‘On Paper We’re Not Broke, But It Feels Like We Are.’ This Couple Makes $70,000 A Month But Still Stresses Financially – Ramit Sethi Points Out Tracking Every Cent Doesn’t Put You In Control

Sandra and Brad, a couple with a net worth of $1.3 million and an income of up to $70,000 per month, share their financial struggles on Ramit Sethi’s podcast “I Will Teach You to be Rich.” Despite their wealth, Sandra confesses, “On paper we’re not broke, but it feels like we are.” This sentiment highlights the complexity of financial well-being beyond mere numbers.

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Brad’s fluctuating income from the mortgage industry and their differing approaches to money management have contributed to their financial stress. Sandra, taking on the role of budget manager, admits, “When it’s not easy, it’s watching everything and being meticulous with where the money’s going and keeping track of it and being stressed about it.”

Sethi points out a critical misconception about money management: “Most people genuinely believe that this process of tracking every last cent puts them in control of their money… But it’s not. The reality is that most of this is pointless — manually copying in values from a website to a spreadsheet is not high-value work nor does it change your financial reality.”

He emphasizes the importance of focusing on high-value areas and making strategic decisions that can significantly impact your financial future.

The couple’s story also delves into the psychological aspects of their financial decisions. Sandra’s meticulous tracking stems from a fear of financial insecurity, while Brad’s risky investment decisions are a response to feeling financially behind. “One of the primary reasons for Brad’s extremely risky approach with money is that once people feel behind, feel like they have to catch up or even that it’s too late, they start to make increasingly frantic, risky decisions,” Sethi observes.

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Their situation underscores the importance of communication and shared financial goals within a relationship. Misaligned financial values and goals can lead to tension, as seen in Brad and Sandra’s struggles. Sethi advises them to define what safety means to each person and work together towards achieving it, highlighting the need for couples to collaborate on financial planning.

Brad and Sandra’s experiences on Sethi’s podcast serve as a potent reminder of the complexities surrounding personal finance. It’s not just about income and net worth; effective money management, communication and shared goals are key to financial well-being.

Financial security is not solely determined by numbers but also by the psychological and relational dynamics influencing financial decisions.

A financial advisor can offer personalized strategies to optimize budgeting, investment decisions and long-term financial planning. By leveraging the expertise of a financial adviser, individuals and couples can gain a clearer understanding of their financial landscape and work towards achieving greater financial security and peace of mind.

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*This information is not financial advice, and personalized guidance from a financial adviser is recommended for making well-informed decisions.

Jeannine Mancini has written about personal finance and investment for the past 13 years in a variety of publications including Zacks, The Nest and eHow. She is not a licensed financial adviser, and the content herein is for information purposes only and is not, and does not constitute or intend to constitute, investment advice or any investment service. While Mancini believes the information contained herein is reliable and derived from reliable sources, there is no representation, warranty or undertaking, stated or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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