Color Full Lives, Season 5
Your favorite trio is back for an all-new season of our Color Full Lives podcast!
Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married
Money and matrimony don’t always mix. In episode 2 of Color Full Lives, hosts Angela Yee, Aminatou Sow, Tonya Rapley and special guests, Tommy and Codie Oliver, take a deep dive into a variety of things to know before getting married.
Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married
(Yee) Welcome to an all new episode of Color Full Lives presented by State Farm. This season
we've been focusing on the things that we wish that we knew before major life events. In this
week's episode, we're going to dig into what you should know before getting married. We've
covered some of this in our past episodes, but what are some of the best practices for saving for
a wedding? Tonya? *Laughter*
(AS) Please tell us.
(T) You know, I think that one of the most important things to think about, is just being aware of
the cost associated with a wedding ceremony. I don't think enough people do that, especially
now in this social media generation. And deciding what's really important to you. Like, is it about
family and friends....
(AS) So how do you decide that?
(T) Well, I think it requires a conversation between you and your significant other. I think you
should make a list of: what's important to me, what's kind of important to me, and what doesn't
matter at all. And then you compare your lists with your partner and then you say, ‘Oh, is this on
your list? This is on your list.’ And I think you make your decision based on that.
(Yee) What was important to you?
(T)For me it was the music.
(T) Yeah. For me it was like—
(Yee) That's what I'm talking about.
(AS) Let's go back in time and go to your wedding *Laughter*
(Yee) We need to wobble *Voracious Laughter*
(T) We had to wobble. Like, I'm a line dancer… but no for me, when people like--my friends who
were at the wedding, I'm sorry #FlashWeddingBash, if you want to check it out on social media
you can. But my friends who were at the wedding, you know, they were like, wow, that was a
real fun reception. I was like: mission accomplished.
(Yee) That how you *inaudible*
(T) You know, like my flowers, none of that-- they were beautiful, but we did a destination
wedding. And I think that was important for us too, to just have a lighthearted experience.
Because, there's so much pressure around getting married. Like I'm sure you guys, you know,
people in your lives are like—
(Yee) I have to think about it now because, you know, one day if I do get married and we have
those conversations... Listen, a destination wedding is a great idea because then everyone can't
(AS) You just widdled down the wedding list.
(Yee) You have to also think about the list, but then there's people that you want to be there, but
maybe they don't have the finances. So now do I have to pay, especially family members--
(T)Yeah I didn’t care, we did the destination—
(T) I-- Listen.—
(Yee) It doesn't sound like you're-- We’ll see pictures.
(T) But, you’re getting married. Like at the end of the day—
(T) Like you had to think about who's-- the wedding is about you and your significant other.
That's how I looked at it as, it’s just like, as long as I'm there and he's there. Anybody else, if
they can get there, great.
(Yee) Please let him be there.
(T) Where's my fiance ? Um no, but you know, I get it. I know people— I
do know people who sidelined their dream of having a destination wedding because of someone
in their family. And then unfortunately, like, something happens to that person. Like, that person
passes and now you've invested all this money in a stateside wedding for someone who's no
longer going to be at your wedding and now you're paying these stateside prices rather than
having the destination wedding you really wanted. So it boils down to, ‘who is this about?’ And
(Yee) But like what about if his family can't afford it? Like immediate family. Like now I gotta get
his sister, his mom, his dad...
(T) I don't know Ang...
(Yee) You said too bad? [Inaudible]
(AS) Who are these people that you're paying for?
(T) I was cutthroat.
(Yee) Because, I always take into consideration people that are important to me and, financially,
is it too much for me to have a destination wedding? You know, because it is a flight. It is a
(T) It’s a [inaudible]
(Yee) And then do you expect to get a present?
(AS) I think, as a wedding guest, as a frequent wedding guest, if you go to a destination
wedding, your presence is a present. You cant ask—
(T) Yeah. I didn't expect anyone who attended to buy us a present.
(AS) Right. I think that if they're very close friends, of course you'll give them a gift. You know, in
the way that you want to do it. But, I think that if you're asking people to pay for a flight, to pay
for accommodation and all that stuff, that's the present that they're giving you.
(T) Now, if you want to give a present—
(Yee) --I’m accepting—
(T) Because, I mean, our guest registry, we still use gifts from our registry and I'm like, man, I'm
so happy I put this on a registry. Like, I made waffles with our waffle maker, and I was like, this
is such a good waffle maker. I'm so glad we got this as a wedding gift.
(Yee) Do you prefer money or gifts? Because they always say you're supposed to pay at least
for what your plate cost.
(T) You know, it depends.
[inaudible] (AS) That’s how it is in my culture.
(T) It is.. I think it depends. Like there's certain gifts you-- We all have those gifts that, you know,
we wouldn't have bought it if someone gave us the money for it. But because someone bought
and you use it. So, I think that in that instance. But I'm just grateful for whatever we get. And so,
it's like, if you want to give money, cool. If you want to buy something off my registry, cool. If you
want to buy something that wasn't on our registry, you thought about us and you decided to part
with money that you worked hard on.
(AS) You know? But you know a thing that, I think is, can be frustrating about this conversation
is that, a wedding is very different from a marriage.
(AS) You know, you don't have to have a wedding to have a marriage.
(Yee) That’s right.
(AS) And a wedding is a party. And I think that in our culture we use weddings as a gift grab.
People are like, you know, ‘we want things’—
(Yee) I’m ‘bout to come up!
(AS) You know my feeling is—
(T) Like now it's a big photo op!
(AS) --My feeling is, if there's two of you, and you're 30, and you live together, and you don't
already own a waffle iron. I'm like, I have many concerns there.
(T) Don't judge us! *Laughter* She is judging us.
(Yee) Even I have a waffle-maker.
(AS) I'm not judging you, I just think that, you know, showing up for your friends who are
(T) It wasn't a deluxe waffle-maker...
(AS)--How expensive was it?-- But you know what I mean? Because I think that a lot of tension
that occurs in friendship sometimes is that. It's like, you're friends with people and then next
thing you know it's like, ‘Can you be my bridesmaid?’ And then you're paying $17,000, to like,
you know what I mean?
(T)That’s a whole other situation. You know I do think with a wedding... So I used to be an
assistant wedding planner in college.
(AS) How many lives have you lived?
(Yee) It all makes sense.
(T) So yeah, when I went to school in South Florida, one of my relatives had a wedding
planning business. So, to make extra money, I would assist her day-of. And I remember we had
like an $82,000 wedding that I was assisting. And the food was amazing. It was extravagant.
And within one year they were divorced.
(Yee) Oh, I went to a wedding that was $ 400,000.
(T) Oh my gosh.
(AS) Are they still together?
(Yee) They are no longer together.
(AS) See? You should ask for your gift back.
(Yee) And you know what they spent a lot of money on at that wedding?-- Fireworks.
(AS) But this is what I'm saying, I'm like, a wedding is a party. Right? It's a flex of, logistically,
what are you two people capable of?
(T) --But here's the thing!—
(AS) It doesn't say a lot about, Everything else.
(T) But there's an opportunity to flex differently. Because if you're not investing in-- a wedding is
not an investment, let's get that clear.
(T) Um, but you can use that... *Laughter* It's not. But you can use that money to actually invest
in something, such as buy a property. And I know for me, we were living in New York, we didn't
have-- we didn't own. And so, I was like, I refuse to spend an X, Y, Z amount of money on a
wedding and we don't own property like we don't own...
(Yee) Right, it doesn't make sense.
(T) ...things of this value. And so, $400,000? I hope, to God, your assets are more than
$400,000, cause if not, you should have invested that.
(Yee) You could tell already somebody didn't invest wisely if they spent $400,000 on a wedding.
Now, a couple of other things I wanted to ask about. When it comes to--to planning a wedding,
because some people obviously like have huge families and some people don't. Now I also
went to a wedding recently, where the bride's family was all in the room with them during the
reception and they had us in a separate room. His family, the groom—
(AS) --of how big the family party was?
(Yee) It was like a, it was like a division. So we couldn't even like see her. But I think she
(T) Like a broadcast kind of... like an overflow room.
(Yee) Yeah. We were like in the overflow room?
(AS) You could have watched that from home.
(Yee) And my family was so mad.
(T) That's a poppin’ couple, you got a overflow room at your wedding.
(Yee) Yeah. So how do you avoid offending people at a wedding, when clearly, like, the room
they had, some people had to be in the overflow room. How would you have handled that
(T) I feel like people just need to check their emotions, and like I think that so many-- and I don't
know. I'm just big on, people feel so entitled. And it's like, first of all, if it's not a destination
wedding, you didn't pay to come to my wedding. So if you go in the overflow room, you're about
to eat for free, you're about to dance for free, you're probably going to drink for free. Like you
know, so it's like, get what you can. I don't know. I always am checking my entitlement to other
people's experiences. And, I'm just happy that they thought that I should play a part in this day.
(AS) Right. I think it's just about communicating wrong. Right? Like if you were, and I think that
that's usually a lot of the problems. You know-- when you feel feelings about other people's
weddings, it’s just because you didn't know. You didn't have enough information. So, if it's
communicated to you like, ‘Hi, we have a lot of family….
(T) That's true.
(AS)... Our family is our priority. We love you. We want you to be there, but you're going to be in
the church overflow room. [inaudible]
(Yee) It was her family, but it was… his family was in that room.
(T) See that's kind of shady though. It’s like, my family is here and your family is—
(Yee) --Her family was all in the room. And then my family was all in like a different room. And it
was like, ‘Can’t see what’s going on! Can’t hear anything’—
(T) See then I think like, you just shouldn't. You should just wait or something like that because
that's different. I feel like, if you can't do it in a way that is tasteful, then you might need to wait or
look at other options. You know?
(AS) But people don’t feel empowered to do that. There's so much pressure to be like, we're
engaged; we have to get married.
(T) Pressure from who?
(AS) Pressure from-- Like, I agree with you. The pressure is usually internal.
(T) It's like where's the pressure? Can you pressure us to stay married?
(T) How about that? How about that pressure, like...?
(Yee) What do you think is a good price to spend on a wedding?
(T) I don't know Ang, I think that's relative. I think that is relative.
(AS) And depends where you live, also.
(Yee) Like what's the average price that a person spends?
(AS) Isn't it like $30.000?
(T) The average wedding is like $35,000, which is not what I paid. I mean, in full transparency.
All in, transportation, and everything included, our wedding was $13,000.
(Yee) Okay, wedding planner!
(T) We paid for it cash, and for me it was really important to have our wedding in Jamaica so we
could support the local economy. So even our, um, like our florist, everybody, my makeup
artists, everyone came from the island. It wasn't from the actual resort. We were very intentional
(AS) Can you imagine going into debt for a wedding? That sounds like you're starting
(T) No! But people do it and then like the couple, $400,000, I don't know their situation. But can
you imagine paying bills on a wedding after you've gotten a divorce? Like, what kind of incentive
do you have? Like, I can't stand this person and I'm still paying on this debt. You know, I would
question everything. I question all my financial decisions up until that point.
(Yee) Now they always also say that once, vendors know that it's a wedding...
(Yee)...Then they always charge you more.
(T) I've heard that but I couldn't lie about it.
(AS) That's true. I helped plan a friend's wedding because I was the one officiating. And so she
delegated a couple tasks. It was like one friend, like for me it was, ‘can you find me a cake?’
And also, I have to deal a little bit with the venue, and we never said there was a wedding.
We're like, our friends are having a party, which was true. Our friends were having a party. They
got married in the park. And they did my favorite thing, because they both don't like wedding
receptions, and so because a lot of people were coming from out of town for the wedding, they
just gave everybody a list of who was there and they're like, ‘Here are restaurants. You guys
should just do your thing, and then we'll come back to dance together.’ So it's like a ceremony to
come back to dance.
(AS) But it was so “them,” and it was great. But I remember the woman from the gallery that
they got married at was so mad when she saw like a wedding dress and a wedding cake.
(T) --I mean...
(AS) And I was like what's the difference? But I'm like what's the difference?
(T) I get it.
(AS) What is the difference?
(T) I understand both sides.
(AS) I was like they did the thing that they're supposed to do. And why do you feel entitled to
charge like a third more because it's a wedding?
(T) I was such an honest person, they'd be like what is it for? And I was like,
(Yee) ‘my wedding.’
(AS) You were like flashbacks, hashtag.
(T) ‘What kind of party? What are you celebrating?’
(Yee) ‘A union.’
(T) ‘Married’.. Like it was like, I could not lie to them.
(Yee) I feel like with certain things—
I feel like I'd show up and they'd be like, ‘Oh really?...’
(Yee) Like with the floristsm I would think that you could just say ‘we're having an event and we
(T) Well, I was sending references.
(AS) Same thing with the cake.
(T) So then I was sending references cause they asked—
(Yee) You can’t lie about a wedding cake.
(T) But how can you--like a wedding cake is a wedding cake. You can’t really...
(AS) They got a non traditional wedding cake. So we just got a cake. It was fine.
(T) You have to have a very non traditional situation.
(Yee) We got a cheesecake from juniors. *Laughter*
(AS) We got this beautiful French cake. But you know what I mean? I also think that like, your a
thing that's-- I always get excited about a wedding when I go. When you're like, the wedding is a
true reflection of who the couple is.
(T) Right, it should be.
(AS) So you shouldn't be, you shouldn't just do things because this is the way that everybody
does them, right. You're like, if this is, if this is the kind of-- because it's just about what kind of
hosts are you.
(AS) So if you are the kinds of hosts that, like you know, your wedding would not have a cake.
It'll have like a tower of cheese for example. I was like, ‘that's you. And I appreciate that
because this is who you are.’
(AS) And I think there are just people, you know, people just do things that they feel expected to
do instead of just saying, ‘this is how we want to host our community on the day of our wedding.’
(T) And I think that, you know, regardless of if we're talking about, you know, weddings or dating
or talking about money with your partner, it doesn't get any easier to talk about difficult financial
topics by avoiding them. Like, avoiding doesn't fix anything. But, practice makes perfect. And so,
you know, a lot of people want to know, when is the right time to talk to your partner about
credit, et cetera, and things like that. And it depends on the nature of your relationship. It
depends on the person. It depends on where you are in your life. But, one of the biggest tips
that we can give to couples that share financial responsibilities, or liabilities, is to schedule those
regular financial dates. Like, check in when it comes to your money, have conversations.
‘Where are we going, what is our vision as a couple?’ And being open and honest about your
financial situations and goals. It can feel intimidating, but it shouldn't, especially if you're gonna
spend your life with this person.
(Yee) Right. I think before you move in together, you definitely have to have those talks about
credit and finances. Because once you start sharing those things, I need to know, like, can we
both get this apartment together with our names on it or is your credit messed up?
(T) Yeah, and if it is, what is your plan to fix this?
(Yee) Yeah, I need to know those things. And then I like to look at people's spending habits.
Like, are they extravagant? Do they make sure all their stuff-- I need to know what those habits
are because I'm very anal when it comes to money and I, my credit is really good. And it took a
long time for me to make that happen. And I don't need no man—
(T) --Sinking your ship!
(Yee) Okay. Dragging my credit down. (T) Don’t let him sink your ship.-- You can do it by
(AS) It's also a compatibility thing. Right? I don't, um, you know, because-- I think sometimes
when we have this conversation, a lot of people feel shame because they're like, oh, like one
partner doesn't have it together and the other partner has it together. And I'm like, it doesn't
have to be, that's not the actual disconnect. That disconnect is if you're not moving in the same
(T) Right! Exactly.
(Yee) And I will help you get your credit together.
(AS) And I it's like, you can fix, you can fix so many problems. Like we've been so open about
like fixing our credit and you know, getting better about, you know,-- like, you taught me about
checking my bank account every day, a thing that we used to like, I couldn't do it, but you
(T) Check the balance.
(Yee) I check my credit cards, everything all the time.
(AS) But you can, you can help each other grow. Right. And also, when you're partnered with
someone that's, that's the bargain that you're making where you're like, okay, like we're going
to, we're going to support each other. But if you can't, if you are not compatible in the things that
you want and you don't have that forward momentum together, your relationship probably is not
going to work.
(Yee) Right. And you have to check in when it comes to those big purchases. I don't want to
think that you're going to go out there and like, buy a brand new car and not say anything to me
about it (T) Oh man, me and my husband would get a divorce if I came home and he had a new
car. Ha-Ha. Don't do it. *Laughter*
(Yee) I definitely know people that have done that. I mean, look, people don't even like when
you don't consult, like I bought a brand new TV, like let me know that you're about to—
(T) Yeah let's just talk about this.
(Yee) Let’s talk about it.
(T) I'm gonna say do it, but like, at least respect me enough to have this conversation with me
before you make this big financial decision.
(AS) Right. And also if they're not telling you-- it's like, actually-- the not telling is, I'd be like,
that's a very telling
(Yee) -- what else are you not telling me?—
(AS) It’s like, what else? What else are you not saying? And also it's just you shouldn't have a,
you shouldn’t have any hangups about-- if you're going to spend your life with someone, you
need to know their money. ‘Cause now it's all of our money. So let's talk about it.
(T) All of our money, schmoney team money.
(AS) It is. It’s all of our money. Um, and you know, it's like-- And I love that you use the word
‘liability,’ because I think a lot of people don't think about it that way. It's like, well, yeah, like if
your partnered with someone, their debt affects you, it affects your relationship. If you marry
them, their debt definitely affects you and you are, in a lot of states, on the hook for it. And you
know, you might as well know and not have a nasty surprise at some times.
(Yee) My boyfriend has to be able to talk money with me the way I talk to you guys about
(T) Yeah. My husband. Yeah, we talk about money almost too much. I'm like, just because I do
money doesn't mean I want to talk about it all the time. And he'll say, ‘well, you're the money
girl.’ And I'm just like, no, no…
(AS) That's funny girl.
(T)-- It's like, I just—
(Yee) I do other things.
(T) I just wanna watch trash TV.
(AS) No. All she does is money. *Laughter* [Inaudible]
(Yee) We're talking a lot about getting married in this week's episode, and we hope sharing our
perspectives helps. But this podcast of course isn’t the only resource. There are nearly 19,000
State Farm agents across the United States who are waiting to help protect what's important to
you and guide you through major life milestones. For this week's Ask an Agent segment we
reached out to Zanetta Harris Glover who has an office in Newark, New Jersey, and we got
some practical advice you'll want to consider before tying the knot.
(ZHG) What’s up, ladies? This week, I’m going to share how couples can work towards financial
success. First, review insurance needs and coverages. Update your information. Add your
partner to your home and auto insurance policies. Consider updating the beneficiaries on your
life insurance policies and retirement accounts. And if you both have health insurance plans
provided by your employers, choose whether you will keep one or both, and act accordingly.
Second, be open. Discuss your finances and set goals. Whether you choose to combine
accounts or keep them separate, it is important to sit down regularly and discuss progress
towards your larger financial goals, such as buying a home, paying for college, and saving for
retirement. Now, if you and your spouse plan to buy a home or make a major home renovation,
a State Farm Bank Money Market Savings Account may be the way to go. Another thing to
consider is estate planning. If you haven’t already, create a living trust with your spouse to
reflect your combined assets. Create power of attorney and medical directive documents. Also,
have a will or trust in place. Having one could make the settlement of your estate easier and
faster. There are many variety of wills and trusts to fit the needs of each individual. Only a
qualified attorney should draft these documents. And for more tips on balancing money as a
couple, talk to your local State Farm agent or visit us at statefarm.com
(Yee) Now in the first half of our show we were talking about money dates, schmoney dates. So
it only felt right that we invite one of our favorite couples, Codie and Tommy Oliver from Black
Love. It's now in its third season on OWN, to give us some of their tips for a happy, healthy
marriage, and how to make it easier to talk about money with your honey.
Codie: ( 00:06 )
Hey y'all, it's Codie and Tommy Oliver from Black Love and we are here to share our top three
tips on how to have a happy, healthy relationship with your boo ... and your money.
Tommy: ( 00:20 )
With yourself, myself and our money.
Codie: ( 00:24 )
--And our money. Okay. So, okay, so you know, one of the first tips that we have is, talk about
money very early, like as early as possible.
Tommy: ( 00:33 )
Codie: ( 00:33 )
You know, talk about your saving habits, your spending habits, your investing desires. I say
desires because when we had this conversation, we didn't have no money. But, the sooner that
you at least know what the other person is planning or wants to do, the better informed you can
be. Notice I didn't say getting on the same page, cause that might not happen. It is what it is.
We did not. We'll get there. So the second thing, is to be honest with your partner, speak openly
about your patterns, maybe the patterns of your parents, the things that you have picked up
about spending and saving and all that stuff, because transparency will help strengthen the
relationship. Especially if you don't agree. And then lastly, especially do what works for YOU as
a couple because everyone has advice and opinions about what you should do with your
money, but all that matters is what you and your partner want to do.
Tommy: ( 01:34 )
Actually, there is one thing that should happen.
Codie: ( 01:37 )
Tommy: ( 01:38 )
Work with your credit.
Codie: ( 01:39 )
Yes. There's one thing we can totally agree on. Work on your credit. It matters. It opens all the
doors. Yes. That's a good point. We agree on that. Because here's what we don't agree on, and
we were talking about this just last night: The idea of having an emergency fund. Tommy, it's
important to him that we invest in ourselves, that we invest in our businesses and it's important
to me to make sure that we're saving a little bit for a rainy day.
Tommy: ( 02:05 )
And it's sort of the same things. An Emergency Fund does not equals savings.
Codie: ( 02:10 )
It is saving. It is putting money aside.
Tommy: ( 02:13 )
That's not the same thing.
Codie: ( 02:14 )
No, they're not the same.
Tommy: ( 02:16 )
But you said I don't—
Codie: ( 02:17 )
But, in this case—
Tommy: ( 02:17 )
No, you said that I'm not a-- but that's inaccurate-- I'm not-not a fan of the emergency fund, but
the idea of understanding savings versus the opportunity cost of making that money work for us.
Codie: ( 02:31 )
So do you want an emergency fund?
Tommy: ( 02:33 )
An emergency fund of a reasonable amount is important.
Codie: ( 02:36 )
Oh, well! So then we're going to have an emergency fund starting tomorrow. All right. Well, we
had to keep it really short because we are actually going off to one of our monthly money
meetings. Um... And so we'll catch you girls later.
(AS) Tonya, I know that you've, you've said so much about this before.
(T) Yeah, I think, you know, building out a budget requires you to think about what our long term
financial goals are, what our short term financial goals are. But I think at the cornerstone of the
budget, like they said, is an emergency fund. Like you always want to make sure that you're
prioritizing creating that emergency fund, because nothing stresses out a marriage or a
relationship more than having financial trouble. Like, you'll see a completely different side of that
person. And you’ll start to question everything.
(Yee) It might be me that you’ll see a different side of, okay…. *Laughter*
(T) How’re we gonna plan for our future-- its like—
(AS) How do you decide how much you're putting in in the emergency fund? Like what's the,
what's the calculation behind what that's supposed to be for each, you know, because each
couple has different needs.
(T) Yeah, I mean that's a great question and it is essentially looking at your expenses. It is
looking at what you're responsible for. And then based on what you're responsible for, you
know, most people-- we recommend three to six months of your overhead. But you have to-- it's
really-- it really comes down to the couple. It really comes down to the couple as we've seen,
like all couples who are different, everyone has different philosophies, everyone has different
financial responsibilities. And people have different support systems in place. You know, some
people have come from um, wealthy families. Some people come from, you know, situations
where they're supporting their parents. Sometimes it's not just your household, it's the other
households you're supporting outside of your household. So, how much you have set aside
(Yee) The idea of combining my finances is so scary to me.
(T) I know, and honestly that's one of the things—
(AS) I, yeah. It is stressing me out even just hearing you talk about it.
(T) That's one of the things I love about Black Love and watching that show is you just see so
many couples and how they've overcome certain things. Personally, knowing Tommy and
Codie, they're just, they're awesome. They're like, I remember when we, um, we had Karris
when I was pregnant with Karris. So I asked Tommy, I was like, ‘how can I make sure that I'm
not invalidating Kamari and his role as a father?’ Because I think as a mother you always want
to step in. So it's like, how can I make sure that he feels like a confident parent as well? And
they're, they're just great as you've seen. They have so much knowledge.
(AS) So yeah. You know, I think-- as the single person on the table, this conversation is really
fascinating to me because I have a very good sense for myself of what my emergency fund
needs to look like. I have a sense of, you know, like how do I prepare if I lose my own job or if I
want to change careers. But how does that change when there's another person in the mix?
(T) How do you bring someone into that situation?
(Yee) You know what I appreciate that my boyfriend does, is that he always, I don't really have
to give money to my family as much as he does, but even though it's his money, he always tells
(Yee) I know for a lot of people, a lot of couples that turns into an issue. Like, wait, you gave
such and such money again. You gave your brother money. You gave your sister money. You
gave your mom. And I know a lot of times that can be an issue, but I think it's a good practice
now. Like he might not tell anybody else in the family, but he'll tell me like, just so you know, I
just gave, you know, x amount of money.
(T) That's really good. And that's really responsible of him. Because I think that especially even
when you're not necessarily married yet, you're, you know, you're still not dating, but you're in a
long term relationship, you just haven't fused your lives together formally with marriage, people
think that you don't have to communicate certain things. So that's really good and that's really
responsible of him to tell you that.
(AS) Can I ask, though, when you communicate that, is it like high level or do you say like
there's a dollar amount that, you know, like, I'm comfortable with you spending this on, on
something. Or I'm comfortable like giving this amount? You know, like is there a threshold that
happens then we gotta talk about it.
(T) I had to do that in my in my marriage. I don't know if we have talked about this last season,
but I found out my husband paid one of his family members rent. And they didn't tell me until like
something hit the fan. And I was like, ‘wait, what?’ You...So let me get this right. And so that was
our compromise was, okay, as long as you are meeting all of your financial goals and we're on
track with our goals, you can do what you want with your extra money, but anything over $1,000
we have to talk about it.
(Yee) And do you have to tell each other if you get a bonus or something or like an unexpected
check comes in?
(AS) I don't have to tell anyone if I get a bonus, but someone should probably tell me if they get
(T) Yeah, I mean I do.
(Yee) Like maybe you get an unexpected large amount of money that he doesn't necessarily
know about. Is that something that you have to disclose?
(T) We communicate about it. We do...*Laughter*
(AS) Communicate is such a nebulous word? *Laughter*
(T) We communicate about it. *Laughter* [Inaudible]
(AS) Well I mean, you know.. I guess the question is, if you're not saying something about
money, like why aren't you saying it? Right?
(Yee) You walked in here with these new clothes on. I don't know. *Laughter*
(T) Yeah. And I've, I've started being better about that. I'm interested to see what other people
do when it comes to that.
(AS) So I mean, that's a good segue, though. Like do you share every kind of account? Or do
you have like one common pot where you're like, we all contribute, and then you have your own
separate thing? Or is it you have access to every single thing that you know everyone is doing
in your relationship?
(T) Personally, for us, we have our own separate accounts and then we have a house account.
And then we know what our household expenses are, we deposit an amount into our household
account to cover our household expenses. And then we have our own account.
(Yee) Is it a percentage? Like based on what you make, like say for-- all right, let's talk about
this. -- What if one partner doesn't work, then should the breadwinner set up, set aside a
percentage to give to the significant other that's not working? And, how do you do that?
(AS) Well, that’s a tough one.
(T) Um I think. So much of it is doing what works for you. And I know, and I can only say so our
household is different from my parent's household. Me and my mom actually had a conversation
about this recently, because I found out my dad pays all the bills and my mom pays for her car
note and you know, like certain things that relate to her personally. And I brought it up to my
husband, he was like well…--
(AS) My life would be so different.
(T) That's um, so that's what you want to do? I was like, I'm not saying that's what I want to do.
But for us it's different because we're both entrepreneurs. So one month, one person or you
know, for a couple months, one of us might have an amazing contract and then the next couple
of months my husband might have an amazing project and he picks up, you know, more of the
bills. And so for us, flexibility is the most important thing, and being flexible and understanding,
okay, this is what you have going, this is what your financial goal is. I know, like I've mentioned
before, I created debt building my business. When I decided I wanted to eliminate my debt, I
had to talk to my husband and say, ‘Hey, I want to become debt free. So would you mind, you
know, taking care of most of the household responsibilities so that I can do this so I can focus
on this.’ And you know, he was okay with it. And then after that he was like, you know, ‘client
work has kind of slowed down. Let's have a conversation about going back to the arrangement
we had before.’ And I didn't have a problem with that. And then when Karris came, you know, it
was, ‘I'm on maternity leave so I'm not able to work as much as you are. And so the trade off of
you going out and me being in the house is, you know, I have two jobs now.’
(Yee) Yeah. You're working and raising the baby.
(T) And you know, and so, you know, we had a conversation about that. And so I think you have
to be flexible. You have to know what works for you. You want both parties to feel like you're
being fair. You don't want someone to feel like they're being taken advantage of that.
(AS) And it also depends on what kind of commitment you made to someone, right? Like I'm
thinking about partners that I've lived with and sometimes I was, well, we're splitting everything
50/50 because that's where we're at in our relationship, right? And other times, like one time
when I dated someone who was much wealthier than me, it took me a long time to figure out
like, oh, I don't need to be going halfsies with this person. I mean, like this is not how that—
(Yee) But if he wanted you to?
(AS) Right. Right. But I just think that like, you know, the impulses, the impulse is to talk about it,
but also you can have different kinds of commitments to people. Like dating someone is very
different from being married to them. [inaudible]
(Yee) That's very true. I think if you're married, the money is, say one person stays at home, but
they're working, like they're taking care of everything on that end, I don't think that you should
give them an allowance. I feel like your money is our money, kind of. Right. If they're a
responsible person with money and you know, they're not going to go out and blow it all and go
(AS) I think it just depends though. Different people like different things, and you should just be
able to talk about it and it should just live up to your values. Some people have very old school
values. I'm like, I don't respect it and I don't like it. Like I would never be in a relationship where
your someone who gets an allowance or do whatever.
(Yee) I wouldn't want to have to ask.
(AS) But also it just depends.
(Yee) Like I couldn't imagine having to ask like, oh, I'm.. [inaudible]
(T) No. And I think at the end of the day, when you're in a relationship, no one should be left
completely in the dark financially. At the end of the day, it's important to have some level of
communication and respect for that other person because you know money is important. It's an
important component of our relationships, and acting like it doesn't exist or not talking about it
can create more problems than actually addressing money head on in a relationship.
(Yee) ‘Cause sometimes people use finances as a weapon in a relationship too, to make
somebody feel really bad—
(T) Yep, financial abuse—
(Yee) -- that I take care of everything and I hold it down and I'm the breadwinner and you need
to do this, and I'm not going to give you any money to do anything becaus they can do that and
that would make another person feel terrible.
(AS) I would imagine.
(T) Financial abuse is real and you know, as I shared before, I think that was what, season four,
when I was a guest before I joined you guys *Laughter*
(AS) Yes! The best guest we ever had!
(T) [inaudible] that was part of my… That was part of my experience, of being in financially
abusive relationships. So, I'm very sensitive to that in my own relationship, but I'm also sensitive
to that when I'm working with clients, when I'm talking to friends and they're explaining things.
Like, you have an allowance, you are a 34 year old woman. You know, and like, I don't care if
you don't work, you know. If you don't feel good about this, then-- this is a red light, and maybe
you don't. Maybe you’re not in a financially abusive relationship. Maybe it's something you guys
have agreed on, but make sure it's something you've agreed on, and you feel good about.
(AS) Yeah. And something that you've been really good about articulating too, Tonya is just
talking about how the way that you spend your money actually says about the trust in your
relationship. You know, so even hearing you talk about a joint, you know, like a house account.
(Yee) -- I could do that—
(AS) I was like, that is an active trust in someone, you know of saying like, okay, like we're both
doing this, we're at the same place.
(T) Well actually so, my husband, my house account—
(AS) Tell me.
(T) He doesn't know his debit card number, ‘cause he like, doesn’t ever use the house account.
It's really, it's me, but--
(Yee) For paying the bills.
(T) Yeah. But we both get notifications and it's funny because a few weeks ago he said, ‘I'm
getting a lot of notifications from the house account. Are you spending money on the house
account?’ ‘Yeah. Things are due, yes.’ Because there was a point where he knew his debit card
number, and he wasn't checking the account like he should before he was spending money or
he wasn't checking what was due.
(AS) Because he trusts you.
(T) And I'm like wait, we still have to pay to pay the phone bill, we still have to pay this. You
know what, just don't spend out the house account.
(Yee) I'm in charge.
(T) Just don't spend or, you know, ask me before you spend. But now he doesn't know his debit
card numbers, so.
(Yee) Is it hard to buy a surprise or a gift because you guys are so tied in?
(T) Oh no, because we both have individual accounts still. So we have a joint house account,
we have a joint house savings account, and then we have our individual savings accounts and
our individual checking accounts. And then I have my business savings, my business checking.
So, I do things for him out of my personal-- to me it's not a gift if you buy me something out of
(Yee) --Out the house account?
(T) No! That's not a gift, sir! ‘Cause I contributed to that gift.
(T) But I think that, you know, well getting married can provide some tax benefits when filing
together, but you should always consult a tax professional who has details on your specific
situation.I think there's a lot of murkiness. People don't understand taxes and how, you know,
filing jointly, filing separately, filing joint or single. Like if filing married, filing jointly, married, filing
(AS) And then where you live makes a difference.
(T) There's all these different ways of filing.
(Yee) It's complicated.
(T) And I know, in our instance, I did not want to file jointly with my husband because I didn't
want his income factored into my student loan payments. But, when we were considering buying
a home, his business wasn't as successful as my business, so he needed my business income
on our tax return for us to apply for our mortgage. And so we did have to file jointly.
(Yee) I didn't know you had a choice.
(T) Yeah, you do have a choice. And so that's why it's important to talk to a tax professional
because they'll look and say, okay, based on this, this is what makes the most sense for you
because filing sing--. Filing separately-- the tradeoff didn't make sense for me to save money on
my student loan payments versus the benefit it would have. And getting approved for a
mortgage and you know, our percentage and so forth. So it just, you have to talk to someone
who's a professional. And even as a financial professional, I still have people who advise me on
tax strategy and tax planning because--
(Yee) You don't want that letter in the mail.
(T) No. And you don't know it all. Like they're experts for a reason-- You know, with your
insurance professional, with your tax professional, your therapist-- You know, people are
experts for a reason because they have access to a certain toolkit that you as an everyday
individual probably don't have access to.
(AS) Okay. We're all gonna center ourselves. We're gonna take some deep breaths... that's
(Yee) Money got me all riled up. (T) These feel good. These money meditations feel good.
(AS) I love it. So we're going to do a money meditation. You got it. We're gonna. We're gonna
breathe in accountability. We're gonna breathe out money.
(Yee) Can I breathe in money? (AS) Listen, you can breathe in, breathe out the money all you
want. Okay. Let's all center ourselves. Let's breathe. Deep breath in. And then we're gonna
breathe money out.
(T) I’ll breathe the money in and out.
(AS) In and out, in and out. Listen, we just, we want to healthy financial breaths here.
(T) Inhale money, exhale money. I need that on a shirt.
(AS) We'll make it happen for you. But for today's money meditation, let's all take a moment to
identify a way we can work together with a partner, whether it's your business partner or if it’s
your romantic partner, to improve. Take inventory of what stresses and burdens you around
money management and finances. And imagine that weight being lifted off of your shoulders by
a partner who knows and understands.Now picture something you can do that will make your
partner's life easier around money management. And now you can think to yourself, what is
stopping you from starting today on those goals?
…. I mean, I can go first. I have a lot of business partners that I think of. Uh, I, I think very fondly
of them because, you know, I'm business married to them, for real. And I've been having,
recently, I've been thinking a lot about how hard it is to make decisions. Like, it's hard for me to
make a decision for myself and the minute it involves somebody else I just get stressed about it.
And I think I just really want to commit to being more transparent about that and also to just
working on, if we are communicating well then there's no problem at all. Right? And so it's not-- I
don't want to be internalizing all of the stress that I have about making financial decisions
around my business.
(Yee) For myself. I think there is a burden that comes with me having businesses that I started,
that I've invested into. Also, properties that I have and I always am nervous. Like, I have to
make sure I have a certain amount of money. I'm always going really hard to make sure there's
always money coming in. But, it is something that has always, it, it stresses me out to know that
I have mortgages and things like that. Even though these are great investments, I'm always like,
okay, I have to make sure I keep the money coming in, and keep the money coming in. And
sometimes I just can't relax. And I know for my boyfriend, his thinking about money is just so
different. He's a lot more lax and chill about it than I am. And I'm a lot more like, okay, I got to
get this, I got to get this money. And he doesn't mind doing things where he knows he's
extending a credit line, or you know, doing certain things that I just am not comfortable with. And
so I guess debt has always been-- and I know there's good debt-- but it always has made me
nervous and I have to get more comfortable with knowing that, you know, at certain points these
investments that might have some debt are still great investments.
(T) I think mine has to do a lot with comfort as well. I've shared that I've been divorced. So this is
my second marriage. I feel old saying that, but this is my second marriage. And so because my
first marriage ended in a divorce, I always feel kind of like this fear of what would happen if this
didn't work out. And so, in that instance, I find that I make a lot of financial decisions based on
what's best for Tonya and if Tonya was not married anymore. And I think that sometimes that
signals to my husband, like, so are you planning to leave at some point? Do you think we're not
gonna work out? And kind of makes him feel uncomfortable that I don't see us, you know, going
the long haul, so I do have to be better about involving him in my financial decisions that don't
directly affect him.
(Yee) All right, well of course, you know, we want to hear what you came up with for this week's
money meditation. Just use that hashtag, #LiveColorFull, with two L's at the end of ColorFull. So
that's the words, Live, Color, and Full, F-U-L-L. That's that double L at the end.
(AS) That's all for this week y'all. Don't forget to check back next week when we'll be digging
into the things we wish we knew before doing home renovation. You're not gonna want to miss
that one at all.