It's Labor Day weekend, you're on vacation with the entire family when you get a call, it’s your doctor. He asks that line, “Are you sitting down?” What's going through your head?
Scott & Bethany
It was one of the scariest times of my life. You're sitting there and when your doctor says to you, “Are you sitting down?” that's not the best place to be. Scott was in the room and the kids were watching TV next door in one of those rooms. I said, “I’m sitting down,” and she said, “I got the test results back and it came back positive.” I was naïve. I was like, “Positive as in positive or positive as in not good?” and she said, “Positive as in not good. As a matter of fact, you have eleven tumors.” It was devastating. The thing that was challenging too is we have two little kids, three and five at the time, and we're on vacation in the Northwest. We decided we would continue and do the vacation. We've already invested all this money so let's see it through. We decided that we’d continue on because the other thing too is we couldn't get into a doctor. My doctor said, “The next step is to go see an oncologist.” I was naïve as like, “What's an oncologist?” She's like, “Bethany, that’s a cancer doctor.” I’m like, “Okay, got it.” We wouldn't be able to get in until the next Tuesday. This was Thursday. We might as well carry on.
We drove down the West Coast and went to Portland where I grew up, Lake Oswego. I wanted to show my family where I was from and how great it is. This is a great place and we tried to stay positive as inside though I was a mess. We stayed at a hotel that was a two-floor hotel. I was at the top of the stairs with Scott. We were talking and the kids were downstairs. Scott said, “Let's go downstairs and see what the kids are doing.” Went downstairs and I slipped at the top stair and fell all the way down the thirteen steps, from the top to the bottom. I held onto the railing hard but then my weight brought my arm down and I tore my rotator cuff. I fell all the way down the stairs, knocked me out. Scott had to take me to the emergency room. It was almost surreal because you're in your mind you're thinking, “I have cancer, this is not good,” and then you tear your rotator cuff. You're sitting in the emergency room going, “What?” It was the week from hell. It was an awful week. After we did get home, reality did hit everything that I was ready to be going through. It was a challenging time.
When you're starting your own business, when you're out there and you're doing what you need to do, a positive attitude is everything. With almost twelve months of chemo, a total of nine different surgeries, having toddlers and then having the biggest toddler of all which is me, in that process, she was a champion. She never complained. She embraced being part of what I call a Pink Club, which is for all the ladies out there that are part of that club, you guys are awesome.
I remember though one night we were coming home and I had gotten the chemo treatment all day. I started sobbing. Scott's like, “What's going on?” I said, “I don't want to be part of the Pink Club.” I would never forget he was in the car. He stood up and he said, “Bethany, I want you to wear that with a badge of honor. I don't want you to think of it as a bad thing. I want you to think of it as a good thing.” That helped me too. During this time of struggle, there were times when I was down. Scott would give me a boost. He had to be up for me. No one understands what the spouse is going through because they're focused on the person who's sick. We played off of each other well but it was hard. It was a very challenging time.
She fought awesomely. She fought well. She kept her head up. When you and I were talking I said, “Years ago,” and I’m like, “That wasn't years ago, that was many years ago.” It's in the rearview mirror now, which is also an awesome place to be. You definitely don't want to forget the amazing lesson that you learn in something like that, which is attitude is everything. How do you keep moving forward? We had the same experiences of building our own businesses where you go home, you sit in the basement and you want to cry. I tend not to cry. I go for a run and then drink a bottle of Pinot. You do have those days where you’re ready to say, “I can't handle this.” Then you wake up the next morning, your feet hit the floor and you make the decision to go do what you need to do and make it as positive as you can. That's what she did. She was awesome at it.
It was hard too in the sense that there are many constant ups and downs. The way chemo works is you get the chemo treatment, then I had to have something called Neulasta shot. A Neulasta shot is the shot that you get a day after chemo. It basically helps boost your immune system, but it goes to your bones and it hurts badly for about a week. What it does is it increases the white blood cell count, which is inside your bone marrow. It gets really active inside your bone marrow and it feels like your bone is growing. It's painful. When we would get those shots I’d be like, “The next 24 hours are going to be brutal.” She would tuck herself away in our little guest suite in our basement and I would make sure that I and the boys were elsewhere, anywhere but there.
It's hard too because it feels like you're volunteering to go in because no one's making you go in. It almost feels like you're going in voluntarily to get in a car accident. That’s the only way I can think of it because it's something coming towards you and you know what's going to happen for the next week. You build up again and then you have to go and do it again. It's a tough thing but it's also a great thing because I’m alive now and I’m very thankful.
I want to have an impact more than what we do here at WealthFit. You've got two boys that are older now but they were young at the time. How did you break it to them? Do you have any advice you have for someone encountering this that they have to share it with their family?
Scott & Bethany
Everybody has their own approach and we've learned not to put down other people's approach. We're glad the way that we did it in retrospect. Ours was to be very open. We were open with our kids. I have people I know who when they lost their hair, they would wear a wig and they wouldn't even let their kids know they lost their hair. There's that extreme. We told our kids everything. We did not tell them that I had a chance of dying, which was one thing. Scott lied.
They were like, “Can mom die?” I’m like, “No.” They’d be like, “Okay.”
Little kids tell their friends, their teacher or whatever they pick up. They know. People are funny too because they would come up and then they would tell their story about how Aunt Susie died of breast cancer and Aunt Martha died of breast cancer right in front of my kids. My kids would pick up on that. They would ask their dad, “Is mom going to die?” Scott said, “No.” He told me he said in retrospect, “I’m glad I did that,” because if I would have, you deal with that.
We've been in counseling either way so, “Dad lied to us.” Yes, he did.
We're glad that we went in that open route and open to the fact. One of our sons, our oldest, was in first grade. He wanted me to talk to his class about it and so I did. We had a lot of fun with it, to teach him what chemo was. We had all these balloons and then chemo stops out cancer. All of these little first graders were stomping out the balloons.
They were the chemo and the balloons were the cancer cells. That was totally her idea.
That was part of Cole’s way of like, “My mom's normal. There's nothing wrong with her. She's going to be okay. I’m going to show you she's going to be okay because she's going to talk to our class.” That's what was going on in their brains. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is huge for them. They play football so they're wearing all their pink accessories. They're bringing the tape for all the kids in the team to wrap their shoes in pink tape. It's had a good impact on them that I’m thankful to be alive. One thing that I always tell people too to be able to help get your family through it is to have a mantra. Our mantra was, “God is good all the time.” We kept saying that whatever it is, “Be positive,” or whatever your mantra is. Have one that when you are feeling down that you can always go back to a mental trigger to always go back to. Now, our kids say, “God is good all the time,” too even ten years later.
That's true of every aspect of your life. You have to have a battle cry where when you want to cry, that's why you have a battle cry. You can stand up and say, “God is good all the time. This is going to work out.” It did work out for us, thank God. We're better for it. We're much closer. The things that used to bother me, I don't care anymore. She hums in her sleep. My wife doesn’t snore, she hums. She was a hummer and now I love that hum. I can hear that hum and it makes me laugh because I think, “That has been the thing I miss the most about her is her humming at 2:00 in the morning.”
When we were first married I’m like, “Are you awake? Are you there?” I’d poke her and she was like, “What's up?” I’m like, “You were humming.” She'd be like, “I didn't know that.” Those are the things that you miss the most. Those little things in our relationship became a lot stronger. That's why we have such a passion for couples. We love being married. We love to see people succeed. We know it can be great. A relationship can be great but you have to be able to prioritize and see what's important. That's why we are here where we are.
You guys are an amazing couple and you have given all of the WealthFit Nation something to strive for. This is a crazy time in your life, one amazing transformation that I’m grateful that you guys are here to share the story. One of the things that you did out of love is that you hid the medical bills. You guys are The Money Couple and so that makes it an interesting dynamic. I can't fault you because I feel you're coming from a place of love. What did you learn financially from this journey?
Scott & Bethany
We have this thing that we talk about a lot called financial infidelity, which is where one spouse is on purpose of hiding financial information. That's exactly what I was committing was financial infidelity. In your relationship, when you go through your vows. The traditional vows are for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. There are sometimes where one of you has to step up financially, whether it means taking on a second job, whether it means having the guts to start your own company when your spouse is scared to death for you to do that. That's what I had to do with the medical bills because she needed to be all about her beating cancer.
At the time I had this amazing medical company called United Healthcare. They were great to me because they gave me somebody to work with. Every Friday morning, I would take an hour or two and say, “What am I supposed to pay? What am I not supposed to pay?” We were getting bills from eight to nine different companies and I didn't know what to do. I remember when I got the bill for her double mastectomy was $127,000. I remember sitting at the desk like, “What am I going to bounce downstairs and say, ‘Babe, I know you're all chemo up right now but check this out. We're probably going bankrupt.’” I had to shoulder that in that part of the relationship.
That's part of what Bethany and I teach when we're working with couples and working with entrepreneurs and small companies are that you have to pull off each other's strengths. Every once in a while, you have to know where your strength is. That was time for me to be strong. That was time for me to figure out, “How are we going to pay this bill? What is real here?” and that's what I did. That was the one and only time in our relationship where I actively checked her out for a little while because she didn't need to be involved in that then. When things started getting better and she started getting healthier, that's when we started re-engaging in all this. I started practicing what we preached with our information that we give couples, but you have to occasionally take it off someone's plate.
The timeline of this was you were already essentially The Money Couple when this happened?
Scott & Bethany
We had released our second book. I remember because we were going and we were doing Good Morning America. Bethany was wearing a wig on Good Morning America. You ran into Robin Roberts, who was just coming out of cancer. They had the sweetest little interaction in the stairwell as we were going up to the studio on the next level. Chris Cuomo and I were like, “What happened to Bethany? We lost her for a little while. That was happening. You're releasing a book. You're on a media tour. You're doing FOX & Friends and Good Morning America and she's got a wig on. She can't wait to get it off because it makes her head itchy.
That tends to happen. When you go through a major family trauma or personal trauma, you do not stop moving. We wrote the book while she was going through chemo. We would sit in her treatments and work through that book. You have to keep going and you have to say, “Financially, we're not quite sure how this is going to work out. Physically we're not quite sure how this is going to work out, but our bottom line is to help couples,” and that's where we stay focused.
What's the origin story of The Money Couple essentially before all this?
Scott & Bethany
We have a passion for helping couples. We had this couple that came in and they were financial advisers by trade. They had come in for a financial review. We were good friends with them. Getting together with them was fun. They came in for an appointment. You know when you're with a couple and you could cut the tension with the knife. You feel the tension. We're sitting there meeting with them and we were going to do their account review. The wife said, “We're not here for a review. We're here for you to help us split up our assets because we're getting divorced.” Beth pushes my leg like, “You ask them why they're getting a divorce,” and I’m like, “You ask them. I don’t want to ask them.” I’m like, “What's the problem?” I’m going to be blunt here. I’m assuming someone cheated on someone or he's addicted to porn. I’ve gone through all this stuff in my head. She was like, “Money.” We're the financial advisers and they're getting divorced over what we're doing. It's like the, “Are you sitting down?” question. They had plenty of it. He's a super successful IT guy in Colorado Springs. On paper, they looked perfect. The college funds, the house is almost paid off. They had millions. They were set for life. When they said money, it threw us into a total tailspin. We’re like, “What can you be having conflict? You have tons of money. This can't be it.”
That put us on a journey and Beth said, “Would you call him about three or four days later?” and I’m like, “I’ll call him.” Money, what does that mean to you? I called him and said, “You’ve got to help me because I do not understand how you could say money is the issue here when you have so much of it.” He said, “Scott, I’m going to give you two examples. First one is coffee.” He says, “You know how much I love my coffee,” and this dude loved his coffee. He had his own special drink at Starbucks and he went every morning. He said, “Every day she gives me a thermos. Every day she beats me up about my coffee and I’m sick of it. I can't handle anymore. The second thing is lunches.” This guy networked during lunches. There will be ten or twelve of us. He always picked up the tab. He was that guy. He was one of those larger than life guys. He says, “Every day I get home it’s like, ‘Where did you go to lunch? Who did you take? How much did you spend? How much was Caesar’s salad?’” He goes, “I can't take it anymore. She beats me about money all the time.” He said, “It’s almost like she’s a money Nazi.”
Beth and I were big resource people. We’re like, “There's got to be a resource. We're going to find the resource to fix them.” There was no resource. There are plenty of resource on getting out of debt, paying your house off early and checking all those boxes, but there wasn't anything about how do couples get along about money. What we found was 70% of divorces cite money as the number one reason for their breakup. There's nothing out there teaching couples whether you're loaded or whether you're poor. It doesn't matter. You're going to fight about money. What do you do with that aspect of your relationship? That put Bethany and I like, “Let's figure out how we can help people and come alongside people.”
We wrote our first book and after that book, I remember we were meeting with some marketing people. We walked in and the guy goes, “It's The Money Couple.” That stuck. It was that simple but then it's a playoff for a couple, money couple, and we like to help couples. We know that it starts with individuals. We have to make sure that we get the individual right and then you can bring the relationship into the mix. That's how The Money Couple came about.
I know some of your work, The 5 Money Personalities. When did that come about?
Scott & Bethany
They've evolved. It started with our first book, which was many years ago. There were six Money Personalities. We killed one because it wasn't ingrained in who you are. It was more based on your actions. We had a Money Personality called the Debtor. This is a person who doesn't mind debt. Debt is something that is not ingrained into who you are as a person. Our other money personalities are all ingrained in you, into your DNA when you're born. Our book, The 5 Money Personalities
, has taken off and it’s been fun to see and give people a way to understand their own personal unique way of looking at money.
Are you able to unpack the five so we can identify?
Scott & Bethany
Let me give you a little bit of background on these Money Personalities. What we did was we said, “We have to develop something that let people easily identify why they approached money the way they do and then give them the opportunity to understand how their spouse or their significant other go at the money the way they do.” If you understand who I am and I understand who she is, you've taken away about 50% of the fighting in your marriage. What we found out was that we need to make it super easy to identify. We took about eight years of data, gave it to a statistical scientist at Stanford and said, “How do we quantify this?” and he did. He came up with this amazing Money Personality Assessment, which is free online at TheMoneyCouple.com
. We're at least 200,000 people taking it organically online.
The thing that's neat about the Money Personality is the secret sauce. It is your combination. A lot of people are like, “There are five Money Personalities. Which one am I?” There's one that's primary and there's one that's a secondary, and it's how they work together that makes you unique, special and different. They're super easy to understand. The first one is a Spender. The Spender loves to spend money on themselves, but they also are huge gift-givers. If you have a party and you say, “No gifts please,” they bring a gift anyway. They have to bring a bottle of wine or a card or something. They almost can't help themselves. Those are Spenders. The second one is a Saver. They love to save money. Coupons are their middle name. They like other people to save money too. I went out to coffee with a girlfriend and she went on and on about this park that she got into for free and how I should go to this park for free too and get some pass or something. She wanted me to get that good deal too. There's some radar up top and saving is always part of it. The interesting thing with these personalities is you can see it in the way they talk. A woman will show me a dress and then, “I got it for $19 at Marshall’s.” I’m like, “I don't care how much your dress is.” That oozes from that.
The next one is a Risk Taker. These are the entrepreneurs of the world. They love new adventures. The thing that's neat about Risk Takers is it's not big risks always like starting companies. It's the small, everyday risks. Maybe a new restaurant, they like those new kinds of experiences. Experiences are huge and different kinds of experiences. We were speaking in front of thousands of people and brought some people up on stage. We asked him, he was a primary Risk Taker, “What's a small everyday risk that you've recently done?” He said, “There's this client that I wanted. He wasn't answering my phone calls. I got in the car and drove three hours and knocked on his door.” That is a Risk Taker. That is a person who is, “No holds barred, let's do it. Let's go for it.”
The next one is a Security Seeker. A security seeker is a person who needs a total plan. They seek and they get that security from having that plan. That plan is in place. A lot of us are married to people who are either primary or secondary Security Seeker. I am. Scott’s a secondary Security Seeker. That plan is what gives him a sense of calm. Whereas a Risk Taker, they don't need the plan. The Security Seeker needs the plan. A lot of times people get Saver and Security Seeker. They think it's the same thing but it's not. A saver likes to save money. A Security Seeker doesn't always care about if it costs, they want the plan, “Give me the plan. Give me that security.”
The last one is called a Flyer. The way we got to a Flyer is because we found this whole group of people who the money was not the first thing on their mind. They fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to money. They don't know how much money is in a checking account. They don't know how much is in savings. They don't even care. What they care about more are relationships. I wish I had some more Flyer in me. It puts relationships over money every time. Let me talk about individuals. I’m a primary Spender. I love to spend money, I love to give gifts. I’m a secondary Risk Taker, so go for it. Those can be similar. Scott is a primary Spender. He loves to spend money, he loves to give gifts. That's where we connect well. We love to talk about the different ministries we're going to give to. That’s fun for us. Secondarily, he's a Security Seeker. He needs a plan. I don't need a plan. Let me tell you a story about how when we didn't know our Money Personalities, how it played out negatively in our relationship.
I would come up with these ideas. I would have these ideas at 10:00 at night as we’re lying in bed talking. It would stress him out. I remember one time I was coming up the stairs. I had this idea. This was a long time ago. I was like, “Let's take a presentation that we made. Let's put it on DVDs.” I ran up the stairs and I was all excited to tell him the story. His first reaction was, “Are you kidding?” I’m like, “No.” Security Seekers can oftentimes be no people because it’s not a plan, it’s a thought, it’s an idea. He’s like, “No.” I picked up almost subconsciously every idea that I had was, “No.” Here's where it impacts the relationship. When you don't identify it, I would stop telling him my ideas. You start drifting apart. The idea person is going to go over and start talking to other people about ideas or have ideas and is still going to implement them or whatever and do them on my side. Scott is going, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” It built a wedge.
I remember I said, “When I say my ideas and stuff, you don't put them down but you always go, ‘No, we can’t do that. We can't afford it.’” It reeks on me. To his credit, he said, “You're right,” and then we started talking about it. I said, “I think it's the fact that I like to take risks,” and he's like, “I feel threatened by that.” We were able to talk it out and we see it all the time in our relationship now. I’ll say to Scott, “What's the plan? Let's get a plan in place,” and I like it and then Scott will be like, “Let's try a different restaurant.” We went to a different restaurant that would not be his normal MO. He would want to go to the same place we go every weekend. That speaks to me. That’s what brings the love alive when you're both trying to give to the other person in the way that speaks to them. It can be fun.
This is what we see with couples often too. We had that huge light bulb go off and then we named all the Money Personalities. Spending, we don't ever disagree about that. If she goes out and goes shopping, that's awesome. She wants to take her friends out if she wants to go to a spa, no problem. Where we noticed with other couples is the exact same thing. They might have the same secondary Money Personality or same primary Money Personality but they're going to have one in there. We've had hundreds of thousands of couples take this. 80% of all couples have what we call the Opposite Dynamic in it. That's where Beth and I collided with our Opposite Dynamic. Part of it is saying, “You are you. I fell in love with you from the beginning. You had those Money Personalities when I married you. I am me. You love me and these are my Money Personalities.”
You can start working through it once you can identify it. What I loved about her was she was always like, “Let's go,” and I’m like, “Okay,” and half the time like, “I hope this turns out okay.” She loves the fact that if she was like, “What's our plan for Saturday?” I’m like, “We've got an 8:30 wakeup call. We’re going to be moving on this. We've got lunch at 12:30. Manny will be our waiter at this amazing Mexican restaurant, then we're going to rotate to the movie at 4:00.” I’m a planning guy. She loved that about me. She always came up with the fun stuff to do while I organized it.
Once a couple sees that happening, all of a sudden, the light bulbs start going off, “That's why when we're first dating, that's why I loved him or her so much. She was spontaneous. She always had a plan. She is so giving. She's always looking for a great deal. She didn't care about money, she just wants to talk about life.” Those things come alive again in a relationship. All the fighting, the arguing and all that stuff you remind yourselves why you fell in love with each other in the first place. You can start to unwind some of that negative talk in your head. You can start to unwind the old hurts and you can start talking about it, “You're a risk taker so when you come to me at 10:00 at night with this great idea, that's not the time to come to me.”
Now what she does is, “I see this opportunity. Would you go to the research and see if that's legit?” For the Security Seeker, that's like a Christmas gift come early because I haven't said yes or no, she's going to let me do the research. I’ll go back to her and say, “We totally should do this investment or we're not doing that. That's insane and this is why,” so she feels heard. She still gets to find those great ideas that she has. We're entrepreneurs. This is what we do. This is what entrepreneurs do. We go out and we look for opportunities. She's a whole lot better than I am at it because she's a Risk Taker but I’m the numbers guy so I can see if we can afford it.
You guys talked about the data. Putting this out into the world, I’m sure that there are success stories that you could share with us. We could have 70 shows for success stories. Have you been able to quantify it in any way statistically?
Scott & Bethany
One thing that's interesting is 30% of society according to our research is a Saver-Security Seeker or Security Seeker-Saver. That combination makes up a third of the people out there. The challenge is the Saver-Security Seeker combination and Security Seeker-Saver combination. Those people are lifted up in society. They're the responsible people. They're the adults out there. The challenge is that group of people often put down the other three, the Risk Taker, the Spender and the Flyer. They talk to those people with a parent voice, “You aren't being responsible. You need to save more. Why don't you use this coupon?” There's this huge wedge that's being built inside of relations because 80% of us are married to our opposite.
You’ll have the Saver-Security Seeker type of person but then you'll have the other type that you're living with. No one likes to be talked to like they’re a bad person, that they're stupid or they're not responsible. We're on this big mission to make sure that everybody realizes that there's no right Money Personality and there's no wrong one. They are who you are. We can give a lot of freedom inside of relationships if we can understand that and come to the other side. There's a reason why we don't have Saver in us. We have to work at it. We are Savers but we have to make it automatic or it’s not going to happen. There's this whole group of society that has been put down and needs to be honored. Our economy is because we've got Risk Takers out there and people building businesses and entrepreneurs of the world. That's what makes our country great.
It's refreshing because I can't imagine going to the bar and trying to pick up the ladies if I were single. If I were trying to figure out this perfect Money Personality match, it might be a little weird to say it. That's good, that's refreshing that opposites attract. It doesn't matter which one you are, it’s about communication and having better conversations. We have a lot of entrepreneurs that read the blog. You mentioned financial planners. You had done this outside of financial planning. When did you recognize this was its own entity or business itself?
Scott & Bethany
We've been in the financial planning industry for 25 years, built two practices and done it all. What we found was there was this huge disconnect. You've got the finances on this side and then you've got the financial relationship on the other side of the table. They're different. You can check every box and have it perfect and hate each other.
You can have your financial house in order and have it perfect.
It’s perfect on the outside but it's a disaster. It's like my kid's room. It was great when the door is shut but when you open the door like, “What happened in there?” That's what people's financial house looks a lot of times. The lawn is mowed. The hedges are trimmed. You open the door and you’re like, “We've got some work to do here.” The inside of the house is the relationship side. The inside of the house is the most important part of the house if you think about it. That's where memories are made, the love grows, where you raise your kids and you have those conversations. What we found was that on the financial relationship side, people are a disaster. That's why we had to get these Money Personalities into people's hands because you have to be able to understand who you are, who your spouse is, and why that's so awesome that they are that way. It doesn't mean you always agree. Beth and I still don't always agree. She's wrong a lot.
That's the reality but you have this new platform. If you don't fight about money, we don't fight about money anymore. Do we have discussions about money? We do. Do we have disagreements about money? We do but we don't fight each other about the money anymore. We don't have secret accounts. If she goes and spends money, she's transparent. If I spend money, I’m transparent. Do we have separate checking accounts? Absolutely. We have two or three businesses going all the same time. They all have separate accounts and LLCs. The reality is the 100% transparency is where our house is clean.
Most people on that relationship side can have an awesomely clean house even if they don't agree about anything. If you're a Spender married to a Saver, the Spender needs to give the Saver some money to save, “Let's look at the 401(k) for the twentieth time this week. Let's look at what we're saving.” The Saver has to give the Spender some flexibility, “This is the amount of money per month you should have for whatever you want.” It's this amazing, beautiful word that we forget in our relationships called compromise. That's what we have to learn to do.
That’s compromise with a purpose. One of the things that's hard about money is you can compromise but it ends up being, “You can do this and you can do that,” that ends up being the compromise. What we’re talking about is compromising in terms of allowing each other to be who you are. That's a freeing compromise.
It's even changing your vernacular. With my youngest son, he makes his money and spends his money. Sitting down with him and say, “Let's work on the budget, son.” He's going to tune me out. I say, “Let's put a savings account together.” I put something together called his future spending account. Somehow, he connected with that because he knows he's going to get to spend that money in the future. He's got $25,000 saved for his first car. Even the vernacular that we can use in relationships with our kids, relationships with our spouses, relationships with our significant others, relationships with our aging parents is huge if you know how to come in alongside them. Speak the same Money Personality language and let them know. I love that compromising with purpose.
I’m interested to know each of your guilty spending splurges.
Scott & Bethany
I love clothes shopping. I can go and escape. I don't even know what’s necessary to buy, but I enjoy that. We love to go out to eat. We are foodies. We love to experience different kinds of foods. I’ve taught him that. We were laughing about in that he would go to the same restaurant, but now we do. We love to experience new restaurants, new places. That's not cheap. We add up how much money we spend in restaurants, it's crazy. We have to have goals as how many times we go out to eat each week and stuff like that.
I hate spending money on myself. It's a Security Seeker in me. I always am guilty of not spending money on myself but I love spending money on my family. I love giving money away. I’ve even given money away where I’ve had to go back to Beth and go, “Babe, we gave a contribution in this amount. I should have talked to you about that financial infidelity,” especially when it comes to my boys and sporting goods. I would never buy her clothes because for our first-year marriage I tried that and like, “This is stupid. I’m never buying her anything else.” My boys are big athletes. At the football season, we leave Bethany at the house and we're gone all day. It's the cleats. It's the helmets. It's the mouth guards. It's everything. We're avid skiers so it's the boards that year that we're going to get. I’m bad. I don't usually spend it on myself, but I love spending on others. I love spending too much money on sporting equipment. It's ridiculous.
Speaking of the boys, what are you telling them so that they can be better-minded about money and have these money conversations?
Scott & Bethany
We're big into their Money Personalities. We talk about Money Personalities all the time. Even my oldest started dating a girl and he's trying to figure out what her Money Personality is. She’ll probably have to take the assessment. It's sad but true. Our oldest is a Risk Taker-Security Seeker, that’s Cole. He wants to go to school and get a business degree in Entrepreneur Leadership and then he wants to get a law degree in Entrepreneurial Contracts or whatever that looks like. He's locked in to be an entrepreneur. That's the Risk Taker that's driving him but he's also a Security Seeker. We've had to work with him on saying, “You're great at starting things but then it starts getting tough and you pull back because you’ve lost that security.” That's our money lesson to him. He is managing his 529 college savings plan in that he knows how much is in there, how much he has to spend and how he needs to use it. I wouldn't suggest that with a five-year-old but at seventeen it works.
Our youngest is a primary Spender, secondary Security Seeker. He's me. I know how to encourage him in the future spending account, “You’ve got to think long-term. It can't all be right now. Spending is awesome and it's fun and I love the fact that you bought your four friends movies. Now you have no cash for the rest of the month.” How do you bring that back? Our kids work with us in the business. When we're out doing public speaking, I have them working the book table. They're not sitting in the front row enjoying the view. They're working. When you can get your kids working and they understand their Money Personalities, then you can encourage where they're doing awesome. You can also say, “This is where you're going to struggle to be a Security Seeker. You're going to be scared to take risks. I’m a Security Seeker and mom and I have started three companies and it's worked out great for us.” Using that real practical, “Here's your Money Personality. Here's your strength. Here are your weaknesses. Let's make sure that you're aware of both of those with your money.”
I’m curious as to some of your successful routines. Do you have any rituals or anything that you do either together or individually?
Scott & Bethany
First of all, we take our health seriously. We do work out about every morning. If we don't do it in the morning, it's not going to happen.
Is this gym, outdoors, everything?
Scott & Bethany
He’s much more outdoor. We got married a little on the older side. I always had to work out. I was a competitive swimmer growing up, nationally ranked swimmer. It was a big part of who I was. Still, I had stayed in shape and I wanted to maintain that but Scott didn't when we were first married. Before we were married, we were with our pre-marriage counseling. The lady said, “Make sure that you talk about things that you're concerned about.” I said, “I do like to work out and I like to work out in the morning. Is that going to bother you?” He’s like, “No.” We get married. It's about two or three days into our marriage and he's like, “Let's go join a gym.” We had just moved to where we were living. At the time I said, “Okay,” so we go and we joined a gym. I’m thinking, “Like he's going to join a gym.” About a week after he joined, he comes home and he whips out this piece of paper and he says, “I’m going to run a marathon.” I’m like, “You're going to run a marathon?” He’s like, “In 90 days.” He has a plan that he's going to run the LA Marathon in 90 days. He did it. He lost 35 pounds. He's the only husband who loses weight when he gets married. What does that say about my cooking? Not a lot.
The rest is history. Ever since then, we've been married for years. He's stayed in shape and that's important. In addition to that, being intentional with our time has always been important for us. By intentional with time, I mean a couple of things. First of all, time blocking. There's a time for each activity. In addition to that, saying when you're at work, you're at work. When you're at home, you're at home. We work together. There are a lot of couples who work together out there and it can be challenging because your work can be all-consuming and that's all you’re talking about. We drive into our house and we don't talk about work. We're very good about that, intentional about that. We have date night every week and that's another ritual that we have. Every single week, we are anal about it. It's almost sickening but it's important for us to get out. Get away from the kids and have us time. There's some real intentionality that we've put into our relationship that I’m thankful to be married to him and can't wait for the next 40 years ahead of us. A lot of intentionality and I’m proud of that because it does take work to do that, but the rewards so much outweigh the work and time that takes.
That's a big deal; fitness, time blocking, family time, date nights. That’s what we've done for the last many years.
Looking back over both of your lives, what would you say your biggest defining moment is? What I mean by defining moment is you decided and looking back now, you know that if you had made a different decision, your life would have looked completely different.
Scott & Bethany
I’ve got two huge ones. I call it a wedding off a month to the day. It was the day that we got the invitations that I was engaged to someone else. I called the wedding off and drove over to her house and got the ring back. Thank God because I got it to my buddy who had just come back from Desert Storm who wanted to get married. I was like, “Have this ring.” That was the scariest thing I’d ever done but I’ve got an amazing wife and I’m blessed with two amazing kids because of her. For me, that was one of the biggest defining moments and starting The Money Couple for me. As a Security Seeker, that scared me to death. There was no roadmap for that. It wasn't like we were trying to be Dave Ramsey, Helen Hunt or Suze Orman. Our message was completely different, completely fresh. There was nobody out there at the time talking about behavioral finance. There was no one out there talking about, “Your relationship and money are tied together and you need to know that.” Beth, my risk taker, was driving that. She was sometimes pulling me along. For me, those were two of when I look back I think, “I would have missed out on my best friend and the woman of my dreams.” I think, “Now, we're doing this thing together, we love it and we're having a blast. We're saving marriages.” It’s huge.
For me, one thing was going through a year and a half of counseling. I grew up in a family where my mom is an alcoholic. She's not drinking anymore. There were a lot of issues that I had and I had to work through those. I knew I had to work through those before I got married. I’ve always had heard that if you want to have a good marriage, you have to come to it being healthy yourself. I’m glad I did that. At the time, this was many years ago. It's quite a while ago. It was not popular to go to counseling. Now there are a lot of places in the country where it's like, “Who's your counselor?” It wasn't like that back then. I’m glad, it was scary. It was very hard. I’m glad I did that.
Number two, stepping out and building my own financial planning business was challenging. I remember my first year I made $13,000. My girlfriend, who was a teacher, was making $45,000 or something right out of college. I was like, “What am I doing? $13,000, you’ve got to be kidding me?” I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I stuck with it and then took that practice and sold it to a company that I had started. That was a step of faith. My latest step of faith to say, “I’m not going to do that anymore. I want to focus 100% of our time on The Money Couple.” It's scary to step out but you're glad in retrospect when you look back. It's such a great feeling to do that.
I’m grateful that you have agreed to create a course for us here at WealthFit. I encourage people to check it out. In addition, I’ve never seen so many people in the media and for such good reason. You have an amazing story, great energy. For folks that want to follow you online, where can they find out more about what you're up to?
Scott & Bethany
. Check us out. You can follow our blog. Please take the assessment. Be sure to know what your primary and secondary Money Personality is. That's the start of the journey for you in working with us. We would love to have each and every person make sure who they are in terms of their two Money Personalities.
For single people that are reading this, understand what your Money Personalities are. If you can get that, “I wish we would have that so much. I wish I would have understood myself when I was single,” because it's going to make every relationship that you touch from here on out that much better. Go to TheMoneyCouple.com
. It doesn't cost you a penny. Take that assessment. It takes less than eight minutes and you're going to walk away and go, “I understand myself a lot better.”
Thanks for being on the show. I appreciate it.
Scott & Bethany
It’s our pleasure.