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39. How to determine your money style w/ Clark Bradley

by Happy Camper Capital
August 2nd 2021

Clark Bradley, owner of Igniting Financial Freedom and Podcast, has so much to share about being clear on your financial goals and how to get there.  Clark and his wife have a great success story i... More

it's just open communication and very dialed in communication with my wife and I um, we were always on the same page. I mean pretty much every transaction was discussed unless it was filling up the gas tank. You know, it's, it's gotta be you two acting as a team working together and having a very clear picture of what those goals are and why you're doing it. We know the building wealth comes from owning businesses and making investments. Yet why still do nearly half of businesses fail in the first five years and why do others lose it all in their investments. Welcome to the wealth watchers podcast, your resource for building a massive net worth. We bring real stories from real people who are experts in business and investing, who will share secrets and actionable strategies to amassing wealth and achieving success brought to you by happy camper capital. Now your hosts Justin hog it and Adam lindy, Welcome back to the wealth watchers podcast.

I'm your host. Adam lindy with me is my coast Justin Hog it. Justin how are you today? I'm doing well man. You know, have you ever gotten a tetanus shot? Do you remember getting those? Uh, not really. I've tried to suppress that. I guess I got one with my daughter today for middle school. Um, so I was like, you know what, It's been a long time for me. I'm gonna go ahead and get my booster and it's like someone knuckle punch my arm and it hurts. I don't know, it's weird on your, your resistant to rust now so you can go step on nails and everything, right. That's my goal, right on awesome. Well gee, I guess just, just feeling a little bit, but let's bring on our guest Clark Bradley. How are you doing today? I'm doing well, gentlemen, thank you for having me. Yeah, you bet. So clark your financial coach, um your, you know, your company's igniting financial freedom. Love to hear a little bit about what you do and a little about your story and kind of why it is that you do what you do? Sure. Um so maybe I can Rewind about 12 years or so.

I was in I was in the financial services and still, technically I'm in the financial services industry, but I was a in the capacity of a financial advisor for that period of time in a major bank. Um And over that period of time, My wife and I had accumulated about 90-95,000 in debt outside of our mortgage. Just pretty much anything you can think of, you know, we had and so over the course of, let's say 2009 through, You know, maybe 12-13, we paid All of that off except about 10 grand and then decided that we had kind of figured that out and knew better and bought a house and moved to that new house And then unfortunately um bought a bunch of junk to fill that new house and proceeded to take that 10,000 and racket back up to 90 93,000 again. And so this last over this last, you know, five years or so was kind of the second round of paying that off and all the while.

I'm I'm acting as a financial advisor, telling people how to manage their money and how to save and how to pay off debt, and how to how to invest in all of these things. And while I'm still, you know, kind of cleaning up my own balance sheet and so obviously the hypocrisy was you know, later on pretty thick there, so we ended up cleaning up all of our debt, at least all of our good debt. We have some business investments right now that we're doing um my coaching company in particular, we're looking at a co working space down the road from our from our current office that we're looking to start here in a couple months. But anyways, all of our, from a rich dead perspective, all of our bad debt is gone, which is great. And so we've invested in my wife's business, in our business and all of that. And so again, during that time frame, uh it started to become quite unsettling for me, just from the financial services standpoint because so the investments that I was recommending, we're certainly encouraged from a particular perspective or a particular angle, you know, for certain accounts that might have helped the house out more than the actual customer, right?

With higher expenses and not necessarily a promise of a particular return. So that was kind of the catalyst that drove me to start this financial coaching company because I now can direct people or advise people to any particular shop or company regardless of the commission attached or the incentive to hit certain numbers or quotas and so on. So it's more of a consultative relationship and I'm free to say, go here or go there. It doesn't really matter to me where you go to invest or to by your Bitcoin or your Tesla or by your, you know, your investment properties because um, whether it's a re or you're going to put it in your own neighborhood, in a single family house to start off, that doesn't matter. So I don't have any conflict of interest in that regard. So that's yeah, that's kind of the long version of my last um 10, 12 years or so. Sounds like you must have had some sense of like an imposter syndrome when you were again, like you mentioned financial Advisor and meanwhile behind the curtains, you had all that debt piled up.

Yeah. And and I didn't have and I wasn't walking the walks and I had to have these conversations with people and they'd say, well, what do you think about this particular account? You know, And I couldn't tell them, Well, I'm I'm investing in this or I'm doing this or doing that because I wasn't. And so yeah, it was makes you feel pretty uh pretty small, you know, I guess. And and one thing maybe to highlight though is that while while this was going on, you mentioned you cleared up it sounds like close to 200,000 and consumer debt. Yeah, it was, it was 17,080, something like that. Yeah. Right. How what was your secret there? That's part of what I'll go into with with our, with just kind of one of the talking points I have today is, is just open communication and very dialed in communication with my wife and I, um, we were always on the same page. I mean pretty much every transaction was discussed unless it was filling up the gas tank. You know, it's, it's got to be you two acting as a team working together and having a very clear picture of what those goals are and why you're doing it.

You know, what was the debt that you were really purchasing in the beginning? Like what was maybe the problem, uh, Started off his student loans and then it was uh, about 15,000 from home improvement loan. The first city I lived in was lower elevation. So it had, you know, we had some flooding issues with our basement and we didn't necessarily need it. You know, we could have probably found a cheaper way to do it. But it was like 13, 14,000. 1 of the guys just, you know, knocks on the front door one day and one thing led to another and there we were buying this full blown, you know, dig down around the entire perimeter trench around the house with the drainage and the sub pump and everything. And it's like, you know, looking back, we paid that one off the quickest because we were so like salty of the poor decision we made. You know, it's like this guy got us, you know, he got us at the front door. He's like, hold on, let me go call my manager see if I can make this price a little better for you know when he walks outside and then walks back and I'm like, you know, you think you know better, right? And then you're in the middle of it and you just get you get duped. Anyway. That was one of them.

We did like I said, we had some student loans and then a couple of car loans and then credit cards to fill in the rest. A little bit of medical debt. Yeah, little bit spring a little bit everything in there. So, and that was the thing, you know, I was telling somebody earlier. We Mhm. The reason that that debt came right back after we moved was that the behavior just the behavior didn't change. We were white knuckling it for that 34 year period and then the desire to continue to overspend and try to fill our house with junk that we thought we needed to try to impress people that we didn't probably even care to impress. Really? Ah It we didn't change the thinking and the behavior behind it was just you said it was just kind of that forced change but it didn't last. That's a pretty big shift in lifestyle though to go from that excessive spending, too excessive frugality. So kind of opposite ends of the spectrum. Which to clear up that much consumer debt in that time you would have had to do. So obviously communication was a big part of it. Um You know what we're maybe some of the, did you use any one strategy?

Like a lot of people use like Dave Ramsey's method. Did you have anything like that you use or what was your secret? Yeah, we did. We went through his class right around that the first time we pay off our debt. We went through that the financial piece university and and followed that fairly close, you know? Um We were using cash more. So that really helped. We were using a lot of, you know, the envelope system and obviously cutting up all of our credit cards and things like that. And celebrating those winds uh and actually went back through the course again At round two because we were like, well obviously we didn't learn our lesson and so we're like, well yeah, we're graduates but you know, we're back again. It's like, hey, you know, day one back at our back at our meetings, you know like falling off the wagon, right? Um So It just, it was, it was humbling. It was so humble because you got these kids in there, you know, and at the time this was 56 years ago. So we're in our early 30s and there were people older than us in the class, but there were certainly younger people who were learning this and taking it and taking the information earnestly and applying it and you can see the change and we're like, you know where to do this one, So again, a big slice of humble pie there for sure.

Um but yeah, to answer your question, uh we did the envelopes, we did, you know, a pretty, pretty staunch budget system and we still do, we still have this another thing I'll touch on later, but we still have the monthly, you know, meeting where we're sitting down and it's quick now, you know, in the first few times it's it's much longer, it's much more detail, but that that money meeting or that budget meeting is forecasting okay, what's going on this next month? But also looking back at now, I use some software that helps kind of forecast. Okay, we spent this much money going out to eat, we spent this much money on the kids, whether it's like, you know, the movies or you know, buying movies on um you know, amazon prime or something like that, You know what I mean? We kind of have like our three or four big categories that are kind of our I know that are basically our like our hot ticket categories that we know we're gonna tend to overspend in. And so that's what kind of focus our efforts on trying to keep those manageable.

So our wives are both therapists and kind of, one of the number one topics is money. I mean like we all have issues with money or have different priorities with money, so how like maybe that was part of the Ramsey method um where you both learned together, so I was probably pretty important, but you know, how closely aligned were you guys um in the beginning and what did you learn from each other during the process? We were pretty far apart. Um I was, I was telling somebody earlier that I graduated college, we both went to michigan state and I graduated college, having my college paid for my parents, took out loans and paid for my undergrad and my wife had to pay for her own undergrad. And yet I graduated college with more debt than she did just through my own spending. You know, I take out credit cards and by, you know, buying beer for parties that we're having in our house and going out to eat and just dumb stuff. So we got married before we got married, it's like, okay, this is like this is the big boy conversation, like we gotta have this serious talk about like, where are we going?

You know, and again that the hypocrisy of me going into personal finance and financial advising, you know, where my my personal finances are a mess and yet I'm advising other people, you know, so is that wake up call? So the middle ground we found was that, you know, my my tendency to overspend especially with going out to eat and you know, going to the bar and stuff like that. We had to just, we had it wasn't, it wasn't completely shut off, but it was just a cap, it was like they were going out once every couple weeks or once a week instead of three times a week, you know, and it's like, okay, now we're going out even less than that, but at the time that was a big adjustment. Whereas my wife would want to spend money on experiences or vacations and I was like, well no, we don't need to do that. So it's a, it was a different mindset shift, right? I didn't see the value in going on vacation with the family, but I saw value in the 10 $2030 restaurant transaction, you know?

So for me it was that death by 1000 cuts because you add those all up and it's $1000 in food in restaurants in a month, you know, so, so yeah, um, we're differences in priorities, but it's all just through that communication. I mean we're both very dialed in now whereas we weren't before and those meetings, some of them certainly were, you know, voices raised and arguing and stuff like that. but that's I think that's necessary and I don't think everyone is going to be on the same page. I mean I know like my wife and I are on the same page, we've got a relationship that works with ours. I'm certainly more of a spender like kind of like yourself, you know my my wife is very frugal and that's one thing I love about her is that you know her idea of going out and getting crazy is going and finding good deals like clearance items. You know like she she gets into that so you know it works well for different people but you know if you have those different personalities, are there any tips for you know for making those work or are we supposed to find a common ground?

What do you think as the spender? I think I can speak to that a little bit more than the other side. But um you know, for me, there came a point where it was like, okay, I need to, I need to realize that if we want to make any progress financially with what we want to do and, and you know, whether it's investments or you know, real estate and things like that, I can't continue to spend the way I'm spending to try to satisfy, you know, you talk from a therapy perspective, right? It's like to satisfy the boredom or to try to entertain myself through going out to eat or food or beer, right? That gets a little bit deeper. But I think, you know where I'm going, it's like to try to satisfy or scratch that itch of complacency or boredom rather than just being president, being in the moment, enjoying my family. So I had to wrestle with that. So as the spender, it was like, okay, I'm looking at the longer term of, okay, this 10 $15 that I'm not spending is going to mean that I can eventually leave work and start my own company, which I was able to do.

So those are, you know, sacrifices today for rewards tomorrow. I mean that's that delay gratification. I mean it's not something that is inherent when you're a little kid, right? It's like you want a cookie immediately. So it's, it's learned, it took maybe it took me a little bit longer to learn than most. But um, and then, so for my wife, you know, her being the saver, I think the obstacle that we would face is that it was kind of directional or condescension or kind of that motherly tone, right? It's like, well, you know, we wouldn't be in this mess if you were weren't quite as irresponsible, you know? And so balancing that with kind of being on the same page, you know what I mean? And working together and finding that common ground. So it was kind of that, you know, not her saying, okay, we're not spending any money in these categories any longer. We're not, we're just not going out to eat, we're not doing this, we're not instead it was like, okay, let's reduce this by half or 3/4 so that there's some freedom, you know, and I joke with her, I was like, you would have no life if it weren't for me because I'm where all the fun happens, you know, So you gotta keep me around.

Uh you guys have separate bank accounts, I'm kind of curious about. We don't, we don't, so I am um if you ask, if you ask the Dave Ramsey, you know, people, they'd say they'd say the same thing uh in one of my podcasts and in my course, actually I talk about that, I think your main account, you know, we're direct deposits hit. You should have the same account. It should be all money coming in, right? Treat your household is like, you know, your business right for me to be Bradley LLC. Right? So All revenue flows into one spot and then all the main joint expenses flow out from that spot. And then if you've got $50 a week, 100 bucks, whatever you know, every every month that could be sliced off into your own spending with your own debit card attached to it. And I'm even kind of, I'm kind of open on that. I mean it's easier for us just to have it all through one. It forces transparency so that keeps it honest for both of us so that I don't have to bother with explanations.

Are wondering what she's doing. Not that I do. But the only the only advantage I could really see is if you are if you're buying a gift for somebody, if you're buying a gift for your spouse, you don't want to know about it. That's really I mean, I don't see a huge reason now if you have a previous marriage and a former spouse and kids with that former now X wife or husband, uh and there were some financial issues or some financial distrust there. That's that that there's more layers to that. And I can understand maybe justifying separate accounts, right. If you were burned heavily, I could see that. But for the most part I said just keep it all keep it all together. Right? Yeah. So, so you've learned a lot a lot along the way. Uh Are you able to bring that experience to your customers? It was certainly, I mean, you're able to kind of share. Like are they curious about what you've done in the past? And are you able to kind of lead them in a better path than maybe you weren't yourself?

Yeah, certainly. I mean, the the conversations I've had, whether it was in my former career at the bank or now in this coaching capacity, um it's just as much telling people what not to do based on my own experience as it is what to do right? Based on, you know, maybe sound personal finance principles. Um Like I mentioned before, we got on before we got on the air, taking alone against your 41K. It sounded like a brilliant idea to me at the time. Right? So it's a favorable interest rate, but I'm taking money away from myself. So not only am I paying 4% interest, I'm now losing the eight or 10 or 12% return. So it's a it's a potential 14, You know, at least at least 12 To maybe higher percentage swing, right? So it's the 8% I'm losing or higher in the 4% interest. So it's a 12% swing of lost, you know, just basic expense that I'm paying to the house. Uh So that's one example. Um I don't have much of a inclination for the details or like the nitty gritty down to the penny in terms of budgeting.

So we found a system that worked where I still follow a system, you know, I follow a software but my wife is still more so the detailed person and has her own breakdown of the spreadsheet and all of that. And so we we follow each each follow the budget in our own way because budgeting is a tough, it's a tough thing for people and and my advice to anybody is to the best budget is the one you're gonna follow. And so you don't need the spreadsheet with, you know, 65 columns and rows filled out and it's, you know, Electricly costume that you've spent 75 hours on. And if it's just tracking your savings rate, meaning, you know, that five grand hits your accounts Every single month and you're able to save 1000 of that. And that's all, you know, And you know, you've got a 20% savings rate, You're doing all right. So that's like the that would be to me like bare bones, right? No, your savings, right? At the very least Because that's by far the # one indicator of success financially.

So I don't know if I really answered your question, but yes, that's fair with with software. I'm curious which one you're using? I use wine ab You need a budget. Okay. I also use personal capital. So I like, I like both of them and I tried them out just just kind of almost as a um as like as like a trial just for my, my client's behalf to say, hey, I've tried both of these and I like them for these reasons. So I don't use wine ab for like the day to day um like actual budgeting flow right of the casual, but I like it for setting up the categories, you know, like I mentioned, I have three or four categories that I follow very closely and it's, it tends to be the, you know, the entertainment area. Right? So eating out renting movies on, you know, the fire fire tv for the kids, going to the movies, stuff for my daughter, for crafts, from Michael, stuff that basically kids stuff entertainment and going out to eat. So I look back over the last six months or so 12 months and it allows me to say, okay, well we're spending, You know, we spent $300 more months than we did in than we did last month eating out.

So it's like, okay, let's tighten the belt for the month coming up. So it just, I again tend to be more of a broader, longer picture type person instead of getting into the weeds. So it keeps me dialed in while my wife focuses more so on the, you know, maybe the more day to day almost bookkeeping side of the household if you will, I'm a little familiar with wine ab and if you correct me if I'm wrong, but it's it's kind of like envelopes. The idea is there, if you overspend in one category it has to come out of another one, correct? Yeah. Yeah. It works that way if Yeah. And it's in a sense, I mean it's it's a it's a zero based system so that every dollar comes in gets a job and it goes somewhere, you know, and every dollar that comes in for income, it's literally titled to be budgeted, meaning you've got to do something with it. It can't just sit. So. Yeah. Yeah. And it's good because it it forces you to account, you know, it forces you to account for everything when I was using it more actively.

Um I was certainly dialed in and it just lends to I mean altogether it's the same principle of you know, watching you're watching your what you eat, right? I mean if your if your child then if you know what the information is just is going to enhance and improve your your experience overall without a doubt. Right. And of course I love your point about you know, putting aside the savings first. You know, I'm a big fan of profit first in my business, you know, so I like the idea that you take your profit out first take your owners compound, second business eat last. Right? So it's kind of applying that to your personal budget. Um Do you have maybe a prescription or maybe even your method that you use? Um you know for for how that money gets allocated. Obviously starting with savings and kind of what that prioritization looks like. Yeah. So in the initial like when we first started out it was it was really trying to stick to that that basically that snowball right where the first debt and then that monthly payment is rolled into the next one and we took that principle and then just applied it to you know, once the debt was once the bad debt was cleaned up, it was then just shifting that over to fill the emergency fund and now it's going to other other investments, brokerage account and things like that.

And so what I tell what I tell clients and you know have told coaching clients and people at the bank for years is once you've let's say you've paid off your car loan or you paid off a credit card, That payment never goes away because you've gotten so used to it. It's part of your lifestyle that that $248 car alone now just begins a new payment to instead of paying Toyota Financial, you're now paying your own bank if you will for your emergency funding for your long term savings. So the automation for me just so I can keep my hands off of it Is key. And so you know I would while I was while I was a W2 employee I would set it up direct deposit so it didn't even hit my account and so it was just out of my hands. And so I you know, I was adjusting that stuff constantly because every time I would you know remove a subscription or reduce some sort of fixed expense that I could live without. I was then going to my direct deposit and increasing it by however many dollars I just, you know, I just had saved.

Right and so it snowballed and then once I left the corporate world we're still doing that twice a month but then just doing an auto pay to my savings, you know again paying myself first. So in that same vein of profit first. Yeah I mean again it forced my hand and it it automates it I mean there's a reason that the I. R. S. Takes your taxes off the top before letting you touch your paycheck right? Because they wouldn't get paid otherwise they're not they're not stupid, you know so the same same principle right? You pay yourself first and you just learn to live off off the rest. So yeah and you know it's self control comes into it and you know it was kind of funny, I was thinking about your story at the beginning, you know about how you had large amounts of debt paid it almost all the way down, bought the house and then ratchet back up again and how common this comes up. You know, I I related to people who are, you know, maybe having conditions with overeating, let's say, you know, they have that, they have the thing where they go into a bakery and they walk down the road as they're going to get to the counter and they look at all the pastries and go, you know, I'm not going to get that, no, I'm not going to get that.

No, I'm not going to get that. By the time they get to the end, their willpower is almost shot and they go, I've been a good boy because I didn't say I wanted any of those other things, so now I'm gonna take the muffin right, you know, or whatever it is, and the same thing that we do it with that all the time. I mean, I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself going, well, you know what, I've been good about spending this month, so I'm going to go treat myself to this thing, you know, and I'm totally unraveling, you know, whatever, whatever good habit I did have going the moral licensing, right, familiar with that. So that's that's basically I was good here so that I can I deserve or I've earned the right to be whatever in this other category. Um, and I think to the management of the emotion attached to it, you know, for when we first moved to the city I'm in now I moved to a new branch and my wife started her business. And so it was a pretty good shift in income for us. And we were trying to maintain the lifestyle that we had, you know, In the previous house. So we had we had we had brought down our debt and we're and we're comfortable at that you know 10-12,000 mark at the end of what would be round one for us.

And then it was like we forgot everything we had learned and moved out to this new house and like I said had to fill it with junk and it was that stress management because income was lower. But it was like you know what, we gotta we gotta treat ourselves a little bit because we worked so hard. We did this week, we paid off almost all this debt, right? So like we've earned it. Um And it's just such a dangerous mentality, you know and I think we're at least speaking for myself as americans, I think we're conditioned that way, you know, and it's counter to popular belief to not think that way, you know, um which is unfortunate. So part of my part of my mission here, right? Yeah, people get through that. So, so let's let's get into a little bit about your business and what you do and um, you know, how you're helping people. Yeah. So, so I started um I started this about a year and a half ago, and like I mentioned, it was really, it was really born from why don't you be able to sit down with somebody purely from my, from almost a consultant standpoint to be able to say you can go to a vanguard or to a fidelity or to wherever for your investing.

I don't particularly care, you know, and I can have kind of that open, open latitude to tell people what I think they should do now. I'm not advising them to buy fund, X, y, and Z, but I am still directing them in a way that I would advise them as if I was in their shoes, right? And so it could be somebody, you know, clients that I've talked to might be younger individuals who just got married and have a second job, who are trying to scrape together some extra cash, pay off student loans and maybe buy a house two, somebody who's approaching retirement and still trying to kind of fit all of those pieces together and make sure they have enough money to live on. And so the demographic for that kind of thing kind of lends to the younger crowd. But given the experience, it's, I'm kind of open to whatever, you know, whatever people really, really need traditionally, in a sense that there's, you know, several different calls that we have.

You know, it might be just kind of that first almost discovery call of, okay, let's kind of get your balance sheet going, let's get your income statement but filled out so that I get an understanding of where you stand, you know, and then we talk about kind of some of those thoughts and some of those preconceptions of money and where they are and where they're at with just some of the beliefs long term of what they have. And then it's really kind of dialing into, okay, where do we want to go with this? What's what's that goal in six months? What's that, 12 month, three year, five year, 10 year goal? And then we back into that as to what are we changing? Right. What we're fed up. We're to the point where we want to make a change. But obviously that's got to follow suit with with behavior, right? Well, first really even before that with with thinking, all right, because if it's If it's paying off 80,000 and just white knuckling it, but you're not really changing your thinking. Just forcing the behavior like I did, then those thoughts are going to eventually manifest again In the form of my second round of 80,000 that we accumulated because we weren't really changing the thoughts of overspending, you know, and the managing of that frustration or that stress.

So yeah, that's kind of it's hard to it's hard to say because everybody's everybody's going to be different. Right? I could talk to both of you in your own personal situations and it's going to be completely unique. Right? So it's hard to, you know, they're like get like Dave Ramsey for an example. He's got that blueprint if you will of the seven steps and I like that from a kind of a basic standpoint. But it's hard to just paint with such a broad brush for everybody. Whereas my, you know, my recommendations aren't ever going to be the same For the same for two people. Right? Sure. So you've created I think the money style quiz, Is that right? I did. Yeah. So I've I've got um this is 11 of one of the download PDFs that I have on my site and what what I did for this was was I wanted to try to come up with a way so that a couple could kind of do some homework in this case, take this quiz and kind of come to the table if you will with some information about themselves in a way that they can do some reflecting and then understand where their better half is also coming from so that they can say okay, I'm, I'm more of a saver and you can probably guess really where you're at right prior to the quiz.

But it's also important to just go through the exercise to kind of play along and to, and to be engaged with the relationship and to know that, okay, hey, we're serious about this. Like let's make sure we're continuing to move forward. So you do the quiz. It's not anything complicated, but it gets you an idea of where you stand, right? And there's a scale that, you know, for example, the first one, just, I'll just, I'll touch on the first question. Um, you circle for words that you associate with the most and you know, a lot of this is built on, I think where, where people come from with money, so for example security or prestige, right? Are you preoccupied with hoarding and saving your money or driving an extra car, leasing a car? Because you can afford to cover the monthly payment as opposed to buying a used car, right, consistency versus spontaneity, right? And of course everything along the second column that I'm reading off is like me to a T, you know, but uh, consistency of spontaneity, right?

Like I, I would come home and I'd be like, hey, let's go grab some dinner and do this and do that. And it's like that that that excitement, that um, spontaneity, right? And it's like trying to fill that void of that excitement, of that kind of mundane, otherwise mundane. Just regular day safety versus variety, predictability versus excitement, self control versus impulsive purchases. So you go through the quiz, you get an idea of where you stand and I kind of mentioned it already, but you take that, You know, you print off two of these, each spouse is going to fill this out and then you bring that to the table and so that you are understanding where the other ones coming from right? And you're you're kind of revealing or showing your results and then from there it's taking those results and having your first, you know, your first money meeting, so to speak. And that just simply consists of where the two of you stand, what what struggles or what hurdles you might see, right? So for me being the, being the spender, it's okay, we're gonna we're gonna go into this budget system, we're gonna try and get all these financial goals, you know, going and then it's gonna be like prison because we're not be able to spend any money or do anything right?

Whereas my wife might say, well I'm excited for us to move forward with this, but I also don't want you to be dragging your feet and resentful every step of the way because we need to be on the same page. And so it's so key to have that open communication. And we have those, like I said, we have those meetings every month for years and every, you know, every month, it was a little bit more, a little bit more as we kind of peeled open that onion to kind of understand where, where we were. Um, so yeah, so that's, that's the quiz there and then it goes right into the, the money meeting. And, and eventually those, those initial money meetings are, are focused on the quiz and on the results. And then they kind of morphed into reviewing the budget. As I mentioned, looking back and seeing some of those troubling areas of where you overspend of some of those kind of hot button items and then forecasting forward, you know, hey, we've got a wedding coming up this month, so we know we're going to have an extra $200 for the wedding gift or it's summer vacation time, we're going out of town, whatever we got extra money coming up for vacation, you know, stuff like that, so that at least you're on the same page, so you're providing a template more or less for how they should conduct these first meetings so they can build that muscle and really form that habit of sitting down weekly monthly and I guess discussing finance.

Yeah, exactly. I mean for us it was, it wouldn't have worked any other way if we weren't on the same page if we weren't communicating to that extent. Um I think probably because we were just at such extremes in our, in our style and our approach that like, it was like our own, our own therapy sessions, you know, it was like our own way of, of coming together and and having to talk things out. Yeah, it was really, really beneficial for us and that's why that's why I created this. So I can imagine it probably will help other people in other parts of the relationships as well. I mean, you know, money tends to be the root of a lot of issues in uh marriage is so you know, you start making, you know, improvements in this area, you might find that your romance life picks up as well. Yeah, Yeah, and it's certainly, it's certainly carried over to um, you know, to our business is absolutely, you know, we're certainly more responsible and, and more ah fiscally responsible, you know, you mentioned profit first and we follow that on our business side as well.

And so it definitely, it definitely overflows. Yeah, well clark yeah, if somebody wants to take your quiz, where do they find it? They should head to igniting financial freedom dot com slash money and then they go there and sign up for the quiz and they'll get their results once they set it up. So it's actually, they sign up and the quiz results are, they're kind of baked into the, the actual document to pdf itself is a, an eight page document that I created. So they download that and ideally, like I said, they have to do that, they print out one for each and it's good to, even if it's an individual person to kind of know where they stand, know their strengths and ideally they're finding somebody that's whether it's through different facebook groups, whether it's through some sort of accountability, somebody that's that's able to keep them, keep them homed in on what they're trying to accomplish. So if it's somebody who's single, you know, there's still some value there. Yeah. And you also run a podcast igniting financial freedom.

Give us a quick summary of what that's about and how that helps others. Yeah, certainly. So the first, I'm up to my 29th episode so far, and, and really the focus is each episode II basically address an individual question related to personal finance. And so the one I did the other day was should I sell my investments to pay off debt or should I buy a car new? Should I lease a car? Or should I buy a used car or um, you know, different strategies to pay off debt or, you know, what kind of, what kind of mutual funds or investments should I buy, you know, and I mentioned one that we worked on with that I worked on with alternative investments, you know, in particular. Um once once you've kind of hit that my my recommendation would be just once you've hit that, once you've hit that match, at the very least you hit that match through your employer. Alright, because that's free money left on the table.

Otherwise, where else are you pursuing alternative forms of of of wealth creation? You know, like we talked about before before getting on the air, the days of just Putting money into a 41K. or relying on a pension are long gone. And so the more the more streams of income and the more lines of business if you will that you can have in your name, the better right, whether it is real estate or it's you know, even if it is dividend paying stocks or some speculative stuff, some alternative stuff like a gold or even like a Cryptocurrency, certainly not a huge, huge weight on your overall portfolio, but enough to diversify just to have, you know, a variety. So yeah, so that's the podcast and um yeah, I spent a lot of fun so far. I enjoy it right on, appreciate you Sharon. Um I know that you know, tonight's a date night for my wife and I and we like to do crazy stuff like this. So we're going to sit down and take your test.

I'm already gonna go sign up for it after we get them recording. How long should we set aside for that? The quiz is pretty fast, I would say maybe 10 minutes for the quiz itself and then it's kind of up to you how long you want to have the meeting? Um We tended to bring a bottle of wine and a couple glasses that kind of helped too grease the wheels a little bit uh but yeah, it's it's I think it's the, like I said, it's particularly that first question helps with just you know what what what money lessons did you take with you growing up? Alright, go to bed, right? If you say you know, money is the root of all evil, what kind of emotions that spark some, some people, it sparks all kind of stuff and it depends on the direction and the emotion that you can associate with it and ideally you're hopefully on the same page, but if not, you know, maybe that's what the glass of wine will help with but to kind of open up a little bit right?

I mean my wife tends to open up more than I do. So it was, it was easier for her to communicate. Uh huh So understood. Well clark we appreciate you sharing today. And of course, you know, the information for finding the quiz and link to your podcast will be in the show notes for anybody who's driving right now. Um, before we sign off for the day. Um, let's head on over to the wealth watchers. Brain pick Justin you want to take that away. All right, Clark we we got five questions for you. For the wealth watchers. Brain pick first question and what is your superpower or unique natural ability? I would say communication and then equally to counter that would say the listening that goes with it. So sitting down with somebody and pretty quickly being able to understand their financial situation and understand their desires financially and, and to give them a roadmap within a matter of, you know, Maybe 5, 10 minutes, depending on how long they have really. So after doing it long enough, it's it's kind of like a diagnosis if you will. You know, it's like, okay, all right doc, here's what I got here is what I got.

And it's like, okay, you know, kind of give them understand the symptoms and and provide the solution. Excellent. If you were to go back 3-5 years, what might you have done differently if you could have Uh not borrow against my 41K. I think I mentioned that off air. Yeah. Like I said, it sounded great at the time. Um Probably left work earlier. I was hanging on for a little bit and not being the best employee when I was there because I was, you know, starting my, my coaching business, you know incognito while I was still employed at the bank. Um Yeah you know I guess every last, you know you learn something from that and it was it still it brought us a little bit more stability during uh because right now like I said we're leaning on my wife's business while I start this good And then and so where you headed in the next 3-5 years building this coaching company. And uh and also I mentioned we we start our starting a coworking business in our town here, so we just signed at least a couple weeks ago and like a shared office space.

So we've got some office um on the second floor building About 2500 sq ft. That would be building out for some private offices and just open desks and you know, similar to like a like a, we work great, yeah, and then eventually into real estate, what we have an option to buy the building as well that we're leasing, which is great, so probably buying into that within the year or so and then and then move it unlikely to, to multi family from there, Very cool, and do you have a favorite book on business or money? Um I mean, I'm sure Richard Porter is probably the token answer that you guys get, you know, it seems like I listen to bigger pockets too and they're like every answer is rich dad, poor dad and I'm like, you know, I like the Alchemist, I don't know if either of you have read that, it's more, you know, it's definitely more of a story format but but it's you know, if you haven't read it or for those of you listening that haven't read it, it's basically a young man's journey on overcoming obstacles and and pursuing his his dream or his personal legend and you know, there's definitely some some money lessons in there, some lessons on pursuing and pushing past failure and yeah, I really like that awesome.

Uh and last one, what has been your biggest ah ha moment? I think it was a point where, like I mentioned, I was at work and I realized I'm like, you know, I'm advising advising people on how to manage their money and I'm just, you know, I'm just so hypocritical. I mean, it'd be like me being a weight loss coach, like you can't be an overweight weight loss coach, like it just doesn't work. So for me being like an irresponsible financial advisor, it just didn't, you know, it just didn't judge. So that's that was a while ago when we when we first um really started to clean up our act and yeah, awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Okay, Clark. Well, thank you for coming on today. I'm grateful for your sharing. And obviously again, um linked to the quiz is going to be in the show notes and of course you can look up Clark's podcast, igniting financial freedom. So Clark, thank you for coming on today. Yeah, thank you. Gentlemen appreciate the time. This has been another episode of the wealth watchers podcast. I'm your host, Adam lundy from my co host, Justin Hog and I have a wonderful day. All right guys, Thanks for listening. Until next time.

This has been the wealth watchers podcast. If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe and leave a review on ITunes Spotify or wherever you get your podcast. To learn more about wealth watchers in our parent company. Happy camper capital, please visit Happy camper capital dot com. Yeah.

39. How to determine your money style w/ Clark Bradley
39. How to determine your money style w/ Clark Bradley
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