S2E1: Love & Money: Relationships and Those Awkward Money Talks

S2E1: Love & Money: Relationships and Those Awkward Money Talks

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Talking money with the one you love is difficult at best, and scary at worst; we will be chatting with Alyssa Davies from @mixedupmoney, diving into all things navigating money conversations and your partner, whether its washing dishes, coming clean on your bad money habits, or those big goals like buying a house.

Download the episode's key takeaways here.

This episode was produced by Global Thinking Foundation USA and Hangar Studios.

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Follow Alyssa Davies @mixedupmoney and more on her website.

Enter the giveaway of 15 copies of Alyssa's The 100-Day Financial Goal Journal here.

Download the monthly spending tracker mentioned in the episode here.

Download Mixed Up Money's workbook for couples.

View Transcript

Mary: (00:45)
Welcome back to Your World, Your Money, you beautiful money people. We are so excited to bring you another season of real money conversations. Get ready for all the amazing, wonderful money stuff we've curated for this year. Valentine's day is right around the corner. And it is literally my favorite holiday. Well, it's kind of like my second favorite holiday. I might've lied a little bit cause you can't beat Halloween. You just can't. It's the best. But today is more about Valentine's day and all that love that's up in the air. And you're just, you know, professing your love to people on the street. Don't do that. That's weird. But you know, there's just all this love all around. And so we want to dive a little bit into those money conversations that happen in relationships, whether they're comfortable or awkward or more often than not just really weird.

Mary: (00:54)
We will talk about how to navigate those money conversations about like grocery bills and Netflix, or even those, you know, big financial decisions that your partner is considering making that kind of keep you up at night. And I'm not alone in this conversation. While she might not be my regular partner today, I have this magical amazing partner in crime with me, Alyssa Davies, founder of Mixed Up Money. And she's here with me today. Do you wanna say hi Alyssa?

 

Alyssa: (02:07)

Hello. Hi everyone.

Mary: (02:08)

Yay. We're so excited. Alyssa is a content specialist for Zolo and a published author living in Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of the two-time award-winning Canadian, personal finance blog of the year, Mixed Up Money. Look at that. That has over 30,000 followers across social media. I don't think I've ever even met that many people. That's awesome.

Alyssa: (02:35)
I've never met that many people either.

Mary: (02:36)
Right? It's like when did I meet 30,000 people? Anyway, through the founding of this blog, she has been featured in many notable publications, including The Globe and Mail, FLARE, Global News, and more. Her first book, The 100-Day Financial Goal Journal was released in May, 2020. Alyssa has been a freelance writer for five years, and her topics of choice include personal finance, home ownership, real estate and mental health. When Alyssa is not writing, you can find her enjoying some downtime with her adorable two-year-old daughter or playing competitive soccer or even enjoying home renovation projects. So, hi Alyssa, those home renovation projects, they sound great. I don't know how to renovate hardly anything. I don't know how you got there.

Alyssa: (03:24)
Most of mine are all DIY. So they're nothing professional and I would never be giving advice about that.

Mary: (03:30)
So not the home renovation projects, definitely personal finance. Got it. Great. Beautiful.

Alyssa: (03:35)
Yes.

Mary: (03:36)
So we want to start with something a little bit more fun. We did these couple videos and we asked couples about how they've experienced money together as a couple. And we got some of their questions for you and we're going to do them in this, like a rapid fire style. So are you ready?

Alyssa: (03:57)
Yeah, I think so.

Mary: (04:00)
Great. Okay. First question. What was your craziest purchase?

Alyssa: (04:05)
Definitely a house. Is that crazy? It is very expensive and it costs a lot of money like throughout every single year.

Mary: (04:16)
Love it. Crazy house, done. Okay. What is your financial weakness / guilty pleasure.

Alyssa: (04:25)
I love Starbucks coffee. So that is my biggest weakness. My guilty pleasure is home decor. I can walk into any home decor store and I will leave with at least two things. I can't help it.

Mary: (04:38)
What are the two things that you most recently left with?

Alyssa: (04:10)
The last time I went was for Christmas decorations, so I bought way too much. And then I did a no-spend month in January, so I haven't bought anything in a while. I'm proud of myself for that.

Mary: (04:50)
Actually aside from the, you know, rapid fire questions. I love the little, no-spend graphics that you have to download. I literally have one on my phone right now for February. I'm doing little hearts and if I, if I mess up, I have a broken heart and stuff.

Alyssa: (05:06)
Perfect theme for February.

Mary: (05:08)
Right? Broken hearts. We just want loads of those. That's what we aim for in the month of love. Next rapid fire question. What is your greatest financial fear?

Alyssa: (05:17)
Ooh. Um, not having enough money for retirement and I don't think I'm alone there.

Mary: (05:23)
Oh no. Yeah. In the United States, I'm sure you know, the statistics. I think almost everybody is worried about that or at least should be. If they're not, you should.

Alyssa: (05:30)
Yes.

Mary: (05:32)
Alright, this is, this was our favorite question. Cause we've got some pretty incredibly hilarious answers. If your budget style were a celebrity, who would you be?

Alyssa: (05:44)
I can I explain when I answer? Not very rapid fire, I guess. Tiffany Haddish, probably? Just because she wore that one dress to almost every single red carpet appearance. That is exactly who I am. Like, I will wear the same outfit every single day until I die because I don't want to go shopping for new clothes.

Mary: (06:07)
I love it. And I also love that when you said that you like whispered, you were like, I hate to admit, but I'm actually... It was fantastic. I love it. Um, don't worry. We've got all kinds of crazy stuff. If I think back, we got like Jay Z, pioneer woman. We got Kendall Jenner, Halsey, we got all kinds of crazy stuff. I think my favorite was probably when a very, very, very young man called his boyfriend, Betty White. And the young man that was his partner, he was like, I'm sorry, Betty White? You're going to have to explain that one to me because, um, I'm not Betty White. I was behind the camera while we were talking to these couples and I'm like, that's pretty great. I'm not mad. 

Alyssa: (06:56)
I would be thrilled if someone compared me to Betty White.

Mary: (06:59)
And he was like, yeah, you're really old fashioned. And he was like, you gotta stop. It's like, this is not improving. So I know that you have a little girl. And I also know that you've been in a relationship. So coming into a relationship, how do you start talking about money? Let's just start there. Let's start with that easy question. How do you start that conversation?

Alyssa: (07:22)
Well, yeah, that's just, that's it, that's the best question. Because more scary than the actual conversation about money is the conversation of attempting to have that discussion with someone. It doesn't have to be direct. That's what I always tell people. When you're trying to ask someone, if they want to talk about money with you, especially someone you're romantically involved with it, doesn't have to be that intense. It can be something a little bit more fun, a little bit more playful, uh, great questions that don't even directly relate to money, but they do have a tie in to kind of give you an idea of how they manage their money. So something like "what would be your dream trip", because that right there could tell you a little bit about their budgeting style. Like, are you going backpacking in Europe or are you going to a beach for an all-inclusive vacation? Just questions like that. Questions that make you think about money without directly pinpointing that, hey, this is all about your finances. That's just an easy way to ease into the - well, if we're going to have that trip together one day, maybe we should start talking about how we're going to plan for it. And then it's just a casual entrance into the conversation that's a little bit more awkward.

Mary: (08:33)
Absolutely. That conversation. I mean, when I think about the times I've had to have, it has been awkward to no end, I mean, and we're in the personal finance space. And so it's always kind of fun because for us, this is normal. This is a conversation that we get to have all the time. But when you think about it with a partner between two people that don't have this conversation all the time, that awkwardness, and also there's a lot of fear that comes up whenever those conversations start to come into whatever conversation was already happening. And so just, you know, maybe going back to when we were quote unquote normal and not in the personal finance world every day, I don't even know if we can ever be, you know, quote unquote back to normal, but how do people, kind of see that fear coming up or maybe see it come up and for their partner and work around it or work with it and kind of dive in a little bit more without, you know, creating that - we're going to go to different rooms now and come back to this tomorrow.

Alyssa: (09:30)
Yeah, definitely. I think one of the best places to start is actually just by talking about your individual upbringings. The emotional side of money is something that doesn't again, directly have to do with money, but it does in a very roundabout way. Every single person was raised uniquely, every single family had different values. So learning a little bit about, you know, how did your parents manage their money? Was money and a sensitive topic for you and your family? Those kinds of questions are things that we don't really realize still impact us likely to this day. If your family was really interested in spending money and doing all these fun things, you're probably the exact same way. If your family was a little bit more about pinching pennies and staying on budget, then that's probably who you are as well. So getting to know who your partner was when they were growing up is actually a great place to start because you will find out so much about them and learn a lot about why their behaviors are the way that they are.

Mary: (10:30)
I love that you highlight that. That's something that's actually been a trend throughout a couple of conversations we've had. And I also think that just having those conversations and being like, well, what does that person think about how their parents did that? It just tells you leaps and bounds. I think about my own parents and some of the questionable money choices that they taught us. And just in the way that I say that, you can already tell that I'm like, I don't do that. That's not a part of my day to day life. So, you know, if somebody is taking liberties and jokes with a budget, you might be like, ooh, maybe they don't write one down or have one. This could be great. This could be a fun conversation.

Alyssa: (11:09)
Yeah, and also if you are just having that conversation and you're worried about the, it all ending in a fight and you're going to separate bedrooms, like you said. I always think it's a good idea to set ground rules. There's nothing wrong with sitting down before you have the conversation and saying, let's not make any assumptions when we're having this discussion. That's a rule for us. And another rule is that we should take a break if it starts to get overwhelming, we can finish the conversation another time. It's okay to set rules and make sure that everyone feels comfortable. Because if at any point someone starts to feel unsafe when they're talking about their money, you should step back and reevaluate, and give yourself time to be ready for the conversation.

Mary: (11:50)
Oh, absolutely. And going along with that and through the work that you do, what are some ways either in like your life or that you've experienced with your fiends or other people, what are some ways that you've seen these conversations go really, really right, and what are some ways that you've seen them just like go unbelievably almost fabulously, but not fabulously wrong?

Alyssa: (12:13)
Well, right, is pretty hard to accomplish your first time talking about it. I don't think anyone will nail it right away when they're first talking about money with someone. But some good things to do is to be open and non-judgmental because everyone has different situations. And you're going to learn a lot about your partner, whether it's just what their daily spending habits are, or like a really ridiculously high amount of debt that they have, that you weren't aware of. You have to be willing to share those things that you're typically embarrassed by because you trust each other, so you're willing to work through almost anything. Some wrong things or some tough things that most people do face is just, you really figure out what people's triggers are. So for some people it's like: how much income do you earn? If you're earning more than someone, they might be really triggered by that and not like to have this conversation anymore. So it's like anything that makes your partner feel like they're being criticized, it's the same with any part of a relationship. No one likes to have their cleaning style criticized, their fashion sense criticized. You have to trust each other, right? So you have to make them feel safe. You don't want to enable poor behaviors, but you need to acknowledge that - this is their reality and there are ways to work around it together.

Mary: (13:29)
I'm gonna remember this forever now. And in the future, I'm going to be like, hmm, so how do they clean the dishes and how can I extrapolate this towards their budgeting? I won't actually do that guys. That's not a great idea. Don't do that to people. But I just love that. You even bring that up about like, there's also these other things I was like, hmm, I've known some people that are amazingly bad at washing dishes. Those beautiful moments in a relationship. But you actually kind of segwayed for me into something that naturally looks different for every relationship and couple. And of course, we come to this conversation, knowing that it's going to look different for everybody. Like we know that we put that out there in the world. But you kind of segwayed it for me really beautifully. Where does building trust come into this? And an example, like two things that I think of when I say that. We had these couples and one of the couples, they built trust purely through communication because they were older, they both already had kids, they were talking about buying a house together. Like they just use communication as their sole tool. And then we had this younger couple that were adorable, and we loved them, and they were great. But they just immediately started talking about how one of the partners was investing the other's money and they had lost money and then gained it back. And we were like, whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. How did you go from being this couple that have been together for a couple of years to -oh yeah I invested her money and then lost it, but don't worry. I got it back. And we're like, oh, that's nonchalant for something kind of huge, what?

Alyssa: (15:05)
Holy, that is the craziest story I've ever heard. And a really good question like, trust is the main pillar in your relationship in every single conversation you have. And it's super interesting because it's a lot easier to go up to a stranger on the street and be like, hey I have $30,000 in student loans. But then you go home and you can't tell your partner that, because that just feels suffocating.

Mary: (15:25)
That's beautiful right there.

Alyssa: (15:27)
Yeah. It's like, I think it's because telling a stranger feels easy, but at the end of the day, it's not actually going to resolve any of your issues or garner you the support you need. You actually have to go and talk to someone who's going to be able to work through it with you. So building trust is all about talking and the first conversation is going to be an awkward one. It's inevitable. Like there is no possible way around that. But the more you have the conversation, the easier it will become, and the more trust you'll feel from your partner. Because they'll already know what they can do to support you.

Mary: (16:00)
That's Fantastic. And I think something else that I'm hearing in that is kind of building up to that transparency that's needed. Like when you reference just like walking up to a stranger in the street and being like, hey, I have $30,000 in student debt, which, these are things that you should not try at home, but you know, it's a very telling thing. And, it also comes to me like, how do you get comfortable with that transparency between two people and that candor that is really very uncomfortable if you're not having these conversations literally every day. And who knows, maybe there're couples out there that are like, yes, we talk about student loans while we do the dishes together cause we both know how to wash them. So maybe there're those couples out there and we love them. They're on Instagram, they're influencers, they look great in their professional photos. But I think there're so many other couples out there that are like, how do I get that level of transparency from someone else? If either, one, I want to provide it or two, I already am. Like, there can be both situations obviously.

Alyssa: (17:04)
Yeah. Repeatedly having the conversation is easier to say than it is to do, because who wants to spend every single night after working all day, talking about money with someone? Not even I do, and I literally love money. So I don't think that that's unusual to feel like, ugh, this is exhausting, do I have to keep doing this? But I think that there's like three main conversations that you need to have about money and those things will help kind of alleviate that awkward feeling. One of them is we already talked about, which is the emotional side of money. So what's your upbringing? What are your current habits? How do you spend your money? Those are some things that you need to talk about. Those are easy ways to lean into the conversation about money. The second thing is actually jumping into the specifics - What do you make? What do you spend? How do you think that we should manage money as a team? Do you want to keep money separate? Is managing our money together and option? That's a really, really tough conversation, but oh my gosh. As soon as you get through that, you can imagine it's like, oh, everything's already out there, I can breathe again because you already know exactly where my money's going and I don't need to feel like you're judging me, because we've already had this conversation. And then the last one, and this is when it starts to become fun. At least it's so much fun in our relationship with me and my husband is - actually sitting down and talking about your future goals and your plans. Sitting down and being like in 10 years, we should have this much money saved for this. And this is how we're going to do it. I have so much fun having those conversations. And we do that once a year, like a massive financial planning conversation about like, what do we want to do? Like let's just throw every single possible idea out there and see what we can come up with. After you have those awkward moments, you get to have fun talking about it and you get to dream with your partner and like, how great does that sound? Right. Finally getting to like plan these amazing adventures with the person that you love.

Mary: (19:00)
You just built a beautiful, easy segway for me. Thank you so much. You're just like making this so fantastic for me because you just mentioned that second and third thing - you guys can't see me, but I literally just held up two fingers for second and third, you know, why not, second and third thing, there we go. That second and third point that you mentioned about getting through that awkward, just like putting it out all on the table and kind of working through that transparency and trust in those moments that then leads to those conversations that can be more fun. That's one of our biggest questions that it always comes up is, how do we have those bigger conversations? And a lot of the ideas that people have as a bigger conversation that we experience is things like, having kids or buying a house, that really fun purchase that you made. And like those big things and maybe someone want to become an entrepreneur and start a business. And so when having those conversations, how can people kind of pick up maybe when they haven't put everything out on the table, maybe they're not ready to have those conversations yet. Let's say they didn't get through all the awkward and maybe there is still some judgment out there because we're not all perfect. I mean, you've been through this, we've all been through this before where it's like, we did it. We're great. We talked about money and then two months later you're like, are you still judging me for my credit card debt? And so like, how can you be in those conversations and kind of benchmark where you can go versus where you kind of have to go back and reevaluate, like, wait, maybe we need to go back to this and have more conversations about student debt or whatever it is.

Alyssa: (20:43)
Yeah. Well, what you just described is the norm, like having difficulty talking about those things, having a lot of resentment. It's the number one issue in people's relationships is money. So if that is you and you're listening right now, do not feel like you're doing something wrong because you're probably the most normal person that ever existed. So I just have to put that out there. As we're having those conversations, every single personal finance situation is super personal. That's why it's personal finance. I hate to say that because it's so cliche, but it is true. So it's hard to generalize how every single one of these conversations should go, but it's also really important to be comfortable enough to have honest and vocal conversations about how you're feeling on a more consistent level. So like maybe every month, even just once a month, you sit down and you're like, how's it going? And you can just say, it's good, or I need to talk more, just as kind of like, yeah, I'm not in the mood this month. Things are going okay. Every decision we make in life and in our relationship is heavily influenced by money. There's no avoiding it. So you do have to eventually sit down and get to know where everyone stands and start to make plans for those bigger milestones that you have.

Mary: (22:00)
I think that's a fantastic strategy because it kind of, just like you said, it creates that benchmark once a month. And it also, I imagine over time, that would give a set of partners the ability to kind of tell, oh, well, maybe they don't want to talk about it this month because something else is going on. Or maybe the way that they're saying that, like I'm getting to know this person, I'm getting to know how they behave and react and stuff like that. So I think that that's a great call-out and a great benchmark for people to kind of constantly come back to. Because you're going to only gain familiarity from it. You're only going to gain more trust. And if you're gaining the opposite, maybe you're learning about where you shouldn't be in a relationship or maybe a relationship you shouldn't be in. I feel like somebody out there is like, this feels like a conversation I have with my parents. And I'm sitting here thinking, yeah, we can't break that one, but we can work on it.

 

Mary: (22:53)

So, something that you were mentioning there about like, sometimes you just don't want to talk about money. Like sometimes, like I'm just, I'm not there for it this month. And that makes me think about a lot of the, I don't want to use the word problem. So I'll go with like, weaknesses or, habits that we have that aren't to our benefit that kind of come out when you're in a relationship or discovered when you're in a relationship. Maybe you don't know that you have a terrible Starbucks habit until someone else is there to be like, that's your fifth cup of Starbucks today? Like, I don't know how you're not wired, but also that's your fifth one. Like maybe calm down off the wall, but you know, that's still the fifth one. And it actually reminds me of a conversation we were having with a couple and this couple, the young woman, until she entered into a relationship, she just hadn't realized that you should be saving for your future and her mind, just the way that she understood money, once it comes in, you can spend it on the things that you need to spend it on. And that's it. And so I think about what you were saying about coming together and, you know, every once in a while, there's this month where it's like, I don't want to talk about it and maybe that's founded in some of those habits or weaknesses. The question in all of that is, how do you highlight those and find those for yourself? How do you call those out for another partner if you are seeing them? And my favorite question, how can you work on them as a team? Because that is the most terrifying thing on the planet.

Alyssa: (24:30)
The best part about being in a relationship is that you have a partner. So it's basically a built-in accountability buddy, if you will,  someone that you can go to for almost anything. So I'd say like the first place you can start is actually working together to kind of set boundaries and expectations for each other, and what you think money looks like. It's hard to do that because if you buy five Starbucks a day, which trust me, I do not. I know some people are thinking like this is, you know, it's not. Like sometimes those things feel like an essential to you and it's not an essential to your partner. So you need to talk a little bit about that and set those boundaries and expectations. Like what is an acceptable amount to Starbucks coffee to you? And what's an acceptable amount to me? And then just having those discussions again, communicating, but if one of you, for example, an easy one to point out is maybe one of you is a spender and the other one is a saver, which is very, very common or vice versa. You have to discuss like, what do habits look like that makes sense to you. And then use your accountability buddy. That is what a partner is for - to lean on and to have support. So ask them like, to just point it out and it doesn't have to be anything aggressive. It can just be like some kind of code word. Like "spicy", like "too many coffees".

Mary: (26:02)
My brain immediately went to like those James Bond movies. And like, I think I remember, maybe it was like a Jason Bourne movie and the code word was like "evergreen". And you just said that I was like "evergreen".

Alyssa: (26:13)
That would have been better than mine, "spicy". No one's going to take that.

Mary: (26:19)
Imagine you're holding a coffee and they're like "spicy". And you're like, no it's not, it's not as spicy. So to all of our lovely people at home, we don't buy five coffees from Starbucks and we don't usually make them spicy. It's okay. But actually, you said something just a second ago and I wanted to hold a little space to just kind of put out there for anybody listening. If these things sound very foreign. If having somebody to lean on in these conversations sounds very foreign or not what's happening in your relationship, or if being open and transparent and working through the difficulties they're in, but getting to an open and transparent place, if all of this is sounding really foreign and you've put in the work for it, I do want to hold space for just a second for the people out there to say that might not be the right relationship. So if you're hearing this and you're like that doesn't apply to me, but the reason it doesn't apply to you is because you've put in the work and you're not getting those results. I would just want to highlight and hold some space and say, people, maybe look at the relationship as a whole for a second.

Alyssa: (27:30)
All I can say to that is at the beginning of my relationship, like I've been with my husband for 10 years now. And at the beginning of our relationship, we always kind of had little tiffs about money because it wasn't like a common conversation for us. And we were both just living our life. We didn't really think about the future, which is super normal. And many of the conversations we had, we were just like, you're spending more and it's not equal, and that is such a common point of contention in relationships is like, is the relationship equal? Will it ever be equal? And also what does equality look like to you? Because whoever's earning more income, I refuse to use the term breadwinner anymore because I find it just so ridiculous, but whoever's spending more income should probably be paying a little bit more for bills so that you are equal in how you put your money out into the world. But those are conversations again that you should have. And yeah, if someone's not reciprocating those feelings and feels like they don't have to do as much in the relationship or even worse, if they're like, I'm contributing financially, like that's enough for me. I don't need to do anything else. That's not okay either. So yeah, there's some, there's such a thing as financial abuse and it can be so hard to realize that it's happening to you.

Mary: (28:47)
Absolutely. And of course, I call that out. That's a core of what our foundation does, but I just wanted, we were having this great conversation. I was like, just for anybody out there, that's like, huh, this doesn't apply to me. Or this sounds weird to look at the relationship as a whole, if those were any of your responses, just putting that out into the world. As we're talking about that specifically, something that comes to my mind that I think would be really, it's really important to kind of bring to light is there is a huge stigma around having money conversations. I know that there've been so many major magazines that have almost played with the stigma and been like, people are more comfortable talking about all of these different things, Vanity Fair did it, ELLE did it, all of these big magazines almost played with the idea of stigma around talking about money, but none of them have ever really, you know, just put it out there and been like, okay, so we're not going to do this anymore. We're going to break this stigma. And so whether it's, you know, at a macro level, as a society or in the home and in the relationship and in the partnership, let's talk about breaking down that stigma and like what that can include and what that can mean.

Alyssa: (30:00)
Yeah.Such a big question, but it's super important. I feel like these days, there are a ton of people out there that are willing to be vocal about what they do with their money and how many impacts us in our lives. So I think one thing that I've been really conscious of lately is curating the places that I spend most of my time to fit that mindset. Like my social media feed is all focused on things that directly impact me now, rather than things that are like, okay, this looks like fun, but this will never be my life. So comparison just isn't really worth my time. I'll unfollow those accounts and I'll follow people who are interested in the same things as I am, like personal finance, like people that are willing to say, this certain political thing that's happening right now is going to impact you, so you need to know about it. Like those things matter more to me now than other things that I used to follow on social media. So like make your world fit something that removes the stigma because it's partially on us to kind of just like open ourselves up to it. It's hard to find those things, unfortunately, but just look for them. They're there, there's tons of amazing and powerful women out there who are willing to have these discussions openly and, just open the doors for these conversations. The other thing is just like, when you are open to a conversation like that, if your friends are willing to talk to you about it, I think it's all about keeping judgment-free space because that right there is what removes the stigma. Like it's the same with mental health. You are going to have such a hard time telling someone that you are anxious or depressed, if they're not going to let you feel that way. It's the same with money. If you say, I have this much debt, so I can't prioritize going on this trip with you and they judge you for that, it can hurt. But if they're open and willing to accept that reality, then your friendship is only going to grow. So, letting people talk to you, letting people have these discussions, opening yourself up to this idea that not everyone is perfect with their money. Sorry. That was so long-winded.

Mary: (32:07)
That was perfect. And I have to highlight some key points in that because it was fantastic. You spoke about one thing that I think is so important. When we talk about external influences, we often talk about the friends that are around you. We talk about, you know, your parents, your environment, what happens at school, whether they're your friends or not, when you're at school. And so all of these external influences and I absolutely love that you brought in the social media influence as well. I think that we don't often consider enough how important it is to curate what we see, whether it is for our growth or not. And I think about all these accounts that can be followed, for example, just how you mentioned in a moment that you don't want to use breadwinner anymore. Introducing that into somebody's life could be the moment when it's, Oh, I probably shouldn't because breadwinner has such connotations to it. And I don't like any of those and I'm not going to use it anymore. And once you surround yourself with this environment, whether it's social, online, in-person, that's when you start to feel that empowering moment where you can say it. So let's say you have that friend that passed a little bit of judgment about going on a vacation. You know, when you have that environment that kind of buoys your confidence, you're able to say, hey, that was kind of shady. And maybe that leads to a completely different conversation and changing that relationship. So long-winded or not, that was perfect, I love what you said. And it made me think of a moment as it just like an anecdote that made me smile because I'm an adult. I don't really believe it, but you know, apparently I am one. That's what society that unfortunately I have to live in, has told me. And so apparently I'm an adult, but I'm an adult with a very strict budget because I've got these really big goals and all of my friends have been chosen and we've talked through it and we've gone through the crazy difficult staff to be in a place where I can tell them I'm on a crazy strict budget. I can't go on vacation or anything like this. And we went in and if you're not in New York city and you're hearing this, we were in a bodega, one of those adorable little corner shops that yes, you see on TV. And we were in a bodega, it was 12 ish in the morning. And I was like, I should probably like take a taxi home. Cause we're all the way downtown. We're in a good part of town. So I don't want anybody to think that this was a question between like danger or not danger. She was like, well, how much is that going to cost you? And I was like, hmm, probably like $30 or $40. And she was like, is it worth it? And that just moment to have a friend next to me saying, is it really worth it to take 30 or $40 out of your pocket just to go home because you're not in danger, the world's not ending, you're fine. We're, you know, buying candy at 12:10 in the morning. So like you're already spending money. And I also got a pair of socks. My feet were cold. And so, you know, we're already doing this and it was just so incredible to have that friend that was like, it might seem really small to people out there, like $30 - $40, but every day, two times a week, three times a week, it matters. And having that system to build you up and support you is so important. So no, long-winded answer, long-winded on both sides, but it was perfect. Absolutely in every way.

Alyssa: (35:25)
One of my favorite things that I always think about is that saying, your five closest friends - that's kind of a roundup of what your personality is like? I totally think that is accurate. Every single friend that you surround yourself with does impact your life, whether you think it does or not. So yes, definitely choose the people you surround yourself with, make sure that they're supportive and it's okay to kind of adjust that friend group as well, if it's not what you need.

Mary: (35:52)
Absolutely. Adjust the fan group as much as you adjust the Instagram feed and the Tik Tok feed, please. That is the environment that is being created. So we talked a little bit about like the stigma side of it and what we can break down there and what are some of the tactics that we can use. And I'm sure there are tactics that people will be like, yep. That makes sense. I should do that. Well, we're here to tell you to actually do it. It does make sense. So go clean up the feed, go look at your friends and be like, am I Marie Kondoing, any of you right now? Hmm, I am! Tiffany, I'm coming for you. This is your moment to be like, okay, people are telling me to do it, do it. So what other actions, what other things do you want to leave people with saying, okay, well, you're walking away from this. You're in a relationship. Here's what I want you to keep in mind. Here's what I want you to just look around you and do action, think about?

Alyssa: (36:51)
Oh, the very first thing, and I think I've said it so many times is to drop the judgment. Stop judging people for having money, stop judging people for not having money. Just let them talk, open that channel of communication, have those tough discussions and be kind to one another. That's super important when you're talking about money. And remember that it's never going to be easy, especially a first conversation with a partner, but the longer you wait, the harder it will become and the more assets that you'll probably share together. So the earlier on that you have those conversations, the better it will be for your relationship long-term.

Mary: (37:35)
Oh, fantastic. Thank you. And I don't know how you feel, but I feel like we made great partners today. I feel like we'd be really good at washing the dishes together. I feel like we'd be like, do you want the glasses and I'll take the dishes? And I'll be like, oh my god, yes, I'll even do the bowls, thank you so much! 

 

Alyssa: (37:51)

You'll wash, I'll dry.

 

Mary: (37:53)

Exactly. I feel like we're going to be great partners in crime today. Um, but thank you so much for chatting with me. This has been a really easy, great conversation around like relationships and just like getting some ideas in people's brains for the month of February that like, you can talk about this even in February, maybe not on Valentine's day, like maybe not on the day, but you know, it's February, there's love, use it to your advantage. You know, you can talk about this.

Alyssa: (38:23)
Yeah. Thank you so much. It's so much fun to have conversations with like-minded people.

Mary: (38:28)
Yes. That group, we did it. We built a bigger group. Thank you so much for joining us and listening in with me and Alyssa talking about relationships and money and just how incredibly weird and awkward that can pretty much always be. You will discover the beauty of awkward money conversations just when you talk about Netflix subscriptions. It's pretty great. Thank you for joining us today, all the beautiful money people in the world. And I hope you join us next week, where we're going to be talking about financial goal-setting with one of our dear friends at Investing Latina. Next week, we're going to get into a little bit more about testing those financial goals and setting them if you haven't already set them and coming back now that we're in February and being like, am I getting close to that goal I set at the new year? And if not, what's holding me back from it. So thank you so much guys, and we'll see you next time.