Episode #131: “We’re worth $5.5M but I feel like it doesn’t belong to me”
Matt is 40 and Ruane is 38. They have two kids and live in Toronto. They’ve done incredibly well for themselves, with an eye-popping net worth of $5,500,000—but lingering anxiety about money and the overwhelming responsibilities of parenthood have driven them apart.
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[00:00:00] Ruane: I’m not a gold digger. I’m not trying to get you for all your properties and all your money. I make my own money. I’m a full-time career woman, and I don’t need your money.
[00:00:09] Matt: If there’s no prenup and we’re married and the next month she decides she made a mistake, she can walk away with half or more, or worse.
[00:00:17] Ruane: I don’t want to be afraid to talk about money.
[00:00:20] I live in the past. There’s a lot of hurtful things that got us to where we are, and it revolves around money, and I hold on to that.
[00:00:28] Matt: What I tell her, whenever she asks me what I want for my birthday, it’s time with her. I just want my wife back. That’s the rich life for me. The switch hasn’t flicked fully for me yet where now I can say, okay, let’s enjoy this. It’s been years of darkness. It can’t go on.
[00:00:51] Ramit: What would you do if you felt disconnected from your partner of nine years? What if both of you felt alone and you both wanted more quality time together, but you couldn’t figure out how? Today I’d like to introduce you to Matt, who’s 40, and Ruane, 38. They both live in Toronto. They have two kids.
[00:01:08] And in today’s conversation, you’re going to hear some shocking admissions, including a conversation they had before they got married that has haunted their relationship ever since. I’d like to read you a little bit from their application. “We have been married for nine years and lived together for 13 years, and I have always subsidized our lifestyle. Our kids are getting older, and soon they won’t be the glue to keep us together.”
[00:01:32] This is a fascinating conversation. And before we get into it, I want to ask you one question. When was the last time you had a productive conversation about money with your partner? On this show, you’ll hear me recommend to guests that they have regular money dates. I talk about money with my wife regularly.
[00:01:51] This Saturday, in my newsletter, I’m going to share how to have a money date with your partner, including specifically, what do you talk about? When should you have them, and how do you make sure that they’re actually fun as opposed to being filled with conflict? I’ll even share a simple agenda you can use to guide the conversation. And you can only get it by signing up for my newsletter before this Saturday, November 25th, at iwt.com/podcastnewsletter.
[00:02:19] Ruane: Matt bought a condo. We bought a condo. It wasn’t necessarily about a disagreement. I’m more cautious with money. He’s riskier with money. He loves to invest. Always looking at property. Always looking at real estate, and I’m always shutting it down. Are you sure we have enough? Is it going to be too much? And we talked about this condo. We decided collectively that it wasn’t going to move forward. And then he still bought it anyway.
[00:02:51] Ramit: What do you mean he bought it anyway?
[00:02:53] Ruane: I got home after the boys from school, and he’s like, oh, we got a condo. And I was like, huh?
[00:03:01] Ramit: What? That’s like me saying, oh, we got an extra bag of chips from the grocery store. Matt, you’re just like, we got a condo?
[00:03:09] Ruane: He’s like, yeah, let’s celebrate. I was like–
[00:03:12] Ramit: Out of curiosity. Did you celebrate?
[00:03:15] Ruane: No, I was pretty pissed off, actually. It didn’t go very well in our household that evening.
[00:03:19] Ramit: So what did you say?
[00:03:21] Ruane: I don’t understand. I thought we weren’t going to go forth with it. And his response was, it was an opportunity. The agent called him, and it was very time sensitive, and he made a decision. We talked about t in depth about this condo, and I gave my opinion. The numbers made sense. It was affordable. You’re not going to get a condo that caught– I understand that. I understand the market. I understand all of that.
[00:03:52] But then there was some nuance about investing with someone else, and it can get mucky, and we decide, I think it’s best to just do it us. And then I don’t think the money really worked at the time, so we decided that it wasn’t going to go forward. And I thought it was it. We’re done. Out of the mind. And then when he bought it, it was like, oh, look, we purchased something. And I’m like, that’s not exciting for me. I thought this wasn’t happening.
[00:04:20] Ramit: Ruane, how did it make you feel when you heard that Matt had gotten the condo, which from your understanding, you had agreed not to get?
[00:04:30] Ruane: Left out. Not even just left out. Just deflated. I was like, thanks for making a decision without me. I didn’t feel good. Didn’t feel great.
[00:04:45] Ramit: Deflated. What does that mean to you?
[00:04:47] Ruane: I don’t feel valued in the relationship to be a part of that conversation or that decision.
[00:04:55] Matt: The condo that I did buy is actually different than the one that I think we talked about previously. It was the same development. There’s a little different situation. It was time sensitive. Now, maybe I got caught up in the excitement, but it was a time sensitive offer that afternoon, that day, that hour. And I made a gut decision. At the time, she was with her kids. She was tied up. I didn’t want to take her away from that. I felt it’s the right thing to do.
[00:05:24] Ramit: Where was she specifically when you got that phone call?
[00:05:28] Matt: In the playground, as was I.
[00:05:30] Ramit: Wait, you’re at the playground while she was there.
[00:05:34] Matt: Yeah, we’re both in the playground. She was watching our kids. She was talking with one of the moms, and I got a call. I walked away, and made a call.
[00:05:41] Ramit: Why don’t you just walk right back over to that slide and be like, hey, babe, I got a question for you.
[00:05:47] Matt: It didn’t seem like the place. I could have. I pass a lot of ideas past her. And she’s never pounded the table ever to buy one. I think the last condo I purchased was 11, 12 years ago, before we were married. We haven’t bought any since we’ve been married. And before that, I’d bought multiple condos. So I’ve waited and waited and waited.
[00:06:13] Ramit: How much was this condo by the way?
[00:06:15] Matt: Just over $400,000 Canadian, so about 300,000 US.
[00:06:22] Ramit: Okay. Is there any feeling, Ruane, from your perspective, about the number itself, or is your feeling more about being left out and not valued, as you put it?
[00:06:32] Ruane: Left out and not valued. To be honest, 400 is a good cost for that condo. It’s great value. He always comes correct. He comes with all of his information. He talked about the location, how much we can get for it, Airbnb it, rent it out. Talked about how close it was to the transit system, so–
[00:06:50] Ramit: But Ruane, it sounds great. When you weighed in, why did you say no to the condo?
[00:06:57] Ruane: I think I said to him the cost is good. I think it makes sense, but does it work for us? Is that realistic? So it’s a two-hour, an hour and a half drive from where we live. You manage your condos. You do management of the condos yourself. Is that realistic for us to drive all the way out? Something’s wrong.
[00:07:14] That didn’t matter to him. That stuff doesn’t actually matter to him because if he puts his mind to something, he’s going to dedicate the time. He’s okay to drive the drive if that’s what has to happen. I’m not that person. I’m like, it’s just too much work.
[00:07:28] Ramit: When he brought you the proposal for the condo, you thought, on paper, this looks good. The number is wise. You raise some concerns. Does this make sense for your lifestyle, for our lifestyle, etc.? He said, I don’t care. It’s fine with me. Was there actually a decision made in that conversation?
[00:07:49] Ruane: No.
[00:07:52] Ramit: Oh.
[00:07:52] Ruane: I think this is the crux of a lot of what happens between the two of us, is that we talk about it. We talk around it. We just put a pin in it, and then it just never gets picked back up.
[00:08:05] Matt: I think it’s tough. Maybe a part of it is I know all the numbers. I live and breathe this stuff, so it’s easy for me. I don’t think it’s as easy for Ruane to be decisive. The opening comments she said was I’m just more risky. I think like an investor. I’m okay with risk.
[00:08:30] I think I hear a lot of all of the concerns, and risks, and challenges. When everyone doesn’t want to buy a condo, that’s when I want to buy it. bit of, oil and water, and perspective in that.
[00:08:45] Ramit: Okay, a few clues that I notice. Ruane’s first comment was Matt bought. We bought. Did you catch that slip, that difference of his money, our money? Then Matt mentioning that he’s waited and waited to buy another property. And the comment that he didn’t want to bother her because she was playing with the kids, which is about 10 feet away on the playground.
[00:09:10] But the clue that really caught my eye was when Ruane said they decided collectively they weren’t going to move forward and then Matt bought it anyway. But when I probed, she admitted that the property was a great deal. It made a lot of financial sense, and she’d actually never really said no.
[00:09:27] Seems to me that there’s a lot of communication issues, and I’d like to dive into that. I will say I do love the idea that someone just randomly bought a 400,000-dollar condo and surprised their spouse. Is this inconceivable for anyone else but me?
[00:09:41] We’ll be right back.
[00:09:43] Let’s get back to Matt and Ruane.
[00:09:45] Ruane: I live in the past. I hold on to all the things that got us to where we are. There’s a lot of hurtful things that got us to where we are, and it revolves around money, and I hold on to that. Boundaries were set from the beginning, and that created the dynamic around money.
[00:10:07] Ramit: Like what boundaries?
[00:10:09] Ruane: Sorry, Matt, but we were driving in New Zealand. We went for six months. I remember us driving, and he made it very clear that his money was his money, my money was my money, and there was no crossover. And that was when we were dating.
[00:10:39] He talked about a prenup, and I didn’t feel good sitting in the car. And I’m like, this is the person I thought it was going to spend my life with, and here he is saying to me that what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours. And basically, you don’t have any say in that.
[00:11:04] I’m like, I’m not a gold digger. I’m not trying to get you for all your properties and all your money. I make my own money. I’m a full-time career woman, and I don’t need your money. So I didn’t understand that. And I came from a family where my mom and dad are married, and everything’s collected together. So I just thought that’s what it was going to be. And he made it very clear that’s not how it was going to be.
[00:11:26] Ramit: And when you heard that conversation, what were your feelings?
[00:11:30] Ruane: Oh, I felt destroyed. I actually said to myself in my head, what am I doing? Is this the right person for me? I just felt like he doesn’t trust me. That’s a clear indication that you don’t trust your partner. You don’t want to blend our money together. You don’t want to tell me how much you actually make, what you’re worth.
[00:11:51] Ramit: You didn’t know how much he made?
[00:11:53] Ruane: Not really. He was in school.
[00:11:56] Ramit: Now that you’ve been married, now that you have two children, now that you understand more of Matt’s views on money, if you look back at that conversation in the car, does it take on any new light for you?
[00:12:11] Ruane: No. I’m not surprised. He’s worked hard for where he’s at. He’s worked hard for where he was before he met me, and he was holding on to that, and I don’t blame him for that. I was hurt. I’m not going to lie. I was very hurt. But I also was able to understand where it was coming from. I convinced myself that it wasn’t personal. It was his way of protecting himself, and I couldn’t blame him for that. And I was like, I don’t want your money, so fine. Do you. I’ll do me.
[00:12:45] Matt: I remember the deafening silence, I guess, after I said that.
[00:12:51] Ramit: What exactly did you say?
[00:12:53] Matt: I said what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours. I don’t know. I can’t remember what inspired that or if there’s anything that brought it on other than it seemed like risk protection.
[00:13:13] Ramit: Did you end up signing the prenup?
[00:13:15] Ruane: We never did a prenup.
[00:13:17] Ramit: All right. He never brought it up again. You never brought it up again?
[00:13:22] Ruane: Mm-mm.
[00:13:23] Matt, what the hell? Beyond being insulting, that’s just bad strategy. You brought up this extremely weird self-protective phrase, and then you didn’t even do the prenup. And notice, by the way, how Ruane remembers every single detail of this conversation 10 years later, even after having two children together. This is a great reminder that a single conversation about money can truly change everything, and sometimes that’s for the better, sometimes for the worse.
[00:13:59] Ramit: So you make a lot more, Matt, than Ruane. Is that right?
[00:14:03] Matt: Yes.
[00:14:03] Ramit: So you got married. No prenup. Did you combine your finances when you got married? Ruane’s shaking her head no. All right. So we have a marriage that was started where one person had a disproportionate amount of assets. It sounds like he had some condos, probably a bunch of cash and portfolio stuff. Ruane, maybe not nearly as much. And Matt, your income has continued, probably grown. Ruane, I’m sure yours has grown as well, but maybe not as much as Matt’s. Fair enough?
[00:14:41] Ruane: Yeah.
[00:14:42] Ramit: Okay.
[00:14:43] Ruane: So my checks from work went into my account, his check from work went to his account, and then we put a percentage based on how much our incomes were, and we put it into a pool, and that’s what paid all our bills. And it worked.
[00:14:59] Ramit: You still do that?
[00:15:00] Ruane: Yeah, yeah.
[00:15:00] Ramit: Okay. What’s the percentage breakdown?
[00:15:03] Matt: 80/20, 90/10, something like that.
[00:15:06] Ramit: This all sounds very familiar to me. I know this situation. I completely understand some of the dynamics around this.
[00:15:14] Ruane: We never struggle. We buy what we want. We pay off our credit cards. I don’t have any actual debt, no line of credit. We buy everything outright. When we got a car, it’s bought cash full out. We don’t take on any leases or finance or anything like that. think we’re doing pretty good, to be honest.
[00:15:41] Matt: What I tell her whenever she asks me what I want for my birthday, it’s time with her. I just want my wife back. That’s the rich life for me.
[00:15:52] Ramit: Back means what? Back from where?
[00:15:55] Matt: Back from involved. Our world revolves around our kids day in and day out. And that’s the irony of this whole thing, is you work so hard to provide for your kids, and then your life gets taken over by your kids. And we’ve forgotten about ourselves. That’s what I miss. I miss real quality time on my own and with Ruane.
[00:16:22] Ramit: Okay.
[00:16:22] Ruane: It was one of my birthdays, Matt, that you took me to Niagara Falls, and we were having dinner, and it’s the first time he has ever said to me, I want my wife back. That blew my mind. It was like an earthquake in my life because he’s never said that to me.
[00:16:45] Ramit: Uh-huh.
[00:16:46] Ruane: Since having children.
[00:16:47] Ramit: How long ago was that?
[00:16:49] Ruane: Four years ago. Yeah, pre-COVID, so four years ago. And I remember sitting there. I was sad. I was hurt that he felt that way. I was like, oh my God, I didn’t know that you felt like this. I didn’t know that that was a priority for you. I didn’t know I was a priority for you. Because we were just existing. When you have two small kids under the age of four, you are literally on survival mode every day.
[00:17:28] Every day. I call it the thousand days of darkness. And we just came out. Being a mom is a tough job, and I embody it to the extent where I sacrifice what I want, sacrifice getting stuff for myself for them, and sacrifice our relationship.
[00:17:50] Ramit: What’s an example of something you sacrifice for yourself?
[00:17:54] Ruane: I just don’t buy myself anything. I wear the same clothes all the time. I don’t shop on a regular basis for myself. I just haven’t prioritized buying something new for myself.
[00:18:07] Ramit: Could you?
[00:18:09] Ruane: I could. I could.
[00:18:10] Ramit: Is it a money issue?
[00:18:11] Ruane: No.
[00:18:12] Ramit: Okay. Is it because Matt tells you, like, don’t buy a new pair of pants or something?
[00:18:18] Ruane: No.
[00:18:18] Ramit: Okay, it’s just that you are putting your energy into your kids and your job, not yourself.
[00:18:25] Ruane: I worked full-time up until last year 16 years, and I work in a health care, and it’s very stressful, and I take care of people every single day. And then I come home and take care of my family every single day. So I don’t find room for myself.
[00:18:47] Ramit: Putting yourself last is such a common theme among the couples I speak to, especially the moms, and it speaks to our cultural expectations, our gender expectations, and also the way that we treat money Let’s talk about how money influences this feeling. Matt and Ruane make a lot of money.
[00:19:05] If a couple makes as much money as they do, they can pay away a lot of stresses of parenting. Not all of them, but they can use money to buy back their time. If you are watching or listening to this, you should look at Matt and Ruane as a crystal ball. Because many of us believe that if we just earn more money, all of our problems would magically vanish. But they make $650,000 a year, and she still puts herself last, and he still says that he wants his wife back.
[00:19:38] However, as we’ve heard on this podcast over and over, just having money does not mean you know how to spend it meaningfully. Part of my job today is to try to peel away the layers of money and resentment to find out what’s really going on here. Before we go on, what do you think is happening here?
[00:19:59] Matt: It’s an easily solved problem with money. There’s lots of money to go around. I don’t know why she doesn’t. I feel guilty. Otherwise, I don’t know why she says it to me.
[00:20:08] Ramit: Do you think that when she says, I don’t have clothes, she means something about you?
[00:20:12] Matt: Yeah. Because when I need something, I buy it. I don’t ask. I just buy it. I think she’s worried about money. I think she’s worried about spending. I tell her all the time that there’s– I can do analysis paralysis with money or with dollars. It doesn’t seem to resonate in the way–
[00:20:34] Ramit: Show her a spreadsheet? What do you show?
[00:20:37] Matt: I’ve showed her-
[00:20:38] Ramit: What do you show?
[00:20:39] Matt: Lots of spreadsheets.
[00:20:41] Ramit: Does that work?
[00:20:42] Matt: I’ve tried to distill it down. No, it doesn’t work.
[00:20:45] Ramit: How many sheets are on your spreadsheet that you show? Tell me.
[00:20:50] Matt: More than I can count.
[00:20:55] Ramit: What’d you do in finance? Were you in banking? PE? What was it?
[00:20:58] Matt: Yeah, I was an investment banker.
[00:21:00] Ramit: So when you sit down with your model, you’re like, babe, babe, come over here. And then you show her this model. Has the most beautiful colors and borders. You go, babe, you’re never going to understand the complexity of this model. Okay. Just forget about it. It’s not humanly possible, but just look at how everything flows correctly. Go ahead. Type in two instead of three. Just watch.
[00:21:23] Ruane: Honestly, this is like a conversation that’s happened.
[00:21:25] Ramit: I know because every single banker has this conversation. And then, Matt, what’s Ruane’s reaction? Is she super excited to jump into the model?
[00:21:34] Matt: No, she starts to snooze off.
[00:21:36] Ramit: Wow. I’m so shocked. Wow. All right.
[00:21:41] Matt: Yeah.
[00:21:41] Ramit: Bankers, take notice. Nobody gives a shit about your model. I personally think it’s really cool. If anyone is a banker and wants to help me with my models for free, great. However, I don’t want to pay, and I don’t care about the complexity of it. I certainly know that spouses of bankers really do not care, as I’ve learned.
[00:21:59] Matt: Can we talk about the numbers now?
[00:22:05] Ramit: I’m laughing because bankers, and PE guys, and other finance people always want to talk about the numbers. That’s part of the problem. No, we’re not going to talk about the numbers yet.
[00:22:15] Ramit: What do you both think that the primary problem is here? Describe it to me in a sentence or two.
[00:22:22] Matt: One thing is scarcity mindset. One of the things that I think we’ve both seen our parents do is deprive themselves of all kinds of things in the goal of trying to give a better life for us. And that’s just what we saw. And that’s what we try and emulate. I just don’t think it’s necessary in this instance.
[00:22:45] I think it’s hurting more than it’s helping. There’s a lot of the skills I’ve learned to get here, saving, and modeling, and all of these things, and boosting my income. The switch hasn’t flicked fully for me yet where now I can say, okay, let’s enjoy this. Let’s not die when we’re 90 with 25 million in the account. Let’s start spending. And I don’t think that has fully switched for me.
[00:23:11] Ramit: Okay. That’s honest. I appreciate that. And Ruane, how about for you? What do you think that the problem is here in one or two sentences?
[00:23:18] Ruane: I think because Matt makes more money than me, and I don’t make the money, I feel like it doesn’t belong to me.
[00:23:24] Ramit: You feel like the household money is not your money.
[00:23:29] Ruane: I feel like any money he makes is not mine.
[00:23:33] Ramit: He did say my money is my money, and your money is your money.
[00:23:36] Ruane: Correct. I’ve expressed to him that my money psychology when it comes to him is because of that conversation.
[00:23:45] Ramit: Hmm. That one conversation.
[00:23:47] Ruane: That one conversation paved the way for how he looks at us as a relationship. And he was like, these are my condos. They don’t belong to you. And I was like, when we get married, theoretically, they do belong to me because we’re together, but I don’t want your condo.
[00:24:07] Ramit: Did you ever talk to her about that conversation directly?
[00:24:14] Matt: Maybe not.
[00:24:16] Ruane: I don’t think we ever did, to be honest.
[00:24:19] Ramit: What were you feeling when you said that to her?
[00:24:28] Matt: Maybe I felt I was working harder, putting more into the relationship, putting more into our future, studying, working. I remember I was working while we were traveling. I was working and studying. I was booking all the vacations. I was paying for a lot of it. I don’t know if all of it, but a lot of it. Maybe I just felt like I was doing more, and maybe I felt taken advantage of.
[00:24:53] Ramit: Ruane, what do you think?
[00:24:57] Ruane: I can go on defense. I paid for a lot of parts of that vacation. All of that vacation, I thought pretty much equally. I was never living off of him. I took my savings and took a leave of absence from work and went with him to Australia. I thought I was doing my part and contributing my part.
[00:25:24] Was I working as hard as him? No. He went and did an exchange and was doing classes, and he was studying for his CFA, and I was not. And I don’t know if that could have contributed to the fact, well, here I am just chilling, and I’m not having to study because I’ve done it. a registered respiratory therapist. I’m done. I have my career. I don’t need to study. He’s never expressed that before.
[00:25:52] Ramit: Matt, I’ve only just met both of you, and clearly, both of you very intelligent, very professionally accomplished. I don’t get the sense that Ruane was out hunting for somebody with money. She seems quite accomplished on her own. And I’m trying to get into that car. I’m almost trying to be in the backseat listening in 10 years ago.
[00:26:16] Matt: It’s a reality, like Ruane said. I can say whatever I want, but if there’s no prenup, and we’re married, and the next month she decides she made a mistake, she can walk away with half or more, or worse. That’s a reality. As a man, that’s how it works.
[00:26:33] Ramit: And has she ever given you that indication?
[00:26:40] Matt: At that time, I think in that car, there’s a lot of dynamics in our relationship in the family. Yeah, maybe I was afraid she’d walk away, that her family would get her ear and I could lose her.
[00:27:03] Ramit: How about now? Ten years later, two kids later, has she given any indication of that ever? That was a no?
[00:27:14] Matt: That was a no. It was a horrible mistake. Yeah, it’s the worst of both worlds because she still remembers this. This is over a decade ago, and I don’t know how to undo it.
[00:27:33] Ramit: Matt, if you could say anything about that conversation– I’m not pressuring you to say anything you don’t feel comfortable with, but have you ever thought about what you might do if you were in that car in New Zealand again?
[00:27:49] Matt: I don’t think I had the skills then that I do now. But what I’d say is, I want to make a life together, and I want us both committed to that.
[00:28:05] Ramit: So I wonder if it’s maybe time to turn the page on the fears from a decade ago. You have built a life together, as deep of an integrated life as you possibly can. Kids, living together, property together. You haven’t integrated your bank accounts, but okay, fine. Aside from a joint account, that’s fine.
[00:28:30] If she was going to leave, she left, or she would. That hasn’t come up at all. So instead of worrying about what might be, which was the Matt of, I don’t know, a decade ago, it’s like, wow, what if we could actually go on offense together and talk about all the things that could go right? If the two of you approached the world like that, just for the next 60 seconds, how do you think it would change the type of conversations you have about money?
[00:29:02] Ruane: I think it would improve it.
[00:29:04] Ramit: How so?
[00:29:07] Ruane: I think Matt’s love language is money. His love language is finance.
[00:29:12] Ramit: What? That’s not a love language.
[00:29:14] Ruane: For him it is.
[00:29:15] Ramit: If his love language is money, maybe you should just spend some time with his Excel models, and that would actually make him really happy. What do you think?
[00:29:24] Matt: It would make so happy.
[00:29:26] Ruane: And when I say his love language is money, he enjoys when I engage with him on the things that he’s passionate about. And that is about finance and about investments. And to be honest, that’s why I started listening to your podcast, more so. One, you’re very captivating, and it’s intriguing. The other piece is it makes him happy. And I think I haven’t made him happy in a long time.
[00:30:02] Ramit: Do you want to acknowledge what she’s been doing?
[00:30:09] Matt: Yeah, of course. I appreciate you taking the time, and listening, and doing this podcast. I’m sure this was a big stretch for you.
[00:30:23] Ramit: It means what to me? Fill it in, Matt.
[00:30:30] Matt: It means a lot to me that you’re making an effort. It’s a way of showing that you care.
[00:30:40] Ramit: That was nice. Ruane, you ever hear that before from him?
[00:30:45] Ruane: Sometimes. Not enough. Not enough.
[00:30:52] Matt: Yeah, showing gratitude is something I’m not good at, but I know that it means a lot.
[00:30:59] Ruane: I find sometimes it’s difficult to get Matt to be soft and sensitive. I’m soft and gooey, and he’s hard, tough. I just want someone else help him understand how I view things, and also help allow me an opportunity to meet him halfway. I want us to meet halfway. I want him to understand me, and I need to understand him in order for us to be united. To be honest, my mom, I love her, but my dad did everything. I don’t want to paint that picture.
[00:31:37] Ramit: Yes.
[00:31:38] Ruane: And Matt knows that that’s where this is going, which is also why he’s pushy. Doesn’t do it in the right ways, but he’s–
[00:31:48] Ramit: He cares, let’s say that.
[00:31:49] Ruane: He does. He does. The intentions are so pure.
[00:31:53] Ramit: Yeah.
[00:31:54] Ruane: Execution, meh.
[00:31:55] Ramit: That’s a powerful moment. Both of them love each other, but he doesn’t express gratitude. And she makes jokes, like, Matt’s love language is money. But those jokes actually obscure that he really wants quality time, which, interestingly enough, she’s been actively doing.
[00:32:14] In many ways, both of them have great intentions, but notice that they’re dancing around what they are doing and what they truly want instead of coming right out and saying, I love you. I know you value this, and I want to support you as a partner.
[00:32:28] We’ll be right back after this message from our sponsors.
[00:32:32] Now listen as we go deeper into the idea of quality time.
[00:32:37] Ruane: I just sometimes want to feel a part.
[00:32:40] Ramit: Give me a specific example.
[00:32:42] Ruane: He wants to buy a dream vacation home, and I want to do that as well. I just struggle with the responsibilities of managing it. And I’m afraid all these investments that he puts his self into, he takes away from us. If there’s something that happens in the condo, he has to leave on a weekend to go deal with it. We don’t get that quality time to spend with each other.
[00:33:15] Ramit: Okay. It’s funny because he’s mentioned that he wants more quality time with you, and you now mentioned that you want more quality time with him.
[00:33:22] Ruane: I think we are so focused on our family and our children we just don’t make real quality time for each other. And when he–
[00:33:34] Ramit: How many millions of dollars do you need to do that?
[00:33:37] Ruane: I don’t know.
[00:33:39] Ramit: Matt, you want more quality time with Ruane? What’s stopping you?
[00:33:47] Matt: I don’t want to point the finger, but there’s a lot of reasons why it can be difficult. But if we both wanted, we should be able to get it done.
[00:34:03] Ramit: It’s been nine years. Maybe the next 19 years you guys will crack the code. What else? Okay, I agree. There’s definitely reasons. A couple who’s been married a long time, who have jobs, who have kids, of course there’s reasons not to spend quality time. We get that. But you’re both smart. So what else? What’s beneath that that you can’t find quality time for the two of you? Silence.
[00:34:42] Ruane: For a long time, kids have strained our relationship. I think we just didn’t want to spend time with each other. I say this, and I’m not ashamed of it. I didn’t like him for a long time. It was hard with our second kid, our second son. He’s challenging. He’s a second born.
[00:35:09] All second borns are challenging. All of American can hate me, but it’s the truth. And he put a wedge between us. I say to people all the time, I said, marriage is hard, and I only started loving my husband again recently. And need to show more effort. I need to show more effort for him. I think that’s also what brought me here.
[00:35:36] Ramit: Okay.
[00:35:36] Ruane: This is me showing up. I don’t think I want to believe that this is happening. Yeah, I don’t think I want to believe it. And Matt has tried to show me through his Excel, through all the numbers. I want to believe that conversation in the car over a decade ago, but that’s not the situation now.
[00:36:04] Matt: think we both have to make a real effort because there’s so much other competing priorities. We both work. We have different schedules. We’re tired. I just feel it has to be a real priority for both of us.
[00:36:21] Ramit: Is it?
[00:36:23] Ruane: I don’t think it was for a long time. I think it was one-sided.
[00:36:28] Ramit: Whose side?
[00:36:29] Ruane: His side more than me. And this is my way of showing you that I want it too, but it’s hard.
[00:36:39] Matt: I just don’t think there’s time for excuses anymore. It’s been years of darkness. It can’t go on We always find our way through things.
[00:36:53] Ramit: Yeah. It works out. It’s fine in the end.
[00:36:55] Matt: It works out. It’s fine in the end.
[00:36:58] Ramit: That’s not the life I want, a fine life. Why’d you work so hard and make millions of dollars if you want to have a fine life? This isn’t the I Will Teach You to Be Fine show. I’m serious. What’s the point of all this money which is going to compound into tens of millions of dollars? What’s the point?
[00:37:17] If it’s truly serious and you were two young parents with two kids and you were financially struggling, that would be hard. And that would be one thing. And that is a lot of people around the world. In your case, you’re two young parents who have been incredibly successful in your careers. You have tons of money, and you can use that to make life a lot easier for you.
[00:37:43] Matt: What is the point? Why do I work so hard? Why should we work so hard? Stop working. If you can’t enjoy the money, if we can’t enjoy it together, what is the point?
[00:37:53] Ruane: I agree.
[00:37:56] Ramit: What’s the point of it all? What do we get for our hard work? These are the questions you should be asking yourself and your partner. Literally, put your hand out and go, what do we get? We work hard. Maybe we have a business. We sacrifice X, Y, and Z. What do we get? Do we get to travel three times a year? Do we get to not have to do laundry every day?
[00:38:17] What do we get? After all, what’s the point of working, and saving, and investing? Does it mean a nicer house? Does it mean a nicer car or the ability to donate generously? You have to remember that a rich life cannot simply be chasing more money and then worrying about more money until you die.
[00:38:38] I want to turn to their numbers, which is going to give this conversation a very surprising perspective. Their assets, $5.5 million. Their investments, 2 million. Savings, 65,000. Debt, 2 million. For a total net worth of $5.7 million.
[00:39:00] Ruane: It’s actually really good.
[00:39:01] Ramit: Yeah.
[00:39:01] Matt: I think so.
[00:39:03] Ramit: Congratulations. All right. Fantastic work. That’s very impressive. And I like that you two are smiling. Sometimes I get these couples on this podcast. They have millions of dollars, and they look so depressed. Oh, my debt ratio is just a little too high. I go, shut up. Ugh. So I like that you two are smiling about it. Let’s keep going along the numbers, shall we? on an annual basis, you make 649, 000. Does that sound about right?
[00:39:37] Matt: Yes.
[00:39:38] Ramit: Mm-hmm. How come Matt answered that and not Ruane? Ruane?
[00:39:44] Ruane: Do we?
[00:39:45] Ramit: So tell me. The disconnect for you is what? Because, Matt, I want you to listen closely here.
[00:39:51] Ruane: That’s combined, but most of it’s him.
[00:39:54] Ramit: Okay. I agree. Your monthly income that I see here is $5,500 a month, correct?
[00:40:01] Ruane: That’s correct.
[00:40:02] Ramit: What do you see in those numbers? What does it mean to you?
[00:40:05] Ruane: I’m not worth as much.
[00:40:07] Ramit: Mm. You believe that?
[00:40:11] Ruane: Do I personally believe that in my heart? No, I know I’m worth a lot. I do a lot. I’m a huge part of this, but money is more quantifiable than all the unpaid things done.
[00:40:27] Ramit: What would be some of those unpaid things that you do in the family
[00:40:31] Ruane: Being a mom, coordinating the groceries, making sure there’s food in the house, making sure there’s clothes, making sure there’s clean clothes, making sure the kids get to all their activities on time, make sure the kids’ activities are paid for. When I say paid for, like coordinated. Make sure this get the calendar is all up to date. Make sure he knows what my schedule is. I know what his schedule is, what the kids schedule is so that when he looks in the calendar, he knows exactly what’s happening. Make sure our caregiver’s schedule–
[00:41:00] Ramit: Sounds like a lot. I bet we didn’t even cover a third of what you do. You look at these numbers, and you say, ah, I don’t feel that I’m contributing as much. There’s unpaid labor. It’s unquantifiable. Quantifiable stuff seems to be worth more by virtue of putting it on a spreadsheet. That’s actually really common. But ultimately, we need all of us to make it work, right?
[00:41:22] Matt: I think so.
[00:41:24] Ramit: Different way to look at it. We’re going to keep talking about these numbers because I want to understand what’s going on.
[00:41:29] Matt: Read column D. That’s all the investment property stuff.
[00:41:33] Ramit: Amazing. God, this is so good. Matt, you want to pick up a part time job working on some CSP stuff for me?
[00:41:39] Matt: I’d be happy to.
[00:41:42] Ruane: He’s very good.
[00:41:43] Ramit: I know. Every banker’s dream is that someone goes, hey, quick question. Can you help me with my model? And they’re like, what did you say? God, it’s so beautiful. Everything flows. This is so good. 63%. I don’t really have any comments. Whatever. 50 to 60%. Fine. Let’s move on. Investments are at 18%. It’s pretty good. And we’re not even counting the investment properties, right?
[00:42:13] Matt: Right.
[00:42:13] Ramit: So what do you think that number is off the top of your head, Matt? 18% right now of investments. If we were to factor in all the money going towards those other things.
[00:42:22] Matt: It’d be another 5 to 10%.
[00:42:24] Ramit: Yeah. So like 30% of net, not gross. Net. Okay, fine. Your savings are at zero. Why is that?
[00:42:34] Matt: It’s all in the investments, I guess.
[00:42:39] Ramit: Okay. Let me cut in here. When it comes to money, the usual rules break for the very poor and the very wealthy. For example, the usual advice is to aim for your total housing costs to be less than 28% of your gross income. But let me give you an example where this makes no sense.
[00:42:55] If you make $30,000 a year, it’s going to be nearly impossible to hit that number. Similarly, if you make 200 million per year, it would be ridiculous to follow that advice because you’d be spending tens of millions of dollars every single year on housing. The theory to understand is something I call toothpaste and bread.
[00:43:18] Essentially, everyone buys the same toothpaste and bread. Sure, you might get a little bit more expensive toothpaste, but we’re talking about $3 or $5 difference. And what that means is that if you’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or very high salary, you should have a lot more in savings and investments compared to a median income because you’re spending the same amount as everyone else on your toothpaste, and your milk, and your ordinary day-to-day expenses.
[00:43:46] When I see that Matt and Ruane have a zero savings rate, that’s a big red flag. Especially because they have such a high household income.
[00:43:55] Ruane: After listening to your book, I was like, oh my God. I said to Matt last night, I was like, oh my God, I could be rich if I had started saving when–
[00:44:08] Ramit: Hold on, everybody. Listen. Okay. Ruane, everybody, I could be rich. What’s that net worth Ruane? Read that number off to me real quick.
[00:44:15] Ruane: 5.6.
[00:44:17] Ramit: 5.6 what?
[00:44:18] Ruane: Million.
[00:44:19] Ramit: 5.6 million at 38 years old. I could be rich if I had started. Anybody know?
[00:44:29] Ruane: I’m back at my single thoughts. We’re erasing that, right? But that reaction was my single reaction.
[00:44:39] Ramit: But that’s so interesting, isn’t it? The idea that you go back to, I am not contributing. I don’t have enough. I could be rich had I started earlier.
[00:44:53] Ruane: I could have brought more to the table if I started early.
[00:44:58] Ramit: Okay, I agree with that. Sure, you could have brought more financially to the table. Okay. You were focused on other things. You do quite well in terms of your job, and all the contributions that are not showing up on this spreadsheet. And can I just say something? At a certain point, how much do you both need to bring in in order for you to win the game?
[00:45:23] Ruane: I think I just need to accept it.
[00:45:25] Ramit: I can’t change your feelings. You know that. But what I can do is help you see that maybe you’ve been ignoring the entire game that’s sitting over here, and you are already winning it. You just don’t realize that it exists.
[00:45:41] The game of being a great partner, being a great mother, investing your own money, and maybe even you starting to create a vision together on how you can start to use your money today instead of just blindly accumulating it. What do you think?
[00:46:00] Ruane: Oh, I think that’s exactly what I want.
[00:46:03] Ramit: Okay. Let’s keep looking at the numbers. So you’re saving nothing, which is insane. And then your guilt-free spending, oh my God. How are you the only people on this podcast who are under their guilt-free spending and you have five and a half million dollars? And then I have people on here who make $75,000 and their truck costs more than their annual income. Can you explain that to me?
[00:46:26] Ruane: It’s Matt.
[00:46:28] Ramit: It’s Matt.
[00:46:29] Ruane: He toes the line.
[00:46:33] Ramit: Do you realize how absurd it is to be spending as little as you do on guilt-free spending? And do you also realize that that is why the two of you don’t have quality time together?
[00:46:49] Ruane: Yeah.
[00:46:51] Ramit: Matt, do you get that?
[00:46:53] Matt: Yeah, a 100%.
[00:46:55] Ramit: How come you’re not spending like six, seven, $8,000 a month on guilt-free spending?
[00:47:02] Ruane: I don’t know.
[00:47:04] Ramit: Do you even know what you would do with that?
[00:47:05] Ruane: No, no.
[00:47:07] Ramit: Can I make a few suggestions?
[00:47:09] Ramit: I want you to listen very closely to the next part of this conversation, where I talk about spending money to buy back their time. Remember what I said earlier. Most people love the idea of buying back their time more than they actually love doing it. And this is exactly what you’re going to hear from Ruane.
[00:47:28] We’ll be right back.
[00:47:29] Now back to the show.
[00:47:30] Let me remind you that we have a multi-millionaire couple here who both want to spend more time together. Try to spot the psychology of why they are underspending on guilt-free spending to buy back their time.
[00:47:46] Ramit: So you mentioned quality time. Who does the laundry? Okay, why do you do it?
[00:47:53] Ruane: That’s how we divvied up the responsibilities, I guess.
[00:47:58] Ramit: Do you enjoy it?
[00:47:59] Ruane: I don’t enjoy it. It’s a task that has to get done.
[00:48:02] Ramit: All right. Plan, organize who’s going where, when, etc., enjoy it?
[00:48:10] Ruane: No, but I do it.
[00:48:13] Ramit: You make $650,000 a year. Why are you doing laundry? There’s a famous phrase in self-development. The more money I made, the less I could afford to do certain things. And this gentleman was saying that as he started to earn more money, he couldn’t mow his lawn anymore because his time was so limited he would rather spend it with his son. And I wonder what it would look like and feel like to you if you were to contemplate maybe having somebody else do the laundry.
[00:48:45] Ruane: So our caregiver does the kids’ laundries. So we share it. So I do it, but between her and I, we share it. If someone was to fully take it over, if I fully gave it to her, that would be good, but we’re also a bit OCD in how things are done and folded. And sometimes it’s better left to do it yourself than let someone else do it. I know. I know.
[00:49:17] Ramit: For everyone just listening and not watching, I’m just shaking my head. This is so classic, the inability to give up control for something as trivial as laundry.
[00:49:28] Ruane: I know.
[00:49:29] Ramit: I explain it to whoever this person is, whether I’m getting it sent out or this person is in the house, and I make it very clear, like, these ones don’t get dried. These ones get hand washed, whatever. And of course I pay. I happily pay for the additional service. What is your reaction?
[00:49:48] Ruane: If it was done exactly like that, that’d be lovely.
[00:49:50] Ramit: Tell me what else the two of you could hire out to use your money and buy back your time.
[00:50:02] Ruane: Groceries. It would save me a lot of time. We can spend more time with each other grocery shopping. The thing is I enjoy going grocery shopping. It’s my time to myself.
[00:50:14] Ramit: Yeah.
[00:50:15] Ruane: And there’s some value in knowing what I’m feeding my family.
[00:50:18] Ramit: Hold on. Who says that if you pay someone, you’re not going to know what you feed your family?
[00:50:23] Ruane: No, I know. There’s not. This is my–
[00:50:28] Ramit: It’s your recreation time. I don’t mind it. What else? Again, you’re throwing me the ideas. I’m not telling you. So you tell me what else could you use money to buy back quality time?
[00:50:37] Ruane: Babysitters. We need to actually hire a babysitter because what we do is rely on family to take the kids, and the family has been great. We rotate between houses who takes the kids. We dangle them over their heads.
[00:50:54] Ramit: I just want to put this number back up on screen. As you said, we could hire a babysitter. What’s that number again? Matt, read that off to me again. Total net worth.
[00:51:02] Matt: 5.7.
[00:51:03] Ramit: It’s going up as we speak. $5.7 million, and we’re sitting here debating hiring a baby– I would have three babysitters, and they would be redundant.
[00:51:15] Ruane: It’s very hard for me to allow strangers to watch my children. That’s the truth.
[00:51:21] Ramit: Fine. I appreciate the truth. So you don’t want to do babysitter? Fine. I totally respect that. What else?
[00:51:27] Matt: Maybe less kids’ activities. That’s a tough one for us, but could do less.
[00:51:39] Ramit: Okay. Can I just make an observation? You two spend under the recommended guidelines for guilt-free spending, which is hilarious already, just because your income is so high and your net worth is so high at such a young age. By the way, the funniest thing is that you both want more quality time.
[00:51:57] So it’s almost like the puzzle pieces are literally built to fit together. And when I’ve asked you, how would you use your considerable income and wealth to buy back some of your time and have some quality time with each other and with the family, did you notice what happened?
[00:52:16] Ruane: Silence.
[00:52:18] Ramit: Yeah. And we went through a few examples, and what happened with each of those examples?
[00:52:24] Ruane: It gave a reason why it couldn’t work.
[00:52:26] Ramit: Yeah. Groceries, laundry, babysitters, etc. Now, I’m not here to tell you how to spend your money. Not my money, but if you came to me and you said, I want more of a connection, I want to feel more aligned, I want to meet halfway, the easiest part of that is to spend money to buy back your time so that you two can actually have a setting and peace to be able to talk about the big important things. But if we can’t even get there, if we can’t even get you out on a weekly date, the rest of it’s going to be really hard.
[00:53:10] Matt: What is the right way to do that that doesn’t change our identity, that doesn’t put our kids in danger, and all these other reasons or excuses? Help us find that answer. What is the way to get that time together?
[00:53:32] Ramit: How much time do you want?
[00:53:37] Matt: I had said I was happy with one weekend a month away.
[00:53:40] Ramit: All right. How about like a date night? Once a month is great, but that’s not enough. You two are really busy.
[00:53:54] Ruane: Once a week. Twice a month. We’ve tried that. We have a date night, I think, scheduled for next month, but I’m now part-time, so I schedule my life around the children’s schedule. So we just have to sit down together and carve out the time.
[00:54:18] Ramit: Why don’t we do it right now? I’m here. Go ahead. Nothing like the pressure of radio silence and millions of people listening to expedite this. Go ahead.
[00:54:28] Matt: You want to do every two weeks, every week?
[00:54:38] Ruane: I think it’d be easier to start with every two weeks, and then we can ease into every week, depending on availability. We would have to potentially find another person to babysit just because I don’t know how available our caregiver is. So right now our next date night is October 18.
[00:55:05] Matt: That’s a month away.
[00:55:07] Ruane: Yes, yes.
[00:55:16] Matt: But what do you want? Do you want it every two weeks? Do you want it every week?
[00:55:26] Ruane: I think every two weeks is a good start.
[00:55:32] Matt: Okay. [Inaudible]
[00:55:33] Ramit: What’s the date?
[00:55:35] Ruane: So we have October 4th. That’s someone’s birthday.
[00:55:46] Matt: How about Saturday the 7th?
[00:55:48] Ruane: 7th? Yeah, that looks free. That’s Easter weekend. I don’t think we have anything, at least not right now. I know we’re seeing your mom on Sunday. The question is Monday, if we’re going to see my family for Thanksgiving. But Saturday after, and there’s no swimming, so we can figure out where to send the boys.
[00:56:14] Matt: Okay.
[00:56:15] Ruane: I can put that in.
[00:56:17] Ramit: Can I just pause real quick? I like this. I hear like a lot of circling around and, like, there’s this and that, a lot of talking out loud, and I don’t mind it. This is the first time you’re doing this. It’s helpful for me to hear. Can I encourage you gently that– let’s just recenter. Do we both want to have time for each other once every two weeks? Yes or no?
[00:56:41] Ruane: Yes.
[00:56:42] Matt: Yes.
[00:56:43] Ruane: All right, Saturday night, babe, it is. What time?
[00:56:48] Matt: 5:00 PM.
[00:56:49] Ruane: 5:00 PM. Done.
[00:56:51] Ramit: That was pretty interesting to hear. They both claim they want to spend more quality time together, but when they get into the details of scheduling things, suddenly they are stuck. They can’t seem to cancel any obligations that they’ve already got. And that’s why I said, hey, can we recenter for a second?
[00:57:11] Can we zoom up to our North Star? Do you want to spend more time together? Yes. This is exactly why I encourage you to be very careful about what you add to your fixed costs, like your housing, your car, your debt payoff, all that. Because once it’s there, whether it’s your fixed costs or what’s on your calendar, it is really hard to take it off.
[00:57:32] And your rich life can somehow turn into a nightmare when you open your eyes and look at your calendar, and it’s filled with obligations you made a year ago. You open your eyes. Look at your conscious spending plan. It’s filled with expenses. You don’t even remember why you’re driving this car, or why you bought this house, or why you spending all this money on these groceries.
[00:57:51] Critically, you need to be careful of elevating something to fix costs because once it’s there, it is really hard to get rid of. I’m sure you and I are both noticing that there’s a lot of spinning happening here. Obviously, there’s something going on much deeper than the scheduling itself. What I want to do now is dive into why. Why is it that they can’t commit to this when they claim they both want time together, and they’re obviously both very intelligent? Listen.
[00:58:20] Ruane: I don’t think I want to believe that we’ve done so well.
[00:58:24] Ramit: You two ever gone to couples therapy?
[00:58:28] Ruane: No. We’ve talked about it, though.
[00:58:31] Ramit: Would you be open to the idea of it?
[00:58:36] Ruane: Yeah. I’ve researched and got names. We just haven’t made the time to sit down and pick a therapist together to move forward with it as I go to therapy, and I reached out to my therapist and asked for some recommendations.
[00:58:50] Ramit: Great.
[00:58:51] Ruane: And she gave me some recommendations. We just haven’t had made the time to sit down and look at the two portfolios and decide who we’d want to go with.
[00:59:03] Ramit: First of all, that’s awesome. I would totally recommend it. And I think that setting that up on a weekly basis for the two of you would force you to at least have one hour with each other at a bare minimum. Definitely highly recommend it. Can I make another suggestion of what people with a lot of money do?
[00:59:31] Matt: Please.
[00:59:31] Ramit: I think what I hear from you is that you’ve accumulated all this money, but you’re still playing very small. Would that be fair to say? And it’s not just the groceries, and the laundry, and all that stuff. It’s that people with this kind of wealth who have learned the skill of spending it meaningfully, they spend it in a way that solves a lot of problems.
[00:59:56] You can’t solve every problem with money, but you can solve a lot of logistical ones. So if you were deciding on two therapists, you know what I would do? And I had that money? I would just be like, okay, we’re going to set up appointments with both of them. Who cares? And we’ll talk to both of them. And then we’ll decide which one we like after it.
[01:00:16] Let’s just get it on the calendar and get it done. It’s okay to waste a little bit of money. What are we talking about? A 100 bucks, 200 bucks, 300 bucks? You have, nine out of 10, fire burning and the North Star of the two of you being connected to so powerful. And I will say you made time to talk to me, which I totally appreciate. So I know you can make time for a therapist who can guide you for a long period of time. What do you think?
[01:00:46] Ruane: I agree.
[01:00:48] Matt: That’s fine.
[01:00:48] Ruane: You know where the hesitation comes in when there’s other compounding factors that end up on that day that make me hem and haw. I try to look for days that are completely clear, and then that would be an easier day for us to execute.
[01:01:03] Ramit: Do you think that hemming and hawing is a pattern of yours?
[01:01:08] Ruane: Yes.
[01:01:08] Ramit: Yeah. So whether it is something as simple as a date night, or something as big as a condo that pencils out, the hemming and hawing– it would even be better if you’re just like, no, I don’t want to do that night. Matt, I see a reaction.
[01:01:27] Matt: Yes, yes, yes. Say no. A fast no is better than a hem, and a haw, and a maybe.
[01:01:33] Ramit: Yeah, so perhaps this is the stuff that comes out when you talk in therapy and when you talk over dinner, and you actually start to be able to have the space to have constructive conversations that are not jabs. You can even ask questions like, what’s one thing you wish that I wouldn’t do anymore?
[01:01:52] Ruane: That he wouldn’t leave his side of the bathroom counter so cluttered.
[01:01:58] Ramit: Perfect. Matt, what do you want to say to that?
[01:02:01] Matt: It’s hilarious. But I can change that. No problem.
[01:02:07] Ramit: There we go. This is beautiful. This is what you two need time to do.
[01:02:15] Ruane: Hmm. Wow. Yeah.
[01:02:18] Ramit: All right. I’m not a couples therapist, and a couples therapist can help you really well, but what I can tell you is, looking at the numbers, you’ve done very well, both of you. And together, you are a very powerful unit. None of this happens by accident, none of it. So each of you has done an incredible job in contributing to where you are financially and as a family. But what got you here is not going to get you to the next step.
[01:02:46] Ramit: I’m a bit puzzled by my conversation with Matt and Ruane. On one hand, they’re both incredibly intelligent, very successful, and they’ve raised a family. On the other hand, with all this money, even though they claim they want to spend more time together, they can’t seem to bring themselves to do it. Even things like making an appointment with a therapist seemed really hard for them.
[01:03:15] Oftentimes when I encounter people who have reason after reason to not do something, it often comes down to the fact that they don’t really want to. They think they want to, but when we get into the logistics of it, they don’t really want to. But I hold out hope because Matt and Ruane both came. They both had a very candid conversation with me. Hopefully, I gave them a few tools where they could build some quality time, get some additional help, hopefully from a therapist. Let’s see what their follow-ups reveal.
[01:03:43] Ruane: I learned that Matt and I do a really great job at dancing around topics and not actually making concrete decisions. I learned that I am wealthy, and I have contributed, and that was something that I never really thought I did. And I should be very proud of myself.
[01:04:02] What surprised me the most, hearing Matt say that at some point in his relationship he thought that I was trying to take advantage of him and use him for his money. And also to hear him actually verbalize and say that he’s afraid of losing me because that’s something that has never been told to me or vocalized before.
[01:04:24] What changes do I want to make moving forward? I think what I want or need to do is start putting money into savings. We need to do a better job at that. I want to definitely prioritize more quality time with Matt and consistently set date nights so that we can have that time together. I need to start working on changing my mindset on my money to a mindset of our money I also need to just spend more money on myself.
[01:04:56] Matt: I was very surprised from our conversation that that discussion my wife and I had 12 years ago very much laid the framework for a lot of our financial behaviors still being seen today in our money psychology. I’ve learned a lot. I learned about communication being a big, big requirement for what we need to work on to make my wife more part of things. I learned that we can and should spend more on guilt-free spending.
[01:05:23] The changes we’ve made are many. We’ve severed out the investment properties that we know exactly how much cash flow is required to service those. And we’re looking to sell one unit. We have reduced our debt servicing. I have one line of credit for, what, 95K . Reduced it from 5,000 to 3,000 per month, and that frees up more cash for guilt-free spending. We have set five savings goals.
[01:05:46] We’ve put in some quality time, sacred times as a part of rich life into our calendar. Every two weeks, we’re going to have a date night, and we’re planning twice a year staycations. We just had one this weekend for my birthday. We’re still looking at a vacation home or summer home possibilities, and we’re still looking at potential couple therapy options. So stay tuned. Some more updates for you.
[01:06:10] Ramit: I’m pleased to hear the small steps that both of them have taken and, more importantly, the realizations that they’ve had about their relationship, specifically around money. There’s no point in accumulating millions and millions of dollars just sitting around in real estate, or bank accounts, or investment accounts without a purpose.
[01:06:31] The point of money is not to accumulate it, and hoard it, and look at it in a spreadsheet. The point of money is to use it to live a rich life. Of course you got to save it. Of course you got to invest it. And you can use money to bring your relationship closer together. Thank you, Matt and Ruane, for speaking to me. And thank you everybody for watching and listening to I Will Teach You to Be Rich.
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