Don't let money cost you everything!
In Episode 007 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott talk about fear and trust issues as they relate to money in marriage.
Nik: Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothed the truth about Black love, family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,
Rich: What's going on? It's your boy Rich, and today we're going to talk about money and finances.
Nik: So, before we jump into today's episode, we have to let our listeners know that we are not licensed therapists or counselors, although you majored in psychology.
Rich: I did.
Nik: And I took a couple of psychology classes,
Nik: So, doesn't that make us kind of qualified?
Rich: No. I'm not getting no, no tickets, no fines, no. No. I'm not qualified. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, because. It may not be right.
Nik: Well, who's to say whether or not opinions are right? And that's really why we're here.
We're here to share our advice, our opinions, and our experience about the various topics and issues and opportunities that happen in marriage.
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Rich: We want to take a minute as always and thank our listeners. Now, just because I said we always thank you. Don't take it for granted because we're not taking you for granted. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The other day I was talking to my daughter and I realized something. Sometimes we as parents try to relive our lives through our kids.
Now I know you're probably wondering, what am I talking about? Right? So, I'm going to share with you the story and then that'll maybe help you understand what I mean.
Okay. So, you know. As we have said before, we have a senior in high school this year, right? And I was asking her a bunch of questions like, do you want a senior yearbook?
Are you going to get a class ring? And then I quickly realized that I wasn't really asking her questions for her response. I was trying to direct her in a way that she would do what I wanted because I didn't get a yearbook. I didn't get a class ring. Uh, there were experiences in life that I didn't get to have as a senior, and I wanted her to, uh, have those opportunities.
So, as I was talking to her, I quickly realized that she wasn't really as interested in these things as me. Uh, she was like, you know, kind of like, eh, I don't really care one way or the other. Uh, or our youngest who runs track, you know. She lettered. If you didn't know now, you know, she lettered as a freshman on the track team, you know, varsity all the whole time, whole year, everything.
Yeah. But anyway, uh, once again, I was like, man, I never got a Letterman jacket because we couldn't afford it. Like I still have my letter somewhere in a box at my parents' house. I'm sure if they haven't thrown out the box yet, but I couldn't afford a letterman jacket. So, when she had the opportunity to get one, once again, I started making these quote unquote questions that were more like suggestions, and it made me start to think, how often do we do that to our children?
Nik: A lot. I recognize it in myself many, many years ago with our children, and I am guilty like a lot of other parents and had my firstborn child's life all the way planned out for her from the day of conception. And I wanted her to go to Spelman college and I was going to be a member of Jack and Jill so she could have this great life with all of her Jack and Jill brothers and sisters, and just have this legacy that's established for my family tree and so many other things that I wanted for my daughters.
But as they started to grow up and become who they are and demonstrate to me what their personalities were, in a lot of ways they're like me, but in a lot of ways they're not like me. And I think the other thing that we also have to pay attention to, or even take into consideration is that this generation is so different than we are, and a lot of the things that we placed value in, a lot of those materialistic things that we placed the value in, like yearbooks and letter jackets and class rings and going to college, um, this generation doesn't necessarily place value in those kinds of things. And I do think it's important for us to allow our children to A) express themselves in the way that they need to express themselves, but B), allow them to have the option to not do what it is that you feel like they should be doing in terms of, um, living through them.
Rich: And I totally have to agree, you know, because after that day, it made me stop trying to direct my children and really start to listen to their desires, and allow them to share what their goals are, what their wants are, what they want to do, and then get behind it and support it like any good parent should.
Nik: I remember the very first time that our oldest daughter auditioned for a solo and you know, she kind of hummed and sang around, and she had always sang in choirs up until this point. But when she auditioned for this solo, when she opened her mouth, everyone in the room looked and was like, oh my gosh, this little girl can really, really sing.
And I don't think anybody was more excited about it than I was because anybody who knows me knows how much I love to sing. But all y'all know. How much I can't sing. And so, for me, I was so excited. I'm like, oh, my daughter has this gift that I have always wanted for myself. And I tried to push her in that direction.
You know, that wasn't her thing. And was I disappointed? Yes, but it wasn't me that was being pushed to do something that they didn't want to do. So yeah, definitely just whatever your kids decide, as long as it's not breaking any laws or harming themselves, I think it's fine for them not to be a mini me.
I've never called my daughters mini mes, even though they look kind of like me, they act kind of like me. I've never called them mini mes because I've always wanted them to be the best versions of themselves.
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Rich: Money and finances. I think there are more marriages that fall apart because of money and finances than just about anything else.
Now, I don't have any statistics to prove my thoughts or my beliefs, but I know that money and finances can create arguments and disruption in a marriage like probably just about nothing else. So. We personally have had some good conversation around money and finances. You like to spend. I like to save.
That is not true.
Nik: Yeah, you totally said that backwards. I like to save, and you like to spend.
Rich: That is true. That is true. I agree. I did definitely say that wrong, but I think there are a lot of things that create that in a person. I think that, you know, the way you're brought up, the way you're raised, your circumstances during your childhood, during your young adult years, definitely impact how you deal with money when it comes to being in a marriage.
Nik: It definitely does. I know that I wasn't the only one that grew up hearing, uh, money doesn't grow on trees or a lot of the families that I know there wasn't a lot of money in the families. It's not like I grew up in these suburban affluent neighborhoods. I would say that we probably weren't even middle-class back then, and a lot of times my family and other families that I knew, they focused on the lack.
They focused on what they didn't have. And what that created was us as children watching our parents stress over bills or buying groceries, or even struggling to keep the lights on. And all of these experiences, they affected how I feel about money and my relationship with money. And I think that's a strange way for people to think about it.
But how do you feel about money is really the relationship that you have with money and it does, it stems from your childhood and carries with you all the way through adulthood.
Rich: If you talk to my mom, she would tell you that out of all of her children, I was the child that actually saved money when we were young.
I was very responsible with money, and I think it was because I grew up knowing that there wasn't a lot of money. There wasn't a, uh, a plethora. There wasn't an abundance, there wasn't any extra. As I said before, you know, I didn't realize I grew up poor, but we grew up poor and my parents did the very best they knew how and could do during those times to make sure that those basic needs were met, right? And because of that, I probably had an unhealthy obsession with money because it's almost like the child that hoards food that didn't know where their next meal was coming from, right? They hoard it, the food, not because they needed it, but they hoarded the food because they weren't really sure is there going to be food later. And now that I'm older, I would say I'm not just, you know, throwing money out the window and just not caring all carefree, but I definitely spend.
Differently than you do. And it's because there's also, you know, when we talk about your upbringing, I would say your life experiences as well. And for me, you know, being a war vet, I understand how short life can really be. And so, I'm not going to be someone that doesn't do something I want to do because of money.
I'd rather spend money and enjoy the moments I have on this earth than be so wrapped up in saving every penny for that one day. Like I want to live now. I don't want to live 20 years from now. I want to live every day of my life now.
Nik: It's always been my philosophy and I don't know when this became my philosophy probably when I started working and making my own money, and I've been working for a long time.
I started working at the age of 14. I went to downtown Denver, got my work permit, and I started working at the children's museum of miniatures dolls and toys. And I think it was at that moment, um, when I started paying for my own things. That money was one of those things. Either you have it or you don't.
So, I never found myself even before I was married, stressing about bills or stressing about how I'm going to pay for this or how I'm going to do that. Either I had the money, or I didn’t. And I am pretty fiscally responsible in terms of saving for things that I want. I know how to, uh, not be so reactive and impulsive with the things that I buy.
And for a very long time, I felt guilty when I spent a lot of money. Like I would have straight up hot flashes and these feelings of anxiety come over me when we would spend large amounts of money when we buy cars or...
Rich: The first time you had to write a check for the house.
Nik: Okay? I mean, first of all, I didn't even know how to write a check that big.
And when I wrote that mortgage payment, it was like, I've never, ever, ever spent this kind of money on one single thing, let alone a month, a monthly payment. But I think for me, growing up, we were also not affluent, we were, I don't know if we were poor. It's hard for me to say that we were poor when we ate so well.
Rich: I'm sorry, I'm laughing because the first thing I thought of was you telling me how you ate a pomegranate. Like, I can't even say the word. I didn't even know what it was. You know? I mean, y'all were sitting eating steak and lobster, so no, y'all weren't poor. Literally. I don't care how you were getting it.
You weren't poor. I don't think I saw a steak or a lobster until I was grown, grown.
Nik: Yeah, we, yeah. We grew up eating those kinds of things. So, as I grew up, of course, I wanted to maintain that type of lifestyle and I transferred that into our marriage. I transferred my, my ideas about money in terms of either you have it or you don't.
That whole carefree, stress-free attitude that I've had about money. I don't know if it came from childhood, but I know that it's definitely affected our conversations and the way that we deal with each other when it comes to money.
Rich: Because the way you just described, uh, your carefree attitude is the very opposite of mine.
I am someone that's going to have planned out the bills for next year, December 21st, 2021, you know, I'm going to know, I guess that's December 21st, 2020 if we're talking about next year,
Nik: 20, 21, 22...
Rich: I've definitely got it all figured out for the future. And I mean, that's part of my upbringing. You know, my father raised me to, you gotta have a plan A, and then you've got to have at least a, B and a C just in case plan A falls apart.
And that is even when it comes to money and finances. So, you know, upbringing definitely plays a huge part in how you view money and finances and a marriage and understanding that you each came in with your own experiences and your own background and your own views.
You may not be on the same page. So, if you're not on the same page, there are a lot of different options you have, I think, when it comes to how you create banking for your family, right. Uh, for us, we were broke when we first got married, so it was pretty easy to say, hey, we're going to have a joint bank account.
Because there was nothing in the bank account.
Nik: I wouldn't say we were broke. We were very young. We were actually college students. So, how much money do you expect a college student to have? For me, I think my agreement to have a bank account with you wasn't because we didn't have any money and I was concerned about you taking anything of what I had at the time.
It was more or less my commitment, saying, this is my husband. We are unit. We are a union. If we're going to be sharing everything else, why wouldn't we share bank account? Cause to me, sharing a bank account is almost the ultimate form of trust.
Rich: We're talking about joint bank accounts, but not everybody has joint bank accounts.
There are some marriages that each individual has their own accounts and then they take out of their individual accounts and pay whatever bills they're assigned, or however they break it down. There are people that have their individual bank accounts and they have maybe a family bank account where they deposit money into that.
Uh, and you know, for me, because we've always had a joint bank account, I don't really see it working any other kind of way. I mean, if you wanted to have your own accounts, I wouldn't care at this point. But. I feel like there are a lot of pros to having a joint bank account. One of those being when it comes to paying bills, when it comes to accountability, those types of things.
It's easy to do when you have two people working together to accomplish your goals. Whereas if you have an individual bank account and you're like me and you like to spend, then who's helping me stay accountable? Who's holding me accountable other than myself? And if you don't ever see what's in my bank account, maybe I'm not really saving as much as I should be, or maybe I am being really just irresponsible with my money and no one's gonna be there to kind of get me on the right path, but my choices could long-term impact you. Because if I'm not being responsible with the money in my individual account, it could impact my credit, which could impact our options and opportunities later in life.
Uh, I mean, it's, you know, it's so many different things that could happen. So, for me, I like having a joint bank account because like you said, we're all in.
Nik: So, I'm going to say something that's probably gonna piss a whole lot of people off, but I'm gonna say it anyway. I don't see how you can be fully in and invested in your marriage if you have separate bank accounts that the other person doesn't have access to or even knowledge about.
That's, it's almost secrecy to me. It's almost like one person's giving the other person the permission to just do whatever they want to do, and we never have to have any conversations about it. I just feel like that's just a recipe for disaster in marriage. Has it always worked for us? No. Does it work for us? Yes. Have we had our ups and downs with it? Absolutely. But there's no, again, I said it already, there's no other way to show that you're all in and to really show your trust with the person when you're trusting them with your money.
Rich: I mean, but I think that even with that, there are times that you probably shouldn't have a joint bank account. If you have a spouse that has been extremely irresponsible with money. If you have a spouse that is maybe on drugs or alcohol or has some type of addiction a gambling addiction or whatever, and you're putting all of your eggs in this one basket, and if they go and they use all that money for whatever.
That thing is that, you know, they have their issues with, uh, it could put your family in a really bad position. So, I think that, you know, as much as I am a joint bank account guy, I know that it doesn't work for everyone, but I think you should really evaluate and ask yourself why doesn't it work? And if you don't have a legitimate, really good reason, then maybe it's something you should sit down and discuss with your spouse.
Nik: I would agree. There's exceptions to every quote unquote rule, and there's definitely exceptions to the joint bank account, but if there's those types of problems that exist in a marriage, then a joint bank account is the least of their concerns.
Rich: That's probably true, but I mean, if, you know, if you out there doing whatever and blowing up all the money, then that just adds additional issues in the marriage. So, you're right though, that's probably not the biggest issue.
But like I said, in the beginning, money can lead to divorce, so.
You mentioned this earlier and now you know, we kind of just glossed over it as we kept talking about other pieces like the joint bank account, individual accounts, but you talked about trust and how money issues really stem from trust issues.
And I think that's getting deep. Like we might need a psychologist or a therapist or counselor. Cause how did you go from money to trust?
Nik: When it comes to money. It's just one of those things that most people, a lot of people, and especially in America, we hold at such a high regard and because we place such a high value on it, it's almost like money is that thing that will make people go crazy when you're spending all my money.
Like if I'm the breadwinner as they call it and I'm bringing all the money in and you're spending all my money, I get offended, right? I'm like, why is he spending all the money when I'm the one making all the money? He ain't doing nothing. He don't deserve…. like people have a real personal connection and relationship to money.
It's, it's like money and children, my man, my money and my kids. Those are the things that I will really go off about. So, when I made that connection to trust, it's because we don't even discuss in our most intimate social circle circles, the amounts of money that we make in a year, we don't discuss those types of things.
So, allowing someone complete and full access to all of your money, it takes a certain amount of trust. Like, you know how much money I make a year? You know how much money I spent a year. You know how much money I want to make a year. And I think all of those things stem from trust. I don't know really how to explain it or why I really feel that way.
But you can ask anybody, why don't you have a joint bank account with your spouse? Why does it bother the breadwinner so much if the other person is spending, like, why does it bother them?
Rich: I mean, I think those are great points and I wasn't really asking that because I don't agree
with you. I totally agree with you.
I think it's true that when people don't have their trust issues taken care of, then anything can kind of create that questionable moment about money because we use money every day, you know? So when you have a quote, unquote, as you said, breadwinner or you have separate accounts, or you have secret accounts, or you have accounts that you didn't even know existed and they're able to do things, you're like, well, how did you just buy a brand new car when the other day.
I thought you told me we didn't have any money to take a vacation. That does create issues because it's like, I think that people are not as transparent when it comes to their money. I think back to being a child and hearing women in my family talk about having that secret stash, and I don't know if that's something that you ever heard, but like how women have been almost trained and conditioned to believe, well, you never really know what a man is going to do, so you need to have a little bit of side money put away just in case.
That's trust. That has nothing to do with you really need money set aside that saying, well, you're not really sure what he's going to do. You don't trust him, so you've got you some side money just in case he leaves you high and dry, or he blows the money on cigarettes and alcohol and gambling or on video games, whatever.
So, I think that, you know what you're saying about money issues can stem from trust issues is very true and accurate. And I think it's something that in a marriage you have to be aware of and always, always question your motive behind whatever it is you're doing when it comes to money or trust types of things like this.
Nik: If you can't trust your spouse with your money, what else can't you trust your spouse with?
Rich: That’s deep. That's deep. I mean, because if you are lacking trust in that area, it's going to impact all areas of your marriage, even your future. Because if you can't trust your spouse with money, then how can you talk about building a future together?
Because really, you're just talking, you're not really meaning anything in that because you don't trust them, you know? Uh, how can you expect to talk about what your financial goals are of building wealth or sending your kids to college or anything else that requires money, which is everything, if you don't trust your spouse when it comes to money, and I think that a lot of times people don't want to say that because it's really harsh.
It's kind of like calling somebody in racist, right? You make some bad remarks and you're like, oh, they're racist. People shut down when they hear that. Trust is the same way. If someone hears that, well, you don't trust me in this marriage, someone's going to shut down because nobody really wants to hear that, that they're not trustworthy, not in a marriage.
Nik: But even deeper than trust to me is fear.
When you were describing that woman who has the secret stash to just in case it's because she's afraid. There's some certain level of fear. And I will always say that fear manifests itself in so many different ways, and we call it whatever and anything else besides what it is. But when we're talking about money and marriage and trust, I feel like even deeper than that is it's this deeply rooted manifestation of fear. And what are you fearful of to where you cannot be completely naked and transparent with your spouse when it comes to your finances.
Rich: I mean, it goes back to what we talked about earlier, your upbringing, you know, if you saw your parents maybe even get divorced or you became homeless as a child out of financial concerns, then that is going to have an impact on your psyche and have an impact on you as an adult, even if you don't realize it. You know, I think of, uh, the current generation and you know, the generation that went through the great recession and they talk about how, you know, that generation looks at things very differently.
They look at the stock market very differently. They look at jobs very differently because they watched their parents lose everything in the stock market or on their jobs. Uh, so they are very different and their views are very different because the, the experiences they have had have caused them to be different.
And so, you can never just discredit the experiences you have as a child, a young adult, a yesterday, because however long ago, it doesn't really matter. Those experiences impact how you deal with your day to day life.
Nik: In the context of marriage, however, and especially when it comes to money, because it is one of those hot topics that do send people to the divorce court is learning how to unlearn all of those things that we've been taught about money and sometimes even holding yourself accountable for some of the feelings that you might be feeling as a reaction. Right? Checking yourself and saying, why am I feeling that way? Why am I afraid?
Why don't I trust? And really having an honest conversation, whether that's through a journal or however it is that you have conversations with yourself. I like to talk out loud to myself… but really opening up and digging deep within yourself to try and figure out what it is about money. Because to me, money is too trivial for people to get a divorce over.
There are so many bigger issues in marriage. And money is a small one because you could be high on the hog today and then tomorrow you can be busted and disgusted. So, money is just one of those things again, either you have it or you don't.
Rich: Exactly. And just remember that. Like don't let your marriage fall apart because of a number.
So, you know, to me it's just exactly what Bob Marley said. Money is numbers and numbers never end.
So, he was talking about happiness. He said, if it takes money to be happy, you search for happiness will never end. So, if you allow money to destroy your marriage, remember it's just a number.
So, like you said earlier, there are too many bigger things that you should try to overcome in a marriage than to let money be that thing that separates you.
Nik: Thanks, so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to subscribe to naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen to your podcasts on and give us a five-star rating on iTunes.
We'll talk to y'all next week.