On this Money Talk Monday, I switch it up and actually host an interview…with my wife Taylor.
A lot of you have reached out with questions about how we’re handling my furlough and she was gracious enough to agree to share her perspective.
I believe it just might be the best episode yet 😉
Listen To The Episode
Read The Transcript
Welcome to the winning to wealth podcast. This is MTM number 20. And it is actually a very, very special one, I actually have a guest on my weekly solo segment. None other than my wife. And how this came about was the fact that I was furloughed a couple weeks ago. And I've been talking very openly about that across my social media platforms. And a lot of you have reached out with just questions on how to deal with that, how to deal with the financial side of it. What should I be doing? Should I be budgeting? Should I be investing? Should I be paying off debt and all those things? But I did get one question that kind of took me aback on Instagram. And it was about the emotional side of things. And I'll be honest with you, I'm one of those people. And my wife can chime in and tell you I'm one of those people that hey, you know what stuff happens? Let's keep it moving. Let's keep rolling. And so when I got that question, it was kind of like, I hadn't really sat down and thought about how I'm Felt being furloughed. And having appalls our goals and all those things. It was just one of those things to where this happened. What's the next step? Let's continue to move forward. And so this week, I've really kind of taken some time to really sit through and process a lot of those things that I've felt that I had just kind of pushed aside to just keep going forward. And so that's what we're going to talk about is just the emotional side of the last few weeks and how my family's dealt with it. So brought on my wife, because she kind of handles this side of me a little bit. And she's had to deal with it as well. And so it didn't feel right to just kind of speak for her and her emotional state. I felt like it would be great to bring her own and she was gracious enough to join us. So that's what we're going to do today. We're going to talk about this particular subject together. So the first thing I want to do is just kind of go back to that day. It mean by the time this releases that was exactly two weeks ago. This will actually be the third week. have me not being employed. And so what happened with that was I was on a conference call. I had it on speaker and I was kind of walking around the house like I always do. I was on mute. And we were told that we were being furloughed. And I remember Taylor going, what? Like you're being furloughed, and I'm like, just be quiet. Like I don't, I don't really know what's happening. And so, I mean, like, 30 seconds later, I got confirmation that that's what was happening. But I just want to ask you, like, how did you feel in that moment of like overhearing that this is what was happening.
I definitely felt freaked out. It's not something I really expected to happen. I guess I knew it could happen, but it was just never on my radar. And so it was like, Oh my gosh, I don't know how we're going to do I was just kind of freaking out like this is not going to be good and I had a lot of fear and kind of didn't want to act. too afraid because Alison was there and I didn't want to scare her. And I mean, if you know my husband, he always figures everything out. So I had that, you know, security in the back of my mind. But there was still a little bit of doubt of what are we going to do? This is horrible timing. I can't believe we're going through this. So that was my initial thought and reaction.
And for me, like I said, it was just kind of like, crap. Like, it wasn't, like I've said, on social media, this wasn't something that completely caught me off guard, but it's still kind of a punch to the gut, and it's a punch to the gut, because for the last few months at work, I haven't said this before, but I've specifically been told that like, I've been carrying my entire region from a sales perspective. And so to hear that I was being furloughed and the other people were staying on. It was just kind of like whoa, and so to me, that was the part that that really bothered me was like, Okay, I'm being furloughed. That's fine. We can move forward. We can weather the storm but the fact that you guys are keeping somebody else on to To kind of handle my work, it's like I didn't like that part one bit. But we're past that. And hopefully that person is having a great opportunity to just showcase their skills and what they can do and prove their value. That's kind of the silver lining is that I'm hoping for is that, you know, they're put in a position to where they can showcase themselves and be better So, but I guess the natural follow up I have to that is like, you know, we started this journey right after we got married 2014 this is like our almost six years. And I mean, we've done a lot we've paid off debt, we've bought house, we've invested like crazy max out retirement accounts, all these other things. And so what exactly was it that made you nervous? Because in my mind, it's like, we've made such good progress and like, I felt like, we'll be fine, but what was it for you that kind of tripped you up a bit?
Unknown Speaker 4:51
I think it's a loss of control. I am definitely a person that struggles with being kind of a control freak and So, currently I'm on a position where I have zero control in my job. So I'm always already dealing with that emotion. I'm a teacher and I usually have 100% control of what I teach and in my classroom and how I teach it, as long as I meet the state standards, and during this, I don't get to see my kids, I don't get to plan I don't get to do any of these things. And so I was holding on to the little pieces of control that I had, which required me to spend money, I was getting new activities for Allison, I was getting crafts to keep myself occupied and organizing the house and we needed this organizer, and we needed that and I was finding ways to control but my control required me buying things off Amazon, and it wasn't a lot. Don't get me wrong. I'm not some crazy online shopper.
You are the shopper,
Unknown Speaker 5:51
but it was you know, we're home with a two year old all day she already really didn't have a ton of toys age appropriate it just controlling things and I think when I heard furlough I knew, okay, well, we're gonna have to be really tight on our budget. There's not going to be that like, free money kind of wiggle room like, Oh, we can spend this much money on Allison stuff and so on. That's always in our budget. So I think the biggest fear for me was less about like, we're not going to be in a financial position to handle this. I knew that. But it was just another loss of control for me and my personality and how I was already dealing with this.
Okay, so as I said, this is going into like the third actual week of it. So how are you feeling now?
Unknown Speaker 6:37
I definitely think that I'm doing better. Although this week, I still bought things that you did not consider. When we had the weather that storm together. Granted, it was very inexpensive boxes, but it was still not essential. And, and so I think I think I'm doing better. I'm finding The things that I can control and we're kind of getting into a routine, Allison's getting a little bit better, I would say, with not getting to socialize and learning how we are handling it. And I think that it's not as scary as I thought it would be also just being more mindful in how I think about it, and the fact that I've become a little more grateful that we are in the position that we're in rather than being fearful and being upset about controlling exactly what happens.
So as I said, I've dealt with my emotions this week, and they've ranged from like angry, to sad to frustrated to slightly concerned and just kind of in my trying to figure out how exactly I feel I've gone through that and so, have you fully accepted like at this point that we're going to be fine and if so, like, how did you get to that point from where you were,
Unknown Speaker 7:58
I definitely feel like I have fully accepted that at this point, I had to step back and kind of get some perspective, because this will end. Granted, we don't know when, but it will there's going to be an end to this. And I had to think about that I also had to think about, okay, well, there's other people in worse positions than we are and seeing how they were handling things and still being positive. And I just kind of had to let go of my expectation and kind of live with the reality of what our life is right now. And I had to think about, although you're furloughed, and I've lost some control of situations, we're still in a really good place. Thankfully, we don't have any debt besides our mortgage. And we kind of live below our means as it was. And so most of our income was going towards a mortgage and savings and all those different things. And so once you know, when we budgeted the essentials, it was very obvious that we would be able to more than cover having our needs met needs met being we were going to have our get to stay in our house, eat, you know, eat food, and have utilities and those things and, and so then it was kind of like okay, well, this is not so bad. I just need to be more creative with the ways that I do have, you know, with the budget that we have and just more creative with time and the things we already have in our house and using those things to occupy Alison occupy myself, even I think just getting creative in the kitchen has helped me because it's it's just kind of not focusing on the bad parts about this, but focusing on the good parts about this. That's really kind of helped me shift my mindset. I will say, I know this is not a good situation. There's not it's not ideal. I know a lot of people are really struggling with it, but I feel like there's good that's coming out of it for us. As a family, we get to spend a lot more time together. I was used to seeing my daughter sometimes only two hours a day. And, and so this is this family time has been nice. Same with cooking I it's not my favorite thing in the world to do. And now I'm cooking three meals a day, sometimes, however, there's a little bit of space to be more creative and not rushed. And so just trying to find the good has really helped me change my perspective.
And that was smiles better than I could have said.
Unknown Speaker 10:32
Well, that's why the emotional side is mine.
So let's talk about our goals because we came into the and I want to preface it by saying this, we sat down in December we were crafting our goals. It finally hit me that like man, we've been killing it for five years. And I told you I was like, I feel like this is gonna be a year where we have to really stretch and I didn't know what that meant at the time. I didn't know this was gonna happen. But I just felt like we were winning so dang much that it was like, Alright, what's gonna come and then, you know this with the furlough and all that and and that's been like the big blow to our goals like we have, you know, goals to pay off our mortgage early. Obviously we want to be worth optional within the next 10 years or so. And we're not able to really invest in all of that right now. And so how do you feel about us having to, like pause paying extra on the mortgage and you know, pause on maxing out the retirement accounts, because that stuff affects, like the life goals that we set early in our marriage. So like, how does that feel?
Unknown Speaker 11:42
It's frustrating to say the least, because we have been so diligent about meeting goals and doing things but I just know that we'll find a way and then if we live on this small of a budget for now, maybe we'll keep it tighten. You know, add back things in later and focus more on investing, I just I know this will end. And keeping that in mind, instead of saying, Oh my gosh, this is never going to end, we're never going to get back. I just kind of focus on the fact that it will end and that we will do whatever it takes to get that back. And I also think sometimes we focus too much on the future. And so this is kind of a good time to pause and think about the right now. There's got to be a balance of that. And if we're always working towards saving for tomorrow, and what are we going to do when we don't have to work and what are we going to do and all this instead of enjoying where right now? It kind of just kind of balances that out a little bit.
Yeah, and I love that you said that because that was a focus for us coming into the year right like on Instagram. I've been putting out these graphics about our budget and I missed March because this has just been a crazy April so I'll get that out this week, but it was just kind of like sitting down looking. And going, Okay, we could be saving and investing 60% of our income. Like there, we have a lot of discretionary income that we spend just blowing money really just having fun enjoying the process. And so looking at it every month going, Okay, we could be doing more, but let's enjoy this journey, right? Like, let's, let's slow down a little bit. Let's make sure we're prioritizing date night. Like, let's make sure we're both getting one on one time with our daughter. Let's travel more and like all these things that we kind of wanted to do this year. But in terms of our goals, I know for me, like, I think the biggest one is just not being able to invest because I don't know that that just was like, again, sitting with that emotion this week. It was really just a punch to the gut like man, okay, one because you hear all the time like okay, when there's a market downturn, it's the best time to invest because the stocks are cheap. And so in your mind, you're like gearing up you're like, Oh my gosh, it's like it's happening like not that you want people to suffer like that's going on right now. But you kind of feel like, then this is a missed opportunity like this is, you know, what you hear all the time from people in the fire movement is like, you know, when it's when the stock market goes down, it's the best time to buy. But one thing nobody ever talks about is you could be on that side where you don't have income, and that opportunity is no longer there. And so I think once we get past that, that's something that us in the finance community, we have to really be conscious of how we address that. But for me, that was the biggest thing. And it's because again, I've just been groomed for, you know, almost six years now. They're like, Yeah, it's great to ride the wave up. But when it goes down, like that's your opportunity. That's when you find everything you can and you invest and you do all that because that's where millionaires are made, and so like to not have that ability. It was frustrating.
Unknown Speaker 14:45
I totally get that because, you know, we're losing out on that compound interest as a math teacher. I totally understand how that works. It's definitely important, but I don't think that the you know, the few months that we're going to lose is going to entirely change the church. theory of our goals. Now, if this was yours, I would be worried. The fact that you have a start date that's supposed to be in June, I think is very helpful to the fact that they gave you guys a date makes me a little more comfortable. Granted, those things could change. I mean, I've had several start dates to go back to work, and now I'm off indefinitely until next school year at some point. So I understand that and I'm, I'm not expecting anything to happen on that June whatever date. But it's nice to know that this is not an indefinite and that you're not laid off. And it's also nice to know that you qualify for unemployment during this time and that we can, you know, put that money to the side and do something good with it. It's not anything we actually need to live off of. Thankfully, we can live on my salary. And I feel very blessed in that situation. But I'm just I guess I am I've gotten to the point of grateful and thankful and it took some time to get there. But once you do get there, it kind of makes things different the perspective change.
So let's talk about something that you brought up here. So, again, you're you're the breadwinner right now. So I'm, I'm, uh, I'm mooching off for you. So let's talk about that. Like, do you feel any increased pressure like with your job because I don't have an income right now? Like, does that affect you in any way?
Unknown Speaker 16:27
Um, no, not really. Just because of the nature of my job. I'm going to get a contract for next year. I'm not in a position where I would be let go. I've been at my school for this is my sixth year so I'm not they had to start laying people off, which they usually do have to let a few teachers go just due to less kids or whatever, then I might be worried. But I think that I'm in a pretty stable position. And the fact that we looked at a budget that was bare bones and we can make it off of what I make, it's a little less scary. Also, with Alison being home, that's a huge weight off of our shoulders is not having to pay daycare. And anybody with kids knows that's like a second mortgage. So that extra is helpful. So no, I don't feel a whole lot of pressure. I think in the past when I was the one that made more money, I definitely felt pressure. But now not as much just because I'm in a more secure place in my job.
And another question that I actually got from somebody that I forgot to ask cuz somebody asked like, Okay, so once you've lost that ability to work towards your goals, right? How do you find motivation to keep going? I mean, because, you know, six weeks ago, we were all investing we were all paying off our mortgage early, like everybody that was listening to this was was doing great things, and some people have lost their incomes. And just like us, they've had to pause on their goals. And so how I guess I would let you enter first like How are you? How do you stay motivated financial I guess was the question. During this time,
Unknown Speaker 18:03
I think the most motivating factor is the fact that we put ourselves in this position that we're in now. So had we not done the things that we did had, we just continue to have credit card debt and, you know, be kind of frivolous with our spending, we wouldn't be in this position, we would be needing a lot unemployment, we would be worried about what would happen if I lost my job to would, there would be so much more fear. And so I think the fact that all of the progress that we've made, has put us in a position to be okay, with one income motivates me to continue saving what we can with the one income and putting things for towards a future emergency. I think our emergency fund makes me feel better. I kind of always thought it was silly. Sometimes I'd get frustrated seeing money sitting in our bank and I'm like, What do you mean we can't get new floors? There's money. What do you mean by that? Now I kind of this really helps you see why you need more than just $1,000 sitting there, you know, you need months and months worth worth of expensive just in case and the fact that we've been able to do that and set ourselves up for bad situations and being able to weather them. That motivates me to continue. It's I also know that once we get through this that I think will be even more motivated. I think we'll want to hit more goals just because, I mean, we don't if this was without a mortgage, imagine how much easier it would be. I mean, that's a huge bill that we have to pay every month. So it's just seeing the situation and how it could be different and how we could make it better. Just motivates me to continue it also. Seeing others getting help. I know you donated some money to someone that was giving away money. That kind of thing motivates me to be a blessing to others. Because there are people that are in different situations, nothing that they did wrong, no reason of their fault, can't get unemployment, whatever. And just the fact that we could help those people is motivates me to continue what we're doing.
Yep, perfect. And I think for me, it's the ability to just be flexible and alter our goals a little bit like, obviously, again, we came in with big goals, we wanted to knock out a huge chunk of our mortgage, we wanted to max out all of our retirement accounts, and we may still be able to do that one. But I think just being able, again, to say, you know what, whatever extra income that we do have in the season, if there is a little bit of surplus, we can set that money to the side and again, when this is all over, that big lump sum can go towards whatever so I think just having that in the back of my mind also, it's just it's helping me deal with it as well. But I think That's really all the questions that I have. I know we tend to keep this one under 15 minutes. We're recording we're a little over 20 right now. But like I said, this was just the result of just questions that I had received over the last week or so. And I just felt like this was the best way to handle it. So I hope you guys enjoyed this. Maybe we'll do more, you know, team interviews in the future as this as we navigate our goals and things like that. But thank you guys again for listening to another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. See you soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai