Hi Wealthers. Kylie Sultana here from Creo Wealth, and I am your host of The Money Brew. Today I wanted to have a quick chat to you about a couple of things.
So we won’t always have a guest here, so sometimes I just really need to have a little bit of a rant because I get really passionate about money sometimes. So I’m not sure if you know or if I’ve mentioned it before, but I was a financial advisor a little while ago, or quite a few years ago, but I handed in my licence because I decided that I just wanted to follow the education route of educating, on getting in touch with your money story, and also in touch with your partner when it comes to your money and your finances.
And this really comes from experience from Anthony and myself. So we have been married 25 years, so March 2023 it was 25 years, and if you follow us on socials, you know that we went to Cuba and Mexico. And I’m going to get to that in a minute because that didn’t happen by chance.
It was planning and it was set as a goal, which is why I’m going to talk about financial goals in a little bit. But back to talking to your partner about money.
So Anthony and I didn’t always have a great start when it came to money. So when we first started dating, I was actually in a lot of debt and really embarrassed about it to be perfectly honest, because I grew up poor, we never had anything, and the family was always trying to get what they could from the government. I managed to get myself a good job, but I still had so much debt and I just didn’t understand how to use a credit card. I signed up for a car that was on a ridiculous interest rate in a car yard, that classic used car salesman signing you up for that high interest loan for a car. But all I saw was that I could afford those monthly payments. I didn’t look at the long-term picture of actually how much money I was repaying on, I think, it was a $12,000 car.
I think I ended up paying about $30,000 for this stupid car. Honestly, it used to conk out at the lights and I’d have to get out and jiggle something in the front. It was just the most embarrassing thing. But anyway, I was young and silly, so learning from those mistakes. So I had all of this ridiculous debt and I think mobile phones came out. So I went and signed up on a stupid bloody mobile plan and got myself into debt.
So when Anthony and I started dating, he was fantastic with money. He was an accountant where we were working and he was training to be an advisor. And I mean, I worked in financial markets, so it was even more embarrassing because I didn’t know how to talk to him about money. And then you realise that the relationship’s getting serious and you’ve really got to open up and tell this person that you’ve fallen in love with about your money problems. So look, long story short, I eventually did that. He was very understanding.
He helped me work out a payment plan on how to get it all paid off. Oh, I actually forgot to mention that I hadn’t done tax returns for about five or six years, so he nearly had a heart failure when he found out about that.
I’m really glad he’s not here actually talking about this because I think he still gets triggered by it. He still has flashbacks. But we sorted it all out and I mean, it wasn’t smooth after that either. I’m a bit of a shopaholic and still using credit cards and things. So I did a lot of soul-searching and educated myself on why I was being triggered and why I wanted to spend money.
So that’s really my point is that money is seen as a taboo subject, but with your partner, nothing is taboo. You need to discuss money with your partner, particularly if you see yourself being with them long-term because communication in a relationship and communication about money is imperative.
And we’ve seen elderly couples come into the practise, our financial planning practise, that have not been on the same page with money and they’re nearing divorce, and it’s really sad. They’ve spent 50 years together and they’ve not had conversations about money.
So if you have a partner, I really want you to start doing these few things just to get on the same page with money with them. So have the chats regularly. So you want to do this at least once a month. I would say Anthony and I still have them once a month. That way you’re on top of any issues that may arise throughout that month and you’re communicating.
We like to call it a dollar date night. We will go and have a date night. It doesn’t have to be expensive. We quite often will have a date night at home because there’s some things that our boys don’t like to eat and we like to eat, so we’ll cook something that just we like. We love fresh salmon and salad, so we’ll do that. We’ll go and get fish and chips in the park or something.
So it doesn’t have to be an expensive, fancy restaurant, but the sole purpose of it is that you sit down and you’re going to talk about your finances and money, what’s happening in the house, where money’s going, how you’re feeling, just discuss everything like that. If you’ve got young kids, you kind of want to get them looked after or make sure they’re in bed. You don’t want any distractions. If you want to have a drink, do that.
But I would suggest leaving alcohol out of it because I mean, I’ll agree to anything after a couple of drinks. So it’s probably best not to have a drink. You want to create a budget. Okay, I know people are going to start tuning out when I talk about a budget, but it’s really just the money coming in and the money going out. So you need to know what your obligations are. You need to know what has to be paid.
If you’ve got cars, you’ve got a home, you’ve got insurances, the cost of living is ridiculous at the moment, you need to know what you’re spending your money on because you need to know what you’ve got left over and what you can do with it. So that’s imperative that you sit down and have a budget together for that.
Goals. Now, this is what I was talking about before. We went to Cuba and Mexico for our 25th wedding anniversary. That did not happen by chance. It was a goal. We planned for it. We have at least one overseas holiday a year, having another one this year. We’re having two this year, but they’re all planned. People are like, “Oh, you’re so lucky.” Yes, we’re lucky. We are a lot more well off than a lot of people, but we planned these things. We set the goal and we allocate what we want to spend on it, and that’s what we save for. We work hard all year, so we want to have something at the end of that to look forward to. So for us as a couple, it’s really important.
More so me because Anthony would just work 24/7 if I did not get him to commit to a holiday. But he’s happy to do that.
So how do you start having these conversations? Look, I get it. It is really hard. I really do understand this. And if you haven’t done it before, it’s really hard. But it is like riding a bike. So you first get on the bike and it’s really hard. You can’t get your balance and you kind of fall off a couple of times. You’re not doing it right.
But the more you do it, the better you get at it, and before you know, you’ll be doing those wheelie tricks or hanging off the handlebars, whatever it is. But trust me, it does get a lot easier. If you’ve just started the relationship with someone, look, I understand you’re not straight away, how much do you earn? What do you do? But you want to be looking out for warning signs. If someone’s gambling, I’m not saying ditch them, not by any stretch of the imagination, but know what you’re getting yourself into.
You don’t want to get involved with someone if they’ve really got problems bigger than what you’re capable of taking on at the moment. And secrets, you can’t be keeping secrets from your partner. So like I said before, I used to spend a lot of money on the credit card and it was the whole thing that even now I think they sell doormats that says, “Hide packages from husband.” Just stop that shit because I’m telling you, it does more damage to a relationship than anything else.
You cannot be having secrets, especially when it comes to money. It’s just not good for anybody. You just have all this guilt and if you have a money story similar to mine, it just compounds that guilt and you’re just putting yourself backwards instead of moving forward.
So just be transparent and open about it and just don’t have any secrets. If you’ve spent too much money, just own up to it and try and recognise what those triggers are and talk to your partner about it. If anything, they’re probably more understanding. So I’m going to conclude. I’ve gone off on a rant for a little bit too long probably. But look, I just want you to know that I understand how nerve wracking it is. Money can be hard, and I know it’s been taboo for a long time, but have the courage to show up. Be honest with your partner. Don’t keep any secrets.
Set a budget, and for the love of God, set some financial goals. That’s me. Thanks Wealthers.