Try These Tips to Master Money Issues in Marriage During a Pandemic with Dan Hinz – BtR 237

Dan Hinz from Adulting with Money is back to discuss mastering money issues in marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you don’t know where you are going, every detour is going to be really difficult.” – Brandon Cunningham

Money Issues in Marriage During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic did more than create panic, take lives, and put people in hospitals. It took its toll on families financially.

Fear and hoarding impacted available goods in stores, and the prices of some essential items may have risen. Rather than going into a crowded store, many people opted for delivery services which also increased the costs of groceries.

Electric bills may have been higher than usual as people worked from home and children completed the school year online from home as well.

Many people found themselves with reduced hours, reduced pay, or worse. They could have been furloughed or ultimately laid off from their jobs. Pew Research published in September 2020 that roughly 15% of Americans reported they were laid off from work. Another 15% stated they found new work during the pandemic (Pew Research, 2020).

This may have left you crying out, “The financial stress is killing my marriage!” 

There is hope, and some practical tips to help you get through the current pandemic, or prepare for the next emergency that arises. 

How to Deal with Money Issues

Our episode this week discusses mastering money issues in marriage by master three practices as a married couple

  1. Set clear goals using real numbers – Do you have a Top 10 priorities list financially?
  2. Track your money using an app, spreadsheet, or pad of paper
  3. Use monthly budgeting and budget conversations to get you to the “next step” of your financial goals.

When it comes to money and relationships, conversations around money are not a one-and-done type of deal. You will need to have regular conversations remembering that you and your spouse are on the same team. The object is not to beat the other at a game, but to come to an agreement where both of you are happy with the decision. These conversations will take practice and patient to master, so start today and keep at it.

Financial struggles can be overcome by applying these additional tips discussed in this week’s episode as well:

  • Create and maintain an emergency fund
  • Have two types of meetings on your budget: brainstorming and decision-making
  • Remind yourself “it will be okay”. Your net worth is not what defines your self worth.
  • If you found yourself with increased costs and reduced income, consider whether it is time for a career change

About Dan Hinz

Dan Hinz is a Florida-based coach who helps people tackle and conquer money issues in marriage as a finance coach. He brings his engineering mindset, MBA degree, and experience as an Edward Jones financial advisor to assist couples in creating a mindset for successful budgeting and conversations about money and relationships.

You can follow Dan on Facebook and watch his great content on YouTube to catch great tips on how to deal with money issues.

Resources and Links

Download a free copy of “Couples Crushing Debt” from AdultingWithMoney.com and begin your process of mastering money issues in your marriage.

You can watch video tutorials from Dan Hinz on how to overcome your financial struggles and win at money, especially when it comes to money and relationships, at YouTube.com/AdultingWithMoney.

Check out the website discussed in this episode about a food tours business that made adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the cashflow coming, ALittleLocalFlavor.com.

Listen to these past episodes:

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Email info@beyondtherut.com

Episode Credits

Host: Brandon Cunningham

Co-Host, Editing, and Production: Jerry Dugan

Music: “Oceans Apart” is our theme song composed and performed by Scott Ian Holmes.

BtR 237 Episode Transcript

Jerry Dugan: [00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Rut, the weekly podcast that discusses faith, family, fitness, finances, and future possibility in the hopes of inspiring and equipping you to make your own path and live the life you’ve always dreamed of beyond the rut. I’m one of your hosts, Jerry, and in just a moment Brandon is going to join me as we have a conversation with returning guest Dan Hinz.

Dan Hinz is a financial coach who helps married couples master money. That’s right! And, you probably are struggling right now because of the pandemic, you know, who isn’t? We’ve seen increases in prices with groceries as hoarding happened. We probably experienced some sort of reduction in our [work] hours or a reduction in our pay.

Some of us have probably unfortunately been furloughed or laid off from our jobs, and that’s why we have this episode because we want you to have some practical tips on how to navigate this tough time. So, sit back and relax unless you’re driving or just yelling at your TV because the Dallas Cowboys lost again. In that case, we can’t help you, but what we can do is share some information with you and some tips on how you can master money in your marriage. Here we go. Hey, Brandon!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:18] Hello.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:19] Hello…you can start to tell, if you pay attention to these episodes, where we were at the halfway mark on recording day.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:27] I don’t think anybody pays attention to that.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:29] I don’t think they do either, but if they did, if we have that one person out there who’s fanatical enough about this show besides me and you…

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:36] When they put all of these episodes in the Smithsonian to save them forever, people will realize, we’ll be gone but, a hundred years from now when they’re putting up statues of us as the greatest podcasters ever…

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:49] …or the only one that got saved in the Smithsonian, that’s what you were left with!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:54] Because my uncle runs a place or something.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:56] Some government worker was slacking that day.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:59] You put, who? Okay!

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:01] You could have just shifted the whole Apple Podcasts library into the Smithsonian, but no, they picked one show and it was us.

You’re welcome future, post-apocalyptic generations.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:11] But today, we have the procurement manager for Blackwater Industries out of Houston, Texas, Dan Heinz!

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:21] Wait, I don’t think that’s the…

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:23] What? Did I do the wrong research?

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:25] That’s why you are not in charge of research. This is the wrong LinkedIn profile.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:28] You’re going to say we could get into some Blackwater stuff. This is going to be pretty cool though.

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:31] Do you know what they do?

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:33] They’re like a private security firm in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are some news stories there.

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:39] Documentaries too, about…

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:40] We need to hashtag Blackwater industries on this episode who knows, who will get.

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:48] That’s it! This is, this is the thing that got us killed. Not, not the other thing. This thing. But no, we have a different Dan Hinz. This is the guy behind Adulting with Money, the website, the coaching services, as well as the YouTube channel. We had him on our show back in March. So, that makes your research even funnier. All you had to do was go back to March, listen to that episode all over again to remember.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:03:12] ‘Cause this guy didn’t seem too interesting. I was like, ah, procurement manager.

Jerry Dugan: [00:03:17] It’ll be interesting when the Blackwater guys kick your door down though.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:03:20] Why were you talking about us?

Jerry Dugan: [00:03:22] Uh, gosh, Dan, thanks for putting up with us. How are you doing?

Dan Hinz: [00:03:26] Doing great guys. I wasn’t sure now that you’re bringing this on my head as you’re just dragging me into something. I’m not sure I want to be a part of this.

Jerry Dugan: [00:03:34] When they kick your door and just say, “Hey wait. No, I’m the head of procurement.”

Dan Hinz: [00:03:38] No, that was Dan Heinz with an E. I’m Dan Hinz with just an I. It’s a common mistake.

Jerry Dugan: [00:03:44] Dan just fact-checked you, Brandon. It’s awesome. So for our listeners, you may have heard it in the introduction, but just to recap Dan was on our show just back in March of 2020, where we talked about his platform and his message around helping married couples get on the same page about finances because what’s the number one topic in an argument in a marriage, it’s money.

Even when a couple says it’s not about the money, they’re fighting about money.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:04:17] it’s always about the money…

Jerry Dugan: [00:04:19] …and it may be because you don’t love me because of the way you spend the money, but still it’s about money. Dan had shared with us some tips and some insights on how couples can adult with money, be on the same page, how to have a budget, but also not be so rigid with it.

So, you can be human, be imperfect, but still have something guiding and instructing your money, where to go. I thought it’d be great to have Dan back on because when we celebrated the fifth birthday of Beyond the Rut, he got on Facebook and said, “Hey, we should do this again!” and I was like, no, actually that’s a good idea we should have him back on again. Even though he was the only person who, for lack of a better phrase, self-promoted in that thread, it was a good idea.

Dan Hinz: [00:05:00] Hey, it worked!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:05:02] If you don’t do it, nobody else is, so you got to do it!

Jerry Dugan: [00:05:06] Unlike other groups, there is no rule about self-promotion. We control the posts. It was a great idea because we’ve gone through the COVID 19 pandemic, and a big part of that was this nationwide shelter-in-place order. So, whether you were on board that we should have sheltered in place, or you’re not on board that we should have sheltered in place, the reality is we all had to shelter in place in some way and that impacted a lot of folks. There are couples who had to keep going to work because they were “frontline”, then you had those who got furloughed. You also have those who were just simply working from home, and all that creates some stress and some strain, especially for those who’ve been furloughed or laid off, um, financial strain. Dan just happened to come forward when I was thinking about this a day or two later. Here’s Dan saying, we should do this again. I’m like, there’s the guy to talk about it.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:06:00] What’s great about Dan’s approach, too, is he didn’t know last year, obviously a virus or whatever was going to happen, but planning lets all these emergencies happen and you’re prepared for them at least to some extent, granted a worldwide shutdown’s a little unprecedented, but if you plan then the emergencies just happen. They don’t shock you, you know?

Dan Hinz: [00:06:22] And it was funny because as everything was shutting down personal finance, the personal finance world, and personal finance blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter and Instagram and all that stuff. There was a meme that went around. It was just the face of Dave Ramsey, kind of looking stern and it just said, “That six-month emergency fund ain’t so funny anymore, is it?” Thank you. That was a great idea. You know, that’s basically what the meme said, he’s like, I wasn’t crazy to tell you that and planning for these emergencies.

And you think, you know, I used to be a financial advisor. And one thing they tell you right away when you’re trying to help people invest for the future is to learn that market dips, market crashes aren’t an “if,” they are a “when”. Not win like you were winning, but it’s going to happen. The market’s going to correct. It’s going to go down at some point for some reason. So, you need to prepare your clients for that. You need to prepare yourself for that.

It’s baked into my training. It’s baked into everything that I talk to people about that emergencies will happen. Now, you know, this what we’re going through with this pandemic is unprecedented. I mean the last time it happened was what 1908 or something with the Spanish flu?

I mean, no one’s seen this for generations! This is extreme what we’re going through, and other shocks as life goes along, hopefully won’t be nearly as severe but they do happen. All we have to do is think about back to 2008. So, it’s been, you know, 12 years, 12 to 11 years that we haven’t had to do something about this, and recessions actually happened usually more frequently than that. Just by a little bit, it’s like more like once every nine years or a decade. So, for anyone listening to this, once you get out of this start preparing emergency fund start preparing [for the next one]. It’s going to happen again.

So, we need to keep an eye on that.

Jerry Dugan: [00:08:25] Now, with your clientele, what’s probably been the most common thing you’ve seen couples endure because of the shelter-in-place orders and because of COVID-19?

Dan Hinz: [00:08:33] Yeah. I mean, everything that I’ve experienced and, and talked to people about so far, whether it’s about unemployment or furlough, the silver lining to that is it helps them focus really quick.

It helps them focus. Like we know exactly what our goal is. We know exactly what we want to happen. Um, so let’s go about it. For those couples that aren’t in that survival mode, it’s actually maybe a little bit harder because then it’s just, we’ve gone through so much change. That change is hard, because I’m guilty as much as anyone else of wanting to have patterns and to be comfortable and for things to just be normal and go about because the mental energy to handle normal is easy.

There is no mental energy. You just get up and do the same thing every day, and that can really be nice but when it comes to change, can we go outside or not? Do we need a mask or not? What’s going to happen to the kids? Are they gonna have to go to school, virtual school? What about college?

Then also food, you know, grocery bills skyrocketed for everybody. Grocery store companies, their stocks are going fantastic because everyone’s shopping and cooking a lot more or they switched. They were so used to eating out that they’re ordering out as well.

So that’s been a big shift as far as like, what do we do about this? How do we handle this? It really comes down to just the change in the uncertainty and how to deal with that.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:10:03] What was the biggest kind of thing that you found in your own personal life and finances that you didn’t anticipate that maybe you weren’t prepared for and it kind of surprised you?

Dan Hinz: [00:10:16] To be honest, not much. I say that my wife and I are in a very fortunate position where she’s in a leadership role at her work. Although she did get a pay cut and we did get a little bit of unemployment from that, other than that I work with my family business as well.

So, there was a salary there that was helping us out. We already had an emergency fund. We’re out of debt other than our mortgage. You know, I’m an introvert, my wife’s an introvert. We don’t have kids and I already worked from home, so it’s kind of one of those things where I am fortunate. I try not to brag, but I meet people ask how are you doing?

I’m like, I’m fine. Yeah. But I’m preparing for this, my whole life.

Jerry Dugan: [00:10:59] This thing has been like an introvert’s heaven come to earth type of thing.

Dan Hinz: [00:11:04] And I’ve used it because so many things I can’t go and do. I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’ve starting to lift weights, and so my health has actually gotten a lot better as well, but it also goes back to the fact that my wife and I talked so much about money, because we budget every month, and we are really clear with each other, what our goals are when things change. It’s a lot easier to make decisions because we know what we want. So, you know, just perfect example this week my CrossFit gym had to close down for good. They had one final day of classes on a Monday. The thing is my goal isn’t to go to CrossFit every day. My goal is I want to weigh 200 pounds and have 10% body fat. I want to look like a linebacker, you know, that’s my goal.

And so, when the gym closed and I know what my goal is for me. I’m able to go around town and look at other gyms and look at their prices and see what they offer. It was really easy for me to say yes to one place or no to another place. I went to a regular gym on Tuesday, a CrossFit gym on Wednesday, another regular gym on Thursday, and a final CrossFit gym on Friday. I signed up for that final gym on Friday because I went through all the options and it was the best one by the end of the week. There wasn’t any reason to think any farther beyond that. When it comes to couples and dealing with all of this change, and I don’t want to say crazy, but it’s intense and wonderful how easier it is to start to make decisions when you know exactly what you want.

It makes it so much easier to say yes or no to some options, but on the flip side, there’s a difference between making a good decision and having good options. I do want to be very careful to say anyone out there who’s doing the best they can I’m here for you. I’m here to help you out with that. I understand that maybe some of your options aren’t the best, but you’ve got to make the best decision that you can.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:12:58] And now is the time to start planning that. You know, I’ve been telling people that for weeks now, it’s like, we didn’t know this was coming, but something is going to change or come or happen in the next year, 10 years, 20 years. Start planning now because, and I don’t remember if you said this, but  we’ll credit you with saying this last time, it’s once you put together a really good plan, then you can make adjustments. You don’t have to make hard right turns or major changes. You can just make adjustments little bits, a little pay cut here, or maybe the gym closed, or you got sick or whatever it is, it’s minor adjustments and stuff. Oh, we gotta move. Or, we gotta go wherever.

Dan Hinz: [00:13:40] Well, and on that, so I teach my couples that you need to master three habits in order to master money. And those three habits are first of all, setting clear goals, and especially when it comes to money. I find that couples really start to talk in circles, or they argue in circles because they’re talking about a lot of “what ifs”. I was on a call with one couple, and they were basically arguing about health insurance and what they should do.

I asked them, are you guys actually making this decision right now, or is this like a lot of “what if”.

They said, well, we don’t actually need to make a decision. We’re just arguing.

I said, well, you don’t have to argue on something you’re not actually making a decision about. And in my teaching moment for them was to say that the reason that you’re talking in circles is because both of you are right.

They had different opinions about the subject in general. What stops those arguments is having a number. When you say Option A costs $400 a month and Option B costs $300 a month, you start to compare that price to the value that you want to get out of it and it stops those arguments real quick to say, “Oh, I want this, but it costs so much money. It’s really not an option, but option B, I kind of want it and it’s more affordable, so that’s going to be the better choice.” So, that first habit is to get really clear on those goals. Try to have some sort of monthly number.

The second thing is to track your money using an app, or a spreadsheet, or something.

Third, back to your point, Brandon is that you’re not trying to set plans forever. You’re just trying to make plans for the next step. It’s all about monthly budgeting because the world of finance pretty much moves in months.

You know, monthly rent, monthly utility bills, stuff like that. So, you just make a plan for the next month and that’s it. You don’t try to make a budget for the whole year, unless you’re in such a fortunate position that you can plan for the whole year. And that’s probably going to go according to plan.

There’s very few. Basically, you have to be rich and wealthy to be planning full year and it going just fine. You’ve got to have a lot of wiggle room for that. It’s possible, but it’s rare. And so, yeah, it’s, it’s not to say that you’re making plans forever. You’re just saying, I know where I want to go.

We’re going to go five miles down the road and then see what happens. And if you’ve got to make a detour or life forces you to take a detour, if you know where you want to go, it’s a lot easier to find that detour or to figure out what those next turns will be.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:16:10] So, what would you say to somebody who say they were a teacher or some position that you knew was never going to go away it was never going to change. If you were going to get to do 20-, 30-year career and make this amount of money in [x years]. You pretty much had that all mapped out and all that went away in the last few months because school’s changed or whatever. What would you say to them if they come to you and say, you know, “Dan, I’m just struggling! I don’t even know if I have my career anymore”?

Dan Hinz: [00:16:38] Yeah, that’s tough. Um, and that’s something I’ve thought a little bit about as well. There’s a guy, Michael Singer, who wrote a book called the Untethered Soul, which I have absolutely fallen in love with. One of the phrases, or one of the ideas, that he has in that book is that when we feel the need to make the world be a certain way in order for us to be okay we’ll never be okay, because you can never make the world exactly the way you want to be.

Instead, what we should try to do is to practice and say, “I am okay. I will let the world be.”

When someone ties their self-worth or their happiness to a particular career or a certain label per se, then that’s where we’re trying to make the world be a certain way in order for us to be okay.

If someone were to have that, I’d say, well, what is it about being a teacher that you love? Is it working with kids? Is it working with a certain age of kids? Is it that you just love to be in front of a room teaching anyone? Anything? Because me personally, I love being a mentor, being a coach, but it’s not that I have to be those things or have that label.

It’s the fact that I am helping someone grow. That’s really what it comes really down to. I’m helping someone learn and grow and improve their lives. I love doing that, but there are other things in life that I love to do. I could have a car. We are doing that as well. So with these careers, it’s to say, is it the fact that you have to be a teacher to enjoy your life, or is there a certain aspect that we can find that a different career also provides that?

Brandon Cunningham: [00:18:24] I love that. ‘Cause you kind of take a zoom out. Now let’s look at the big picture you’re here, but you can zoom out and go, well, the teacher skills can be applied in a million different ways, and like you were saying, you can do them.

Without anyone around, do them from your home with the little camera and YouTube channel and everything else. You don’t have to be in front of a group, but you could be in front of thousands of people. We sometimes limit our choices because we don’t know where we’re trying to get. Once this road closes, and roads close all the time especially here it seems like, but they’re doing construction. You got to figure out a different way to get where you’re going. I love how you said that if you don’t know where you’re going, every detour is going to be really difficult. Because you don’t know if you can take a right or left or you need to turn around and go back to a little bit narrow or something like that.

Jerry Dugan: [00:19:15] It’s a good business strategy too. You need to know what you’ll absolutely do, and the things you absolutely won’t do. When you have those parameters in place for your finances, it sounds like when you are hit with those crossroads because you have those parameters already in line with what your goals are you know which choice is the better choice. You can almost predict which is going to be the better choice.

Dan Hinz: [00:19:35] Right! And going back to the business example, there’s someone that I know in Nashville who has, well, her company was, or technically still is, doing a food tour of Nashville. So it’s, you know, like, “Hey, join our tour group! We’re going to tell you about the city and then we’re going to show you stuff and it’s really fun!” Of course, it’s not happening right now, and she’s had to pivot but what she’s starting to do is a podcast about customer service customer experience because she realized what made her company so awesome and get such high reviews on TripAdvisor is that the experience that they created was second to none. Like she’s, you know, you think Disney World or, Ritz Carlton, or some of those like really high-end experiences, even just for her, her tour group in Nashville. That’s what she’s able to do. So now her podcast is about helping business owners figure out the customer experience for who they’re working with.

From that knowledge and that skill, she could write a book, she could start a course, she could do a mastermind group. When she narrowed down to that one skill that she knows that she’s good at, she’s applying it to a different area.

I’m sure she’ll be successful. I’m not worried about her, but it took her a minute or two to discover that

Brandon Cunningham: [00:21:01] What’s the name of her podcast?

Dan Hinz: [00:21:04] I will, I need to look it up. I guess I’ll give it to you guys so you can put it in the show notes. She just interviewed a vice-president from Disney world and he’s got a book out, and so I can’t wait for that to come out.

Jerry Dugan: [00:21:21] This is great, because Podcast Movement in 2021 is going to be in Nashville. Oh, yeah, we got our food planned out.

Dan Hinz: [00:21:28] Yeah, absolutely! I’ll get you guys connected.

Jerry Dugan: [00:21:35] I’m sure it’s a great show and all, but I’m happy to have her on [for the food ideas].

Brandon Cunningham: [00:21:38] Yeah. My main goal is I need to tell some companies about her podcasts, because I’ve dealt with customer service over the last week at PayPal, Facebook, and yeah, I’m going to call you all out and you all need to listen to her podcast and I’ve never even heard it, but I know you’re not doing it.

Right. So you need to get on board with that because yeah.

Dan Hinz: [00:21:58] So I just looked her up. Her name is Christine Wheatley Hughey and her company is called A Little Local Flavor. So you can just go straight to TripAdvisor and Nashville and she’ll be like Top 10. Easy.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:22:15] Awesome. Well, we will check her out. We’ll tell everybody to, well, I guess we’re doing that now. Go check her out, because customer service for me is a thousand percent more important than almost every other thing a business does. You know, you can have great products, you can have great prices, you can have great delivery, but if your customer service is bad people will stop going to you.

And it’s kind of like with your show and your company. If you weren’t living that out in a way that was authentic, people would figure that out pretty quickly. You know, you’re selling one thing, but you’re really doing something different than just walk away. And all of that is customer service.

Do you care about what you’re saying and what you do?

Dan Hinz: [00:23:01] Yeah, exactly. Well to get that back to finances and couples, what experience are you creating for your partner? What experience are you creating for your family and yourself around money? That’s really what I help couples with coaching is that if you’ve never done any personal finance courses or books or anything like that, it can be a whole new language and knowledge base that neither of you knows. You’re just kind of like both the blind leading the blind. One of you grew up with money a certain way, and the other of you grew up in a different way, and you don’t have that third-party mediator, whether it’s me or any other financial guru to help you with that.

It also comes down to, when it comes to the experiences, how to have productive conversations. Here’s my best tip on that cause it! It just popped into my brain. There’s a book I read called Radical Candor. It’s a business book, but in it, they talk about how you need to try to separate meetings into brainstorming meetings and decision meetings. The reason people get really mad in meetings is that they go in thinking it’s a brainstorming meeting, but it’s actually a decision meeting and they want to test the waters more. Then you’ve got people that want to make a decision and get out of there, but then you’re spending all this time brainstorming and it’s like, you’re wasting my time. So, if you, especially when it comes to money, can do this right now, this will help your conversations right now is if you have a decision to make. It’s okay to have multiple meetings. It’s to sit down and brainstorm what are our options? What do we know about these options? What don’t we know? Okay. Let’s take a break today. A couple of hours a week, go find information and come back. Then we can have a decision meeting once we know what we’re talking about. Too often you try to do both at the same time, and there’s just a lot of pressure with that.

You can relieve that pressure immediately by just saying, Hey, let’s talk for half an hour and just explore ideas and then we’ll go look stuff up and then come back tomorrow. Okay?

Brandon Cunningham: [00:25:06] I love your approach because your approach takes that emotion out of it. Now, this is not a win-lose. We’re a couple where we’re supposed to be together forever. We can’t let a hundred-dollar or a thousand-dollar decision ruin this, so how do we use money and not let all that emotion kind of get to us? What do you do to get people to that point, to make them understand that money should work for you, it shouldn’t control everything that you do?

Dan Hinz: [00:25:35] That’s a good question. It comes down to going back to the goals. That’s what I start all my couples on. That’s the first thing we talk about because when it comes to money and budgeting and dealing with all the intricate details and stuff, you have to learn, it’s a lot of time.

It’s a lot of energy, not just money to, to learn and to, to grow those habits. And so. Uh, when we have those goals, uh, and we talk about those, then there’s that reason why, like, here’s why we’re fighting for this. If it’s not a good reason, let’s find a good reason. Let’s find exactly what it is that you want.

There is a little bit of a, not arguments per se, but just a little back and forth with couples is to say, what is our primary goal? And what’s a secondary goal? What’s a third goal? I try to get my couples to create a Top 10 list. Both of you get five goals and we’re going to create a Top 10 list so all of your goals get on the list. But then, we do have to prioritize to say what’s number one, what’s number two. Then, we go find the prices for those goals. We start to see we’re on the same page with what do we want first. How much does that cost? What do we want? Second? Can we fit that into our budget in third and fourth and so on, but it also is a little bit of a roadmap to say, well, once you hit goal number one, or you finish goal number one, all right!

We know what to do next. We know what goal number two is. I get jealous of sports teams because everybody on the team knows what the goal is. It’s to win, to have more points on the board at the end of the game than the other team. Everybody knows that everybody wants to get to the Super Bowl or the World Series.

No one’s arguing about that. How do we do that? That’s what I’m trying to get couples on. It’s like, I want that. What’s a win for you as a team? We’ll get to how to go about it because if you’re trying to argue how to handle money but you don’t know what the goal is, both of you are kind of right. There is no right way to handle money. Rather than trying to pick the right way to do it, and then pick a goal, let’s go the other way. Let’s pick a goal. What’s the finish line? And then, we’ll pick a how that fits for you as a couple.

Jerry Dugan: [00:27:49] Nice.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:27:50] And next week, we’re going to have your wife on to see if any of this is actually true in your house.

Dan Hinz: [00:27:56] I’ll tell you what, I’ll ask her! You know, I’ve been trying to get her onto more YouTube videos to say I’m not just blowing smoke. We actually really are good at handling money. I am the money nerd, so I have a lot more knowledge, but you know, at my, what I wanna say philosophy, is that because I’m a nerd I like pushing the buttons and clicking the buttons and making sure everything’s organized. So the work is like 90:10. I do almost everything, but all of our decisions are 50:50. Like we don’t move forward until we both agree and then she’s comfortable. So I have to have the patience to make sure to explain everything, but it’s also for me to make sure she’s comfortable asking the questions in the first place.

If I’m not allowing that comfort to be there and she’s not asking, then I have failed as well.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:28:45] Absolutely. I love the way that set up is. This is our goal, you know, to get to the world series or whatever it is. Everybody on the team, you and your wife, or anybody else that’s involved in that decision, all know where we’re trying to get.

I can’t have you decide you’re going to run the other direction or you’re going to always throw the ball down whenever it comes to you. It’s like, if you’re not part of the team, then that’s the problem. It’s not the amount of money. It’s not even the goal at that point. It’s that you’re not on the same wavelength as each other and that only comes through discussion.

Dan Hinz: [00:29:18] Yeah, exactly! I think when it comes to a perfect example is we’re getting solar panels for our roof and we live in Florida, so this is going to be great for us.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:29:31] We just did that and love it.

Dan Hinz: [00:29:33] Yeah, exactly. And so the thing is that it’s a $27,000 decision, and it’s adding a 20-year loan to our finances. We don’t like debt. We don’t hate debt. We’re not completely abstaining from it, but we’re not very cheerful about it. So with that, we had to sit down and look at the numbers. The thing is it’s because we already know our priorities, we know our goals, we know how much they cost, and we track our money every month, we could take the number, the cost of this project, and look at our budget and be like, yeah, we can afford that. And so it made the decision a little bit easier because of all of the work that we’ve already put into it. And it’s, I just, I can’t tell you how fast and easy our financial decisions are because we’ve done all of this work for so many years.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:30:22] If somebody is listening and they’re saying, “But I can’t talk to my husband or wife about money. It always comes out as I’m griping or I’m controlling, or on the other side, I’m free with it. And I’m just like, let’s just spend anything and we’ll figure it out later. And that’s what credit cards are for and blah, blah, blah.”

How do you get two people that are completely on different wavelengths with money, but they maybe have similar goals, How do you get them to work towards those goals at the same time?

Dan Hinz: [00:30:52] Yeah, the big thing is, of course, to have those goals first is to have those priorities. I’m going back to what I was saying before is that once you have that goal, the how gets a little bit easier and we can find a way to do that.

I think a great example is me and my wife. I’ve worked with couples where the genders [roles] have swapped, where the wife was detail-oriented and wanted to save money and the husband spent a little bit more freely and just wasn’t as worried. It’s just money and wasn’t a worry for him.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:31:27] My wife is an accountant, so it’s easy for me.

Dan Hinz: [00:31:31] Yeah! Well, and so what happens is, at least the biggest thing you can do as a couple, to help with that is to when you’re budgeting and when you’re planning your money is to have separate money, like have pocket money, fun money, where you get to spend your money wherever and however you want as long as you don’t go over budget. Then all the other goals are going fine. There’s really no problem. So, that’s where if you have one side of the couple who’s a little bit more free-spending is to say, well, you know, how much does that cost you to be you every month?

Is it a hundred dollars? Is it $500? Let’s pick a number, then let’s see if we can make that fit. It’s also to say where if you’re trying to reach a goal and you’re a little bit tight with money, but if you’re a little bit looser here’s the benefit to that. You get to that goal faster, or you have a happier marriage and vice versa is that if you’re a little bit more freewheeling, is that if you’re able to cut it back just a bit and control that just a bit, not completely get rid of everything.

Here’s how it’ll benefit you. There’s gotta be that “Why.” At the end of that sales pitch, if you’re going to change, let’s give you a reason to change. I don’t believe that people should be frugal just to be frugal they’re frugal because they get out of debt faster. You’re going to be frugal because it gets you to retirement faster.

The same with food is that I don’t cut your calories and say no to Oreos just to cut calories and say no to Oreos, or if you’re trying to lose weight, there’s a purpose to this. And so that’s where, again, coming back to having that purpose is first because then the trade-offs have a reason. The trade-offs and the changes in habits have a purpose to them.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:33:21] Right.

Jerry Dugan: [00:33:22] All right. So just to sum up, we talked about the importance of a couple, both parties in the couple, having conversations with each other. So they agree on some goals because that will drive everything. Those goals will help shape the parameters to make their decisions. Then we’re talking about every month coming together, having those meetings to one brainstorm how, where the priorities are for their finances, and then decide on how they’re going to spend the money for that month.

And, be okay with change and then having some separate blow money or cash that is hers and some that it’s mine or, you know, well, his and hers, there we go.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:33:58] Don’t give up Oreos

Jerry Dugan: [00:34:00] …and don’t give Oreos! I can have Oreos still. So there we go. Yeah.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:34:04] I like to run. And the reason I run is because I want to eat.

Jerry Dugan: [00:34:07] Yeah, yeah, yeah. My friends say I can eat cake, but just don’t make a habit of it and make sure I get my miles in for the day. And I’m like, I didn’t run today. So they’re like, no cake for you today. Then I’m like, well played. Good job.

Dan Hinz: [00:34:19] Yeah. That’s why I call my services and my company Adulting with Money in the end. It’s just like, okay, I’m an adult now. I need to be just a tiny bit, that is a little more responsible. I can still have fun. Let’s be honest.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:34:34] Exactly. I mean, we have a lot of fun. So if people want to find out more about you, what’s the best place to get ahold of you or go find out how they can get you involved in their money discussions?

Dan Hinz: [00:34:45] I think the best thing is that I have a free giveaway. It’s called “Couples Crushing Debt”, and it’s a six-step process for you as a couple to start working together on debt. Even if your goal isn’t debt, this handout will help you start to get on the same page. I’ll talk about apps you should use and how you should have your conversations.

So if you want that, go to adultingwithmoney.com. It’s the first thing that pops up. It’s my homepage so you can download that. Please be sure to check out my YouTube channel, youtube.com/adultingwithmoney, and be sure to ask me questions because the best videos that I create, and the videos that people love, are the questions that they’ve asked and the information that they want to know.

I love giving people what they want, so come email me a comment on Facebook, comment on my YouTube channel. Tell me what questions you have. That way I can keep making awesome videos for everybody,

Brandon Cunningham: [00:35:41] If somebody who really likes to ask a question, but they don’t want to do it that way, what’s your home address? Maybe they could just come by and tell you the question that they have.

Dan Hinz: [00:35:51] Well, I am in Florida. It’s just kinda nice just to stay away from hurricane season. We’re staying home.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:36:00] Well, you could go to Houston and see the procurement manager for Blackwater.

Jerry Dugan: [00:36:05] You’re so getting your door kicked down!  That will be awesome.

Dan Hinz: [00:36:10] Well, Hey, as long as you’re going to come to my house and there’s going to be solar panels on the ground, and you’re like, well, where’s Dan, where’s the house? Something has gone terribly wrong. Well, you’ll get free solar panels.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:36:21] So come on by. Grab a solar panel. Take it to your house, help the environmentalists and steal a house.

Jerry Dugan: [00:36:27] That’s what I want to know now, how to steal a house!

Dan, it was awesome to have you back on again. It was definitely a treat for us and a treat for our audience and I hope you do well. If you’re not going to be on the virtual podcast movement coming up in October, we’ll definitely see you in Nashville. There you go.

Dan Hinz: [00:36:44] Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Jerry. Thank you, Brandon. It’s great to see you guys again and yeah, absolutely. We won’t be strangers. We’ll see each other. Awesome.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:36:51] Sounds good. Well, take care. Have a great day.

Jerry Dugan: [00:36:55] Now, if you like everything you heard in this episode, be sure to check out the show notes at, beyondtherut.com/237.

There you’ll find links to Dan, his social media presence, website with that free resource he talked about, Couples Crushing Debt. Now, we’re glad you joined us and the best way you can pay us back is to pay us forward. So, if you know somebody who would love to hear about this topic, they’re looking for some answers, forward this on your social media to share the link beyondtherut.com/237.

They’ll find us. They’ll listen to us. And hopefully, apply some of these tips that they learned from Dan. We’re glad you joined us this week. We look forward to joining you again next week, as we bring you another episode from Michael Lacey, who shares about how he and his wife as newlyweds also tackled the challenges of money when they realized on their honeymoon that things were not peachy keen.

Until next time go live life beyond the rut. Take care.

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