Episode #98: “We make $280,000. Why does he keep shooting down my dreams?”

Sarah and Charlie are in their mid 30s living in Mexico City. They are foodies who love to travel, married for 5 years and earning in the top 1% for their location. Sarah has big dreams, but Charlie holds them both back – a dynamic we learn is seen, and heard, elsewhere in their lives.

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Show Transcript

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[00:00:00] Ramit:  A lot of you ask a lot of questions about these episodes in the comments on Instagram, on YouTube, all over my social media. So I decided I’m going to answer the very best questions every single week. If you’ve ever wanted to ask what happened behind the scenes, or what would I do, or why did they do this, well, every Saturday I’m going to be answering your questions on the new I Will Teach You to Be Rich podcast newsletter. So I’m adding a link right now. You can go ahead and ask a question about today’s episode, and I will answer the very best this Saturday. To get on the newsletter, go to iwt.com/podcastnewsletter. That’s iwt.com/podcastnewsletter. You can get the link right below. Ask any question about today’s episode, and I’ll answer them every Saturday on this new podcast newsletter.

[00:00:54] Sara: I don’t know that he always listens to me. I mean, I know he doesn’t always listen to me. I felt like I ran into a brick wall of no. He said, “We can’t afford that. We can’t do that.” I mean, I felt like someone had popped me like a balloon, and I got angry. I mean, I just got really upset, and I went to the numbers, and it was just like, what do you mean we can’t afford that? We can afford it.

[00:01:15] Ramit: Did that work? 

[00:01:16] Sara: No. It never does. He’s really stuck in a lot of ways, and really stuck playing the same loops in his head. And we just play out the same dynamic over and over again. And I try really hard to step out of it. We’ve talked about separating. We just passed our five-year anniversary, and I would say three and a half of those have been really rocky. It affects our relationship by making me question whether it’s the right one. 

[00:01:38] Charlie: It makes me feel frustrated because it feels like, okay, we’re doing so well, and yet we’re just so far away from– the sky’s the limit. I have worked to arrive at where we are, and I feel content. My gut feeling is to just stay here and be very protective.

[00:02:03] Ramit: Has your gut ever led you astray?

[00:02:06] Charlie: Yes.


[00:02:07] Ramit: For you to meet Sara and Charlie. They’re both in their 30s. Sara is originally from the United States, but now they are both living in Mexico City. Now, Sara wants to live her rich life with Charlie, but Charlie is constantly worried that they will not have enough money. And as we peel the onion today, you’re going to discover lots of fascinating layers behind what’s really going on. It all starts with Sara’s recent trip to a beach house. Sometimes you discover you are not living your rich life when you have a taste of it, and then you come back to reality.


[00:02:44] Sara: I came back from a friend’s bachelorette party, my excitement was like, uh, 20 out of 10. I’m not a beach person, and Charlie really loves the beach, and I was like, I did this great beach thing. It wasn’t a specific proposal. It was just banter. I felt like I ran into a brick wall of no. He said, “We can’t afford that. We can’t do that.” I mean, I felt like someone had popped me like a balloon, and I got angry. I mean, I just got really upset, and I went to the numbers, and it was just like, what do you mean we can’t afford that? We can afford it.

[00:03:16] Ramit: Did that work? 

[00:03:17] Sara: No. It never does. In the end, it never does. I felt like I was coming to him with, um, something that I thought he was going to be really excited about because he loves the beach so much, and I’m so pale I could burn in the moonlight. And so going to the beach is not usually on my radar. And so I thought, maybe this time, he was going to match my excitement, and I felt like I couldn’t even dream with him without getting shot down.

[00:03:50] Ramit: Charlie, what do you remember about that conversation?

[00:03:53] Charlie: I remember she came back very excited, and she was describing how they rented a house on the beach, and she said, well, I discovered a way of how I enjoy traveling to the beach. She said, we now just need to rent a house. What I imagined is us renting a house that was 90% empty, and us just paying for something that’s going to be unused. I don’t know. Renting an Airbnb that has five rooms. It’s beautiful. It’s like, uh, beachfront, has a, whatever, pool, and I thought, sure that’s enjoyable, but I’m not going to enjoy paying for house that’s almost empty. And it’s just us. So I said, “We can’t afford that.”

[00:04:35] Ramit: Is that true? You can’t afford a five-bedroom house?

[00:04:40] Charlie: Well, we can. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

[00:04:44] Ramit: Hmm. But you said, “We can’t afford it.”

[00:04:47] Charlie: Yes. That’s a bad financial decision. That’s like thrown away money.

[00:04:53] Ramit: Okay. And by the way, did she say that it was a five-bedroom house that she wanted to rent with you?

[00:05:01] Charlie: Not specifically. I don’t like to throw away money. I hate when we eat throw away food. Uh, I’m going to remember something. We booked location and we ended up– just a weekend, a trip for a weekend, and we couldn’t end up going, and I couldn’t cancel the hotel. And that’s just an example. I don’t even know if that actually happened. But–

[00:05:20] Ramit: What would that make you feel like?

[00:05:26] Charlie: Disgusted. It’s like, what kind of idiot are you? To myself.

[00:05:32] Ramit: If you throw away food, do you feel the same way?

[00:05:35] Charlie: I certainly don’t like it. Because we work hard to have the things we have. I’m going to just speak for myself, but I don’t come from a higher income family. It’s very well middle class, but I’m certainly doing better than my parents and my family in general. And I’m very proud of that, but I’m also very protective of that, I guess.

[00:05:59] Ramit: Uh-huh. So disgusted is a pretty strong word.

[00:06:03] Charlie: Yes. I am harsh in the way I judge other people because I’m harsh with how I judge myself.

[00:06:10] Ramit: Oh, okay. So you have high expectations for people around you?

[00:06:15] Charlie: Yes, and I do have that for myself. Sara sometimes thinks that, um, I don’t enforce those high expectations on myself. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

[00:06:27] Ramit: Well, that’s confusing because it sounds like you are holding very high standards for yourself. You’re verbally beating yourself up.

[00:06:36] Charlie: Let me put this in hypothetical. If it was her mistake, I would be very upset.

[00:06:42] Ramit: Mm-hmm.

[00:06:43] Charlie: And if it was my mistake, of course I would be upset, but there’s no consequence. And the consequence that she faces is that I get very upset.

[00:06:51] Ramit: Are you compassionate? 

[00:06:53] Charlie: No.

[00:06:53] Ramit: All right. Are you demanding?

[00:06:58] Charlie: Yes.

[00:07:00] Ramit: Are you generous?

[00:07:04] Charlie: Yes.

[00:07:05] Ramit: Are you scarcity-oriented?

[00:07:07] Charlie: Yes.

[00:07:08] Ramit: Are you abundant-oriented?

[00:07:12] Charlie: I am trying to, but no.


[00:07:14] Ramit: Notice the contradictions. He has high standards for others, but not necessarily for himself. They have plenty of money, but Charlie says, “We can’t afford it,” and on and on. And it would be natural for anyone listening or watching this to start judging Charlie. Oh my God, why does he do that? That’s so dumb. I would encourage you to hold that thought because we all have contradictions with our money. You have contradictions in the way you think about money. I have contradictions. We all do. Some of us are content to ignore these contradictions. A lot of us don’t even realize we have them. What I’m most interested in is how Charlie’s contradictions are affecting Sara.


[00:07:57] Sara: This is not the first time that I’ve come to him with an idea that’s been hit with a hard no, and then we fight about it. And what I would love is if he then thought about it, thought more about interrogating that response or trying new methods of like, okay, the next time you bring an idea to me, I’m going to take five seconds to center myself and then–

[00:08:17] Charlie: But if it were to happen, it will probably happen exactly the same because it’s a gut feeling. 

[00:08:25] Ramit: Well, I have gut feels a lot. I don’t always act on them, don’t you?

[00:08:30] Charlie: Sure.

[00:08:31] Ramit: What’s a gut feel you have that you don’t act on?

[00:08:37] Charlie: Staying in bed and not go to work.

[00:08:38] Ramit: That’s a great example. Okay. We share that sometimes. Great. So you get up. And why do you get when you don’t feel like getting up?

[00:08:49] Charlie: Well, there’s, uh, my responsibility, uh, a commitment that I want to honor.

[00:08:57] Ramit: Yeah. Anything else?

[00:09:00] Charlie: Well, it’s also a job, so I get paid, so that’s a nice reward as well.

[00:09:04] Ramit: You get paid. And if you didn’t go in, and you kept sleeping in bed for two weeks straight, what would happen?

[00:09:09] Charlie: Well, I will probably get fired.

[00:09:11] Ramit: Yeah. All right. So you have a responsibility, you have a commitment, you have an incentive, which is money, and you also have consequences of getting fired. Okay. Do you have any responsibility to Sara in conversations like this?

[00:09:27] Charlie: Yes, I do. 

[00:09:29] Ramit: What is that responsibility?

[00:09:33] Charlie: Well, to engage without whipping my gut feeling, uh, to try and check myself.

[00:09:42] Ramit: Do you believe that? Is that something like you should have, or is that something you deep down believe you have?

[00:09:50] Charlie: I think in order to have a functioning relationship, I need to have it.

[00:09:56] Ramit: Okay. Do you have it?

[00:09:58] Charlie: I’m sure I don’t.

[00:09:59] Ramit: Do you have a commitment of any kind with Sara that you’ve talked about for these conversations?

[00:10:07] Charlie: Well, now we’re trying to have more structured conversations, um, but I don’t think before that. No, not necessarily.

[00:10:15] Ramit: Okay. Do you have an incentive, like you get paid at work, do you have an incentive in these conversations with Sara?

[00:10:24] Charlie: Right. Well, the incentive is that we are both happy. I would say yes.

[00:10:31] Ramit: And how about the consequence? Do you have any consequences for conversations like this?

[00:10:36] Charlie: Well, yes. The consequence of not having them, we’re avoiding them until we have to have a conversation like this typically ends up in a fight or an argument. And obviously, I don’t like that.

[00:10:52] Ramit: And then what? Is that the only consequence?

[00:10:56] Charlie: So far. Yes. But you know–

[00:11:00] Ramit: You know what?

[00:11:02] Charlie: So far, yes, but there’s going to be a point that’s not the only consequence. And obviously, I don’t want to reach that point.

[00:11:08] Ramit: Okay. That point would be what?

[00:11:11] Charlie: Probably split up, or distancing, split up, etc.

[00:11:16] Ramit: Okay. Got it. Taking it further down, more serious. 

[00:11:19] Charlie: Right.

[00:11:20] Sara: I don’t want to blame everything on Charlie. He’s really stuck in a lot of ways, and really stuck playing the same loops in his head, and stuck with a lot of the same dynamics, and we just play out the same dynamic over and over again. And I try really hard to step out of it. We’ve been in couples counseling for a couple years. We’ve talked about separating, we’ve, um, I would say we’ve been– we just passed our five-year anniversary, and I would say three and a half of those have been really rocky. And so it affects our relationship by making me question whether it’s the right one. 


[00:11:53] Ramit: Charlie’s a good example that you can be aware of a problem, but awareness is not enough to change it. This happens a lot with cheat people. They will come to me asking for help. They will complain, I wish I could spend more money. How can I do it? But ultimately, they rarely change. Because deep down they don’t actually think they have a problem. In fact for a lot of people, they think it’s a virtue, and there are no real consequences for their behavior.


[00:12:21] Ramit: Culturally, what are the differences in the way both of you see money? Let’s start with Sara.

[00:12:28] Sara: I mean, I think there’s culture, culture and family culture. I’m from the US, and Charlie’s from Mexico. Because we grew up in radically different economies, I would say that there’s some things around just not trusting the economy. In Mexico, that’s really different. And then I would say family culture is really huge. My mom came from not a crazy wealthy family, but she came from some wealth and–

[00:12:56] Ramit: Hold on. How much wealth?

[00:12:58] Sara: Um, her great grandfather has a picture in the Smithsonian.

[00:13:06] Ramit: Well, what does that mean though?

[00:13:08] Sara: They had a large custom house in the North shore of Chicago, my grandparents.

[00:13:12] Ramit: Sounds like a lot of money.

[00:13:14] Sara: They were multimillionaires, but this wasn’t– yeah, they were multimillionaires.

[00:13:19] Ramit: We’re not talking Jeff Bezos. Jeff’s a multimillionaire.

[00:13:22] Sara: We’re not talking Jeff Bezos.

[00:13:23] Ramit: Okay. All right. Got it. Glad I asked.

[00:13:26] Sara: And I would say– but when I was growing up, my mom’s really bad with money. Money was really insecure. She was involved in, um, a really long-term lawsuit that she ended up winning and we got over a million dollars from. That was gone within five years, basically.

[00:13:40] Ramit: What’d she spend it on?

[00:13:42] Sara: We bought a house in the Bay Area and, um, and she–

[00:13:46] Ramit: What’s the problem though? Houses always go up. Uh, everybody always makes money.

[00:13:50] Sara: You’ve completely convinced me. I’m terrified of home ownership now. But, um, she also played the stock market, and she thought that she– she’s someone who’s afraid. She literally doesn’t open envelopes when they come to the house. Um, and my dad had a decent amount of money. They got divorced when I was six months old.

[00:14:10] Ramit: Well, what did you take away from your childhood with money?

[00:14:14] Sara: I think I took away two things. That, one, I really didn’t want to be like my mom.

[00:14:20] Ramit: Meaning what?

[00:14:21] Sara: Meaning that I wanted to have stability, and security, and know that what was happening the next year and the next– I didn’t want to drive around gas station to gas station for a three-cent savings.

[00:14:35] Ramit: So number one was you didn’t want to be like your mom, you wanted safety. What was number two?

[00:14:39] Sara: Number two was that I believed I had a fallback. 

[00:14:43] Ramit: Okay. 

[00:14:44] Sara: Yeah. That I could count on other people. I was very close with my father’s father. Um, I always had backup. And so when I went to college and there wasn’t enough money, my grandpa cut me a check for the rest of it. And I was gifted small amounts of stocks as a kid, uh, growing up. I got a very small– I mean, a $30,000 trust fund when I turn 30. I knew that was coming. I wasn’t worried. I didn’t have deep worry about money.

[00:15:14] Ramit: What’d you do with the 30k?

[00:15:16] Sara: Oh, it’s in an index fund.

[00:15:18] Ramit: Wow. Okay. Uh, what age did you invest at?

[00:15:23] Sara: Uh, the day after my 30th birthday.

[00:15:26] Ramit: No kidding. So you knew the money was coming on this particular day, and you were ready to go, and you dropped it into an index fund.

[00:15:34] Sara: Yeah.

[00:15:35] Ramit: What was your thinking there?

[00:15:37] Sara: Um, even though I don’t have a good relationship with my father, he is very good with money, and I have relied on him for that. And so he helped me set up a Roth IRA, and, um, maybe a year before that or something he said, if I came up with a $1,000, he’d give me a $1,000 to put in it. And so I already had my Vanguard account. And I have a brother who’s one year older than me, and he had already done the thing and looked at the target retirement funds and the VTI, and whatever, and he was like, oh, this is what I did. Let’s look at this together. So I knew that was what I was supposed to do.

[00:16:11] Ramit: Cool. That’s great. Good family upbringing, at least in terms of family culture, educating you around investments, even knowing that investments are real, that it’s possible for somebody like you to invest. That’s quite savvy. All right. Great work. Charlie, I’m curious about you. What do you remember about growing up with money?

[00:16:33] Charlie: I remember we always had enough, but never to splurge. My dad’s a physician, a doctor, a GP. And for many years, my dad was a sole income earner, and then my mom went back to work, and then they started a business together, but she primarily does the work on it. Um, then she became the highest owner in the home.

[00:17:04] Ramit: Did that change the dynamic?

[00:17:07] Charlie: Oh, it absolutely did. Uh, my dad obviously resented that. Uh, but he did help me and my brothers. I have two brothers. Uh, we went through, um, private school and private college. 

[00:17:22] Sara: Yeah. I mean, the resentment is really clear, and it’s really sad. I mean, physicians in Mexico, if you don’t have a specialty, it’s not like it is in the US or other countries where that really solidly puts you in upper middle class. 

[00:17:37] Charlie: His income is very variable because if he doesn’t have patients, he doesn’t have money.

[00:17:43] Ramit: Oh, it’s more of a modest income.

[00:17:45] Sara: Yeah.

[00:17:46] Charlie: More middle class. Yes. That’s a good classification.

[00:17:48] Sara: Yeah. And from my perspective, Charlie grew up from lower middle class, and his mom’s ambition and her success really, she fought for them to move into the middle middle class and for them to have things.

[00:17:59] Ramit: When you say that obviously your dad resented your mom becoming the higher earner, did he say anything that you remember? How do you know he obviously resented it?

[00:18:13] Charlie: He never explicitly said that, but he also had the expectations that my mom was still a homemaker while also working full-time for the business, which obviously is unrealistic.

[00:18:24] Ramit: So that was things like, why isn’t dinner ready, or something like that?

[00:18:29] Charlie: Yeah.

[00:18:30] Ramit: Okay. Anything else?

[00:18:33] Charlie: Well, for starters, we lived in an apartment. It seemed like everybody lived in a house. Um, some kids in high school had cars, we didn’t. I didn’t have a car until the second year of college. Um, things like that. Where they went on vacation, what clothes they wore.

[00:18:49] Ramit: Where did they go on vacation if they were, let’s say, wealthier?

[00:18:52] Charlie: Um, I don’t know, to ski in Colorado or to Europe, stuff like that.

[00:18:58] Ramit: How about you?

[00:18:59] Charlie: We usually went, uh, within the country 

[00:19:02] Ramit: And the business started to take off. Give me a sense of what we’re talking about here. What changed when your mom started to become a higher earner? What’s the scale we’re talking about here? And went up by 10% or 200%?

[00:19:17] Charlie: No, probably something between a 100% to 200%.

[00:19:21] Ramit: Okay. I got it. Um, what do you remember changing in your family as your mom’s income started to dramatically grow?

[00:19:31] Charlie: I think something positive, which is I discovered that my mom was ambitious, and driven, and successful. And honestly, I think the ambition that I have started by looking at what she did and how successful she was.

[00:19:52] Ramit: That’s cool to see your mom in one light. And she sounds like she was a great mom. And then a little bit later in life to see this totally different chapter of her emerge, and she’s really good at it. What do you think you took away from the lessons that your parents taught you about money from being a young kid to a teenager?

[00:20:14] Charlie: Well, the few explicit conversations that I remember having about money with my dad, his credit cards are meant to be used to like, you spend something, and then you got to have the same amount of money and you paid it right off. You never carry any debt. And to this day, I live like that. Um, so I think that’s certainly positive. 

[00:20:36] Ramit: Was he a good dad?

[00:20:39] Charlie: I think he tried hard. Um, he’s human. He’s flawed like everybody. But I think as a child, at least, I don’t have huge resentment.

[00:20:50] Ramit: Okay. That’s an interesting answer.

[00:20:54] Charlie: Well, it’s because later on I do.

[00:20:56] Ramit: Oh, is that right?

[00:20:57] Charlie: Yeah.

[00:20:58] Ramit: What it is?

[00:20:59] Charlie: A part of that is that he saw that part of my mom too, and instead of accepting and celebrating it, he got resentful.

[00:21:08] Ramit: Hmm.

[00:21:09] Charlie: While obviously at the time also benefit from having higher income.

[00:21:14] Ramit: Makes it a little more confusing, right? He’s benefiting from it, but resenting it.

[00:21:20] Charlie: That’s unfair. Um, that’s unrealistic. He wanted to have, uh, his cake and eat it too.

[00:21:29] Ramit: Hmm. Okay. And so what happened?

[00:21:31] Charlie: They’re still together. They still, um, bicker about money every day.

[00:21:39] Ramit: What? How long have they been married for?

[00:21:41] Charlie: Oh, Jesus, too long.

[00:21:42] Ramit: A long time, right?

[00:21:44] Charlie: Forty years. Yes.

[00:21:45] Sara: It’s not been 40 smooth years.

[00:21:47] Charlie: Uh, yeah. I mean, it’s a Catholic country. There’s still a lot of guilt around that.

[00:21:54] Ramit: Oh, you don’t say. Okay. All right. So they bicker about money. If you were to sit down with them and have lunch with them, how many minutes until they would bicker about money in front of you?

[00:22:07] Sara: Five.

[00:22:07] Charlie: Five. Yeah.

[00:22:08] Ramit: Yeah. Okay. All right. Got it. And uh, at this point, is it almost like they thrive off of it? It’s like a sitcom?

[00:22:15] Charlie: It’s like–

[00:22:16] Sara: Without the left track.

[00:22:18] Ramit: Without the left track. Wow.

[00:22:21] Charlie: We literally say it’s like George Costanza’s parents. I don’t know if you–

[00:22:25] Ramit: I know exactly what you’re referring to. Okay. Great.

[00:22:27] Charlie: Yeah. Sara doesn’t like when I say this, but some family members have told me, your parents have everything to be happy, and they just choose not to be, which is obviously a simplification.

[00:22:39] Ramit: Do you believe that?

[00:22:41] Charlie: Partially.

[00:22:42] Ramit: Hmm. Sara, why don’t you like when he says that?

[00:22:46] Sara: No. I mean, I could think of a million examples of them– bickering is a very polite way to put it. Um, because I didn’t grow up with two adults in the household, it was a real shock to me to see. As someone who saw the beauty of divorce, I believe that your parents could be a lot happier if they– I mean, I think that they’re in the wrong relationship for their desires. Um, so it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t think money and economic success helps. But it’s not– I don’t think they have everything it takes to be happy, because they don’t have respect for each other.


[00:23:30] Ramit: effect that Charlie’s childhood had on him. He grew up well aware that the people around him made more money than his family. Then his mom started to make more than his dad, which led to resentment, and now they have been fighting for decades. Charlie sees money totally negatively. It’s filled with guilt, and overwhelm, and resentment, and envy. I wonder if he’s made the connection between his upbringing and how he treats money today. Let’s find out.


[00:24:02] Ramit: So now turning to both of you. Both of you, the products of the families, and the environments, and the cultures that you grew up in, you meet, you live now in Mexico, and you both are high earners. In fact, you’re high earners by US standards. According to the phrase I just heard a couple minutes ago, you have every reason to be happy, and you appear to be very happy together, but there’s this conflict about money.

 Charlie, what would you say in a sentence or two about what you believe the central conflict is here?

[00:24:41] Charlie: I think a lot of it is the difference in ambition. I have worked hard to arrive at where we are, and I feel content. And my gut feeling is to just stay here and be very protective. 

[00:25:02] Ramit: She’s more ambitious than you and that makes you feel what?

[00:25:12] Charlie: Maybe insecure. More than ambitious, I would say that she’s much more confident.

[00:25:18] Ramit: Okay. Does this–

[00:25:19] Charlie: Which is not a bad thing, but I’m not–

[00:25:21] Ramit: Okay. Hold on before you go off into this whole thing, does this strike you as having any similarities with any couples we’ve talked about 90 seconds ago?

[00:25:33] Charlie: Yes.

[00:25:34] Ramit: Who?

[00:25:36] Charlie: My parents.

[00:25:36] Ramit: Make the connection for me?

[00:25:40] Charlie: Um, yeah. Well, she has a vision for something grander and–

[00:25:47] Ramit: Did your mom have that?

[00:25:49] Charlie: Yes.

[00:25:49] Ramit: Okay. And when she put it into place, what was your dad’s reaction?

[00:25:58] Charlie: It wasn’t necessarily welcoming.

[00:26:01] Ramit: Hmm. What was it?

[00:26:04] Charlie: Resentful.

[00:26:06] Ramit: Have you ever made that connection before?

[00:26:09] Charlie: Not necessarily, no.

[00:26:10] Ramit: Hmm. Okay. Hearing that, thinking about it for the first time, what does your gut, which is so expressive, what is it telling you right now?

[00:26:21] Charlie: It makes me feel very uncomfortable because I obviously have very harsh feelings about how my dad acted.

[00:26:28] Ramit: Okay. Do you want to be like your dad?

[00:26:34] Charlie: No.

[00:26:35] Ramit: Sara, did you ever see this connection before?

[00:26:38] Sara: Oh my God, yes.

[00:26:41] Ramit: She was waiting. Ramit, please ask me. She was ready to go.

[00:26:47] Sara: I was really. That was the best I could do to hold my tongue. Yeah. I would, not infrequently, say to Charlie that I feel like he’s– I mean, I feel like I’ve said this in the last two weeks, that I feel like you’re reenacting a play of your parents’ marriage.

[00:27:02] Ramit: But it seemed like when I said it to him, he was completely caught off guard.

[00:27:06] Sara: I don’t know that he always listens to me. I mean, I know he doesn’t always listen to me.

[00:27:11] Ramit: The way I’m envisioning it in my head is Mom or Sara pulling ahead, like pulling a sled ahead, and dad, or in this case, Charlie, trying to resist. I don’t want to be pulled along. And resisting in very interesting and peculiar ways. It could be resentment. It could be getting jealous. It could simply be saying, we can’t afford that, but it might come out in so many peculiar ways. How does this metaphor strike you, Charlie?

[00:27:47] Charlie: I see it especially in the last, uh, comment of just coming from a scarcity viewpoint of saying, we shouldn’t do this, or that’s a waste of money, or let’s not be wasteful. 

[00:28:01] Ramit: Hmm. Sara, how does this metaphor strike you?

[00:28:05] Sara: I love it. I think it’s absolutely accurate, and I think it’s– because it’s like it’s all areas. Money is one of them, but it’s like all the things I want to do with money. And it’s like, yeah, he’s there slamming his feet into the snow saying no. And I’m like, but look at all this beautiful white snow ahead of us. Look at how fortunate we are, how lucky we are.

[00:28:28] Ramit: Stick with that for a second. Look at all this beautiful white snow. So you’re out a little bit ahead of him, and you can see this beautiful white powder. And to you, what does the snow feel?

[00:28:40] Sara: Oh, it feels like freedom.


[00:28:41] Ramit: Two people talking about the same object, but experiencing it completely differently. And their responses are shaped by their experiences in childhood, their views of money, even their feelings in general. Can you think of something that you and your partner have seen but experienced completely differently? I wonder if that would be an interesting topic for you to discuss tonight.


[00:29:05] Ramit: All right. Let’s talk about the day-to-day. So where do– what is one area besides this beach house that you both seem to look at differently when it comes to money? Food? Uh, housing expenses?

[00:29:19] Sara: We end up being on the same page with how we want to spend our money. It just takes a lot of fighting to get there. And it takes a lot of weird negotiation, even though I feel like we want the same things.

[00:29:32] Charlie: One thing that I would say is I don’t think either of us are into budgets because everything adds up. Whenever we do an actual sum of the expense that we have feels like, oh shit, we’re spending a lot.

[00:29:48] Ramit: You think you’re spending a lot right now? You know I’ve looked at your spending, right?

[00:29:52] Charlie: Right.

[00:29:52] Ramit: Your fixed costs are in the 30s. I’m like, what are you talking about, dude? What? Look at it. He’s not even answering my question. He looks away. Charlie, what in the hell are you talking about? Your fixed costs are 34%. I’ll pull it up right now.

[00:30:06] Charlie: Uh, I mean, I have it right here too. Uh, I’m just not–

[00:30:09] Ramit: 34%. Is that a lot?

[00:30:11] Charlie: Used to spending more.

[00:30:16] Ramit: Are you used to making as much as you make?

[00:30:20] Sara: It’s my income that’s new. I was unemployed for a long time.

[00:30:23] Charlie: Right.

[00:30:24] Ramit: Wow, that’s so surprising. Her income went up and there was an inability to adjust. Have I heard this story before? Anybody?


[00:30:34] Ramit: As a reminder, they live in Mexico City. Let me run through the numbers with you. Sara’s income is 11,500 per month, gross. Charlie’s income is 12,000 monthly gross, plus he gets a bonus. Their total annual income, $282,000 plus a bonus. Their assets are $46,000. Their investments are $295,000, and they invest 31% of take home. Their savings are $43,000. They have zero debt. Their net worth is $384,000, and their fixed costs, as we mentioned, are 34%.


[00:31:13] Ramit: So you’ve got more money than virtually anyone makes in Mexico. You two make a very high income. Do you acknowledge that, Charlie, that you make a lot of money?

[00:31:28] Charlie: I do.

[00:31:29] Ramit: Mm-hmm.

[00:31:30] Charlie: I do, but–

[00:31:31] Ramit: That didn’t sound like yes. That was like– hold on. Let me try to replay that. Do you acknowledge that you make more than roughly 99% of people in your country? Uh, I do, but– and then you jumped right to the but.

[00:31:43] Charlie: Well, the answer is no. 

[00:31:44] Ramit: Just give me the but because I know you don’t believe that you do. Go ahead. Tell me why you don’t really make that much money.

[00:31:50] Charlie: No, I statistically know that we are extremely well off.

[00:31:55] Ramit: Statistically. Okay. Go on. Now tell me the thing that actually matters.

[00:31:58] Charlie: But my problem is that I don’t look at the 99%, I look at the rest of the 1%.

[00:32:03] Ramit: Wow. Okay. And what does that do to you?

[00:32:10] Charlie: It makes me feel frustrated because it feels like, okay, we’re doing so well, and yet we’re just so far away from– the sky’s the limit. I don’t want to be Jeff Bezos, but–

[00:32:27] Ramit: Finish the sentence.

[00:32:32] Charlie: But I would like to have more.

[00:32:33] Ramit: I have a question. How much is enough? How much is enough to save, Charlie?

[00:32:40] Charlie: That’s the point. It’s completely rational, but I don’t have a number.

[00:32:48] Ramit: What do you have?

[00:32:49] Charlie: The answer is as much as I can.

[00:32:51] Ramit: Well, why don’t you just, um, go back and live with your family and save even more. Why do you guys live– oh-oh, Sara, what does that look on your face? 

[00:32:59] Sara: He lived with his family until he was 27.

[00:33:02] Charlie: That’s a cultural difference.

[00:33:03] Ramit: Okay. The cultural doesn’t count, Sara. Don’t try to throw that in here.

[00:33:07] Sara: No, that’s– come on, give me some American–

[00:33:11] Ramit: I don’t know. Well, hold on. In India, people live with their parents for a long time. What’s the deal over there in Mexico, Charlie, is that common there?

[00:33:18] Charlie: It’s the same.

[00:33:19] Ramit: All right, I’m not going to count this cultural thing. That was a nice try, Sara.

[00:33:22] Sara: Okay, fine.

[00:33:25] Ramit: Charlie, I mean, you want to save more because saving is– what would be the end of that sentence? Saving money is–

[00:33:33] Charlie: Is virtuous. Is good. There’s also a lower limit because I also want to enjoy my life. I don’t just want to work and save a 100%.

[00:33:41] Ramit: Tell me about that. What gives you enjoyment as it relates to money?

[00:33:48] Charlie: Um, quite frankly, not having to look at the price of things when we go out to dinner, because it feels like freedom because that was never the case growing up.

[00:34:02] Ramit: Okay. You and me the same. I also love that. I love going out to a restaurant. I don’t even look at the price of the menu. I go, that looks good, and that looks good. Bring them both. Feels amazing still, to this day. Okay, so you got that feeling. All right. I shared that. Sara, you shared that feeling too?

[00:34:18] Sara: Oh yeah, absolutely. I would say travel is a big one. Um, even though we do look at the price more when we’re just planning trips. We planned our entire honeymoon around a three Michelin star restaurant, so it doesn’t mean–

[00:34:32] Ramit: Whoa. Which one? 

[00:34:35] Sara: Osteria Francescana.

[00:34:35] Ramit: Where’s that?

[00:34:35] Sara: It’s in Modena.

[00:34:37] Charlie: Italy. Yeah.

[00:34:38] Ramit: Oh my God. How cool. And how was the experience?

[00:34:42] Sara: 50 out of 10.

[00:34:43] Ramit: Look at that. It was cool, the reaction when I asked that question. That was cool. So would you say you’re both foodies?

[00:34:50] Sara: Yeah.

[00:34:50] Charlie: Yes.

[00:34:51] Ramit: When you two are thinking about food, a restaurant, how does money play into that?

[00:35:04] Charlie: It plays out positively because we have exactly what you described. We just go and we have the, whatever, the duck or the– thankfully, Sara doesn’t drink, or not a lot. So she always says she’s a cheap date.

[00:35:20] Ramit: Mm-hmm. Thankfully, why? Thankfully because if she did drink, what?

[00:35:25] Charlie: Dinners will be more expensive. Here in Mexico, it can easily double the size of the bill.

[00:35:31] Ramit: Double. And how much is a bill for the two of you when you go out to a restaurant? Give it to me in US dollars.

[00:35:36] Charlie: Maybe a 100, 120.

[00:35:38] Ramit: Okay. That’s a lot.

[00:35:39] Sara: That’s on the high end. We–

[00:35:41] Charlie: Yeah.

[00:35:42] Sara: Frequently eat for under $50.

[00:35:44] Ramit: Okay. 50 to a 100 bucks. And just so out of curiosity, if she were to drink and you guys were to get the bottle or whatever, it would take the check to, let’s say, 220 bucks, let’s just say. What would that do to your finances?

[00:35:59] Charlie: Nothing really.

[00:36:01] Ramit: Really? Nothing at all, right? You make that much in interest. So I’m curious about that word, thankfully. Can you metaphorize that for me, Charlie? What were you just doing right there when you said that? Look at me.

[00:36:18] Charlie: Uh-huh.

[00:36:19] Ramit: You notice how it comes out in peculiar ways?

[00:36:23] Charlie: Right. Mm-hmm.

[00:36:24] Ramit: Hmm. It’s interesting.


[00:36:30] Ramit: Don’t think you can hide the way you feel about money. The way you feel about money is going to leak out in hundreds of subtle ways from a subtle hand gesture, to an eye roll, to an unfortunate word choice. And living with your family who observes everything you say and do for decades, they’re going to know exactly who you are and how you feel about money. You can’t hide it. 

Charlie is fearful, and anxious, and worried about money, and this leaked out in the most unexpected of places when he said that thankfully, his wife doesn’t order drinks when they go out. Why? She’s a cheap date. Thankfully, she doesn’t order drinks. This is a couple who makes about $300,000 a year living in Mexico City.

The solution here is not to ignore your feelings. It is to confront them and to work on your emotions and your money psychology directly. If you feel guilty about spending money, I put together a free guide you can use to start feeling better about money and to stop feeling so guilty spending your money. You can get it at iwt.com/guilty, and I’ll link the guide in the show notes.


[00:37:44] Ramit: Let me see if I can interpret this correctly. Charlie, tell me if I’m getting this right. So it’s, um, we need to save more because saving is virtuous and saving is good. If we were to go on that vacation, that would be wasteful. And if things add up, and if we were to keep wasting money, we might end up with zero, and that would be tragic. Am I getting that right so far?

[00:38:13] Charlie: Well, uh, I think you’re characterizing well what I said, but now that you say it, I see that it doesn’t make sense.

[00:38:22] Ramit: Why not?

[00:38:23] Charlie: Because it’s not extreme. Um, you can do both. You can save and also spend.

[00:38:30] Ramit: Hmm. Uh, remember, Charlie, what your family says, your parents have everything they should be happy for and they choose to be unhappy? That’s ringing in my ears.

[00:38:41] Charlie: Yeah. I think when I said that, that Sara doesn’t like when I say that is because I have said that about us too.

[00:38:50] Ramit: One of the things I hear, Charlie, is a lot of feelings. I like hearing you express that these are feelings. I also hear a lot of the word “gut”. My gut. You trust your gut?

[00:39:03] Charlie: Yes.

[00:39:05] Ramit: Why?

[00:39:10] Charlie: Because it does help me along with other things to get to where we are at.

[00:39:16] Ramit: Mm-hmm. Are you more intuitive or are you more quantitative when it comes to making decisions?

[00:39:25] Charlie: Definitely more intuitive, I would say. 

[00:39:26] Ramit: Has your gut ever led you astray?

[00:39:29] Charlie: Yes.

[00:39:30] Ramit: Like what?

[00:39:32] Charlie: Um, taking care of myself. I was sick. Uh, at 29, I got diagnosed with cancer, and I don’t know if it was a gut thing, but I had no idea how to handle it. Because my parents were or are physicians, I never really had proper care until it was extremely needed. And all of that was a learning experience at the worst possible time

[00:40:04] Ramit: What’s the takeaway from that? I’m trying to understand.

[00:40:07] Charlie: The takeaway is– it’s not a gut feeling. I don’t know why I’m necessarily lumping them together, but the impulse to not take care of myself or to prioritize other things like working or whatever else over health is not a good, um, impulse.

[00:40:25] Ramit: Uh, one sec, Sara. Right now, are there areas of your personal health that you think you should be doing better at?

[00:40:35] Charlie: Absolutely.

[00:40:36] Ramit: Okay. Like what?

[00:40:38] Charlie: I, uh, well, uh, I have known for many years that I have had sleep apnea, but only last week I got around getting the study done in order to get whatever, um, care, whatever machine or treatment, whatever it is.

[00:40:56] Ramit: Why now? Why last week?

[00:41:04] Charlie: I mean, it felt like it was the lowest hanging fruit, and that the one that could have the easiest impact, positive impact in my life.

[00:41:16] Ramit: But why last week, after five plus years, did you decide to do it?

[00:41:24] Charlie: Honestly, because I was– like you said, it’s a very straightforward answer. As I understood, you had to go to a hospital or a clinic and spend the night there, and I didn’t want to because I have PTSD from staying in the hospital for being sick. But thankfully, I found a place where they actually give you the advice and you can do it at home. But because I never took that first step of actually asking–

[00:41:58] Ramit: I have so many questions right now. The cancer. How are you now?

[00:42:03] Charlie: I am okay. I’m in remission, I’m not in treatment. There’s nothing that affects my day-to-day life.

[00:42:10] Ramit: Fantastic. Okay, I’m glad to hear that. And the apnea, it sounds like you got studied. Hopefully, they’ll give you something to help.

[00:42:18] Charlie: Mm-hmm.

[00:42:19] Ramit: Okay, great. How does it feel having gone for the night, got the apnea study? How does that feel?

[00:42:26] Charlie: It feels like a weight off my shoulders.

[00:42:30] Ramit: Nice. Did you think about money when it came to the apnea treatment?

[00:42:37] Charlie: Um, not recently, but I do know that the machines can be expensive, but honestly, I don’t care what the price is, but I’m willing to pay for it.

[00:42:46] Ramit: Wow. So you don’t care what it is, you’ll pay anything.

[00:42:50] Charlie: Yes.

[00:42:51] Ramit: Okay. So can we go back to this beach conversation because I’m totally fascinated with it. Charlie, after everything we’ve talked about just now, I want you to zoom out. I want you to take the old Charlie whose first gut reaction to Sara was to say what? 

[00:43:07] Charlie: We can’t afford it. Have you ever heard of the expression of killing a fly with a cannon instead of a [Inaudible]?

[00:43:15] Ramit: Yeah, I get it.

[00:43:16] Charlie: Uh-huh. Um, yeah, it’s overkill.

[00:43:21] Ramit: Overkill. Uh, question. If your, um, apnea doctor told you, um, you need to spend, I don’t know, 4,000 bucks on some specialty treatment, would you kill a fly or use the cannonball nuclear, whatever?

[00:43:41] Charlie: I mean, yeah. In that case, it wouldn’t be because that’s what I need.

[00:43:46] Ramit: That’s what you need. Yeah. But you don’t need it. I mean, you’ve been doing without it for so many years, you’re still alive.

[00:43:52] Charlie: Right.


[00:43:55] Ramit: Charlie just said it took him five years to get his sleep apnea taken care of because he hates hospitals. Now, I understand he’s had bad experiences with hospitals, For someone making $300,000 a year, this problem can be solved with one phone call. The doctor could come to their house. Hell, the doctor could come to their beach house while they’re on vacation. This is a problem money can solve. 

But Charlie would’ve never discovered this. He would’ve never even thought of it because his restrictive view on money is paralyzed and terrified of living a worse life by spending too much money, ironically, while holding onto that money and actually living an increasingly worse life with sleep apnea. 

 This is one of the reasons that in my own personal 10 money rules, I say unlimited spending on health. Now, you don’t have to have that rule, but I want you to realize that your rich life matters. It’s not a joke. It’s something to be taken seriously, and it can mean the difference between living and dying.


[00:45:02] Ramit: What do you think might be a good way to respond to Sara who comes and says, oh my God, I had such an amazing experience at this beach house. We got to do that. What would you say?

[00:45:13] Charlie: I say, uh, I love that you had a good time. Let’s look into options for us.

[00:45:19] Ramit: Okay. That’s definitely better than what she said. I’ll give you a round of applause for that one. Look at that smile on Sara’s face, even Charlie. Okay. What’d you just do there, Charlie, when you said that?

[00:45:30] Charlie: Well, not starting with no.

[00:45:33] Ramit: What I might do, just to add a slight wrinkle to what you said is, I might meet her excitement with a similar level of excitement. So she goes, oh my God, I just had an amazing time with my friends. We got to stay at a beach house like that. You go, wow, that sounds amazing. Tell me about it. Do you have pictures? Do you think you could meet her at that level?

[00:45:56] Charlie: Yes.

[00:45:57] Ramit: Awesome. It’s not even about saying, let’s open up Airbnb and start looking. It’s not even about that. It’s just like, oh my God, this sounds so cool. I didn’t even know you liked the beach. And how do you think she would react?

[00:46:15] Charlie: Positively. I mean, better. The way she reacted.

[00:46:18] Sara: I would’ve loved it. I mean, I would’ve become even more excited. I would’ve felt like we were having fun in that moment, like the fun was continuing of my trip into sharing that experience with you.

[00:46:34] Ramit: Now, what I’m not saying is that I want you guys to go out and buy a private jet and only fly. I’m not saying that at all. In fact, I don’t even think that’s in the realm of possibility, both financially but even emotionally. Charlie’s not about to drop 75Gs to take a one-way trip. It’s not going to happen. Do we all agree?

[00:46:54] Charlie: I don’t think if I ever had it I would–

[00:46:56] Ramit: I do think that you’re playing small. You’re playing small, and it’s actually a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for several reasons. One, it’s impacting your health. That’s obvious, and that is the most important. Two, it’s perpetuating a relationship that you yourself have said you don’t want to do. And three, it’s causing serious issues in this relationship. You know the craziest thing of all? You actually have the money. You have more than enough money. So clearly we all know that this is not simply a spreadsheet issue. Have you two ever talked about what your joint rich life vision is?

[00:47:42] Sara: Yes.

[00:47:44] Ramit: Okay. What is it?

[00:47:47] Sara: Well, we joke a lot about when we retire having a goat farm in Portugal.

[00:47:52] Ramit: Oh, that sounds cool.

[00:47:53] Sara: Yeah. I mean, it’s– we’ve never been to Portugal. I don’t think I’ve ever–

[00:47:57] Charlie: Nor that we have raised animals.

[00:47:59] Sara: It’s just like–

[00:48:01] Ramit: This went from sounding awesome to sounding like hell. All right. You guys are in for it.

[00:48:05] Sara: No. We’ll hire someone to take care of it. Yeah. No, I think we’ve talked about, um, I’m an immigrant to Mexico, and I’ve lived in other places more temporarily. I’ve been in Mexico for 10 years now. Um, and I love the idea of living in Rome for a year or living somewhere else for a year. And so we’ve talked about that. 

[00:48:28] Charlie: Sara, I like the idea of hiring the personal assistant and hiring a cook so we can get more out of our day-to-day lives. I feel like that’s something that’ll be great for both of us.

[00:48:45] Sara: We’ve talked about being more intentional about travel, and me twisting Charlie’s arm so he uses all his vacation days. And I think that’s a big part of our rich life.

[00:48:57] Ramit: Oh, why is it a convincing thing? Is that a normal pattern?

[00:49:01] Sara: Yes. Oh, that’s 100. It’s always the pattern, is me convincing him.

[00:49:05] Ramit: You go to him, you say, I want to do this. He goes, no, that sounds like too much.

[00:49:12] Sara: I convince him, and then we go and do it, and he tells me it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever done before. And then we repeat the pattern the next time.

[00:49:19] Ramit: Is this Costanza-like pattern serving you?

[00:49:25] Charlie: No.

[00:49:26] Ramit: Hmm. I wonder where you learned this from.

[00:49:30] Charlie: Yeah.

[00:49:31] Ramit: We can keep this dynamic up. Sara can keep coming to you proposing beach houses, and flights, and restaurants, or whatever, and you can keep saying no, and then you end up doing it or not. What happens if you keep this up?

[00:49:48] Charlie: I mean, there’s a lot of, um, I want to call it emotional erosion, a lot of stress and bickering. Not fighting, but arguing of things that we actually need to argue about.

[00:50:05] Ramit: Yeah.

[00:50:06] Charlie: And also probably less enjoyment overall.

[00:50:12] Ramit: Yeah, I think so. I mean, with the amount of how hard you two have worked, the physical things that you’ve gone through. 

[00:50:20] Charlie: Mm-hmm.

[00:50:21] Ramit: Immigration is not easy, culturally ingratiating. There’s a lot of stuff that you two have gone through. Uh, therapy, which you continue and I think is amazing. That’s awesome. To me, I ask myself, what do I get? What do I get from working hard, from, uh, cross-cultural, all this stuff? What do I get? And if it’s not amazing, then what am I doing? Okay. Are you scared of running out of money, Charlie?

[00:50:55] Charlie: No.

[00:50:56] Ramit: No. All right. Sara?

[00:50:59] Sara: No.

[00:51:00] Ramit: No. I know you’re not afraid. Do you feel confident that Charlie means it?

[00:51:07] Sara: Yeah, I do. I do feel confident that he means that. I think for me, what I would love to hear– I think in our relationship a lot of the problems are–

[00:51:16] Ramit: Tell him.

[00:51:18] Sara: Charlie, I never said to you, a lot of the problems I think are beautifully captured by the sledding analogy, not just around money but sticking the feet in the ground and wanting to be persuaded.

[00:51:31] Ramit: All right. So sometimes if you fall into the normal pattern that you’ve developed over time, which is, what can go wrong, we’re going to run out of money, uh, that’s too much, that’s wasteful, what will the two of you do about that?

[00:51:52] Charlie: I would say to myself, don’t let that take over as to what will be the answer, because that is not based on any rational or even desire. I want to meet Sara, not at a midpoint. I want to be where Sara is, in the same channel and same excitement, and I’ll feel great.

[00:52:24] Ramit: Is it possible to change?

[00:52:28] Charlie: I think so. 

[00:52:28] Ramit: If anything– oh my God. We’ve built the financial side of our household to be so conservative that already we are investing 31%, which is way higher than almost any couple I speak to. Know that. Your fixed costs are lower than almost any couple I’ve spoken to. You haven’t even included a potential $70,000 bonus. Amazing. You two make $300,000 a year living in Mexico City, and you’ve already saved up hundreds of thousands of dollars in your 30s, and you’re going to keep saving. So you’ve built margin of safety upon margin of safety.

 My spirit suggestion for you is that you go ahead and start living your rich life today and tomorrow. What a tragedy to wait for the Portugal goat farm. Go there now. Go visit. Have a good time. Um, you two have a very, uh, varied and rich life. You love food. You love travel. You love family. Let’s go ahead and prioritize that right now. That’s the way I see it. In other words, if I ever hear you arguing about a $500 expense, I’m going to come over there and cause some real trouble. What do y’all think about that?

[00:53:49] Charlie: You’re right.

[00:53:50] Sara: Come on down. We’ll take you on the taco tour.


I spent extra time with Sara and Charlie, and we got into the very specific details of their rich life. We talked about what they love. Food, pedicures, massage, convenience in their life. We added all of these things. We set up a regular schedule for when they would get them, and they still had over a $1,000 a month of guilt-free spending. This is how you go from defense to offense with your money.

And now I want to share the follow ups that they both sent me. Let’s start with Sara. Sara said, “I was surprised by how quickly you saw recurring patterns in our relationship that were playing out in our finances. While I have felt that Charlie was unintentionally reenacting some of the dynamics between his parents, I didn’t understand its role in our finances and financial decision making.

“Hearing you point that out was incredibly validating for me, and I know it made an lasting impression on him. In our call, I struggled to articulate my vision for a rich life. I had been hyper-focused on maximizing our investments and savings and had been on autopilot with our spending. I loved how you pushed us to make quick decisions about easy ways to spend money on improving our health and quality of life.

“We spent the weekend talking about how we can implement those decisions ASAP. we revisited our CSP a few days later, we still hit a few bumps in the road, and at times I felt like I was pulling Charlie along, but I was able to articulate that in a new way that felt like it helped us course correct during the conversation.

“I was thrilled that Charlie suggested we increase our spending in a number of areas, stood by the decisions we made on the call, and never once said, “We can’t afford that.” That was a major win. During our call, I was caught off guard by your comment that Charlie and I often monologue at each other instead of passing the ball back and forth. That immediately resonated as true and a terrible pattern we are both eager to break. As we revisited our CSP, we both made a more conscious effort to ask each other questions and be more collaborative than we had done the first time around.” Well done Sara. 

Charlie, he writes, “I knew the subject of my parents’ relationship around money was going to come up, but I didn’t expect to focus on it so much. I suppose it has had a much larger influence on my behavior than I realized before. I was positively surprised by how well Ramit helped us steer the conversation. I feel like we’ve had similar conversations in the past with a lot of conflict and not a ton to show for it. 

“For me, the main takeaways were two. First, that my negativity and fearfulness, aka cautiousness, affects my wife and my relationship. And second, that we can lead a grander and richer life than the one we currently have without making giant changes because we’re actually well off and in a comfortable position, and that is something to embrace and celebrate. I realized, in hindsight, that talking about our personal finances makes me uncomfortable in general. No wonder, as my parents frequently argued about the subject. While that is something I need to keep working on my own, I realize that avoiding the subject also leads to a negative outcome.” 

I want to thank Sara and Charlie. And before you go, I want to remind you that I am going to be answering your questions about this episode on our new weekly newsletter. Use the link in the show notes below so that you can ask your questions, anything about this episode, and you can sign up for this new newsletter, which I will send you the first issue of this Saturday.