now you’re making less than he is.

[00:12:05] Candace: And I was still paying all the mortgage.

[00:12:08] Ramit: What percentage of the mortgage do you pay, Candace?

[00:12:12] Candace: Okay. Can I just do a quick math? 

[00:12:16] Ramit: Sure.

[00:12:17] Candace: I’m paying 74% of the mortgage.

[00:12:32] Ramit: Okay. Seems a bit weird. You’re making less, but you’re paying 74. Why is that?

[00:12:44] Candace: Because we never talked about it when things changed, and it just was in my account. Just didn’t talk about it, and I just–

[00:12:55] Brad: She paid the mortgage, and I paid everything else. By the end of the month, if you add up all the costs and fixed spendings that I spend and what she spends for the mortgage, it was roughly pretty close. The mortgage might’ve been a little higher.

[00:13:11] Narration: [Narration]

[00:13:11] Ramit: First of all, this is just way too complicated. This is why I insist on simplicity in your finances. Next, this is why I really dislike the scenario where couples split money by saying, they pay for groceries and vacations. I pay for rent and eating out. What happens when you move into a more expensive place? Or what happens when one year you don’t take a vacation at all? It’s too linear. 

[00:13:36] If you’re a software engineer, it’s like hard coding variables into your code. It’s easy at first, but it will screw you later. And this is really common, by the way. Couples will decide on ways of splitting income, but when their situations change, they rarely adjust. The solution here is to set up a regular annual meeting in December called your Rich Life Review, where you can look at your entire financial infrastructure and make any changes that you need to going forward. 

[00:14:07] I have a presentation on how to do this in my money coaching group at iwt.com/moneycoaching. Now, as for Candace and Brad, let me give you their numbers. Candace used to make $64,000. Now, she makes$ 43,000. Brad used to make 54,000. Now, he makes 70,000.

[00:14:25] Interview: [Interview]

[00:14:25] Ramit: Is it about the money, Brad? Is there a reason? Because it sounds like, in your vision, engagement, marriage, kids, all those things are on the table. What’s your take?

[00:14:35] Brad: I definitely see it in the future. I do. I will say that. And I would definitely like to be more financially stable before we got married. But I do understand the engagement part.

[00:14:47] Ramit: What does financially stable mean?

[00:14:50] Brad: Just not scraping by to pay our bills. I guess on our conscious spending plan, if you see on our vacations, any of that stuff, we don’t have any money for that. We have no money to do any of that stuff.

[00:15:12] Ramit: Yeah. Is there a number, or is it more of a feeling that you would know if you felt secure?

[00:15:19] Brad: No, there’s not really a number. 

[00:15:21] Ramit: So here’s what I’m hearing. You both talk about wanting the same things, house, family, etc. Um, Candace sounds like she was ready five years ago. Brad, you have said, it’s definitely part of the plan, but I need to feel more secure. So then I said, is it a number? No, it’s not a number. So how would you know if you were more secure?

[00:16:01] Brad: I don’t know. Me and Candace have had the conversation a couple of times where it’s like, basically, where we’re at right now, we couldn’t even afford to bring kids into this world because we wouldn’t be able to support them. So that thought’s scary by itself. We’re just struggling to basically pay our bills for ourselves rather than bring a kid in and start paying for them too.

[00:16:27] Ramit: Yeah, that’s honest.

[00:16:28] Brad: It’d be very hard.

[00:16:30] Ramit: And that’s scary to you.

[00:16:33] Brad: Yeah, for sure. 

[00:16:34] Ramit: Scary, why?

[00:16:38] Brad: Um, I wouldn’t want to ever bring a kid in, I guess, and not be able to give it everything.

[00:16:53] Ramit: Mm-hmm. What’d you grow up? Working class?

[00:17:00] Brad: Yeah, I’d say middle class. Yeah. My mom did all right. My dad was probably on the lower scale, but my mom did all right.

[00:17:09] Ramit: Your mom made more than your dad? 

[00:17:11] Brad: Yeah.

[00:17:12] Ramit: Okay. Uh, and what do you remember about money growing up as a kid?

[00:17:15] Brad: I always thought we were all right. We were always well off. I played a ton of sports, and that kept me very occupied, and they did everything they could to let me play any sport I wanted to my whole life. So I was always able to buy, maybe not all the top end gear or anything, but I definitely had all the gear I needed and anything I wanted.

[00:17:40] Ramit: Uh, did your mom tell you, you got to buy a house, at some point?

[00:17:46] Brad: I wouldn’t say she ever told me I had to buy a house. No.

[00:17:49] Ramit: Okay. Did they own their house?

[00:17:52] Brad: Yes. 

[00:17:53] Ramit: Okay, got it.

[00:17:53] Brad: I think they built their house and–

[00:17:58] Ramit: Wow.

[00:17:59] Brad: I’ve lived in it my whole life.

[00:18:00] Ramit: Okay. Your mom or dad, were they handy around the house?

[00:18:06] Brad: My dad’s very India.

[00:18:07] Ramit: Okay. Is that where you learned some of your skills from?

[00:18:10] Brad: Yeah, I would say, for sure.

[00:18:12] Ramit: All right. And then did they ever talk about investing?

[00:18:18] Brad: My mom did. Yes. Just because she was a financial advisor. So I always invest in Scotiabank, RSPs, and just some of that stuff.

[00:18:27] Ramit: That’s cool.

[00:18:28] Brad: Not any large sums of money by any means because, let’s say, my job at a high school, I didn’t get paid that much, but I had a lot of savings at the time.

[00:18:38] Ramit: That’s impressive. So you were investing as a kid because your mom was a financial advisor. 

[00:18:43] Brad: Yeah. 

[00:18:45] Ramit: Here’s probably words floating around at home once in a while, investments, etc. Would you say that those were somewhat common at home.

[00:18:54] Brad: Yeah. I would say I had very base knowledge on some of the stuff, for sure.

[00:19:02] Ramit: Great. Are they your financial role models?

[00:19:07] Brad: Yeah. Yeah. I would say him and my mom definitely, too. My mom had always wanted me to go take a trade. My grandfather was a plumber. She always wanted me to go into plumbing. He would have all the tools. I could use all his stuff. 

[00:19:21] Ramit: But you weren’t into that. You were into electrical.

[00:19:23] Brad: I was never into plumbing. It’s one of the dirtier trades, obviously. It’s net was never appealing to me.

[00:19:32] Ramit: Got you.

[00:19:32] Narration: [Narration]

[00:19:32] Ramit: Brad displays something really common, the idea that he wants to be financially secure. But when I ask him what that means, he realizes, right in front of us, that it’s not a number. And this is what I mean when I say that your feelings about money are highly uncorrelated with the amount in your bank account.

[00:19:51] So many of us go through life saying phrases like, I just want to feel financially secure. Or if we could just make $10,000 more, we could finally stop worrying about money. Wrong. Over and over, I bring guests on this show to show you that the dollar figure in your checking account will not change how you feel about money.

[00:20:12] There are two solutions. First, know your numbers. Understand the conscious spending plan, which has the four key numbers you must know, and then read my book to master the details. The second is master your money psychology. What does this mean? It means talking to your partner, creating a vivid vision for a rich life, having monthly meetings, and starting to talk proactively, and positively, and regularly about money. You can start with my journal. Now, I want you to hear from Candace.

[00:20:43] Interview: [Interview]

[00:20:43] Candace: I want us to be a team because right now, I feel like it’s heavily on me when it comes to the financial stuff. I grew up seeing that, and I think Brad grew up seeing that too because his mom basically took the reins, and my mom took the reins. And I don’t want that same thing for my relationship. I want it to be a joint team effort, that we both know what’s going on, we both know how the money’s working, and we’re on the same page.

[00:21:07] Ramit: I love that. Did you tell him that before today?

[00:21:12] Candace: Um, maybe not so straightforward.

[00:21:14] Ramit: So in your family, Candace, it sounds like your mom was the one who was in charge of the finances. Is that right?

[00:21:21] Candace: Yes, that’s right. Yes.

[00:21:23] Ramit: And what was that like for you?

[00:21:25] Candace: Um, I grew up always hearing my parents argue about money. Um, my dad was in and out of jobs my whole life, so my mom, basically, was the one that if I wanted to be in dance or swimming, she made sure it happened. She covered it. And to this day, when I look at my parents now, my mom is now retired because she had a pension, and my dad didn’t. And he’s resentful because he’s older than my mom, and he’s still working because they can’t afford for him not to work because her pension only goes so far.

[00:21:55] Brad grew up seeing his parents in the same position where his mom always took the reins and his dad would just coast along because she made sure everything was taken care of for them, for their future. And I don’t want that to be my relationship. I want us to be on this together, this path together, talk about it together, both know what’s going on. And, um, yeah, I don’t want the same relationship as my parents.

[00:22:20] Narration: [Narration]

[00:22:21] Ramit: What’s striking to me is how closely of a pattern they are following from their parents. That’s the pattern that Candace seems motivated not to repeat. What’s also interesting is that Candace wants a partner, even desperately wants a partner, but she hasn’t said that, that exact thing to Brad before. Remember, they’ve been dating for five years.

[00:22:44] Interview: [Interview]

[00:22:45] Ramit: So how many times over the last couple of years have you and Candace talked about what’s next? What’s the next phase of our relationship?

[00:22:59] Brad: I would say there hasn’t been a– we have talked about it a lot, but I’d say it more would come up in arguments and/or fights rather than actually just sitting down and talking about it. Most of them, I would say would have spurred from drinking events. 

[00:23:19] Ramit: What?

[00:23:19] Brad: And stuff like that. Usually, it happens when we come home after parties, and then we’ll get in a fight of one thing, and then it’ll just snowball into everything, and it’ll break into money, everything. Relationship.

[00:23:33] Ramit: It’s late. You’ve had drinks. I get these fights that come up, but what was the money stuff that would come up at that point?

[00:23:41] Brad: I think it was more just as a whole of where we’re at in our relationship and financially as a whole.

[00:23:52] Ramit: Like what? Like how much do we have? Where are we going?

[00:23:57] Brad: Yes. I think it was more for Candace, like, where are we going? What are we doing? And she wanted more clarity on that type of stuff on that side of things.

[00:24:07] Ramit: Okay. Sounds like a fair question. What was your response when she would ask those questions?

[00:24:12] Brad: It was definitely that I wanted to be more financially stable. And now I’ve been done school for a year.

[00:24:21] Ramit: Is it possible that you answered Candace by saying, I need this to happen. I need that to happen. Is it possible that you didn’t really know what you needed to happen in order to feel ready to move to the next step?

[00:24:43] Brad: Yeah.

[00:24:46] Ramit: All right. That’s an honest answer. I appreciate that. Candace, I want to hear from you. Let’s start at the vodka-soaked nights. What were those conversations about from your perspective?

[00:25:03] Candace: So basically, anytime, and I think Brad can vouch for this, it usually was because we’d be together with other couples our age, and the latest would be, oh, so and so got engaged. Oh, so and so is getting married. Oh, they’re expecting. Andit’s just like I know you’re not supposed to compare it to other people around you, but it was like, we’re literally the last couple standing. Everybody has gotten engaged now. Everybody’s gotten married.

[00:25:32] Ramit: Last couple standing. Sorry. When you say standing, what’s the implication?

[00:25:37] Candace: We’re the last ones that haven’t moved forward. Everybody else has moved forward and taken those steps. And it’s just like what’s wrong with us that we haven’t? When a concern is brought to the surface, it’s something– I just feel like priorities aren’t straight because he can spend $1,400 on a golf membership, but he doesn’t want to do that for a ring. So it’s like priorities and where you want to spend your money. I just think it’s been talked about for years that you could have started setting money aside.

[00:26:10] If it’s important to you and you value that, you would make it happen. I just think if that’s something you really want, you’ll make it happen. You’ll make it work. Little by little, work a way at it. That’s why I feel it’s deeper rooted than just the financial standpoint that we’re in. And I just think he has a hard time voicing it maybe, that there’s something else there that’s a blockage than just the finances.

[00:26:36] But yeah, we would be drinking, I hear about the latest couple moving on, and it’s like, where are we going? It’s just a lot of frustration on my end because I know what I want, um, but I feel Brad doesn’t have a lot of clarity on what it is that he wants. It’s very wishy washy, all over the place answers. And it’s like, when I say, well, when do you want to do this? It’s someday. Well, what the hell someday? 

[00:27:04] It’s like he can set goals for the gym or set goals with golf, but he can’t set goals and talk about the future with me in it and where we see ourselves going.

[00:27:13] Ramit: And why is it important to you to have clarity? 

[00:27:16] Candace: Because for me, marriage is just something that I value, that I want to be married to my partner that I’m doing life with. And that’s not important. I just feel like instead of just being forthcoming and saying it’s not that important to me to be married, I’m just given this song and dance, and it’s not really fair to me either that I have to keep putting my life on hold because I’m 32 next month.

[00:27:47] Uh, I’ll be 32 next month, and Brad will be 34. And, um, I don’t know. I just feel five years, we’re both in our 30s, we’ve had that experience. We’ve dated other people. It’s like it’s not going that direction, and I don’t know. I don’t know. 

[00:28:14] Ramit: What do you think, Brad? Hearing that? Tell me what you’re thinking. Brad is staring intently into the heavens.

[00:28:50] Candace: Brad has a very hard time voicing his thoughts. 

[00:28:53] Ramit: Let’s take it step by step. Um, paint the best case for me in your relationship. 

[00:29:01] Brad: The best-case scenario, we would definitely be moving forward, get engaged, get married, have kids, have a family, have enough money to keep the house. 

[00:29:16] Ramit: Uh, give me the worst case.

[00:29:21] Brad: Worst case would be if we sold the house and went our separate ways, I guess. That would be the worst case.

[00:29:29] Narration: [Narration]

[00:29:30] Ramit: This whole thing just feels so heavy. It’s like, why aren’t we doing what other couples are? Why are we behind? Why do I have to drag you along with me? Why aren’t we a team? I also knew a lot of couples like this in my 30s. Almost exactly the same dynamic, down to the woman saying, where is this going? And the man resisting and deflecting. It’s very common, and it’s also part of those horrible jokes of like, oh, the old ball and chain, or, oh, my bachelor party is the last time as a free man. Ha ha ha. I hate that stuff. 

[00:30:03] One of my goals with this show is to highlight the financial and relationship dynamics that we all know about. Who pays for a first date, or how the lower earner is always obsessed with the C word, contribution, and how so many of us worry about money but never actually run the numbers. 

[00:30:21] I want to highlight those and shine a light on it. And then I want you to choose which dynamics you want to follow. Do you really want to insult your partner because they overspent $5 on something, or do you want to sit down and create a powerful, vivid vision of a rich life together? You choose.

[00:30:43] Interview: [Interview]

[00:30:43] Ramit: I understand that the two of you splitting up would be the worst case. That I understand completely. I get that. That would be tragic. But you specifically said selling the house and us splitting up. What role does selling the house play in your worst-case scenario? 

[00:31:05] Brad: I don’t know. I guess since we bought the house, we envisioned as making this our house to start a family. And if we sold this house, would we ever be able to buy one again? Because the market in our area right now is insane. I know we would do really well on our house. We’d probably make 150, $200,000 from what we paid for. But then comes the problem of if we wanted to buy another house. It would be three or $400,000, and we only paid 240,000 for ours, and we can barely afford that.

[00:31:49] Ramit: Which one is a bigger problem for you? Is it the financial part that if you sell, you might not ever be able to buy again, or is it the fact that you envisioned starting a family and that vision would be destroyed?

[00:32:10] Brad: Probably the vision side.

[00:32:16] Ramit: Okay. Personally, selling a house you can’t afford and making $200,000, I’m like, boohoo. That doesn’t sound like a problem.

[00:32:28] Brad: Yeah, I know. It sounds awful, doesn’t it. I know we’ll do well selling our house, but like I said, what’s the next step after that? Where would we have to go?

[00:32:40] Ramit: Okay, Candace, go ahead.

[00:32:42] Candace: Yeah. To me, I think it’s the best-case scenario because, okay, we walk away with 200 grand. We can both pay off the rest of the debt that we owe, um, set so much aside for a future down payment, set some money aside for a wedding, put 30, 40 grand into investments, and then continue to do our monthly contributions from there.

[00:33:06] I feel like we need that reset or we’re just digging ourselves into a deeper hole because the other side of it is, say, I go and get a higher pain position, um, which that is the goal. We now have a home, five, 6% interest rate, and we’re still just spinning our wheels because now we’re trying to keep up with that payment. So even me getting that rate– there’s no quality of life. We’re house poor.

[00:33:33] Brad: It has definitely seemed to make more sense to me to maybe go the route of selling the house because of the money we’d be able to make and be able to pay off our debts. That’s probably one of the most stressful things for me, is probably my line of credit right now because it went from a 2% line of credit to a 10% line of credit. 

[00:33:59] So now I’m basically paying three or $400 bi-weekly on it, and I’m still getting three to 400 of interest a month. So it’s like I’m getting nowhere, and it’s hard. So it’s like I understand selling would definitely help us in the near future, right away, because we would have that flexibility to pay off all of our debts. Then if we go buy another house, it’s $300,000. We’re still $300,000 in debt.

[00:34:37] Ramit: Can I make an observation? You’re an electrician. I’m really going to stretch myself here. Cause I don’t know anything about– I don’t have a screwdriver. I have an electrical thing, the thing I plug my whatever into. It’s right there. If I open that up somehow, which of course I don’t know how to do, and I stick my hand in there and I’m being electrocuted like a Wile E. Coyote or something, and then you come in, an electrician, and you go, hey, Ramit, it looks like you are being killed as we speak, and I go, hold on. I can’t stop getting my hand out because if I pull my hand out, then where am I going to plug in my plug after this? I have a feeling you might say, why don’t we stop the electrocution from happening first, and then we’ll deal with what happens next? How does that strike you?

[00:35:36] Brad: Probably a better strategy to go about it.

[00:35:39] Ramit: Again, I’m no electrician. I’m openly admitting that.

[00:35:42] Brad: Coming from a guy who’s been electrocuted once or twice, that’s probably a better strategy.

[00:35:46] Narration: [Narration]

[00:35:48] Ramit: Okay, listen, electricians, I’m sorry for my analogy, but you get what I’m saying. We often worry about the fifth problem down the line when our house is on fire. It’s like, put the fire out first. The psychology here is that when a problem seems so overwhelming, our mind often resists breaking it down into tiny chunks.

[00:36:11] We play what if with ourselves, and we even tell ourselves, this is too big to tackle. I just don’t know. Instead of breaking it down and taking it a single step at a time. That’s what an outside third party can help. It could be me. It could be a couples therapist. It could be anybody. But sometimes we just need somebody else to talk to and help us break down a big problem.

[00:36:37] All right, let’s take a look at their numbers. Their assets are $426,500. Their investments are $19,000. Savings, $2,800. Debt $268,700. Therefore, their net worth is $179,000. Now, big important note. Their interest rate is about to jump, maybe even double, and that’s because in Canada, they don’t have the same 30-year fixed mortgages that we do. What that means is that their housing cost is about to go way, way up.

[00:37:13] Interview: [Interview]

[00:37:13] Ramit: I’m looking at your CSP. We’re going to look over your numbers. You’re spending a lot of money, and it’s about to go way up. So the fact is it’s just not working right now. 

[00:37:26] Candace: When I look at our investments and savings, I just feel like those should be a lot higher.

[00:37:32] Ramit: Why do you feel that way?

[00:37:33] Candace: Because I just think we’re in our 30s, and we didn’t do our due diligence with– because any investments we had, we took out to use on our down payment.

[00:37:44] Ramit: Well, I mean, a house is the best investment there is. Doesn’t everybody say that, especially in Canada? 

[00:37:53] Candace: Yeah.

[00:37:54] Ramit: Your debt payments are 1,156. That’s high. And that’s going higher, right? Way higher. 

[00:38:00] Candace: Yes.

[00:38:00] Ramit: What’s this about to become?

[00:38:03] Candace: Well, because the Bank of Canada is putting interest rates up again, that’s where– both of our line of credit right now is 10.45%. So that’s just going to go up again. Now, student loans are locked in at 0% interest in Canada.

[00:38:18] Ramit: God bless you.

[00:38:19] Candace: So there’s no more interest on our student loans. That stopped, at least.

[00:38:24] Ramit: Uh, just one second while I curse out this country for screwing every student in America with high interest loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Mother fuck every politician who voted for that. All right. People are like, oh, Ramit, be nice. I’m like, it’s my fucking show. 

[00:38:46] I get to say what’s nice. And saddling students with non-dischargeable student debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in America is insane. Anyway, Canada, nice job on the 0%. That’s great. All right. Let’s continue moving along here. And your fixed costs, what number do you see here, Candace? 

[00:39:06] Candace: 74%.

[00:39:06] Ramit: Uh-huh. And what number should that be?

[00:39:10] Candace: 50 to 60.

[00:39:11] Ramit: All right, so you’re way above it.

[00:39:13] Candace: Mm-hmm.

[00:39:14] Ramit: Do you guys see why you argue about whatever printer ink you have to refill or whatever? 

[00:39:22] Candace: Yeah.

[00:39:22] Ramit: See? It’s this. It’s this number right here.

[00:39:24] Narration: [Narration]

[00:39:26] Ramit: Quick reminder. When couples come to me and they argue about ordering an appetizer or some target trip, it’s almost never about that. Their arguments are almost always about their fixed costs, specifically their housing or their auto costs. These are the two primary areas that people overspend, especially by not counting in phantom costs, and then 18 months later, they’re in front of me arguing over the price of a Chobani yogurt. Please, spend a lot of time on your fixed costs because once you commit to spending something there, it is very, very hard to cut back.

[00:40:04] Interview: [Interview]

[00:40:04] Ramit: All right. So safe to say that your payments will be going up by several hundred dollars per month minimum. Would that be fair?

[00:40:12] Candace: Yeah. So it probably jumped from, what, 1,400 to two grand for the mortgage and property tax? Yeah.

[00:40:17] Ramit: Yes. So let’s just do that. I’m going to add 600 here. Make it 960. There we go. You’re now at 83%. You guys are broke.

[00:40:27] Candace: Mm-hmm.

[00:40:29] Ramit: All right. And that’s if nothing else goes wrong and you don’t have more stoves break and all that stuff. All right. Let’s put it there though. Your savings is 2%. That’s not good. That means if something bad happens, you’re in trouble. And this is the only couple who’s ever come on this show who I actually believe for the guilt-free spending number is actually only $486 per month. 

[00:40:53] And, uh, what is it? Wow. You actually have it labeled. Let’s just take a look because this is the only chance I’ve ever gotten in over 100 episodes. Brad has a golf club, whatever, for a 100 bucks a month. 25% of your discretionary money goes to that. Okay, fine. Candace gets monthly nails. She labeled it $52 per month. This is how detailed we are. We’re not even at 50. It’s 52. And dining out is 200. Wow. Round of applause. You’re the only couple who ever got their numbers right on this one. Well done.

[00:41:25] Brad: You can thank Candace on that one.

[00:41:27] Ramit: Yeah, yeah. Trust me, I do. Candace, good job. Candace, would you like to take a bow?

[00:41:33] Candace: Thank you.

[00:41:34] Ramit: It’s pretty impressive, honestly, the fact that even with your extremely high fixed costs, you are very diligent about everything else. So I have to compliment you on that.

[00:41:47] Candace: Thank you.

[00:41:47] Ramit: Can I ask you a question? The way that you feel, you’re making payments, and then the interest rate goes up, it’s just like trying to swim against the tide, right? It’s just horrible. What if instead you had your money working for you and your money was growing with the tide. So as the waves get bigger, your money got bigger? How would that feel?

[00:42:14] Brad: Be way happy with that. And it’s going in the opposite direction.

[00:42:18] Ramit: At a certain point, you get tired, and you just go under. I don’t want that. The way you already both feel about money, exasperated– here. You guys throw in some words. How do you feel about money right now?

[00:42:36] Brad: Stressed. 

[00:42:37] Candace: Yeah, stress is a good one. Like, why? What’s the point? 

[00:42:42] Ramit: What’s the point? Right. Resignation. Just like, fuck it. Um, how about disconnected over money?

[00:42:50] Candace: Yeah.

[00:42:50] Ramit: There’s so many, right?

[00:42:53] Candace: Mm-hmm. 

[00:42:55] Ramit: I don’t like it, especially when I see that this is relatively easy to change. And when you both tell me that– you’re talking about, oh my God, we can’t get married, and I can’t get any clarity. And the answers because of money? I go, that’s it? So easy. So let’s talk about what your options are. Brad, looking at this, what are your options if you simply wanted to “fix the money problem”?

[00:43:32] Brad: What are my options? 

[00:43:34] Ramit: Yeah.

[00:43:37] Brad: Well, the biggest one would obviously be to sell the house, I think. Like you said, that would give us big flexibility in the short term to be able to pay off all of our debts, and then we wouldn’t have any of those payments, and then start fresh, basically.

[00:43:55] Ramit: A little bit more than fresh because you two would have a lot of money in the bank, right?

[00:43:59] Brad: Yeah, exactly.

[00:44:00] Ramit: How much would you have after all said and done, you sell it, pay off all that stuff? How much would you have?

[00:44:08] Brad: I would say probably close to 100,000.

[00:44:12] Candace: I think a little bit more than that.

[00:44:15] Brad: More than that, probably.

[00:44:18] Candace: I’m pro renting. I see the value in renting. I don’t think we have to be homeowners just because everybody else is. I’m past that thinking. If it’s going to put us further ahead and our finances are going to be in a healthier situation, then I say let’s rent.

[00:44:34] Ramit: Okay. So Candace, you said that your debt payments would be zero, correct?

[00:44:40] Candace: Because we would get rid of our student loan and line of credit. Yeah.

[00:44:43] Ramit: Correct. Are you about to watch what happens to these numbers?

[00:44:45] Candace: Yeah. I’m watching

[00:44:46] Ramit: Okay. Watch this, Brad. Zero.

[00:44:54] Candace: 51%. 

[00:44:55] Ramit: Zero. Your fixed cost just went from 74% to 51%. What does it mean?

[00:45:01] Candace: That we’re in the normal range, or we should be. 

[00:45:04] Ramit: More than normal.

[00:45:07] Candace: Yeah, that’s the low end. 

[00:45:08] Ramit: You two are crushing it. Yougot a 100K plus in the bank. You got a fixed cost of 51%, which means you have a lot of money to play with. That 9%, what happens to that? Brad, what would you do with that extra money every month?

[00:45:26] Brad: I would try to probably take a lot of it now to invest it, although we wouldn’t have to take as much anymore because with the 100k we could probably put a good chunk of that into investing as is. So probably invest it, and then use the rest of it, like you said, to start doing more trips. I’d actually have money to spend on golf stuff, stuff that we enjoy doing.

[00:45:52] Ramit: Okay, great. Candace, what would you do?

[00:45:56] Candace: Yeah. I’ve already thought about it. I figured I’d put 30,000 into investment. I would take so much of it to pay off the 25,000 I have left on debt. Um, set so much aside for a wedding, and then so much for a down payment, and then probably beef up the emergency fund and my self-care fund. Yeah, stuff like that.

[00:46:18] Narration: [Narration]

[00:46:18] Ramit: The bottom line is they can’t afford this house. The rates are going to jump from $1,400 to $2,000, and they are already tight. And if they sold, they could pocket around $100,000 from the sale. Would they have to rent? Yeah. Can they find a place that’s affordable to them, and even if that rent increases, be able to pay it or move to a more affordable place? Yes.

[00:46:43] These are the analyses we have to run when it comes to the big purchases in our lives. And one of the things that happens when you talk to someone, a coach, a therapist, a trainer, is they can help you unjumble all the details in your head to make a decision very clear. So now it’s obvious.

[00:47:01] What I’m curious about now that we’ve come to this decision is their rich life visions Recall that when they were talking about what they would do with this potential cash influx, Brad mentioned taking vacations and golfing more, and Candace mentioned a wedding and an emergency fund. Very interesting clue.

[00:47:24] Interview: [Interview]

[00:47:25] Candace: Yeah. It’d be nice to have some type of life again.

[00:47:28] Ramit: Meaning you two don’t have a life? You did tell me you go out to parties and then–

[00:47:33] Brad: They’re usually very small get togethers.

[00:47:37] Candace: Yeah.

[00:47:37] Ramit: Didn’t you say, Candace, you put, what, $66 a month aside or something for going out?

[00:47:43] Candace: $66 of pay. No, that’s just fun money. To go to coffee shops, whatever.

[00:47:49] Ramit: Wow, and you stick to that. Very disciplined.

[00:47:51] Candace: Yeah. I’m so disciplined because I just want out of this cycle. 

[00:47:55] Ramit: You guys are in your early 30s. You have no kids. You’re not even married, and that’s it? This is life? 66 bucks? 

[00:48:05] Candace: There’s no quality of life. We literally just have a house to say we have a house. And I think that’s part of the problem. And correct me if I’m wrong, Brad. I think it’s also the backlash we’re going to get from people of, why would you sell your home? You’re going to go back to renting? Why would you do that? Because they believe the whole your home is your asset thing.

[00:48:24] Ramit: Every Canadian couple that comes on this show, every single one is petrified of what all their Canadian neighbors are going to say. Idon’t get it. I thought Canadians are all nice. That’s what Americans think. 

[00:48:38] Brad: They’re [Inaudible] thenicest people, though.

[00:48:39] Ramit: Exactly, but all the Canadians are petrified of all the other Canadians. So what are we missing here? Are you guys really mean and we just don’t know it? It’s uncanny. We’ll deal with the friends and family thing down the road. We can deal with that, especially because I know your mom suggested looking– we could talk about all that stuff. 

[00:49:00] Trust me when I say this. If the two of you are going to be a family unit over the long term, this is one of many decisions that the two of you will have to make together. It’s training wheels for the things that life is going to throw your way. So what I want tounderstand– we’ll come back to making a decision about the house or not. I actually think that that is not the most important thing here. I think you two getting clarity is.

[00:49:29] I’ll never really feel sorry for a couple who’s like, oh, worst-case scenario, we walk away with 200,000. I’m like, eh, all right. A lot of people are going to get really mad at you in the comments, but that’s life. If you were to somehow decrease the pressure that you feel, maybe it’s selling your house, maybe your income goes up, whatever, and you were to be able to breathe, save a little bit more, go out to dinner once in a while, would that change anything in your relationship dynamic? Dead silence tells me perhaps not.

[00:50:10] Candace: I don’t really know how to answer that. I just don’t think it’s going to solve anything when I make more money. I really do think it’s more than just the money part. And I just think even with more flexibility, if I was making more money, I still think it wouldn’t be happening. I’ve been told these things before, but when this happened, just keep waiting, just keep being patient, just keep being patient. And it’s just one excuse after the next. So I still think even with more money, those steps aren’t going to come.

[00:50:41] Ramit: Okay. Brad, what think?

[00:50:42] Brad: I think they would. 

[00:50:47] Ramit: Tell me.

[00:50:48] Brad: That’s been the plan my whole time. I’ve told her that every time we have the same argument. 

[00:50:55] Ramit: If you were to change that dynamic where you were able to pay your bills more easily, you were able to put aside a little bit every month, would that change the relationship dynamic between you two?

[00:51:09] Brad: I think it would. Yes. There wouldn’t be so much stress put on finances because– maybe the first year, we’d fight maybe once every two months. And now it’s to the point where, almost every two weeks, there’s a big fight. And it’s very stressful.

[00:51:29] Ramit: What do you think that Candace is asking for deep down?

[00:51:44] Brad: Like she said, I think she wants the clarity.

[00:51:50] Ramit: Do you think she has it?

[00:51:52] Brad: No.

[00:51:54] Ramit: Okay. Is there any way for you to give it to her?

[00:52:01] Brad: Yeah. By proposing.

[00:52:04] Ramit: That’s one way. That’s clear. Is this going to be the first show that we have a proposal live? I wasn’t ready for this, but we could do it right here. Okay. That’s definitely one way. Give me some of the other ways that you could give her clarity.

[00:52:23] Brad: I don’t know. I always try to give her reassurance. I do love her. I’ve always loved her. I always tell her that, and I’ve always wanted to be here.

[00:52:32] Ramit: What’s the difference for you between reassurance and clarity?

[00:52:41] Brad: Uh, I would say the clarity would be more of the engagement, and the reassurance would be more of just continuously telling her that it’s going to happen eventually.

[00:52:56] Ramit: It’s going to be okay. I love you. Things are going to happen. The reassurance side, right? 

[00:53:02] Brad: Yeah.

[00:53:03] Ramit: It’s all going to be fine. Don’t worry about it. I’m here. I love you. All that. Okay. Candace, would you agree with that reassurance more?

[00:53:08] Candace: Yeah. Reassurance.

[00:53:13] Ramit: So Brad, you look like you work out a lot. Candace mentioned that you like to work out. What’s your favorite thing you like to do at the gym?

[00:53:22] Brad: Uh, back, actually.

[00:53:24] Ramit: Perfect. Okay, great. That’s an unusual answer. Love it. So here we go.

[00:53:30] Brad: That’s the only thing that doesn’t hurt after I do it. As I get older, everything else hurts

[00:53:36] Ramit: I got you. All right. So let’s say you get a back injury. You still want to go to the gym. It’s a place you like. It’s your leisure time. But you can’t do back anymore. What are you going to do?

[00:53:56] Brad: Other stuff. I’d probably just skip back and just continue to do whatever my next set workout would be.

[00:54:03] Ramit: Perfect. So you’re going to put a pin in that, and you’re going to work on other stuff, maybe even get stronger. Your legs. Whatever. Candace, do you feel reassured? 

[00:54:12] Candace: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

[00:54:13] Ramit: Okay. Let’s take it away. Can’t use reassurance for the rest of this conversation because she knows you love her. It’s clear. 

[00:54:21] Brad: Yeah.

[00:54:21] Ramit: Help her with clarity. How would you do it?

[00:54:31] Brad: I would tell her that I want to start a family with her someday in the near future.

[00:54:36] Ramit: Tell her.

[00:54:38] Brad: Candace, I would love to start a family with you someday, in the very near future, preferably.

[00:54:49] Candace: Can you give–

[00:54:49] Ramit: Hold on, Candace.

[00:54:50] Candace: Okay, sorry.

[00:54:52] Ramit: Let me just help guide this, and then I definitely would love to hear your thoughts. A 100%. Keep going, Brad.

[00:55:01] Brad: I said I’ve always wanted to take all those steps, the reassurance side. I want to be married. I want to get married, and I want to start a family.

[00:55:16] Ramit: I believe you. I think Candace believes you too, but Brad, all of that was reassurance. I’m certainly not saying you have to propose or pick a date. I would never say that. I want you to look inside and really ask yourself, what would it take for me to feel comfortable going to the next step? And if there are parts you don’t know, there’s this thing. I just don’t know why I feel this way. Say that.

[00:55:54] Brad: And I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t know. I’ve never been the type of person to talk about my feelings or any of this type of stuff, really. And I don’t know, to be honest.

[00:56:12] Ramit: We got two bros who don’t talk about their feelings on this call, and we got Candace who’s desperate to hear your feelings. Wow, we got our work cut out for us today. 

[00:56:25] Brad: Yeah, I guess. But, like I said, this isn’t usually a conversation I would ever have with any of my friends, not even my family. 

[00:56:37] Ramit: Yeah. 

[00:56:38] Brad: That’s just not the type of person I am. I guess I don’t talk about that stuff.

[00:56:43] Ramit: I get it. How do you think that your friends decided that they were ready to propose?

[00:56:57] Brad: I don’t know. I know they just felt they were ready, maybe, and with the person that they want to spend the rest of their life with.

[00:57:06] Ramit: It’s got to feel lonely for you. 

[00:57:09] Brad: Yeah, it’s hard. It’s definitely very hard and very scary. I will say, we had our five-year anniversary on Saturday, and basically, the whole week, I was very stressed out, didn’t sleep because of the whole thought that if I didn’t propose by Saturday, that, I don’t know. I basically thought that we were just going to get in a big fight on Saturday because it didn’t happen, and that was on me.

[00:57:53] Ramit: I appreciate you being so honest. This stuff is not easy to talk about at all. And as a guy, nobody teaches me how to talk about it. Nobody taught me. That’s why when I’m talking about you and your bros and your back split, I’m more comfortable talking about that. Let’s talk about your split at the gym. 

[00:58:17] Brad: Me too. 

[00:58:18] Ramit: Yeah.We could talk about that all day. It’s this stuff, these life decisions, and these feelings that both of us are like, am I supposed to feel something? What is the feeling?

[00:58:33] Brad: Yeah. How do you know?

[00:58:35] Narration: [Narration]

[00:58:37] Ramit: How do you know? What a profound question. I remember asking my friends in New York– these were good friends of mine in New York. We were all single there at the time. And one by one, they got into serious relationships. And I remember asking them, how did you know? How did you know you were ready to propose? How did you know they were the one? 

[00:58:58] And you know what? I never really got a satisfactory answer, at least not through the lens of logic and details that I was looking for. But later, when I met Cass and proposed to her, I understood. So I feel a lot of compassion for Candace and Brad. Candace wants to know what’s next. She’s waited. She supported this relationship. She’s taken on the work of being extremely disciplined with their finances. 

[00:59:30] And I also feel for Brad, who wasn’t taught to talk about feelings, like a lot of guys, including me. He does what he knows, which is to reassure her that everything will be okay. A very typical trait of men. But the truth is, that’s not really what Candace is looking for. She wants clarity, not reassurance.

[00:59:52] Interview: [Interview]

[00:59:52] Ramit: If we ask Candace about her feelings, I bet you– I’m going to ask her right now. It would roll off her tongue. Let’s see if I’m right. Candace, when you think about your relationship in the future, together with Brad, what feelings do you have?

[01:00:13] Candace: Lately, I have a lot of different feelings because I’m more so frustrated. Frustration is the emotion that comes to the head for me at the moment. At one point, I did dream about getting married and having a kid or two. Um, for me, it’s that symbolism of a family unit. For me, it’s super important that I’m married to the person I’m doing life with. And if we have a child, I want to have the same last name as my child. All of those things, it just feels like you’re a family, a unit. You’re united. So yeah, that’s how it made me feel.

[01:00:52] Ramit: Brad, do you feel that same way too? If you think about being married and potentially having kids, what feeling would come to mind for you?

[01:01:08] Brad: I think I would feel happy.

[01:01:11] Ramit: You think you would?

[01:01:13] Brad: Yeah, I would be happy. I want a family, and I want to have kids. I think I’d be a great dad. We hang over with my niece and nephew a lot, and I find I get along really well with them, and I think I’m pretty good with kids.

[01:01:35] Ramit: What’s stopping you? Put the financial part of it aside. What would be stopping you from moving towards that?

[01:01:47] Brad: Other than the financial side, I don’t think anything really.

[01:01:51] Ramit: It’s interesting, Brad, listening to you talk. And one of the things I noticed is, um, a linear way of thinking, which is, first, I need to do this, and then I will do that, and then we’ll do that. One, two, three. Would you say that that’s a fair assessment?

[01:02:13] Brad: Yeah, very.

[01:02:14] Ramit: Okay. And I think that for some things it works. It’s very progressive. The gym is a good example. First lift this, then lift that. Great. And I think probably there’s some element of that with money as well, the idea that I’m only going to talk about money once I have it, and then I’m only going to propose once I feel secure, and I don’t know what feeling secure is, but I know it’s not that.

[01:02:46] Brad: Yeah. 

[01:02:46] Ramit: That probably drives Candace nuts. Let’s check. I don’t want to put words in her mouth. Candace?

[01:02:52] Candace: Yeah. Again, it’s just so frustrating.

[01:02:56] Ramit: Yeah. What do you think about my observation on the linearity? The first this, then that?

[01:03:02] Candace: I totally agree. But it’s also like, what are we going to do first this, then that? Because there’s no game plan. 

[01:03:08] Ramit: When Candace says that she doesn’t want the same relationship as her parents, what do you think she’s saying there?

[01:03:22] Brad: She said she wants more of a joint commitment for financials and for me to take more of the reins and be more of a go-getter in that sense.

[01:03:39] Ramit: Go-getter means what?

[01:03:42] Brad: Take more initiative.

[01:03:44] Ramit: Yeah. Probably bring up talking about money, probably take on some of the monthly tasks, probably just not have to feel like she’s always pulling.

[01:03:56] Brad: Yeah.

[01:03:58] Ramit: Would you be comfortable taking on not all but some of the load when it comes to the finances?

[01:04:07] Brad: Yeah. We were always just independent, like she said. She always just took care of the mortgage, and I just dealt with everything else. And that’s just how our dynamic worked, I guess. That’s how we made it work.

[01:04:24] Ramit: I totally get that. You have done what so many couples have done, which is to slip into a dynamic that totally replicates what your parents did. And you just slipped right in. You got on a water slide. Boom. And part of that complication is the two of you have never sat down and really honestly discussed it. 

[01:04:49] Candace: Yeah, we’ve never really had those deep conversations either.

[01:04:55] Ramit: What? So do you just get drunk and then fight about who’s getting engaged? Let’s not do that.

[01:05:01] Candace: Yeah. It’s very surface level. We don’t dig deep into our– we’ve never really talked about that stuff.

[01:05:08] Ramit: Well, I’m glad that we’re talking about it. And a lot of the discussion we had today is not just about numbers. It’s about the two of you really being honest and going beneath the surface.

[01:05:22] Narration: [Narration]

[01:05:22] Ramit: The conversation today was not really about the house or interest rates. It was about the future that the two of them would like to have. Candace wanted to, as she put it, move forward in their relationship, which to her meant the logical next step of marriage. Brad said he didn’t feel financially secure yet. We also discussed the difference between reassurance and clarity, which was a big challenge in their relationship. Now, I’d like to share the follow ups from Brad and Candace here.

[01:05:57] Brad: First question was, what surprised me most? I would definitely say what surprised me most was not understanding or knowing the difference between reassurance compared to clarity. Some of the major takeaways that I had from this, the biggest one would be that maybe in order to take the next step in our relationship, we may need to take a step back from the house and look into selling it to better ourselves for the future. 

[01:06:35] And then I need to start taking more initiative when it comes to our finances and help Candace instead of just letting her take the lead all the time. With that comes the communication side of it, whereas we need to start sitting down and talking about our finances more often and more frequently. 

[01:06:56] We decided we are going to sell the house, which will basically double our profits from when we bought the house at around 240k, which will be very nice to see and be able to pay off all of our debts and really give us some money in the bank to really start pushing things forward. With all that being said, that’s the route that we’re going to take. And again, we greatly appreciate your time, and thanks for talking to us.

[01:07:32] Ramit: And now, Candace.

[01:07:34] Candace: Hi, Ramit. I’m so thankful to you for choosing to work with Brad and I. I’m sure you get a ton of applications, and I just feel like it couldn’t have come at a better time. And I’m just really, really grateful, um, that you chose to proceed with us and give us the tips and advice that you did. So thank you so much. But you nailed it on the head when you said that he doesn’t give me clarity. He just gives me reassurance. Getting to watch you interact with Brad and ask the hard questions, and seeing him still struggle even with you, was the clarity that I needed. 

[01:08:05] We had decided to sell the house, and we did our homework, and we now know, roughly, market value. We’re probably going to list for about 510,000 to start. Again, hopefully, after realtor fees, lawyer fees, we’ll be walking away with a good 130 grand each in our pockets, ideally. And we looked at apartments, and that’ll be roughly 1,700 utilities included for a two-bedroom.

[01:08:29] So to answer your question, what was the most surprising thing? It was probably when Brad said that he felt sick and couldn’t sleep the whole week up to Saturday of our five-year anniversary, thinking that we would get in a fight that he didn’t propose. So obviously, it still has not happened, and it’s just clarity to me that this isn’t meant for us. This relationship taught us a lesson, and, um, we’ve learned a lot from each other, but to me, this is the universe saying it’s time to close this door. 

[01:09:06] But I look at us buying this house as a blessing because we’re now able to both benefit from selling this property and getting ourselves financially further ahead. While it is going to be hard to go our separate ways, I just feel like, in the end, it’s what’s going to be best for both of us. And I truly hope that Brad can work on himself and find the one that will make him want to go all the way, and commit, and start that family with.

[01:09:42] Ramit: I did not expect these follow ups, and I deeply appreciate Candace and Brad sharing their story here. Couples often come on this podcast to ask about a specific financial question, but in our conversations, we almost always discover that money and values are deeply intertwined. And sometimes couples are able to navigate the financial questions because their values are aligned. And other times they are not. I wish Candace and Brad, each, the best.

[01:10:12] I’d like to remind you about our podcast newsletter, which I write every Saturday about money and psychology. You can sign up at iwt.com/podcastnewsletter, and the material that I send out every Saturday does not get sent out again. So please sign up at iwt.com/podcastnewsletter if you are interested in learning more about money psychology.