Have I Committed to Too Many Kids’ Activities?

Our second question of the month comes in from Allison from Missouri:

Hi, Andy!

You’ve said that Nicole keeps you balanced with actually living life while still trying to reach your financial goals. How do you balance kids’ activities and optional expenses?

My kids are 4 and 1, and we have just started to branch out into formal activities like swimming lessons and gymnastics classes. I know that parents can go nuts with fun and enriching activities and kid events, easily spending hundreds of dollars a month. I’m not interested in being a tightly scheduled family or spending tons of money on activities, but I also don’t want to lean too far into “living in a cardboard box” territory. I’d love to hear your perspective on how your family balances kids’ activities and expenses.

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3 Smart Alternatives to Merging Money in Marriage

For the last 8 years, my wife Nicole and I have merged our finances. Our joint checking account has been the holding place for all of my paychecks and all of hers. It’s also been the account where all of our spending has come from.

Overall, that system has worked pretty well over the duration of our short marriage. We’ve rid ourselves of almost $50,000 of debt, we paid off our mortgage and we’ve grown our net worth by $800,000. Our lives are comfortable. We have two kids that are happy and healthy. Life is good.

Every once in a while though, Nicole and I have disagreements about money. What couple doesn’t, right? 

There are times when we don’t see eye to eye on spending or saving for the future. I’m always looking for ways to increase our wealth, security and create more time freedom. She likes those things too but is often more interested in enjoying today and not depriving ourselves.

Honestly, I see our “saver vs. spender differences” as a positive. She helps me live a little and I help her plan for the future.

It’s got me thinking lately about what other ways, we could arrange our money situation. I don’t want to stick with the same arrangement if we keep coming back to the same disagreements. Wouldn’t that be some marital lunacy?

I reached out to some friends in the personal finance community to get their thoughts and opinions. This community has helped me win with my money in the past … why not my marriage?!

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Grow Your Side Hustle into a Full-Time Family Business – with Tom and Ariana Sylvester

More and more Americans are embracing the side hustle lately. The massive amount of debt in our country is forcing people to get a second or even a third gig to make ends meet.

But what if you start to really dig your gig?

Maybe you see this gig turning into a real “grown up” business …

How can we leave our 9 to 5’s and pursue our new passion while still providing for our family?

I’ve invited two guests on the show today that will help us answer this very question. Tom and Ariana Sylvester are a married couple that not only raises children together, but they also build businesses together.

They run a coaching business called Lifestyle Builders where they help everyday people build their lifestyle through entrepreneurship. Also, they own a liquor store, invest in real estate and still have time to be present parents to their two small kids.

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How Financial Therapy Can Help Strengthen Your Marriage – with Kiné Corder

When it comes to marriage and money, sometimes we need a third-party to help us enhance our relationship. This person can mediate a dispute or simply give us some guidance on communication techniques we haven’t tried before.

To open us up to this new world, I’ve invited Kiné Corder on the show today. As a practicing psychotherapist, Kiné supports couples with navigating the intricacies of marital finances. She’s found that a truly wealthy marriage is only possible when the relationship is as strong as the bank account.  

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Finding Love When Pursuing Financial Independence – with Gwen Merz and Erik Tozier

The dating scene can be rough when you’re financially conscious. Your priorities of saving and investing might be the complete opposite of your potential date’s priorities of spending and living for today.

As a wise man once said though, there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you keep at it, you’ll find your match.

I’ve invited two guests on the show today that know all about love and money. Gwen Merz and Erik Tozier found each other one year ago based on their love of financial independence and personal finance. These two personal finance gurus have combined their money superpowers and become a stellar couple.

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Our $6,000 Family Vacation to Cabo Only Cost Us $300 – Here’s How We Did It

The Hill Family just got back from the best vacation we’ve ever been on together. Well, it was the only one we’ve ever been on together, but nonetheless, it was incredible.

We spent five nights and six days at the beautiful Paradisus in Los Cabos, Mexico. This all-inclusive resort was a true luxury getaway for our busy young family.

The kids played all day with us in the family-friendly pool and met new friends in the kid’s club. Nicole and I enjoyed exercising in the fitness center in the mornings, laying out in the pool cabanas during the day and eating at a different on-campus restaurant each night. We didn’t even care if the kids ate all of their food because it was all inclusive!

For Mother’s Day, I even booked a couple’s massage and facial at the spa. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep during the treatment (don’t tell Nicole).

It was a memorable week and we’re so glad we did it. The best part of all …

The entire trip only cost us $329.

Yep, all of it … The flights, hotel, food, private transportation and even the freakin’ spa. $329!

Let me tell you how we did it …

Continue reading “Our $6,000 Family Vacation to Cabo Only Cost Us $300 – Here’s How We Did It”

Forget Divorce and Become a Legendary Couple with Kids – with Brandy and Lance Salazar

When we’re young, in love and newly married, we feel like nothing can stop us. We’ve found our soul mate and the romantic love is on fire.

Then the kids come into the picture and there’s little less time for “us”.

  • How do we continue to make our marriage a priority with the responsibilities of parenthood?
  • How do we align our actions and our finances to support a healthy marriage?

Today, I’ve invited two guests on the show who are going to help me answer these questions.

Continue reading “Forget Divorce and Become a Legendary Couple with Kids – with Brandy and Lance Salazar”

How Do We Split Expenses as a Married Couple?

It’s the first Monday of the month my friends! That means we’re taking another question from the Marriage, Kids and Money Community. 

Today’s question comes in from Kat …


Hi Andy!

My name is Kat.  I recently got married, actually 12 days ago. It is both our first marriage and also our first time living and sharing the living expenses with a spouse.  We decided to not merge everything together, but to have our separate accounts that we had before we got married and also open up a joint checking. On top of getting married, we also got a condo together.

We went through the Financial Peace University through our church 3 years ago.  We both don’t have any credit card debt or any other loans besides the mortgage. My question is or rather, me seeking advice is, what’s a good percentage for us to contribute to our joint checking account? We don’t make the same amount, therefore, I felt like putting a percentage rather than an amount would be ideal. I’m just having trouble figuring out what other couples do who are in our same situation.

Thank you and I look forward to listening to your show.

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Transition from Double Income to Single Income and Become a Stay-at-Home Mom

Our question of the month comes in from Tyler from Livonia, Michigan:


The thought of potentially living on a single income is scary, but it’s something that we’re considering more and more as a family. My wife is growing tired/weary of simply leaving our son at home and not being there / providing for him as she feels she should.

So, the question is this…

Any tips for transitioning to a single income to support a family?

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How to Craft the Perfect Money Date – with Elle Martinez

On this podcast, we often talk about the importance of a true financial partnership with your spouse. When you’re on the same page about money, your marriage feels balanced. You have less stress, fewer money fights and it just feels better.

But we do we get there?  

Where do we start if we’re feeling off-balance?

Today, I’ve invited my good friend Elle Martinez to join us on the show again. This is our first repeat guest so you know she’s awesome.

Continue reading “How to Craft the Perfect Money Date – with Elle Martinez”