Happy Couples: The Art of Balancing Romance and Money with Doug and Heather Boneparth

Ah, love and money – since it’s the Month of Love, we need to talk about it. Creating happy couples and balancing the art of romance and money are complicated things that bring up so many different emotions and feelings that are very real. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever been in a relationship. And look, even if you don’t talk about money with your partner or keep separate bank accounts, those feelings are still simmering under the surface.

That’s where my two friends, Heather and Doug Boneparth, come in. Yep, a couple who talks about money for a living. Doug is a CFP and founder of Bone Fide Wealth. You may recognize him from CNBC and countless articles in popular publications. Heather, his wife, is a “celebrity” in her own right as a writer and former corporate attorney who now runs business and legal affairs for their company. She and Doug have joined forces to create their popular newsletter, The Joint Account, and are working on a second book, navigating the power struggle over money in relationships.

In this episode, we collectively roll up our sleeves to have a fun and insightful conversation about how to practically navigate these power struggles and dive deep into some of the most common issues couples have around money, like what to do if one partner wants to splurge on something and the other is admittedly against it. Been there and done that one. If you’re in a relationship or looking to get into one, this episode is just what the Love Dr. ordered.

Happy Couples: The Art of Balancing Romance and Money with Heather and Doug Boneparth, Everyone's Talkin' Money podcast with Shannah Game

The Joint Account newsletter

Be interviewed by Doug and Heather – [email protected]

Bone Fide Wealth

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Episode Timestamps

(00:10) Love and Money
(04:51) Financial Infidelity and Niche Hobbies
(11:09) Money’s Impact on Relationships
(26:14) Redefining Contribution and Division of Labor
(31:13) Financial Mistakes and Guilty Splurges
(34:38) Money Issues in Relationship Compromises
(43:13) Navigating Identity and Finances
(49:03) Navigating Finances as a Couple

Episode Notes

(00:10) Love and Money

Love, money, and relationships are discussed with financial experts, addressing power struggles and practical tips for managing finances.

(04:51) Financial Infidelity and Niche Hobbies

A humorous anecdote about a ghost hunting date, followed by a discussion on financial infidelity and its impact on relationships.

(11:09) Money’s Impact on Relationships

Money can strain relationships, leading to breakups and secret emergency funds and complicating second marriages.

(26:14) Redefining Contribution and Division of Labor

Nature’s multifaceted contribution in relationships, equitable division of labor, impact of external factors, and a playful game with the Pickles from “Rugrats.

(31:13) Financial Mistakes and Guilty Splurges

Financial regrets, personal indulgences, money mantras, and entrepreneurial teenage years are discussed in this chapter.

(34:38) Money Issues in Relationship Compromises

Regret for not investing early, financial conflicts in couples, setting shared goals, regular communication, compromise, time, and patience.

(43:13) Navigating Identity and Finances

Personal identity, past experiences, and attitudes toward money are deeply rooted in emotional and psychological factors that impact financial behaviors and readiness for parenting.

(49:03) Navigating Finances as a Couple

Understanding money beliefs, effective communication, mutual respect, balance, and growth in personal and financial realms for couples.

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Transcript

00:10 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
To me it’s no surprise that this thing creates all kinds of emotional chaos and it makes it incredibly hard.

00:18 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And trying to communicate that with a partner is like what.

00:22 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
You have feelings for them and they have their own feelings around it.

00:49 – Shannah Game (Host)
That brings us to today’s episode Love and Money. Since it’s the month of love, we need to talk about a few things. Love and money is a complicated thing that brings up so many different emotions and feelings that are very real. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever been in a relationship and look even if you don’t talk about money with your partner or you keep separate bank accounts, those feelings are still simmering under the surface. That’s where my two friends, heather and Doug Bonaparte, come in Yep, a couple who talks about money for a living.

01:26
Doug is a certified financial planner and founder of Bonafide Wealth. You may recognize him from CNBC and countless articles in popular publications. Heather, his wife, is a celebrity in her own right as a writer and former corporate attorney who now runs business and legal affairs for their company. She and Doug have joined forces to create their popular newsletter, the Joined Account, and are working on a second book Navigating the Power Struggle Over Money in Relationships. So in this episode we are going to collectively roll up our sleeves to have fun and a very insightful conversation about how to practically navigate these power struggles and deep dive into some of the most common issues couples have around money, like what to do if one person wants to splurge on something and the other one is adamantly against it. Yeah, I’ve been there, done that one. If you are in a relationship or looking to get into one, this episode is just what the love doctor ordered.

02:25
Before we get into all this love talk, just a quick reminder that two ways you can support everyone’s talking money and keep these episodes coming is by doing two things One, sharing this with your network and your friends and inviting everybody into this show. And two, subscribing to our exclusive email club to stay on top of all the ETM insider news. You can go to etmpodlink slash email club or just head to the link in the show notes. All right, let’s start talking. You know I was thinking about our conversation today and you know you both are husband and wife. My producer, jeff, who is my husband, is listening and doing the sound board and I feel like I feel like you should be here too, because we’re having this conversation about money. But no doubt he’ll probably chime in at the time or two he is here.

03:12 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
He’s here in spirit. He’s here in spirit, exactly.

03:15 – Shannah Game (Host)
He is here and we’re talking about this crazy thing couples and money and it’s complicated and no matter how many episodes we do on the show I can’t even probably hundreds of episodes I’ve done over the last nine years Still people want more because this is a very charged topic. You both know that. It is certainly one of the reasons why it’s your focal point and you guys have an amazing newsletter called the joint. We’ll talk a little bit about that. But to start us off, you know I had this crazy email come through this morning from this company called bread financial and they did this survey of financial compatibility for couples and I thought it would just be fun to start with a few of these. The first one really blew my mind. I’m curious what you guys think about this one. It said that 23 percent of singles have actually requested money back from a date after the fact. Like they went on a date and paid for the other person and then it was like you know, I need my buddy back. Like this was not a good experience.

04:15 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I want to refund.

04:16 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
She will read is officially dead. If that’s the case, that’s wild.

04:20 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
What’s crazier is 23 percent. That’s a call. You know just about a quarter of all dates. I don’t know I got to. I got to cast some doubt on that statistic.

04:28 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I’m going to cast doubt on it, because I’ve heard that dating is a total like is a total circus. Now, like I mean, I I’ve heard some horror stories and that kind of that. That statistic aligns with the types of things I’ve heard.

04:41 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
So I’m out of touch.

04:43 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I kind of out of touch.

04:44 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Dated you 20 years ago and that’s all she wrote. Over a quarter beers, yeah Right.

04:51 – Shannah Game (Host)
I met Jeff on matchcom and the date that I had after I met him on a Friday and then I had a Saturday date and this guy on paper you would think was like the perfect guy. He worked at a Hollywood studio, I mean, it just seemed to be checked all the boxes and when we got together it was the most horrific date. But no, no shade if this is your thing. But he he was into ghost hunting and so he told me how he spent all of his money on ghost gear and he would only go on ghost vacations. And you know I was thinking, like you are, you need to be like on a very specialized dating service. It’s going to say how does this?

05:35 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That is niche, Like how we who was it? We spoke with someone recently who had a my goodness this is. I know that I should have known this Good work. No, we spoke to somebody recently who had a very niche hobby and I was questioning, like how the couple you know plans and a lots for for that hobby to exist. Oh, and we wrote about hobbies recently in the joint account.

05:58 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Sure.

05:59 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That’s that. That’s a whole new level, though.

06:01 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I didn’t know that about Jeff, and is he Jeff the other day? No, I know, I’m saying about her, jeff.

06:07 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, no, jeff isn’t the ghost hunter.

06:09 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Oh sorry, this was someone else.

06:11 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Yes, yes, the ghost hunter.

06:14 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I guess the beat here. I didn’t work out with the ghost it didn’t work out with the ghost.

06:18 – Shannah Game (Host)
It didn’t work out on the online dates. Not to mention this kind of goes in with a stat. Not to mention, we went to a bar and the waitress came over and the waitress said you know, can I take your order? And he spoke up first and he ordered a drink. And then he turned to me and he said oh well, I guess I’ll buy her a drink. And I was like OK, well, dates over a. But yeah.

06:42 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I have a whole body just like clenched up.

06:45 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Oh well, I guess I now can see how maybe a refund is in order on dates like that. Yes, I’ll walk it back, oh my goodness that’s crazy.

06:56 – Shannah Game (Host)
The next thing is interesting, and I mean a little bit more serious. We’re getting in some some heavy waters now. It said that 48 percent of respondents admitted to committing financial infidelity and hiding purchases from their partner. I mean I 48 percent feels low to me. What do you guys think?

07:14 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Well, there’s varying degrees of financial infidelity. I mean, infidelity is a big word. I mean, are we talking a small, you know a small white lie about a purchase, or are we talking like in debt. And you know we’re seeing both in our interviews for the book and I and we actually were just talking about yeah, on the whole ride here in the car ride today about like how do you, how do you?

07:38 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Measure measure the magnitude of a mistake Right and the difference between a mistake and just a bad decision.

07:46 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
But I’m with you that I think that number feels low because it really depends how they’re measuring what we’re talking about here.

07:54 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I don’t think it’s too far off, I think it’s probably greater than that and I think Heather has a great point. What’s the severity here? I was talking you know a little figurine collection and you don’t want your wife to find out you bought another. You know anime figurine or we talking. You know you’re a bourbon collector and you just scored a four hundred you know dollar bottle of bourbon and you definitely don’t you know want to get caught with that in your backpack.

08:21 – Shannah Game (Host)
And I think it’s also interesting to what and I know you’re you’re talking to a lot of different couples, but what do you, yeah, what do you classify as financial infidelity? And I would imagine there’s this really broad spectrum person to person of you know what they would, how they would classify that and even how, how they would feel on the other end of that.

08:44 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
We were talking about and this, this is so timely that we’re getting into this, because we were talking about how it feels like the. It’s really about the consequence. Right, it’s about what the consequences are.

08:55 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
It’s the damage here.

08:56 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
What’s the damage being done? And we don’t just mean financial damage, we mean emotional damage. Is trust broken?

09:01 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah.

09:02 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And there’s, of course there’s an objective measure of that right Like I don’t think you know a small purchase here or there shouldn’t be something that torpedoes your relationship into some, like you know, into peril. But if you’ve done something that severely damages the trust of the relationship, that to me is worthy of the term financial infidelity we’re talking about. You know your propensity to trust and to tell the truth.

09:29 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
That’s that’s casting doubt on your partner’s judgment, Like if your husband comes home with a Porsche, you know one day, without even having so much as a conversation with you, that could lead to some serious damage. Right, you really are going to doubt their judgment. How could they make a large financial decision like that? It seems selfish.

09:51 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I think it’s about the consequences more than it is about like it’s not my place to jump because again and a lot of what we’re talking about and what we’re discovering in the process of researching and writing this book we’re working on is it’s all relative. Your stories are your stories, one being more extreme, objective, objectively, than the next. Like we can’t, we’re not the barometers of other people’s feelings, right? I mean, your relationship is your relationship. So like I think we’re trying, we try to approach it that way too. So I don’t know like it really has to do with the consequences to you in particular.

10:26 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, like most dancers in life, it’s a big depends, right, and when you’re talking, no, no one’s relationship is equal to anyone else’s, and not just with each other, but with money, and we’ve seen people you know have very or varying relationships with like debt, for example, people who’ve had very little feelings or, you know, regret about taking out credit card debt or student loan debt, versus people who call it the devil Right.

10:54 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Or people like me who like deeply internalize my student debt and like it became a major source of like shame in my life.

11:00 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Shame your self worth to these decisions versus all right whatever. It was just something we did.

11:06 – Shannah Game (Host)
Yeah, okay, we’ve got one last one. I think this is really interesting. Obviously we know that that money related issues. They lead to all sorts of behaviors, but including this was interesting. Losing friends over unpaid debts was about 20%, and then couples maintaining emergency funds in case of a breakup was another 30%. So I’ve heard of you know, losing losing friends over, you know, not paying back money or unpaid debts, but having hidden separate emergency funds just in case of breakups. I thought that was kind of interesting.

11:43 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I think that’s interesting too.

11:45 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I first question I ask is you know break up? So were you just dating here? Or were you gonna say you know there’s everything from dating to like?

11:53 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
if that’s happening with marriage or in a committed relationship, that seems to carry a lot more weight than but I’ll be real with you, I don’t know how I feel about that, and that means, like, either way, like I actually can see it. I mean, we’ve all heard stories about particularly women placed in you know some very scary situations and being financially isolated as one of the predicates of abuse and domestic violence. And so, like I don’t know, like, on one hand, I understand that idea of like keeping some hidden money.

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12:25
But to me, like that’s one I don’t know cause, I see that side of it, but also like I can’t imagine that in my own relationship, yeah, no that sounds absolutely crazy to me.

12:36 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I think there’s deep, deep, structural and foundational issues in your relationship to get to a point where you’re, you know, hoarding some money in the event that it doesn’t work out. You know, I think we’re trying to do the exact opposite, which is focus on radical transparency and communication in relationships. To me that seems like the antithesis of it, which is why I question like, at what stage in the relationship are you at? You know, you’ve been dating for a year. You don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but you’re sharing an apartment and expenses and you’re kind of getting to that point. All right, like, maybe there, but like-.

13:08 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Well, and to that point, when you see second marriages, I think you tend to see, you know, carving out money or whether, or just keeping separate finances for a host of reasons. So I don’t know. Like I see it both ways. It’s not the way that we, like you, don’t subscribe to that as a normal thing to do in a long-term relationship. But I can see it and I’m not gonna like poo poo just that makes my spider sense go.

13:34 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
all kinds of tingly, and we’re not always gonna agree on everything here, but that you know as a practitioner, ooh, I’m not cool with that.

13:41 – Shannah Game (Host)
Well, jeff and I both are in our second marriage, as we were married prior, and it was interesting. Obviously, this is the line of work I do, but it was interesting how fast we started to talk about money. But it’s still. You know, I think the thing that we’re discovering here and I know the journey that you both are on with all the things you’re doing is it’s so complex. Right, there isn’t one straight answer to any of this, and there’s, you know, doug, you and I know this both because we’ve worked with humans and money.

14:13
We know that the behavioral side of money comes into play and that it’s often irrational. And so people do or don’t do certain things. You know you could say, well, that’s crazy, but it’s whatever makes sense to them, you know whatever feelings they’re dealing with. And so you know this is a big, lofty question and maybe it’s an obvious answer. But you know what is it about this thing called money that makes us, you know, crazy, makes our you know palm sweat, makes our heart races, make us do these irrational things and not want to talk to our partner about money?

14:52 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Word, you said it it’s feelings. Money has the ability to touch on virtually every single feeling imaginable, and that creates a messy space. It makes it hard to focus on what you want to communicate to someone else because you are trying to filter the way that you feel from shame, from guilt, from joy, pleasure, love, happiness, sadness. Money is pervasive throughout our Self worth, self worth Money is pervasive throughout our lives. We often talk about how it’s a game that you play forever and it comes in different phases and different acts and chapters, and it’s so dynamic that really being able to sit in one place and feel all those feelings and communicate them it’s embedded in our identity, in our childhood, in our upbringing, in trauma. It’s so, so deeply rooted in who we are, who we’re going to be, and ultimately, throughout our entire lives, that to me it’s no surprise that this thing creates all kinds of emotional chaos and makes it incredibly hard.

16:00 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And trying to communicate that with a partner is like what.

16:04 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
That you have feelings for them and they have their own feelings around it, and that’s so much of what we’re learning about as we write. This book is, as you get one person with their own identity that they may or may not have figured out joining another person with their own identity that they may not have or have figured out. To merge those two things together, oh my God, it’s literally two planets colliding into each other. It’s gonna make a big, big boom.

16:31 – Shannah Game (Host)
Yeah, I was at an event last night for women entrepreneurs and we were going around introducing ourselves and they got to me and I’m like, well, I’m a money trauma expert and I’m a professional podcaster and they were like money trauma, what is that, you know? And started to really talk about that?

16:51 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
What do you mean? What isn’t that?

16:53 – Shannah Game (Host)
Right and one of the ladies there she was saying that during the pandemic her and her husband got this like card deck because they were bored and they thought, okay, well, let’s start having these conversations that maybe we haven’t had before, and one of the questions was talk about your money story and your upbringing around money. And she said you know, we’d been married for four or five years and it was crazy. I didn’t know certain things about his upbringing and things that really stressed him out about money and she’s like I feel like it should be required that every couple has to ask these questions of each other, and so it’s always just bewildering to me and I mean this goes into the emotions around money, but we just we avoid these conversations.

17:43 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
So I just thought it was really fascinating, you know, and I think the point is, how are you expected to compromise or to find some kind of middle ground if you don’t have, or to find mutual understanding, if you don’t fully understand where your partner came from? Right, I mean? And I don’t just mean geographically where they came from, I mean the things that they carry with them from their childhood, their feelings around money, how, whether they, whether those feelings resulted in deep insecurity that they carry with them into adulthood. If you don’t talk about it, you don’t understand where they’re coming from, how are you gonna meet in the middle now? How are you gonna honor those feelings now? It’s tough, but most people kind of skip over that and they jump right into the logistics and, like Doug said, like you don’t just win. This isn’t a game that you win. It’s not like you set up your accounts once and we won. You know, this is something that requires constant reevaluation and work, and so I think that’s why it’s so hard.

18:44 – Shannah Game (Host)
All right. So I would be. I would be a miss if I, if I didn’t ask this. You know talking to a couple who’s also, you know, interviewing people and doing all this work around money. I’m really curious. You know what are some of the biggest money issues that come up for you guys, like, how does this show up in your relationship? Obviously, I know you probably have some some extremes, like I have in my own relationship, but just curious if there there’s any like some common issues that you both have to you both have to deal with.

19:14 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I think that something that we’ve worked really hard on in the last couple years is contribution and honoring honoring each of our contributions to the household and understanding that the word contribution doesn’t only mean financial contribution. That’s been important for me. I mean, you know, doug Doug is a has always been incredibly supportive of like all my professional journeys and the roller coaster that it was being a young lawyer and then, you know, a corporate lawyer and having tons of student loan debt and everything like that. But, like, I’m the one who’s kind of gone through this massive transformation professionally over the last couple years where we dropped my corporate law salary and I joined the firm and this business and we’re embarking on this, you know, platform together. But the thing that we’ve struggled with the most is really like my own journey of like redefining my self worth and kind of trying to figure out like what a, what is contribution really mean, what is partnership really mean to us. So that may not be like an acute money thing but it really is, because you know a lot of the couples that we speak to and I relate to this like deeply they felt like when either there’s when, especially like a female you know, the female partner in a relationship.

20:31
If, if the, if your salary drops off in some way, whether that’s entirely, or you go into freelancing or whatever, or you become a stay at home mother, you don’t feel as free to spend as you once did, like I don’t deserve to act with the autonomy that I once did, that I I’m no longer the contributor. Like that should not be the case. And he didn’t make me feel that way. It was me that felt that way. Like I left my job and I said, oh, I have to work as fast as I can to replace my salary in this tangible way, because that’s the only way that I’m contributing. And it was like that’s misguided.

21:07
Yeah that’s a misguided, like outdated concept, and I think that when you fall into those patterns, that’s how some of these like, like disparate power dynamics, come to exist. That’s one thing. I think the other thing would be that I I always complain that I want to move, I want a new house. He knows that we’ve written about it.

21:30 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
So I think, the transition out of a very structured corporate setting for Heather into the world that is running this firm of ours, and the entrepreneurial path for lack of a better word- and how money flows into a household in a, in an, entrepreneurial forces being a W to employees.

21:53
Heather knew what her contribution was tied to a salary. If she did really well, she’d get a you know bonus, or the bonus would be an outperforming one, and she could say, look, look what I’m financially contributing here, oh, and our health benefits to. You know, I give this and supply this to the family, and everyone felt good about that and even felt good knowing that it allowed me to build my business to to a point which you know that eventually wore down to. So the transition from her very structured environment to my very unstructured environment, now that there are system, aren’t systems, I think is a huge challenge because if she’s tying herself worth to that paycheck and now the contributions don’t show up, you build business, you the, the impact or the contribution you’re making might not show up for years.

22:43 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
So and I think bigger picture, it basically is meant that our risk tolerance as a household has completely changed.

22:49 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yes changing spending habits and behaviors, being more mindful of our spending. We had more breathing room and so, from you know, this feeling of you know having hit escape velocity like great we’re able to, you know, save with is a great spot to be in, save and invest with, you know, confidence and abundance to huh, stripping that away, we’re going to make a decision that now we’re not allowed or we can’t afford to do. That is is, you know, mentally challenging and, you know, just tough to deal with. And the last thing I would say is I felt like this was a great opportunity to bring Heather Moore into the financial component of how our household truly operates and business operates and how the business operates and this is going to take time and it’s going to take work and sliding.

23:42
You know we’re not. We wrote about this as well. We’re not perfect and just because she’s married to a financial advisor and I’m a financial expert and she will be a financial expert on love and money in her own right, we’re not immune to the difficulties and how challenging it is to find the time and space to sit down and say do we, you know, understand this? This is something Heather hasn’t needed to or dealt with in our marriage because she buried his DFP and she was confident in what she was contributing. All that has faded away into this new dynamic and it is hard. If there’s anything I want to be redundant and repetitive about is conversations and the dealings of money is not easy. It is always hard and, in our case now, uncomfortable because you’re going through a transition.

24:31 – Shannah Game (Host)
I, you know I really like this, this conversation around self worth.

24:35
I’m glad you brought it up, heather, and I think you could probably write a book only on this piece, because I see this prevalent in so many different friends.

24:46
You know, in my own relationship, jeff works with me, we run our business together, just like you guys, and you know I think it’s been really interesting because there have been those moments where you find yourself back into like the old sort of like paradigm, I guess, of thinking about female versus female, who’s supposed to earn the money and who isn’t, and even though you know that’s not for you and that’s not, you know that doesn’t belong to you, it’s not your thinking, it’s still kind of creeps in there sometimes and you really have to, you know, work through that and you know reaffirm why you’re choosing, what you’re choosing.

25:27
And then also, you know, for the, for the partner, just like yourself, heather, who is, who is in that transition, or maybe who is not the, the financial breadwinner, it’s, you know, really having those conversations about what, what is you, what is worth? Anyway, you know, is it just money? I mean, because if it’s just money, then wow, like that’s. That really changes the dynamics, you know, but can we look at? Can we look at everything and can we attach worth to that in the same way that we do money, and that to me feels like that’s how you get to the place of partnership.

26:03 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And that’s 100%, and that’s something that’s incredibly important to us in this new project and in our messaging and in in what we’re doing with with even the joint account. I want to redefine what contribution is. Contribution needs to involve many more tasks than just bringing in bringing in a salary. We need to be viewing supporting the relationship and a household holistically. Finances are one piece of it. Oftentimes, the person who’s bringing in a salary to support the household could not do what they are doing without the contributions of the other partner and I. It just it makes me crazy when I hear whether the partner is working or not, like whether it’s a state, whether we’re talking about a stay at home parent or just one partner makes substantially more money than the other. That shouldn’t give them a greater autonomy to spend. It shouldn’t give them greater decision making authority. We have to just look at contributions as a whole. I mean I you know it’s.

27:07
I’m reading a book right now Fair Play by Eve Rodsky which is all about division of household labor, and she does a great job leveling the playing board and even just presenting it in a way visually, that I think a lot of partners haven’t thought about this before, that that is just one component. It’s not like you know, you really, you really have to. I mean you literally in her, in her, in her initiative, can just lay all the cards on the table.

27:34 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I give Heather a lot of credit in being patient enough with me, particularly around things like division of labor and contribution.

27:44
I’ll admit it got to a point where, yeah, the business started to do really really well and, you know, was outpacing earnings for what she was making at her substantially substantially, and I, as a person, don’t think this way like, okay, now I’m doing this, I can therefore do whatever I want to do in my free time, while she’s slaving away with the invisible load of the tasks of raising, you know, two girls and the house.

28:12 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I think what you’re saying is, I think the the the most important point about that is that we didn’t decide, you didn’t wake up like you’re not a jerk.

28:19
You didn’t wake up one day and be like no, it just happens by the nature of the fact that there was a massive wage gap that formed between Doug and I and when we were in a community cost, especially during coven and I was still working full time as a corporate lawyer, I still took on the majority of the household labor because of the wage gap between us. So it wasn’t a choice, it happened to us and this is one of the things that led us to the work we’re doing.

28:46 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, that’s a really good point and we’re not and I’m not someone who’s like, oh you know, let’s blame code for this, but that definitely was some accelerant here In terms of how we got into that position, and a lot quicker than I think we ever anticipated. So Heather brings up a really good point and I’m lucky that she was patient with me and now you know, we we sat, we did sit down, we did talk about, you know, tasks that require full ownership in our household, and the one we always point to is I’m swim dad. Right, we needed to our older swims and we realized that it’s it’s taxing for half the communication of where swim meets are in practice and getting her ready.

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29:28 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That entire thing was being chopped up and that’s not great way to approach it, and the point is that people need to take Okay and this goes back to that same idea that Wall Street Journal article I’m sure you read it earlier this year about having a CFO and a COO, that people take on different roles, but it doesn’t mean that people don’t need to speak Right Like the communication, like you can take ownership over something, and I think that’s great that this year you took ownership over swim, which to me was huge for him to say I don’t want to read the emails, I’m going to delete them. That’s the level I’m going to. That’s how uninvolved I want to be in this. But I think beyond, that is just the idea that you still have to sit down and be able to come together and work, and that’s how you form the true partnership.

30:08 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah.

30:15 – Shannah Game (Host)
All right, doug Heather, it’s time to play. Your relationship with money is game. So question number one if you had to describe your relationship to money as a famous TV couple, who would it be?

30:27 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I don’t know how famous they are, but for 90s kids for sure, and I’m even forgetting their names. But if you remember the cartoon show Rugrats the pickles right Another last name, because it was Tommy Pickle the baby the mother was the bread earning wife who had a corporate job, I think she was an attorney, and the father was an entrepreneur, a toy inventor. I’m not a toy inventor, but you know but the vibe is the same.

30:53
The vibe is there and you know they got the kids running around like I can really now identify with that. And there’s this meme of all like the dads of Rugrats, like you know, just waiting in a swimming pool and it’s like, hey, when you were a kid these looked like, you know, just guys, now it’s you. I’m just like, damn it is.

31:13 – Shannah Game (Host)
Alright, question number two. Heather, I’m going to throw this one at you. What’s one money mistake that you wish you could get a do over for?

31:21 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That’s easy Layup, layup question for me. I took out $200,000 to go to a very expensive law school in New York City without fully understanding what it even meant to be a lawyer or how I wanted to use that degree Easy peasy, and it took me a very, very long time to reconcile my feelings around that and to get control of the debt.

31:46 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
So it’s easy on that one no ROI calculation.

31:49 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
No, roi calculation was performed.

31:52 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
A lot of blind faith.

31:53 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And a recession may have had something to do with it too. A little bit.

31:57 – Shannah Game (Host)
All right. Question number three Guilty money splurge that you are never giving up. I think I know the answer to this one, but I want to hear.

32:05 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
You think it’s coffee. I’m sure Right now it’s tequila. I’m fully bought into finding bottles that I will enjoy. Heather will say I’m a serial hobbyist, so if you’re a betting person on me, obviously I’ll find something else to obsess over.

32:25 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
He’ll find something else. Before it was tequila. He was buying this very elite, high end hand dyed sweatsuits and all the kids call him the daddy unicorn at the preschool, I mean. So he just finds a new thing. Right now it’s tequila. I know it’s booze he doesn’t have a problem, but right now it’s just tequila, and he’ll be on to something else in another year.

32:49 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Probably Someone help me.

32:51 – Shannah Game (Host)
All right. Question number four Heather, tell me the inner monologue of your money thoughts. Is there a money thought that always plays in a loop for you?

33:01 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Your money, Gremlin.

33:03 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Wait, somebody just asked me what my money motto is and I said it’s the Beyonce song where she goes move out the way I’m with my girls and we all need space, and I would say that that’s literally my money motto. It’s the reason that I joined Doug and why I’m doing what I’m doing is just, it’s really about finding greater equity, giving greater voice, to not only define that voice for myself, but for other women, I feel like, who may have lost it along the way, whether that’s professionally or through becoming a mother and trying to redefine for our next act. And I would say, yeah, my inner monologue is mostly Beyonce.

33:39 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, we joke. She’s that racehorse that’s been not allowed to go sprint around the track. She got to be let loose here.

33:47 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
They held me at the gate too long Too long and now it’s just a career.

33:50 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Now we let her. She’s like how can I do it? Where can I go? I’m like whoa, slow down, slow down, marie, slow down a minute, we’re going to get there. Trust.

33:58 – Shannah Game (Host)
Doug. Question number five If you could go back and tell your younger self something about money, what would it be?

34:05 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, we talk about this a lot. I was very. My brother and I were both very, very good at making money. Like the entrepreneurial spirit ran deep generationally all the way down to us, I would have told myself to actually invest that money. We were making such good money as teenagers and I had a ton of fun. I never needed to ask my parents for anything. I could fill the car with gas, I could go to the movies, do whatever I wanted to do. There was enough money I could make on any given weekend, but I was not taught. Ironically, even with a financial advisor, father wasn’t pulled aside to say, hey, take a portion of this and invest it, because I probably could have been in a much better situation at any part of my life where there was putting down payment on the house.

34:55 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Or when you moved to New York City with nothing but a duffel bag and a dream.

34:58 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, some student loan dad. I would have had a little money. I owed my mom some money because she helped me get rid of my car lease. None of that would have been there. Who knows, maybe I would have picked some Apple or Amazon stock and held on tight for 20, 30 years or something like that. So I would go back and tell entrepreneurial teenage Doug, yeah, stick some of this in the market, and then throw the key away. Forget that it’s there. I really do wish I built that investment habit earlier on.

35:33 – Shannah Game (Host)
Well, I want to talk about some of the other common couple money issues that I’ve seen over the last 15 plus years that I’ve been a money expert and I’d love to know your take on these and maybe even how to handle some of these situations if somebody’s listening and they’re thinking, oh my god, that is happening in my relationship.

35:53
So the first one we’ve talked about this a little bit when we ran through the stats, but I’m wondering if you have any how-to’s on how to handle this one If someone wants to splurge on something that’s really important to them but it’s absolutely not important to the other person. Like, for instance, I was talking to a couple of the other day and there’s a big age gap between the two parties and the older spouse is thinking about retirement, it’s thinking about saving money and investing, and the younger spouse just wants to travel and have fun, and it’s creating a lot of conflict between them and they can’t figure out how to navigate this. Who gets what? And do I have a right to just splurge on travel if I’m making my own money? Or at what point do I have this intersection that I need to come together with my partner?

36:46 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah. So I feel like and Heather was telling me in the card Doug, your answer to everything can’t be communicate, and of course it can’t just be that. You’ve got to go a little deeper in terms of how you communicate. As a planner, always think about goals. You’re trying to have some shared vision in what you’re trying to accomplish together and the setup that you’ve provided here. It seems that people are standing on two different sides in terms of what their goals are. Someone is focusing on retirement and the other person is focusing on finding the balance between having fun or maybe not finding a balance, or just having fun while they can. And that right, there is what needs to be addressed. Where is the common goal? In other words, what’s the compromise here?

37:30 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And I think what’s interesting too, not only what’s your list of goals, but how do you prioritize them, and that’s where you find the compromise right. Maybe it’s not you can’t ever travel. And it’s not you can’t ever save money from retirement. You’ve got to work forever, you’re looking at the goals on a piece of paper and you say what’s number one and what’s number two. It forces you to have that conversation and somewhere in the middle there is a way to meet the middle on that.

37:55 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Absolutely. If it’s I want to travel twice a year or I want to retire by 60, maybe it’s you’re going to travel once bigly and a small little trip, and maybe it’s not going to be retired by 60, but 62. Everyone has to compromise and give a little bit here to get there. And also there’s the data and the hard facts. What is the financial situation?

38:20 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Right, can they afford it? Can they afford it, it’s possible.

38:23 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
The credit card debt will let you go on as many trips as your credit will let you, and that will certainly send back someone from retiring on time. So you’ve got to take a look at what’s actually available and financially reasonable. Can one even retire in the time that they want and do one trip? What if you find out? No, I’m prioritizing my own retirement ahead of anything we do. Well, that’s going to lead to a much more difficult conversation of what’s fair between these two. So a little work cut out for them to again twofold One. Try and find out what the compromise here of everyone’s wants is and see what can actually be supported financially. And that’s hard. Imagine if they’ve never done that.

39:08 – Shannah Game (Host)
Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s like gut-wrenching.

39:12 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Or imagine if the person who travels has never actually looked at a budget for the household or understands what their net worth is and what their cash position is, and the person who wants to retire is so caught up in that that they don’t understand why their partner doesn’t understand. Well, did you sit down with your partner and have quarterly check-ins or some regular system in which you’re actually informing your spouse about what you can and can’t do and why, and then attach the why to that? The feelings Hard, just hard to do, especially when you haven’t done it. It feels super uncomfortable. But you do it 8, 16, 32 times. Over the course of three years it becomes natural. I think that’s something that people don’t understand is how much time it takes. You’re not going to talk about this every day unless you want to drive each other absolutely crazy.

39:59 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Unless you’re us.

40:00 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yes, unless you’re in the f God help us. Yeah, but yeah. But we talk about money because we’re doing a book and we’re sharing this. We’re not sitting down with our own spreadsheet every day and going all right, honey, yeah, here’s what we spent yesterday and why that was bad. Oh my god, that’s toxic. Like, don’t do that. But OK, I revised the numbers here at the end of the quarter. Let’s sit down, have our meeting, take a look at these particular areas of our financial life and ask ourselves some questions around. Do we need to change anything or are we good? I?

40:31 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
think the point is, then it doesn’t result in conflict when both parties are aware of what it would actually take to do both the things you want to do. I mean, sometimes the emotional side of it comes from just not even knowing or seeing it. Maybe there would be less conflict between both of them if they saw how much would the vacation actually cost, or how much are you trying to save for a time every month to get there? You know, I just there’s an awareness there of the information that’s super important.

41:00 – Shannah Game (Host)
Yeah, here’s another one. This one feels heavy. This one’s going to be interesting to talk about. So my partner never wants to spend money on me, but is willing to spend money on countless other people to impress them. What do you think about that?

41:18 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I did a couple where all one spouse wanted to do was spend money on the other person and interesting that that was kind of, or no. The other one person valued the getting of gifts Like really valued that. What do I think of this one?

41:37 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
I wonder why.

41:39 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah.

41:39 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That’s what I would ask them. I would ask them why.

41:42 – Shannah Game (Host)
Like if they’re always buying dinner for friends or they’re always right trying to do something that I don’t know. If it’s, ultimately, why is like a self-worth or like there’s something more kind of going on behind the scenes?

41:55 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, I mean it feels like there’s a lack of appreciation, a lack of valuing your partner in a relationship.

42:05 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
There’s a hole in the person they’re trying to fill, a hole that clearly isn’t being satisfied or filled by their partner, that it goes beyond that to needing the love and admiration from others almost at all costs or at a cost of doing these things with other people.

42:28
That’s particularly challenging, I’m not gonna and a little troubling, to be honest with you, because there’s a flaw or some damage in that person that’s to be addressed, and the fact that their partners unable to fill it for them is what’s pointing me in the direction of there’s something far greater than it sounds like they’re seeking validation outside of the relationship and prioritizing that over the validation of from their partner is not you summarized? That so much better.

43:02 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
No, but I didn’t know when we first you hit the nail on the head, but I think that that’s what it’s about. It’s about validation, and where are you finding it? I’m learning and we’re learning.

43:13 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
There’s clearly a fine line as we explore people’s identity with money and we go back in these interviews and find out where people come from and why their beliefs around money are the way that they are and I’m probably speaking from my own experience. Here, too, there’s a fine line between financial therapy and actual therapy and the things that have happened in our past and the trauma or experiences we had, whether that’s through our familial experiences or things that happened to us. Yeah, it’s usually not too many steps over the line before you’re realizing like there’s actual damage to a person and it’s not just financial, and those two things often go hand in hand.

43:59 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
So you used to be. I’ll tell you a little anecdote about Doug, and I think that this Yay, no, I think. I’m not this is not like a paddle in the back of our relationship. Go for it. But, I think that when I met Doug, I met Doug in college. We met freshman year of college. Doug was a very he’s always been social, always if you couldn’t tell. But he took it to such an extreme that he had wasn’t even FOMO he needed to.

44:28 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Be accepted.

44:29 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Be accepted by anyone.

44:32 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Everyone, everyone, everyone.

44:34 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Like at all costs he was willing to, he wanted the attention he would talk and not let anybody else speak, like in a group setting. Like it was like almost uncomfortable how much he wanted to be accepted by whatever group of people he was in and like you, stop doing that. And I don’t think that it came. I don’t think it came from a with just with age, I think it came from security. No, I think it came from security and I look at our own relationship and how that evolved and kind of the security in your life and your career.

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45:09
Well, it also worked, you know, and it’s and it worked too. But again, this idea of where you seek validation from this is the reason I brought it up.

45:15 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
No, it’s the case. I mean, as I mentioned, just to say that you’re 100% right. For me, I mean, that’s nothing more than fear of rejection. You know, that’s the theme there, as Doug did not wanna be rejected by everyone, and that’s where, you know, now we cross the line into therapy as to. Well, why does little Doug not want to be rejected? Yeah, little Dougie, why is he fearing?

45:40 – Shannah Game (Host)
that let’s welcome little Dougie in. Yes, hi guys, hi guys.

45:44 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Welcome little Dougie to the Little Dougie here.

45:47 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Same same as big Dougie, but yes, yeah, that bleeds right over into. Well, who hurt me? You know kind of stuff, and you have to know that yourself in so many ways to be able to sometimes get to. Well, why do I behave a certain way when it comes to money? You know, was I spending money to be loved in that? No, I would just run my mouth and you know not shut up.

46:10 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
No, but that’s what that immediately, like, reminded me 100% when you said that.

46:14 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, there’s a big parallel there.

46:17 – Shannah Game (Host)
Yeah, there’s one more I wanna talk about. You both have two kids and I thought this was an interesting one. So let’s say you’re getting ready for your first child and maybe one partner is really freaked out about money but the other partner doesn’t understand. You know what the big deal is Like. Of course you’re gonna have enough money. Do you see that happen where you know, in relationships like particularly with the first child, where there’s such a different, there’s such a different like point of view when it comes to you know, kids and money and how much this is all gonna cost and how do you do this?

46:52 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
We spoke with a couple who told us a story about when they announced their pregnancy and it was like they found out at home, you know, they took a pregnancy test and he, the husband, stayed up all night completely spiraling and like making spreadsheets and like they got in a huge, like they got in a fight, right, didn’t they? And like he was like we can’t afford this. I mean it pretty much like subsumed the moment, and she was like what are you even talking about? Like what? And they clearly came at it from a different angle. I mean, I think that like here’s the thing with having kids, and I always laugh when I look back because we were some of the first in our we didn’t have kids young by any, by any, you know by any look at it.

47:45 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, but it’s an excuse a little older in the New York.

47:47 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
We lived in New York City, and so for us, we were the first of our friends to have kids.

47:51 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
People having kids at 48,. You know around.

47:54 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
But we were the first at 30, 29, when I got pregnant, and it compelled a lot of people to tell us all the reasons why they weren’t having a baby yet, which I think is like kind of annoying, but whatever. And a lot of the reasons were things like oh, I don’t have enough, like you know, we don’t have enough savings. Or oh, we don’t have enough this, we don’t have enough that, and I’m like-.

48:14 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, for daycare. It’s so expensive all that.

48:18 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
There’s always like financial barriers. Here’s like having a kid isn’t just about like the dollars and cents, it’s about being willing to open and willing to accept change and really being open and willing to accept the unknown and knowing that you’re gonna do whatever it takes to support your family and you might have to make decisions that you don’t wanna make or that might be hard or that could be a sacrifice for you that you weren’t expecting to make. But for the average person I would not say like, oh, like to me, like there are two different conversations and we shouldn’t conflate the two. Like choosing to start a family, you know, is a very like special and important, and I don’t know.

49:03 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I would have a lot of. When we found out we were pregnant, I had a few colleagues sit me down and say this is going to be the absolute best thing that has ever happened for your business and obviously your life. But they’re sitting me down in a, you know, business capacity and it makes me think about expectations versus reality. You have all of these expectations that you, you know when you’re fine with the first right and you have literally no idea what the reality of that is going to be for you. And it’s an interesting balance you’re trying to strike, and I can hear my grandfather say yeah, when you’re having kids, love finds a way, right? Well, that’s very nice, grandpa, but we also have $250,000 in student loan debt that needs to find its way to being paid. So what do we do there? You know this isn’t 1958. And you know that’s a little bit different. Out there are financial realities. But he’s, yeah, but he’s not wrong. Interesting things happen when you allow your heart to grow twice its size.

50:05 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That’s a good way to put it, yeah it’s very sweet, yeah, but it’s, but it’s just I was saving that one, that’s good. That’s good.

50:12 – Shannah Game (Host)
You pull, you pulled that one out right Right.

50:14 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Right, it belongs on a magnet or something. We should sell it on a coffee mug.

50:17 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Oh, I got a tattoo of it. Did you not see it yet? No, I didn’t.

50:21 – Shannah Game (Host)
That would be a fantastic revelation on a couple of episodes.

50:24 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, debut on the podcast. Doug’s Tat His first tattoo.

50:29 – Shannah Game (Host)
So I don’t know if, if you could do this, but I, you know, for everyone listening, we’ve talked about a lot of things that that go wrong with couples. What would you say would be, I don’t know, like the checklist or the prescription for how to do money right as a couple. You know we’ve talked about communication and you know having some regular sit downs, but you know, if we were to give everyone listening, like this checklist do the, at least do these things what would be on there?

51:00 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
That’s a great question. I want to talk about some C’s here.

51:04 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Call them that. We are so, so funny when we’re trying to. You know we’re trying to work through some different frameworks for our book and final here on this. No, but we no, but we actually we’ve been talking a lot about this and and Doug Doug came up with five C’s and I’m like we’re not going to call them. We’re not like there’s nothing lame or than having five C’s. That’s the worst. But also we talk about all the time like we’re like now it’s a joke. It’s another C. That’s what we need. Another C.

51:35 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
With like nine C’s.

51:36 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
There were 25 C’s, but but anyway, I think this is relevant to what you said, so we’re going to share some of those.

51:43 – Shannah Game (Host)
C’s with you. Yeah, it makes sense you know.

51:46 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
So I think the point to the place to begin is is exactly where where we kind of began this discussion today about understanding money beliefs and values, like back from the beginning, back from the time before you met your partner. You got to understand a little bit about where they’re from and where those early money beliefs came from, because it’s going to speak to their value systems and what they’re carrying to the relationship today. So, whatever you can do to open that, open the door to that conversation, I mean I hope that we’re going to be able to offer those tools and specific questions, but until then, until that point comes, you could find any number there’s many questionnaires, to sit down together and really open up the open up the dialogue and to that understanding, because you can’t compromise if you don’t know where the person’s coming from.

52:32
I think that’s the first thing.

52:35 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
The next one would be you know, because I’ve said it a thousand times today the communication component. But there needs to be a set place that’s distraction free and comfortable to really have these tough conversations.

52:47 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
The forum matters.

52:49 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Very much so Some people will enjoy a date night. Some people will find that cringe to. You know, be out to a nice dinner and talk about that could be a walk in the park. You got to figure out what’s going to be that comfortable environment to have the communication around, those money beliefs that hopefully you’ve written down.

53:04 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Well, and I think what’s interesting I mean like we’ve seen that go wrong, but then we see it go right, like you. Just you don’t want to, you don’t want to take the other person by surprise. You guys want to have like an agreed upon meeting space and time to do it so that nobody feels pressured, nobody feels like they’re distracted with something else, because then it goes back to that idea of like they’re not listening to me.

53:26 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
That’s the word. Think about what environment allows you to be the best listener possible.

53:31 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
And you probably should mute your phone.

53:32 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I’m like ADHD, like I can’t sit still or look around, so we particularly need to find something that we know.

53:40 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, like, like to walk, because that’s the best way for Doug to. I can’t yeah. I can’t do anything else but walk and talk, and if I give her my phone, I’m locked in Well, and so the next piece of this is definitely again we already touched on it but the contribution thing writing down in some fashion or sitting down together to discuss each partner’s contribution to your relationship and that doesn’t just mean financial we have to include everything else because when we give worth to those other areas, you know we build confidence and we build respect and it helps everybody.

54:19
Then sit down together and say, like I deserve a seat at this table too, when it comes to making decisions around our money.

54:25 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
I like it when you’re writing your other partner’s contributions, because it shows that you’re honoring and thinking about what they contribute to your relationship. You could do this both ways.

54:35 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
That could go, greater, that could go.

54:37 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Hey, this is, this is the. This is the time, this is the time to get weird.

54:41 – Shannah Game (Host)
You know, you’re going out of your.

54:43 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Yeah, this is exactly so, whether you want to write down your partner’s contributions and what you think they are, or you want to do both contributions, the key word here. And then it’s collaboration, right, this one I feel very strongly about. It gets into the technical side of things. Right, there needs to be a baseline understanding of where things stand. That’s putting together a net worth table. It’s not a scary thing, right? A list of either. You need to be able to look at everything you own, everything you owe, and understand what the numbers are. They’ll also help everyone understand where everything is. There should also be a cash flow or a budget component to this. Where does money come in? Where does it go out? You have to be on the same page around this. Now, one partner can be the one to put it together. That’s fine, but both partners are responsible for having at least a baseline knowledge of where their money is and how their money flows in and out of their life.

55:42 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
There’s a level of accountability there personal accountability and that’s not a C, which is a problem. Yeah, we’re talking about it with.

55:49
ONA. I don’t know about that, but I think, finally, the other important thing is consistency, and doing this not only on a regular basis. But not giving up. Consistency doesn’t just mean, oh, let’s schedule it. I mean, these things get weird.

56:03
One of the things about money and conflicts over money is that it’s not that it’s necessarily like the conflict that comes up the most at least in some of the statistics that we’ve seen but it’s the one that’s the most pervasive, recurring and it’s the hardest to resolve, because sometimes, when we dabble in this and if we don’t do it the right way, we’re deterred from trying again.

56:24
And I think the most important thing is to not give up. And maybe that means for some people, if you know, this is a hot button, like this is high touch for you and your partner. Maybe you start small. Maybe you start either with one acute thing or you start broad and you start and say, like these are our goals. Can we, at least you know, dream of what our goals are together, and then next time let’s schedule another, another date, you know, a month from now, where we can sit down again and then we can start talking about a little more of the uncomfortable stuff, like you got to like you got to find a way that, being consistent, feels good for both of you, and that it doesn’t feel like a nuisance, but that you don’t give up too.

57:04 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
And this might become one of the hardest parts as you inherently become busier in your lives and my experience, you know responsibilities only go up as your free time goes down, and just it’s super easy to let it slip away. I think for us it’s very easy to let you know consistency, you know, get checked into the wall because we’re just busy, people get busy, and when you’re, especially in the beginning, when it’s uncomfortable and it’s wonky and you’re just getting started and you’re busy, is a perfect recipe to you know punt a quarter or punt that meeting, and then what happens? You forget about it and you’re right back at square one. And you know I’ll kind of give you an analogy here.

57:46
On days like today, I wake up early which I hate to do, I’m not a morning person and I go lift with a friend at the gym and I can tell you we’ve been doing this for now months on end. Maybe we’ll get to do this anywhere from two to four times a month, and today I finally said that wasn’t so bad and I was hoping to get to a point where the consistency of doing this every Thursday resulted in me getting up saying I’m going to feel great after this. I know, and I didn’t say this morning this sucks. I said let’s get at. You know how cliche. Let’s get after it.

58:23 – Heather Boneparth (Guest)
You know, did you drink a protein shake after that? And crush it on your head, nope.

58:28 – Doug Boneparth (Guest)
Had a cup of coffee while I worked out and some water and really viewed this as a great way to start my day. And now, finally, after doing this for six months, waking up at five thirty on a Thursday, dare I say I kind of looked forward to it, and that was even after a bad night’s sleep. So who would have thought? So there you go. Consistency in that, hopefully analogy shows you. Yeah, it’s going to feel good, you know, in year two, you know meeting number eight.

58:56 – Shannah Game (Host)
Wow, okay, that was such a great conversation. What I really love about Doug and Heather is their real approach to advice for couples. They aren’t just experts dishing out tips. They are in the thick of it, just like I am in my relationship and you are as well. They have oodles of great content in their weekly newsletter, the joint account. Also, they are looking to interview couples for their new book. So if you’ve got a story you want to tell, don’t miss the opportunity to be part of what I know is going to be a killer book. I will have all their links and everything we talked about in this episode right in the show notes. Also, there you will find all the links to our episode sponsors, who support this show and keep it going. So go over and give our sponsors some love as well. All right, I will see you back here in a few days.

Shannah Game

Shannah Game

Shannah Game is the host of Everyone's Talkin' Money podcast, a Certified Financial Planner, a money wellness expert, an entrepreneur, and the author of the Money Mindset Journal. She has over 18 years of experience as a money expert who has helped millions of people get in a better relationship with their money and take back control of their money and life.