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#27 How to work together with your partner to master your money life

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In this episode Terry’s wife Elise comes on the show. Together they discuss their journey coming together as a couple and learning to manage their money together as a team.

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It’s Terry and welcome to another special episode of the passive income project. Now in this series, we’ve been talking a lot about money and relationships. So for this episode, I brought on someone really near and dear to me, my wife, Elise, and I asked her to come on to discuss our journey, working on our money life together as a couple and what it takes to be a team now we’re far from perfect.

And we don’t always get it right, but we have managed to save consistently and to continue to make progress. Despite my big career change, having twins and each running our own businesses at the same time. But more importantly, it’s not about that. It’s more about how we actually feel about it, how money we’re actually very financially fulfilled right now.

And we’re not rich by any stretch, but we actually feel like we’re living a rich life and really enjoy working on our money together to make it happen. But it wasn’t always this way. So in this episode, we discuss what we’ve learned as we’ve matured as a couple, including the big mistake couples make when they fought about money and how to avoid it, how a book about equality, improve the way we work together around our money.

The one thing you can do to make you conflict around money, more constructive. And we also reveal the money fight we had just minutes before we hit record on this episode and how we resolved it.  How money mapping helped us establish norms that improve the way we work together and why lace believes that working on money is better than therapy for most couples, if you’re in a relationship and you’ve got really big ambitions, but you struggle to work together with your partner, when it comes to money, this episode’s going to help you get unstuck. So you can start making real progress and have more fun doing it.

And if you’re single, but you worry about how you’re going to merge your financial life with somebody else, especially if you’ve been burned in the past this episode can help alleviate some of your concerns and help you avoid repeating the patterns of the past. Let’s get into it.

So can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do?

Elise: Well, I’m your wife. I’m a twin mum, my mum to two toddlers. That’s within India. And I have my own business that I’ve had a lot of support from you. Moral support, I should say, which is called earliest Reiki. And so it is a. Trauma informed holistic therapeutic business, where I combine my skills as a spiritual healer, as a psychic mediums, seeress, as a trauma specialist, psychotherapists together in a lot of different sessions and support for people, CRS, CRS.

It is an ancient term. It’s very Celtic. It’s actually Germanic term. When you look at the folklore in ye old days, every time would have

every town has like the wise woman, the woman that into the future, or could see the unseen world or had this capacity to know. And basically they would consult this person for advice. That’s what it means. It basically means that you’re clairvoyant, but also somewhat clued into intuitively. That’s the terminology that fits for me.

Terry: And so you predicted us getting together didn’t you?

Elise: Yes. Predicted my traumatic birth predicted us moving to Sydney. Don’t want to brag, but have predicted many things.

Terry: And I’m the biggest civic ever. It’s just the weight of evidence. It’s overwhelming. So

Elise: do you want to tell people about  on the way to the very first scan when I fell pregnant.

Terry: Okay. So you really want me to validate you here on the show there? Okay. So you’re eight weeks pregnant and we’re going to go have our scan and. We are walking across the road and I still remember it you’d turn around to me. And you had this big smile on your face and I was like, what’s going on? And you said, what would you say if we were going to have twins? And I was like, I just brushed it off. I’m like, carry on. Let’s go in here and get scared.

And then like five minutes later, I got the sonographer tends. She’s like, oh, we’ve got hobby one. And happy to shit. My life’s going to change. So what we’re talking about here, and the reason I wanted to get you on is because, you know, we’ve been on quite a journey with regards to our money life, twin stores, everything into disarray, and we’ve moved from a place where, when we first got together, money was something that I wouldn’t say it was our strong point. Would you agree?

Elise: No, I was mainly living. Let’s be honest.

Terry: So we come from very different ideas about money, I would say. And I guess we got into a place where we were pretty well aligned. I would say we still have different spending patterns and things like that, but in terms of what we believe is important and what we’re working on and how we’re working on it. for me, that’s come a long, long way. And what I was keen to talk about is, is your experience of that. Maybe drag up some demons and just talk about, you know, what it takes to get on the same page. There is a bit of a structure here, but I’m interested to know from your perspective and with your background, people coming to see you, how you see with regards to where conflict comes from, how much money is a cause of conflict in couples,

Elise: super frequent. And I actually believe that financial issues are probably this unconscious cause of conflict. Along the lines of the mental load aspect, where this is not true for every couple. We are very heteronormative and I don’t want to generalize, but in our life, for example, I will manage particularly the budget around lake, our shopping and what we spend for the kids or those kinds of things. And frequently prior to us using the money mapping and all of your techniques, it was something that I just carried silently and then I’d blow up. When I felt like it wasn’t being valued and vice versa, you would carry off in the long-term future finance then.

Terry: And do you want to just quickly talk about what is mental load?

Elise: Mental load is a concept that I guess we would both say we learn off Eve Rodsky off their beautiful book. Fair play. I was very proud of you. I sent you a podcast with Eve Rodsky on it. And I wanted you to understand the concept of mental load, which is just that women are often carrying in relationships, all of this extra mental burden to do with things that need to be done, have to be done.

Don’t get paid for, or don’t, aren’t considered part of a job that gets paid, but we carry that burden. And then we find it very hard to get support for that, or know how to communicate. That entity is very socialized. So it’s something that often men don’t even think about. So an example we just talked about was mother’s day present day present.

I did, which is me breaking my Ford ski rules because we had set a rule that from the work we’ve done on mental load, that you would look after your family’s presence. And I would look after mine and that was an immense relief for me. Because once we got married, I didn’t remember everyone’s anniversary birthday or whatever, but I always felt this pressure that I should have to know that, that I will have bought everything, send all the cards, responded to them.

And so that’s an example of one aspect of mental load. It’s really this invisible socialized often gendered idea that one partner will carry this sort of nurturance burden of all the unpaid work. Is that how you would define it?

Terry: I guess the thing that really struck home to me was like, I thought I was helping a lot. Because we had twins and I was doing a lot of things, but what I learned from the book was there’s different types of tasks. And it’s the decisions that surround the tasks that create the mental load. It’s not the tasks necessarily themselves. So if you’re holding all the decisions in your mind about, you know, planning forward and having to do it and having to think about it, Then that’s load and there’s two different types of tasks, I guess there’s daily grind tasks, and then there’s tasks that it just can be done at any time.

The daily grind tasks are the ones that have to be done when they’re done. And what I realized is I was doing what I thought was a lot of jobs around the house, but all these jobs could be done at any time. The jobs that you were doing were the jobs that had to be done on that were done, which meant that effectively your day, wasn’t your own, your day was dictated to by the tasks.

And when I realized is I needed to take some of those tasks off your plate so that I can free up your bandwidth. And I could see now why you are stressed. Even though I was doing more than I’d ever done task wise, it was the wrong kind of work. And so bringing it back to money and I’ve had gab, one of em is, and she made this observation a little while ago.

And you said if your job is to be the nurturing one in the home, you will be the one who’s constantly spending money. And if that’s you, you’re always going to be wondering, am I doing the right thing with the money? And there’s a mental load that comes with that. So you talked about that being a, sort of a short-term mental load.

And for us, you were carrying that. And for me, I was carrying the long-term mental load, which is, are we going to be okay in the long run, our keeping our money? Are we putting it to work, all that sort of stuff? And the thing that has changed for us is where we have kind of shared that mental load more now. And we’ve just finished our money mapping session for the month. Right. And. I don’t know about you, but it’s something that I look forward to. And we were at daylight this month and I just felt weird.

Elise: Well, I actually bugged you for the last three days that we had to get it done.

Terry: Yeah. So what I love about it, we’re sitting down, we’re making conscious decisions together about what we want our money to do for us. We’ve worked hard for this money here it is. And then that money should reflect who we are and what we’re working towards. And those decisions we make together every single month. It’s not an onerous process. I find it quite enriching. It’s probably part of the month where I feel closest to you. Cause we’re

Elise: We do it on our date night.

Terry: Weird, right. We’re like… ‘let’s do our money mapping’. But in all seriousness, it zooms you out and takes you back to the bigger picture. And you’re like, well, what’s this whole thing we’ve been talking about since we ever got together. All the discussions we had about what kind of law for trying to build.

Elise: And I think particularly since we’ve had twins and since we’ve started a family, your time together is split. You have very little time together. You’re working incredibly hard. So I think what the process does is remind us of why we’re working so hard.

Terry: Yeah. It’s really practical why to practice gratitude. I always say that a lot because it’s like what we have, what we want it to do for us. I just really enjoy that kind of stepping back. This is how far we’ve come. This is what we’re going to do this month is our intention that we set and it’s so, so easy to drift. Isn’t it like you don’t do that. You’re just drifting and you’re just hoping things are working out. I think that’s where a lot of mental stress and anxiety comes in with regards to money.

Cause you just don’t know this month is a shocker, but we’re not stressed about it. No, like literally we tallied it up and I think going out over the next two months is 20 grand. Just due to ATO bills, unforeseen costs that have come up that you couldn’t control for. I made the comment that five years ago, if this is happening this two months, I’m stressing the fuck out.

I’m probably annoyed. I’m probably frustrated. I’m probably taking that out on you. And I’m starting to question you and saying like where’s all the money and all that sort of stuff. So I think it’s critical just to be able to do that, to be able to have the knowledge, the know how or the nowhere where you are, where you’re going, because reality is like, It’s two months out of the last 24, we won’t be keeping money.

And so I’m like, it happens. Life is like that. You can’t expect it. Life’s always going to go the way you plan. What are your thoughts on the value of that process of stopping, sitting down and working through it?

Elise: The nature of it being so thoughtful means that you’re not getting as heated and escalated. So we’re able to sit down and more rationally discuss, and certainly that’s gotten better. I think that’s something I would very much normalize to people, perhaps if you’re new to the process or you’ve just started, it probably took us a good three or four months before we weren’t arguing with the in money mapping.

I’d say because every discussion that we would have, I would find myself justifying certain expenses from my own money stories, from the way that I grew up and how money was used around me. And we would often have to have these discussions where we would just, you know, okay, timeout, what are we really talking about here?

Why are you feeling so agitated? So the nature of it, it is a way I think of allowing the tension to be somewhat diffused. And to even just having sections where these areas are seen as necessary in a budget. I think it sort of validates perhaps the spending that you might not necessarily value, but me, I might value. And so we can go about talking about it.

Terry: Yeah. And that’s probably the other part as well. And I guess the big point where trying to make here is that we talk about working together as a team. That’s what we’re discussing here. I think one of the biggest things you’ve got to accept is there’s going to be conflict and there should be because you’re working on some really important stuff here together.

It’s not about not fighting. It’s about fighting better. I’m laughing because literally just before this episode, you just finished listening to our last episode about debt recycling and we had a little fight didn’t we?

Elise: Yes, right. At the very end, Terry decided to say

Terry: We were talking about debt recycling and right at the end that Brian saying, yeah I’m gonna be doing this in the future. And my comment was, I’m not sure if we’ll do this and you took it to mean yeah. And you were like what the fuck?

Elise: I saw my future dream house just obliterated. And I was angry.

Terry: So let me clarify. It doesn’t mean we’re not doing it for anyone that was listening. You heard that you thought what the hell. Doesn’t mean that we weren’t doing it. I just didn’t want to say on it. We hadn’t had a proper discussion about it and what it would mean with regards to our plan. So I didn’t want to be making any assumptions on your behalf. My plan is to do it, but we hadn’t kind of had that discussion. So you, what the hell like whoa way. And it’s interesting because probably three or four years ago that discussion probably blow out into a big argument, right?

Yeah. And I think the really important thing here is that. Because we’ve had now so many constructive discussions around money through money mapping and the conversation that it facilitates, both of us know that we’re going to work this out here and probably like 30 seconds. It’ll be okay.

Elise: Well, I think, yes, surely after I actually recalled the previous money mapping session we’d done where he’d done some sort of visualizations and talking about our future income and what we wanted that to be, where you had absolutely allotted money towards a home in that way, a lot more money than I would have put to it. And. I remember that. And so I said, hang on a moment. No, you don’t think that. And I was able to relax,

Terry: But in the past I would worry. It was just stormed off. You make all these assumptions. And I think the point here is that like, if you don’t walk away and you make the emotional investment to actually sit in the discomfort of having a disagreement around money, You’re going to understand that it’s not the end of the world.

You can work your way through it, and it’s not about not fighting. It’s about learning how to fight better. And so I guess what we want to discuss is what helps with regards to that. And part of it is you normalizing that the conflict is going to happen because we all have different ideas about money, but we’re trying to work together around it.

So just understand like conflicts that Nolan part of it. You can make it constructively, can make it destructive and that’s all down to how you react.

Elise: I do a lot of trauma work. So I’m working with individuals who are in a relationship and they’re having issues within their relationship. The one thing I say very often, not only is arguing like a normal part of relationship. It’s abnormal to have an absence of conflict. I believe. If you’re not talking about money, there is likely to be deception happening, a power imbalance happening. So I think if you can start from a place of being proud of the fact that you even are courageous enough to be able to communicate to each other, what your views are, even if they’re not aligned, but that you can sit there and you can eventually develop a respectful relationship or respectful communication style, where you can discuss your passions, your values, and what you want to do with your money.

That’s a massive, massive investment in your relationship. And I will often send you when we’re in clients that really at the end of the day, probably I would like. Them in their partnerships perhaps to go and do therapy. But because I can say one person that partnership is very financially motivated. I know that what they’re going to get out of your program will be as good as in many ways or very similar to therapy.

People say that all the time after half a session, we do the lot. Yeah. And they’re like, this is like therapy for that positive because it’s rarely, I guess, facilitating the conversation that hasn’t been had. And what I would say is if you’re afraid of the conflict, be more afraid of indifference. The more flight or the place where nobody wants to talk about it.

We just don’t discuss it at all. That’s applies to be really frightened because what that means is like you said before, probably deception, probably willful ignorance, ignorance, and really what it boils down to is money mediocrity. You guys are not achieving your potential. I always

remember this probably feeds into what we’re talking about, but very early days with it, or maybe just before the twins were born, that we made a decision to have very regular date nights and invest in our relationship through Vegas setting, because we knew we’re going to have less time together.

And I remember hearing a relationship experts say the cost of that in comparison to divorce. Is a far cheaper. And I think this is the same, the cost of this time that you’ve put in and doing a program like this in comparison to not having the discussions, avoiding the discussions, hoping, just trusting things will work out and be fine.

And then getting to 50, particularly for women having no future ending up divorced, ending up unhappy, ending up, broke in so many ways it’s prudent and like a really loving investment in your future.

Terry: It’s like your financial fitness as a couple. Right? So. Way way better to invest small amounts in that all the time than it is to go and say, okay, we’re going hard out now.

We’re going to run a marathon. We’re going to do the Boston marathon next year. That’s not going to work out. You’re better off just to kind of be consistently doing small things all the time and just having those discussions and cause every constructive discussion you have is bore evidence. The Dean have the discussion and more evidence that it doesn’t have to end.

And it’s a

Elise: resource that you’re building. It’s possible that. People listening to this podcast are people that do have the resource to talk about money. And there may be other things are difficult to speak about in their relationship that they are then building the muscles to speak about. So I think it just facilitates better communication.

Overall, if you can talk about money, you can talk about pretty much anything can’t

Terry: you. We’ll even get through that because it’s such a, an unsaid thing. So, so much for so many people. And I think I referred to in the last podcast, I put a survey in one of the LZ fire groups and not many people at all said that having discussions about money was easy.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. No, it’s absolutely worthwhile. And if you need more motivation, think about it like this. If you struggle to talk about money constructively, it’s probably because you didn’t see your parents doing it. And so if you can do it for your kids, And you can sit down and you can have constructive conversations about money.

Their financial life is going to be far better than yours. They’re going to be so much better with their money. They’re not going to fantasize about it. They’re not going to have any illusions about it. They just going to see it as a resource that needs to be managed and thoughtfully managed a hundred

Elise: percent because all of the arguments we have are based off what I saw and probably

Terry: what you saw.

Exactly. I always talk about this, my money stories. If I’m just going to repeat what I saw, women can’t be trusted with money. Women I’ve spent women spend the money that you make. I feel I’ve

Elise: experienced that

Terry: definitely. Yeah, you definitely have. Right. So if I’m asking questions, I’m controlling you and we see this a lot.

So at the train ends of this, people want to hold the control and they don’t want to have the conversation because I want the control. We see a lot of financial abuse where that’s the case. So maybe I’m the man and I’m holding onto all the cards. And I don’t know what money’s coming in. Money’s going out.

And I just questioned you about it. Yeah. If that’s happening to you, that’s a level of financial abuse. We have to be aware that that load is not being carried together. Somebody is hoarding that control somebody is holding that power. You need to spread it. It’s not to say that person’s wrong or bad or anything, but it’s not right.

You need to be managing this part of your life together. And I know that that’s probably going to be controversial in some of these fibers. Cause a lot of people said, we just manage our money separately. I’m gonna say it again. I think that’s a terrible idea. Like terrible. Your money is the time that you worked for, and you’re both working hard on life.

You’re building together. So why not manage that time? Which is the money together. You’re so much better off if you can harness and align your efforts. Yeah. And I saw comments like I am five years behind my hubby. He’s going to retire five years before me. I was like, how would you even. Consider that, do you know what I mean?

How could you retire five years before that person say it’s too bad, you got to keep working for five years. You’ve taken money way too far, and you need to get over money

Elise: to understand the history, because I would suspect that the history is that maybe they have been in distrustful relationships or relationship with their trust was destroyed.

And this is in the past. And the reason that they have to separate their money is because of the fear that it’s going to be filtered off somewhere or that they can’t trust that person’s going to take that money, or they’ve been burnt in some way in the

Terry: past, you know? Yeah. You don’t know the history or anything like that, but the ideal is always to be managing this together because two brains are better than one.

And you’re very good at things that I’m really shit at and, and vice versa. And so if you’re not playing to each other’s strengths, then you’re only half as good as you could be basically. So that’s the first point we’re trying to make here is just accept the conflict is normal. Make it constructive conflict, but let’s talk about how we do that now.

And I don’t know about you, but for me, I think the most important thing is that you’ve always got a common ground to come back to and we call it the life by design session, always about sort of zooming out and saying, well, it’s this whole thing about what are we trying to do here? What are we trying to build here as a couple?

And really getting crystal clear on what that looks like? Smells like tastes like, feels like. And I know I say it all the time. Cause it’s super, super important because if you’ve got that common ground in any conflict, you can make it constructive by just pointing back to it and saying, well, that’s what it’s all about.

Let’s get back to what we’re discussing here. Let’s get away from pointing our fingers and say, well, that’s what we’re trying to achieve. So that’s what I think. I think it’s really important to sit down and actually do that session and invest the time to do it. I’d love to know that, like, what was your experience?

We actually did this again just a couple of weeks ago where we walked through and reviewed our life, our design and updated it. And I guess refreshed it. You enjoy it. Or do you feel like it’s a little bit onerous?

Elise: It was striking for me only because I realized what really mattered was financially very available to me.

And every time I went through the questions, the answers would keep coming back to basically spending quality time with you, with the kids. And it shocked me because without that process, I think I probably would be far more materialistic. I probably would have been thinking about things that were very superficial and that if I had followed that trail through my life, without checking in with that process, it may have led me to invest in things that weren’t.

Really what mattered to me. So what came out was that for the most part, we were already at this place of living, but in accordance with yeah, living the

Terry: average life is kind of, it’s already here,

Elise: almost there. So even just in the past year, since COVID had happened through our discussions or the discussions we’d had financially, I was able to recognize how I had taken on a lot of attitudes towards work and provision.

2020 was this time of incredible uncertainty. I was overwhelmed with work and instead of probably doing the things I needed to do to protect my own energy and to protect the longevity of my work as a therapist, I did the opposite. I did what I saw my father, Jay and I overburden myself to the point of Nia burnout.

I have experienced very severe compassion fatigue by the second look down, which he saw me going to is really quite serious and very, very frightening. Cause I really was not in a good place. I just overworked so much. And that came from really following what I had seen in stressful moments. And so through the process of us looking at our finances, the way that we do regularly, I was able to say that I did not need to work as hard as I was doing.

So this year has been a completely different year, hasn’t it? And you’ve probably seen a completely different version of me because I’ve had more time off than I’ve ever had. I’m earning probably the same amount or more in a way, but I am just structuring my time better and using it better. So it was striking because I realized I was pretty close to where I wanted to be.

And then it was just runs on the board. Then it was just committing to that being disciplined. I thought it was a great process.

Terry: Yeah, I think without that clarity of like, what’s the whole thing about you just get into the grind and you don’t think you’re on autopilot. There’s this funny cartoon where there’s these guys and they’ve got like an old carriage and the carriage has got like square wheels.

It’s got the square wheels and there’s someone there with a new wheel, which is obviously the round one, which is obviously gonna make their life a whole lot better. And the guy’s like. What about this? And they’re like, can’t stop too busy. And now I feel like that’s a story that I love so much, and it’s so easy to get on autopilot.

And if you don’t have these rhythms, these rituals that pull you out of it, then you’re just always reacting. You’re not thinking you’re just reacting. We call it drifting. It’s just such a dangerous place to be because you’re not consciously deciding, and I know a hop on about this, but the power of decision is the power of creation.

Every time you decide you create, you made those decisions at that low point, you’re like, this is how I’m going to restructure and reconfigure things. And you’re able to make those decisions because we can look at the finances. I actually, this is more than available to us. And like we’re willing to invest maybe a month of depressed earnings if that’s what it needs to be or whatever, to get to this place.

And it actually never really eventually. And now, because of the decisions that you’ve made, you get to live that life now. And so when we work through this life by design and really looked at that vision, then for males the same, I was looking at it going most of this I already have. And it’s, so it’s not about accumulating more money for me now.

It’s just about us using it well, and continuing to use it while in this, why I think this is why that common ground so critical because. Without that clarity, you just go into autopilot, like I said, but then when conflict comes up, you’re not thinking about the conflict. You don’t think your way through it, you just react.

And like you said, you just do what you saw. I’ll just do what I saw. And we can’t have constructive conversations about it because we’ve got nothing else to point to. We’re not pulled out of that. We’re just like monkeys

so that’s the vision part for me around common ground. You’ve really got to take some time. If you do one thing after this podcast, take some time to sit down with your partner and say like, what are we doing? Like, what’s this whole thing about when we got married, when we got together, when it, whatever it was, when we committed to each other, what was the vision we had in our mind about the life we were trying to build, write that thing down, like, get as clear as you can about it, because money has to play that role for you.

And if you do that, then you will use money instead of being used by money. Hi, if you’ve been loving our content and want to continue the conversation, then you need to check out our new private podcast, community. It like our digital Treehouse. This is a place where we can meet, hang out and talk shop it’s completely free, but the only way you get into the space is by being a listener.

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So by joining our community, you won’t just be accessing everything I described above. You’ll actually be costing a crucial vote on who you want your future self to be what they’ll do, and then what you’ll have. So if you’re keen to connect with us, make lock, monitored, legends, and fast track your progress.

All you need to do is click the link below in the show notes to join our community. The second part of common ground for me is just being clear on values, what we value together and what we value separately. Our structure is literally designed to reflect that, right? Like we have accounts that are based on what we both value and we have accounts that are based on what we separately value.

Yeah. So we’ve got an investment portfolio for the kids and we look at that every month. I don’t know about you, but a dollar put in the kids’ investment is more than anything else. It’s so weird. I

Elise: know we’ve become parents. Oh God. But so

Terry: every month we kind of get to choose, right? Where’s the money going?

We’re putting it towards cash because when we were putting it towards our investments, the kids investments always, it. Delayed spending for our next holiday. And I love making those decisions together because like I said, that’s the power of you creating your experience. I sound times we’ve gone all towards the kids investments when we couldn’t do much else.

That’s fine. Other times we’ve actually gone. No, we’re going to challenge the wards with this experience. And when sometimes we make those decisions on the fly too, because we know it can, but equally as important is having money that we can spend separately that you’re really, I’ve got no claim on and you don’t have any claim on right.

You spend money very different and I spend money very differently than you do. One thing we’ve learned is that saving and keeping money towards your vision and spending in line with your values is super important. And, uh, something that’s probably changed for me is I’ve always valued health, but I haven’t invested in it since I left sport because I’d have paid for a gym and model off.

And you were hopping on me for like three months going mate, you have to invest in the gym. I think I’m second month in. Now. It is probably one of the better decisions that I’ve made in the last year or so. When you work through that and you say, well, these are the things that I value. You have to be able to spend money on those things along the way.

What does the things that you value most on a day to day, week to week basis?

Elise: Probably experiences with our children. Just doing fun things with our kids, basically.

Terry: Yeah, actually, I’ve found that we’re actually doing a bit more of that more recently. And I think that’s probably something we’re on the same page.

Like when it hasn’t been a part of our plan, that’s one that we both agree on very quickly. Like couple of weeks ago, if you’re a parent, you know what I’m about to talk about here? PJ masks came to the aquarium in Melbourne and you found it, you sent it to me. I’m like got a guy

Elise: came up. That cat boy was going to be at the aquarium, had to be there.

Yeah. Yeah. So

Terry: I think those things that we value together, we spend money on this node kind of conflict, but where we differ. Is I think where we’ve got accounts set up differently. Right? So every month we just did this, you’ve got money in your account. That’s a black box to me. I don’t even know what’s in there the same for you.

So I think it’s really important to have that individual part of it as well. Would you agree? Yeah. Would you find it a lot harder? Not having that?

Elise: Yeah. Just feels like trust really. And you have to have a level of trust you have to trust. And I think if you’ve got something, a process like this happening, then you can be very trusting.

Terry: Yeah, that’s a critical one. Just, money’s not meant to be kept forever indefinitely. It’s something to be used. And I think what we’ve learned in terms of working with people in the program and members teaching them money mapping gone through the mentor is that when people do not spend in line with their values for too long, they’ll eventually just give up and they’ll say, Hey, it’s just too hard.

I don’t want to do it. So at the end of every month with our members, we’re asking them two questions, alignment, and fulfillment. And when they’re saving too much towards the future and not spending enough in line with the values, now we know that they’re going to fall off the bandwagon. If I don’t find that balance, we also will actually actively encourage people.

Can you spend a little bit more in line with your values? And we know that finding that balance, going back to Gabs episode, she talked about how those experiences, those big experiences, those peak experiences are the ones she likes to invest in spending $1,500 on a meal and staying overnight. That’s the sort of stuff.

So we know that if she’s doing that, the savings worthwhile for her. So I think that’s the second point finding common ground. The third point, I think with regards to working together as a team is establishing norms. So like you’ve got the way you do things and your norms are the way you do things. And what I think is really important is consciously deciding and proactively designing what those norms are, as opposed to just doing what you saw, what do we want our norms to be?

How do we want our experience to be, because this is going to be tough. We’re going to work hard for probably a long period of time. And I’m okay with that, but we may as well enjoy it and it doesn’t have to be hard.

Elise: Right. I think if you’re part of this program, you’re doing this, you are making a distinctive decision that many people are not making.

You are really consciously making a choice that is often really different from other people. So it feels very unusual. Like you do feel different from the mainstream. So yeah, it needs to feel clear on why you’re doing it and what the payoff is going to be and why you’re making such a risk to fall to a certain extent.

Into this unusual category of people that God forbid talk regularly about their finances and have the doll and are investing, you know? Yeah. It’s just different

Terry: runaway, whatever. It’s constantly putting things on credit. Yeah. The weird ones. No, it’s critical. And yes, the biggest norm is the ritual of money mapping for me.

And it’s the end of the month going back and reviewing that’s a norm. Right? So what I like about money mapping is that it’s a tool that creates the norm. Without that sort of just sort of making it that you’re sort of trying to establish a new habit. Whereas if you’ve got a tool that you have to use, it facilitates the conversation, which becomes a ritual, which develops the norms because you’re then deciding together and all those kinds of things.

So when I talk about norms, I kind of think about these questions. How are we going to collaborate? How will we communicate? How are we going to get feedback? How are we going to make decisions? How are we going to recognize each other? How are we going to celebrate progress and success? Money mapping does all those things.

It’s actually designed specifically around all those things. It is a way of working together. And, um, if you’re thinking about wanting to do this for yourself, ask yourself those questions, how will we collaborate around our money together? Find a way that you both kind of agree on that you can both work on together.

I think it’s really important that it sits in the middle. It’s not, I didn’t make a spreadsheet and then bring it to you and say, this is how it’s going to work. I said, here’s a tool. Let’s see if we can use it together. What we see in a lot of couples is that there’s the one person who’s more engaged in the whole process than the other.

And they create this really sophisticated sort of situation that they really understand, but the other person doesn’t, and this did happen actually early days for us. Right. I actually assumed that you understood a whole bunch of this stuff and I didn’t want to be talking over the top of you. And so I kind of, here it is, and you’re like, whoa, wait, you got to teach for you today.

So yeah, I think that’s a mistake that I’ve learned from as well. It’s like take the person on the journey. What would you say?

Elise: I think handing it over to other people like you and Ryan or whatever is the best way to avoid the arguments. I know that we’re saying argue, argue it’s normal, but also avoid the awkwardness is probably what I’m trying to say.

Yeah. Because you’ve got someone who is going to understand everything that each person is saying. They’re going to understand the silence. There’s something about money that is so powerful and Powell like powerless, it can strike you so silent and yet it can be so passionate for people because I think it comes back to that core sense of self worth.

And particularly I’ll speak as a woman where there is a lot of what we do that unfortunately isn’t remunerated and many of us are having to balance work around a lot of other work. Discussing what you contribute and how that’s used and having a voice is very hard. I really do think that the process that you guys give is that power differential is taken away.

I did not feel that when I consulted a planner, no offense to. Ryan who was one of our fans, but I didn’t feel like that. Well, like I was an afterthought, honestly, in that process, it was nice to be included, but I just felt like this pretty little girl in a dress that was there, who happened to be invited to the meetings.

Whereas I can say, I felt like that during this process, because it is a dialogue that forms between you as a couple. And it’s taken very seriously in each person is taken very seriously.

Terry: Yeah. That’s probably something I undervalued is having a third party, explain it to both and make sure both people understand it, as opposed to me bringing it to you and going here it is.

Sorry. Look, if you’ve been in that situation before and you’ve created something, just understand that you maybe haven’t taken the person on the journey and you have to do it together. You have to go back to step one and you have to build it up together. And that’s where in the mentorship we’re working through that with the couples saying, all right, so this is money mapping.

This is the tool. This is how you use the tool, questions, answers, dialogue, and actually making sure that we’re all on the same page as we move through. It’s not one person saying here’s my way that you should do. Actually, it becomes our way. And if it’s not our way, you might get compliance, but you won’t get commitment.

And the difference between compliance and commitment is achievement. So yeah, if you’re not getting achievement, you’ve probably got something to go back and sort of check off there. But if you want it to establish your own norms, I would encourage you to ask yourself these questions. How are we going to collaborate together?

What tools will we use? How we communicate, how are we going to provide feedback, how we make decisions, how we recognize each other, how we celebrate progress and success. And I think the big ones that I want to point out there from our perspective is the value of tapping into each other’s strengths around what we’re each could add.

You always joke about me being in Gemini, which you’re

Elise: indecisive, indecisive yet. You’re a ponderer ponder. Yep. You can’t commit to anything. Yeah. You can’t make a decision. So, when is that bad? When it’s a small decision, it’s inconsequential, like when we’re going to choose what we’re going to watch from Netflix, that is terrible.

Oh, just give it to me. I don’t care if we sit through a bad movie, just let me take the pain away. Yeah. What is it good when deciding what to do with a hundred grand? That’s great. It’s great because we make a good decision with a lot of money.

Terry: I’d love to just pull this one out. Cause it’s a recent decision we made together, which I feel like more power to us.

Or we now this decision, I think we had a bunch of money we’re going to put in the market and we decided not to do that. We decided instead to buy a camper trial, do you want to just talk through that? What that was like working with the Gemini on that perspective and what was good about it? What was annoying about it, but where we got to.

Elise: First of all, it was a complete surprise. And I think this speaks to what your program offers because coming into the program, I was the only person that ever really valued holidays. You’d grown up on a farm. There was no sense of like taking a break. You couldn’t spend money on her. It was so hard to get you to go away on holiday.

We just work. So, and when I would ever suggest like us spending money and going on a holiday, it was just like a constant argument. So you came to me with the decision, let’s take this money. We were going to invest. It was just, the world had turned upside down because here I was arguing to invest the money.

I was like, oh, I’m the cautious one right now. This was really weird. And you wanted to buy the camper trailer. So that was the first thing that was really quite shocking for me.

Terry: You get into how we made the decision, like why we decided first not to put it in the market and like what the thinking was in it, because I think that’s super important around, you know, what we discussed about how we feel pretty fulfilled now.

Yeah, I think it’s these types of decisions that have helped us with that. Because when I thought about putting the money in the market, and that’s what we discussed, I thought I put this money in the market. I’m going to get some sort of financial return on it. Probably no one that’s going to be over 10 years.

And then I thought about the opportunity cost of the money in the market and what else it could do for us. And I realized the twins, you know, they’re only this young once and there’s a window. It’s very quickly closing for us and financial return. Isn’t the only return that’s available from money there’s other returns.

And when I thought about the returns that we would get, I guess, spiritually from traveling around Victoria, traveling around new south Wales, seeing all these different sites, teaching the kids about the great outdoors teaching about the beauty of the country that reign the return on the money for that versus the return on the money in 10 years, that’s an unknown.

Whereas the return on the money invested now in these experiences is a complete fucking certainty. And I was like, that’s not even close and something I’ve learned more recently too, is that there’s a guy called bill Perkins and he’s written a book called die with zero, which I’m reading right now. And he talks about the memory dividend.

So he talks about you having an experience. Like let’s say we’re going to go travel and we’re going to take the kids and went to go somewhere in Queensland and go camping with a trailer and go on camp on the beach or something is like, there’s a whole bunch of experience points that you’ll get from the experience as you do it, which is awesome.

But then after that, There’s more experience points that happened when every time you recall under your of that, and you talk about it and you tell the stories about it and you remember it is like, you get more points after that. And if you have those experiences sooner in your life, the dividends you get from the original experience can actually eventually exceed what you got from the experience itself.

It’s a little bit like investing. It does. Yeah. So I got it like that. Like these experiences had now could be way more valuable than the money in the market because what’s the whole point of the money market anyway. Anyway, if it’s not to provide for experiences like that. So why do we have to wait 30 years to have that experience?

We actually don’t. So that’s, I guess, on the surface level, why we decide to go that way, we probably weren’t as sophisticated about the discussion, but that’s, I guess how I’ve made sense of it in my mind, after the fact, but in terms of the decision about to invest in the caravan, we should became that the camp trailer.

Do you want to talk a bit more about how we got to there, how

Elise: you became overwhelmed with how much we would have to spend the cost, all the decisions, because I’m a

Terry: ponder and I actually started to put all the pieces together. I was like, shit, like. It’s the caravan, but it’s not just the caravan because we get the caravan, we then have to upgrade our car.

And then it was like all these other costs that come along with it. And I was like, man, like, I’m really keen to have this experience, but maybe not at that cost. And I think then we had a discussion at all. I was like, I’m overwhelmed here. Like, how’s this gonna work?

Elise: I dunno. I just remember just telling you that.

I think that overall, we just needed to focus on the experience. We didn’t need to have. All the details planned out for exactly how that experience would manifest. We knew we ultimately wanted to be able to find inexpensive holidays that involve some sort of caravan or whatever, and that we knew that would require a certain amount of money.

And just to let go of all the details, but. To work towards that goal. So it was probably a little bit more vague than we’ve ever been. And literally within a week of me going calm down, we don’t have to have it all sorted out. We can do this. We’ve done this before you came to me with the idea of this amazing camper trailer.

Terry: It’s actually better than what we would have had name because yeah, cheaper, but it’s also going to get us to more places. That’s a lot easier for us to store and it’s not really a step down in terms of luxury at all, actually in some ways there’s a lot more space. Yeah. So coming back to the point, like we were talking about how are we going to make decisions together?

I think that’s one thing that we’ve kind of worked out over time is tap into what each person’s good at. I’m good at gathering information, getting all the facts on the table, you know, good at stepping back. I’m

Elise: a very spontaneous, intuitive decision maker. I go with my gut. I go with what feels right. And I’m not frightened to make a risk, but I also am that spiritual vision is what I’ll just be like trust.

We can do this. And you’re very good at the research and all the practical stuff. 

Terry: together, a great ride because it basically primes the whole pump. You like, we’ve got all the information and we can step away from it. And then we can think about what best sort of suits us. The other thing I think that I want to touch on before we finish up is how we celebrate progress and success.

This is not something I’m wired to do at all. And it’s something that you do really well. And it’s not always the way I would do it, but at least we do it when something goes well, you’re like, oh, let’s go out and celebrate. And those experiences, those little things, they matter over time. So I think that’s a norm that you’ve been sort of pretty good at establishing for us where you’re like, when something goes, well, you have to check we’ll mark it somehow.

Yeah. And where did that come from?

Elise: Being a human being, a normal person that likes to celebrate. I don’t know. I’m not normal. Not really. I think most people celebrate achievements.

You’re giving yourself recognition for your work, your labor or whatever.

Terry: Yeah. Yeah. Otherwise you just don’t get those moments to, I guess, enjoy. And it’s almost like a bit of recovery too, where you sort of switch to the

Elise: need to celebrate even the most minor progress. Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah, we’re doing that all the time and I think it’s really important to be able to give back to self because it allows you to be disciplined over longterm.

Terry: You kind of want to pursue another one of those experiences. You’re like, I want more of that one. That good feeling. So, yeah, I think that’s a good one. Those two, the making decisions and the celebrating progress. Those are norms that I think are really good. And the way we collaborate, we do that a lot with funny mapping.

The way we communicate is more so facilitated by money mapping throughout the month. I think that’s pretty fluid, isn’t it? There’s no real set, hard and fast rules there. We kind of do something big. We talk about it, but otherwise there’s small decisions. We can just make them and move on. And in terms of feedback, we get that from the cashflow Cod, we talk about, we say what we got and how we’re going.

And I pretty much keep in the loop of that stuff and say, well, this is how far we’re going. And this is where we’ve gotten to so far. So when we have a month, like this one, we’re like, it’s okay. We’re doing our eyes. Yeah. So I think these are really important for norms. If you’re interested in a little bit of a worksheet with regards to this, I might put something together for you in the show notes.

Maybe a bit of a template you could use and they can help you prompt the discussion around this stuff. Because for me, I think this is super important and I’ll make the same point. I said before, it might beyond dangerous and might feel dangerous to have these discussions around money, but you need to lean into the discomfort because that investment, that emotional investment is where all the growth comes from.

There has to be investment before there is any growth. And if you’re not willing to invest, you won’t get the growth.

Elise: Something I say all the time is the hard decisions are the best decisions. And I think the hard discussions are always the best discussion. So if you can get into a practice of making this somewhat uncomfortable or good discussions, very normal, your relationship is going to have such resilience.

You can literally survive. It’s unbreakable. So use this as your marriage therapy, don’t bother go into a therapist during these seriously.

Terry: What percentage of people would be better off? Just figuring this stuff out.

Elise: I’m going to say right now, honestly, because so much of your insecurity and all of the divisive patterns, I think come from these issues.

It’s like sex and money. They’re both the two taboo things. And yeah. Hopefully if you work this out, you just get laid more. I’m not sure.

Terry: hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode if you did. And you can think of just one person that you’ve had this discussion with. Maybe you’ve got a friend or a girlfriend who you’ve been talking with, maybe even been bitching about this whole thing. How do I figure this thing out? Please share this episode with them.

If you feel it can give them value because it does help us to keep growing our audience and reach and help more people. And if you haven’t already done so please click the subscribe button. It helps us to deliver more of our freshest stuff to you sooner. So that’s what you want. Click the subscribe button.

So stay tuned. We’ve got one or two more episodes in this series and love to know what your thoughts are as well. So if you have any questions or comments or anything like that, feel free to drop them in. Thanks. Hi. If you’ve listened this far, you’re a rare breed. See, most people won’t do the work to change their money story, but not you.

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