15: Money Part 2 – Narthex Con 2024

“We were doing Dave Ramsey before Dave Ramsey was doing Dave Ramsey.”

Welcome to We’re Both Right, where James and Jen share their experiences and insights on life, marriage, and money. In this episode, they discuss their different views on money and how they learned to manage it as a couple.

Learning to Manage Money Together

James and Jen share their experiences of learning to manage money as a couple. They talk about their different backgrounds and how they had to combine their views on money to create a solid financial foundation for their future.

Different Perspectives on Money

James talks about his upbringing, where spending money was the norm and saving was not a priority. Jen, on the other hand, grew up in a household where saving money and being financially responsible were the main focus.

  • James: Spent money as soon as he had it, without much thought for the future
  • Jen: Saved money and prioritized financial stability

Combining Financial Views

As they started planning for their future together, James and Jen had to find a way to combine their different perspectives on money. They had to come to terms with their individual approaches and find a middle ground that worked for both of them.

Setting Financial Goals

They talk about setting financial goals and creating a plan that allowed them to save, pay bills, and still have some spending money for fun activities.

  • James: Initially struggled with the idea of saving and budgeting
  • Jen: Prioritized saving and creating an emergency fund

Financial Independence and Freedom from Debt

James and Jen discuss the importance of financial independence and the freedom that comes with being debt-free. They share their experiences of living with no debt and having an emergency fund in place.

Learning from Others

They also talk about how they were influenced by older married couples who were in debt despite having material possessions. This experience motivated them to prioritize financial stability and avoid falling into the same trap.

  • James: Realized the importance of financial freedom from observing others’ financial struggles
  • Jen: Prioritized financial stability and avoiding debt

Living Beneath Their Means

In this new chunk of the transcript, James and Jen share how they made a conscious decision to live beneath their means. They talk about their early struggles, starting with a small apartment and furnishing it with affordable items. They emphasize the importance of not overspending and avoiding debt.

  • Started with nothing and lived in an affordable apartment
  • Made a decision to always live beneath their means
  • Furnished their apartment with affordable items from garage sales and saved money
  • Bought a mattress and a box spring and saved up to buy a bedroom suite
  • Emphasize the importance of living beneath their means to avoid financial stress

Join James and Jen as they share more insights and experiences on life, marriage, and money in future episodes of We’re Both Right.

Stay tuned for more valuable insights and discussions on managing money as a couple. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast for more tips and advice on navigating life and finances together.

Email: wbrcast@gmail.com

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For everything else visit werebothright.com



Welcome to We’re Both Right. And I am James.

And I’m Jen.

And we are very glad to be here live in front of a studio audience at Narthex Con. Give it up, Narthex!

Whoo! Oh, gosh, there’s lights.

Suddenly we have lights and that is great. Because I was wondering, I thought it was just my bad eye. I had eye surgery for cataracts on my right eye.

Yep, I was there.

Yeah. And then, so sometimes I don’t know if I’m seeing correctly or not. It was dark and I’m like, well, maybe the warranty ran out on my lens.

It was weird when they gave me the paperwork when you were done. They’re like, here’s the type of lens that he got in case there’s

a little warranty card.

Yeah. It’s like, in case there’s a recall,

there’s a recall on my eye. Yeah. Like what do I do? Go to Toyota and stand in line.

I think they’ll replace it for free maybe.

Yeah, maybe for free. Yeah. Change the oil and improve some things. So let me, we always like to start off with something humorous. And everybody that listens to this show and any of my shows assumes that I am bad and Jen is good.

Correctly so.

Okay. But what you don’t know is Jen is bad too. And so here are some examples. What? Yeah. We went out to eat the other night. We go on 2 dates a week. We’re making up for lost time because of all the dates we missed when we

were little kids. Yes.

And then also we go out so that we have a relationship after the kids are gone.

Yes, which they’re, they’re heading out very quickly. Yeah.

I don’t want her to leave me. I would never leave her, but Lord knows the second there’s something better comes along, I am in trouble. So anyway, we’re sitting here eating and I’ve had bariatric surgery. So my stomach holds 3 ounces of food. And so everything I eat, like I order a plate full of food. I cut off a certain amount of chicken. I eat a few pieces of fruit and I am full and I am done. Meanwhile, my wife eats like a normal appetite compared to me.

I have a normal appetite. Normal. Right. And anybody… You have a baby appetite.

She eats so much food, y’all. So much more than me. You never

thought that until your dumb surgery.

No, no, no. I ate when before the surgery, I out ate her probably

2 to 1.

Yeah. Easily.

I just eat a meal. A normal meal.

Even the bad part. The bad part is that I leave, you know, food on the table and I asked for, I asked for a box.

So dramatic. I know where you’re going. This is so silly.

Do you think it’s silly? Cause you know, I got you debt to rights. No,

No. All right, go ahead. I think everybody’s gonna agree that you’re just being ridiculous.

I don’t care. This is freeing for me. Freeing. There’s just badness that I have to deal with as well as you. And the badness is I had left my fruit and the fruit is good. It’s good fruit at this restaurant. Cause you know, at most restaurants, it’s the crap fruit. It’s it’s it’s it’s what’s the honeydew

and cantaloupe,

you know, and maybe a cucumber. I don’t know why. No, they’re not cucumber, but they would do it if they could. But this has pineapple, it has grapes, It has it’s good. It’s a good mix and I had a couple pieces of pineapple. I had some honeydew I like honeydew. It’s alright as long as it’s not too close to the rind You know what I’m saying and we’re talking and chatting and I’m done eating and and Jen’s wolfing down her food, man She just shoveling.

Oh my gosh. It was like a chicken

salad. Yeah, she’s working that salad.

I ate the chicken.

She is so great at eating salads. I don’t know how she does it so fast, because she hoovers off the toppings and leaves all the lettuce. I don’t know how that is even possible.

But anyway.

But there’s not a bit of feta cheese in that whole thing Just anyway, so we’re casually talking and I just see her viper Wow, what power that fort goes out and snags 2 pieces of premier pineapple

I did I did it gone. I didn’t eat it back. I didn’t

have an opportunity to react. It was too different. You’re just ate the best. And the reason why it’s a big deal is because I eat leftovers now. That’s how I can buy a full meal and think, okay, I’m going to get my money’s worth out of this because I will eat it for lunch tomorrow. So now I’m stuck with cantaloupe and freaking honeydew.

And grapes.

And a couple of grapes, because my wife doesn’t like grapes.

I do like grapes.

But she can’t pierce them quickly because they’ll fall off the bowl.

You got so mad about the pineapple, I didn’t eat any of the grapes.

But you felt guilty and you apologized.

So that means you were wrong. Because you lost your mind over the pineapple.

OK, there’s 1 more bad thing.

OK. You know we have another update that we have

to share.

Oh, I know.

We’ll get there. Okay. We just have to

establish the

ground rules. Okay. That Jen is not the only 1. Or James. And you’re drinking a carbonated beverage in front of me? You know I’m not allowed to have carbonation anymore? They didn’t tell me that before. I would have stayed fat. I would have happily stayed fat. Man, now you have stinking diet coke.

You’ll be okay.

It’s terrible. I just want you to know what I deal with here. Okay. I know she’s beautiful. I know she seems like she’s got it all together, but This other thing happened where we were walking out to the car and it was raining and she’s like, oh I need an umbrella and she Finds 1 because you know, and that was a miracle.

I was dressed for work My hair had been fixed.

Okay, you already know the end of the story the end of the story is she opened that umbrella and started walking toward the garage and left me in the rain.

You weren’t your hair was fine. You weren’t going anywhere. You were just driving

anymore than anybody else.

I was

driving you to work.

You didn’t ask to go under the umbrella.

And I just immediately told her you failed. She’s like, what? You failed the umbrella test. I was waiting to see.

No, you should have grabbed the umbrella, found me an umbrella, opened it, and stood outside waiting for me to walk me to the car, if you had been correct. I’m not responsible for whether or not you get what you’re responsible for me.

I have a hard time arguing with that actually.

Yeah, you kind of failed.

I don’t like you anymore. All right, guys, it’s break time. We’re gonna take another break and then we’re gonna record the next show. This is the

end of we’re both right forever. Okay.

No. Okay, so last episode we talked about money, but all the emails I got on the episode were about.

Oh, I thought you were skipping it again.

No, I wasn’t. Okay. We did not follow up on our my deal that I made with you because we did a show about buckets, bucket lists. Yep. And 1 of those bucket lists. Well, it turned out a lot of your bucket list involved me doing things outdoors.

A lot of my bucket list is like enjoying nature. Yeah. Just because you hate nature is not my problem.

I don’t hate nature. Nature provides oxygen for me to breathe while I’m inside. Oh, so I love nature as long as it stays outdoors, which is where it’s at. It’s outdoors.

Yeah, it is. It is.

And so anyway, somehow or another, I made a promise to go on a hike with this woman, this this love of my life. And we did, in fact, go on a hike. It was wonderful. It was marvelous. It was everything she hoped it would be. And that’s really all there is. Let’s move right along.

No. So let’s let’s just break it down a little bit. Like my My idea of a hike and your idea of a hike is very different.

Yeah, it did turn out to be very different.

So like when I’m thinking a hike, usually you’re like in nature and you just kind of walk. You don’t have to walk at a quick pace. You just walk and you enjoy your surroundings. It’s good exercise. It’s good fresh air. Okay, you Started out the hike.

Okay, let’s talk about starting out the hike the hike. I was promised that it was a nice easy hike It was easy and there were stairs. I have it recorded on this machine.

Well, yeah, it

was. Where you said those very

things. It’s like a 2

mile hike.

It started with

a sheer cliff.

It was not a sheer.

At a 45 degree angle.

It was a rolling

hill. It was a rolling, something was rolling downhill. That’s right, the shift show was rolling downhill. So, yeah.

So you start going and like the last time, like every other time.

I attacked that hill like it was the South.

And every other time we’ve hiked, you’ve walked very slow.

I had a hard time choosing sides just now

on my Civil War reference. I was like, I’m a Southerner. You know the North 1.

I can’t vote for the South because they were bad. So I attacked them like they were the south. Anyway, I attacked that hill like it was a monster.

You were going like 10 miles an hour.

I was speed walking.

And you have way longer legs than I

do. I do. And I walked that speed the entire hike. I was running to keep. I outpaced this fit woman the

entire time. Because your legs are longer. Plus we were supposed to be looking I’m looking at this scenery

I walked 30 minutes 6 days a week I am in shape

but I was looking at the scenery and I kept trying to look and get you to look and you’re just like, right.

I looked at it. There was a river.

You did not care. It was

a boardwalk. You could go out on.

Yeah. You did not care. I’m trying to go and look around and you’re just like running. And I had to keep jogging.

She kept mentioning trees and stuff, interesting things. And I’m like, yeah, whatever.

So you literally took like, it’s probably an hour to 2 hour hike. And I think we did it in 30 minutes.

It was 43. 43. 43 minutes.

There was no enjoyment of the hike It was just a running

we set a new record is what you

said a new right

there were people That were that would tape and I power walk through it.


but this is what you get This is what bariatric surgery provides.

Well, it’s going

to be James,

a brand new James who’s terrible to hike with. No, it was not. There was nothing you didn’t even talk to. I couldn’t even talk to you because you were running away from me.

My wife is so far back. We were passing people on bikes. Y’all. I’m telling you, He

was terrible. It was terrible.

I’m like, on your

left. Anyway, I don’t know if you will like this or not, but I might never go on a hike with you again.

Praise the Lord. Yes, yes. Depression makes you not believe in God. Not having to go on hikes makes you believe in Him all again. It’s great.

You’re a

bad person. So yeah, I went on a hike with my wife, but it just wasn’t what she thought. It’s like the guy that does dishes but breaks 1 every now and then, so he doesn’t have to do it as often because he’s a klutz, quote unquote.

Or maybe you just need more practice.

Maybe I do, and I can get faster.

Maybe you can hike alone and I’ll wander.

I walked like I had fast passes at Disney World that I needed to

get to. You did. You know what

I’m talking about? Like when you’re just outpacing every other person.

You don’t want to miss your time slot.

Yeah. Yeah. You don’t want to miss that time slot. So anyway, we did go on a hike and it was it was it was better than I thought it

was exercise.

It was hot. There were no bugs because there’s no bugs around here. So that was good. Jen said a couple of cicadas landed on her.

I yeah, I saw

they tried but they just like wind tunnel right past my head. It was great. So we’re going to do a quick review real quick before we jump into our main topic, because last time we talked about money, we talked about how we were raised and the effect that how our parents handled money, what it had on us. And we kind of stopped short in our adulthood, in our young adulthood, and we started talking about getting me out of debt. Because when we came together as a couple and things started getting serious, we started talking about what

we called hope for the future. Is there hope for the future? Are we thinking about this ending in marriage or not? Because you just get to that age where you’re like, dating is, you know, I don’t wanna waste time if there’s not hope for the future. And we decided that there was. And so we started looking at our things like our finances. And I had debt, I had debt. I did not wanna bring into the marriage. And I got, with the help of my wife, we mentioned last time how I got out of that debt. And

the key thing that I wanted to bring into this episode was the freedom and the joy that I felt because I had people calling my me at work. Really? Yeah. Bugging me and threatening me garnish wanting to garnish wages.

Your medical you had medical bills.

Yeah, I had medical bills that I had not paid because I got an accident, I got that money. And the way I handled money is when I had money, I had fun. And I did not want to pay the medical bills. That’s not fun.

No, not fun.

I didn’t ask to go to the hospital in an ambulance. That wasn’t necessary. You know, 1 of the guys could have just given me a ride for free, you know? So I spent it all. And then they wanted me to pay them and I’m like I ain’t got no money I just was having fun just taking genuine dates and stuff And you admitted to something that you enjoyed me spending all that money on you.

I did I was 16 You bought me like 2 new outfits and we we went play. We I don’t know what we did I mean, I wasn’t the most was it well, it wasn’t my money. So I wasn’t too worried.

Yeah, she was young. I was dumb. So it was not a good combination. But anyway, freedom from debt became just a, It’s a thing that changed me right at the beginning. And a thing you wanted to bring up was I never got into credit card debt. And that was a miracle because I screwed up with payments to the hospital. I also screwed up my checking account and got that closed, which meant nobody came after me for credit card offers. No, nobody wanted to. They didn’t want me, they wouldn’t touch me with a 10 foot pole, which

turned out to be an amazing thing because I would have had a blast.

Oh, you would have. Yeah.

I’d have been at Disney World every weekend.

You would not have cared.

I would have a car.

You would have spent so much money.

I would have had another girlfriend. I mean, She wouldn’t even know about you. It would be awesome. Her name would even be Jennifer. That way, if I got confused.

Cause you would get confused.

I can’t even remember the name of the show I was just on.

So yeah.

Yeah. So anyway, so, so, so I got lucky a little bit. You know, if you want to use the Christian word blessed, I got blessed because I didn’t get into credit card debt.

So now you were blessed with bad credit.

So, so yeah, we, We started thinking about the future and we had rules. 1 of them, it’s just interesting for you young people out there is we didn’t get engaged until we chose the date of our wedding and we backed up 6 months from that and decided to get engaged then. Now, it was still a surprise. She didn’t know exactly when I was going to ask. But we did go out and pick out rings together like you do. We went to Sam’s.

We did. We were

very poor. We spent a grand total of, I want

to say, $150, $200? We might have spent $250.


On wedding rings and engagement. Yeah, it was not very much money. But we didn’t have any money.

I still wear my ring. And I was 250 pounds when I got married. And now it’s about to fall off. So I’m like, I’ve reached my goal weight this morning at 215. 215. So yes, thank you. Thank you.

I cheated. So thank you so much

for clapping for a cheater. But I did cheat. So anyway, We decided to not get engaged until 6 months before our wedding because we were from Georgia and we had been seeing our friends getting married like crazy. And there’s people that get married at 14 and need their parents signatures. There’s people that just get engaged and stay engaged forever. And I don’t think that’s cool. I mean, whatever floats your boat, but I wanted it to be a certain way. And so it was, so it was just that way. And I asked her to marry me and

She said, she didn’t say anything. She just kind of started smiling.

Did I not say yes? I don’t think they

actually prompted you. What do you say, Jen? And she’s like, yes. And I’m like, oh, okay, fine.

Thanks. It was just,

I was the worst. I

was surprised.

This was before social media, before cell phones.

Before we knew there was supposed to be like a place and a thing. And it was the

we marched down the aisle to the wedding march like you do.

Because nobody did anything different.


because we’re old.

There was no dancing bridesgrooms and bridesmaids.

Which would have been way cooler.

We had a unity candle. I mean, we did everything. This was 1996.


Yeah. Smartphones weren’t coming for a long time. MySpace wasn’t even coming for a long time. So we were traditional. I mean, I wore white and Jen had nice tux on. I looked beautiful. I felt so pretty. You

weren’t pretty at all.

Yeah. But no, I wore a cummerbund. I think

like it was prom.

Yeah. The belt that you wear.

Did you really wear?

I don’t think so. I think I wore the best.

Did you wear tux?

I did wear a tux. Yeah. But not with tennis shoes. Not like they would now.

I bet you wish that you could have.

Gen X were like, we had the traditions, and then we slid right underneath there and got into the technology world too. It’s like we got the best of both worlds. Like I had an 8 track converter, you know, that converted it to a, in the car. There’s that slot thing that you could put in and put a regular tape, a cassette tape into the 8 track and play the cassette through the 8 track record. So I have that side of my life, But then also I’ve outlived CDs and DVDs and blu-rays, you know,

which is kind of nice that they’re not there anymore

I agree. I still have blu-rays though and I keep them, you know why cuz I own this movie dadgum it It’s not gonna switch to some streaming channel that I haven’t subscribed to. Alien 1 through 3 is mine forever.

If you had something to play on.

If I had a Blu-ray player, it would be great. But I don’t. But I have Blu-rays. I was going to sell them on YouTube. Or YouTube.

But it didn’t work for some reason.

I got lots of likes and subscribers. Cause they’re like, this guy’s

a moron. He’s trying to sell Alien 123

on YouTube. So, Jen X, we know what’s up. You’re way off topic.

The topic was money.

And I didn’t have much. But we, Jen went to school. And she went to college. And she pretty much, I mean, who paid for college for you? Did you depend on your parents? No,

my parents didn’t have any money I got scholarships and then I worked like I paid for my living expenses by working.

Who paid for your food?

I did.

And who paid for your gas and your insurance and car and all that stuff?

I did. My parents might’ve paid for my insurance, but I don’t remember.

Yeah. So We pretty much did it on our own. I let her go. I let her go to college. I could have been a bad boyfriend and said, I don’t want you to go to college because I don’t want to lose you. You know what I’m saying? I could have manipulated this situation, but I believed in her so much and I loved her so much. And she had become valedictorian so much that I let her go to college, knowing that she was going to meet some college boy, find a real man, fall in love, and dump

me. And leave

the area.

So a semester after I let her go, I moved to Macon, Georgia.

Where I was going to college.

To colleges. So I let her go. I did, I get credit for that, but I also stuck around.

You did.

So anyway, so we were up there by ourselves and we had planned on hope for the future, but we had not yet, you know Done things but but I had a full-time job working. I worked temp jobs at first But then I got a job at making teas as my first artwork job I did art for a t-shirt shop. And then I taught myself HTML coding at night, which means the language. When you, if you ever right click on your website and hit view code, I learned how to do that by viewing code and learning what

it did on the website. And I did that for about a year and I got a job creating websites. And so I had money and I had a job and income, not much back then. I don’t even know how much it was. It was like,

it was like $9.

Yeah. It was way under 12 bucks an hour.

I was under minimum wage, but it was, it went a little further than.

Yeah. So we, we decided to combine, but we still had 2 different ways of looking at money. And so describe a little bit about how your father’s twist, your family’s thing about money applied to you?

I mean, you know, we never had anything extra. So the necessities were always first. And I was always very much geared towards that.

She always paid bills.

Yeah. And then any extra money I ever had, I always put it aside. I was always scared to death that

something- She saved money. I’d never heard of that before.

That something would blow up.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a savings account. Really?

Yeah. Like no 1 ever saved money?

I didn’t even know that you had to change oil in the car until my car caught on fire. Nobody taught me anything.

No, they didn’t.

I was outside the car and stuff was dripping out of the engine and catching the grass on fire. And I was sweeping dirt under the car to try to put the fire out so the car wouldn’t blow up.

I mean, there was something more wrong than like, it’s not supposed to drop oil either.

Yeah. But it started making this really loud noise like a transformer having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning Like he just got stuck halfway Like there was a dude in him and he forgot and he killed it, you know, like transform.

No, no.

So yeah, it sounded like that. But anyway, I didn’t know anything about adulting as the kids are calling it these days. I knew nothing about that.

He were kind of Clueless.

So I didn’t know about savings accounts. She saved money. I was the opposite. When I got money, it was for fun. She taught me how to pay bills and be responsible and to save. And we had 3 things. We, we had spending money, which actually bill money, savings, and then spending. And that was completely the opposite of what I had been taught growing up.

Which was just spending money.

Spend money! When you have it, let’s, you know, we feel poor. So when we get money, we don’t have to feel poor. So let’s go do not poor stuff. Let’s go buy something. And so like I said, we had a $500 state of the art CD player in our living room with 1 CD. It was Carmen. Christian people know who Carmen was. Yeah, he’s an embarrassment now. God rest in peace and all that. But he

did you just become Catholic?

I did. I did an all father. I genuflexed there just accidentally, but I want him to rest in peace. I just said bad things about Carmen and he’s like a saint to non-Catholic people. He’s like up there. He did free concerts and that’s why I got to go to them.

I didn’t know they were free.

Oh yeah. My mom wouldn’t have bought tickets for me to go to a thing that was not free. Anyway, I didn’t even remember why I was talking about Carmen.

Because you were talking about the $500 CD player, but

then you didn’t have money for food. We could go to Carmen. We had 1 CD, and it was Carmen. And it was his first CD ever, and it was called Spirit-Filled Pizza. And it was about a song about a guy going out for pizza and coming back a Christian. And I could sing it for you.

I think you did on the last

show. Yeah. I claim your life in the name of Jesus.

No, no, no, no, please.

Carmen didn’t have 1 genre. Carmen sang a little bit of everything.

He did.

He did, he rapped. And he never should have rapped. That man was over 40 before he even turned 40. You know what I’m saying? And he looked under 40 before he died. So I don’t know what was going on there. Did you see the work at the end? His face was glowing. He was a beautiful man. Anyway, so different ways of looking at money. And we had to come to terms and I had a lot to learn. I did, cause I was right. About what? About money. No. But we had to combine our views because you,

if we’d done it completely your way, we would have no fun at all.

Yeah, that is true. Like I could not be comfortable spending money on anything.

You still to this day, No. Don’t like buying stuff we

need. No, I don’t.

It stresses me. So my son was driving my vehicle and somebody ran a red light or a stop sign and creamed him totaled my car. Okay. So now he’s out of a car. I’m out of a car. So we need to buy a car, even though we were already down 1 car, because we don’t want to buy another car because that would be too much.

Well, in all fairness, like our insurance is really high in the city.

Yeah, it is bad and driving in the city is hard. So anyway, so I went on Facebook marketplace and I found a Ford escape for under 5 grand and I bought it. It had 200, 000 miles on it. It’s a piece of junk. I gave it to my son. She stressed about this purchase for 3 days.

I did because it was like $5, 000.

It was a good purchase though, wasn’t it?

It was.

It turned out, But she had to sit with it.


she had to sit with it like a man does you know We men when we hear something and the wives are like, well, what are you thinking about that? And you’re like, I need to sit with it for a while. Just let me go to my cave Let me figure out what I think about let me mull it over but she she does that

Yeah, I have to think I have to get used to the idea.

So like when I had eye surgery, like I was going blind, like I’m legally blind at 1 eye still. And I shouldn’t have been driving. I’m seeing things in shades of gray, you know? 50 shades of gray, actually. No. I couldn’t look

at anything. Nothing was right.

No, stop. Nothing was pure and holy. No. You’re so terrible. I like being bad without sinning.

No, you’re just you’re sinning. No, no, you just are because you’re enjoying it. Okay, that

doesn’t count unless I’m Catholic. So anyway, so I bought it. Yeah, she stressed about the down payment on this eyeball. So it was, it was like $1, 100 after insurance, which, which is nothing compared to how much it costs per eye.

No, what I stressed about was you driving with your eyes not fixed. That is what stressed me. I could see silhouettes. You could not see and you insisted that you could drive.

I could see silhouettes.

Yeah, you just couldn’t see like stop signs.

I could by the time you needed to stop by. It was sudden. But anyway, so we we got married with no debt. We got married with an emergency fund in place. We started basically what? Who’s that guy? Who’s that money guy?

That’s real big. I don’t know if we had an emergency. Yeah, we had a little bit.

Yeah, but who’s the guy I’m talking

Dave Ramsey.

Okay, Dave Ramsey We were doing Dave Ramsey before Dave Ramsey was doing Dave Ramsey Well, he

he might have been doing it and we just didn’t

know we know about Dave Ramsey. Okay This is back when dr. Laura Schlesinger was on the radio.

Yeah Limbaugh

was still alive. He was doing his thing, you know, and all that. AM radio was just dominated by ultra right-wing

crazy people.

So, and I loved them back then. I was so, I was so, so Southern and so white. It was ridiculous. But, but we set aside an emergency fund. We had money set aside for no reason at all, just for things that would happen. And things did happen and they weren’t emergencies. And I asked, we were talking about this and we’re like, why did we do that? Why did we start living like no 1 else so that later we could live like no 1 else? Like, like dude says, why did we start that before it became trendy?

And it was because Jen and I were going to this church. It was a church we actually met David Godbout at before we got right before we got married. And there were a lot of older married couples there, older to us. So they were in their twenties and they had just started out. They were

a few years older than us.

Yeah, just a few years. They were married. They had cars. They had houses. They had jobs. They had no children, but they had houses full of furniture, fully decorated, and they were in debt up to their eyeballs. And there was just something about that, that freedom from debt that I talked about at the beginning of the show, stuck with me, and I didn’t want to get back there. Yeah. Even if it meant we had to go slow, and we made a decision together, and we were both right, to only pay for what we could afford. To

not, to use, we could use credit cards, but only to the extent that we would be able to pay them off at the end of the month and never pay interest. Yes. So credit cards are very easy to use, which is why some people get in trouble with them. But you know, it was getting to where they had pay at the pump, you know, McDonald’s started taking credit cards and I was still very fat. So I love that. I had to have my credit card. So, but we, so we started, we started with nothing and we

had an apartment that we can afford. We, we made a decision also, especially when she graduated from college and started working in the white collar world in her field, we made a decision to always live beneath our means. And so many Americans live beyond their means, okay? You see these guys with these giant trucks and you’re wondering how that’s $100, 000 truck. How do they afford that? They can’t. They made a sacrifice somewhere else. They’re somewhere else. You know, you see the guy with the big boat, you know, going down to the lake. How do they

afford that? They probably can’t. They’re making sense. How do James and Jen go out twice a week to dinner? They probably can’t. No, we actually can’t. So because we did good early on. But let’s get into that. I mean, let’s talk about our first apartment and how we furnished it because I don’t quite remember. I remember we got 50. We remember our table that we bought at Macy’s. Yeah, it was $100. It was a $100 wooden table with 2 chairs

and we got a gift card and

we got a gift card to Macy’s and that was the only thing we could afford at Macy’s and we bought a tiny little table that eventually we stuck with it till our kids were born and it became a breakfast table.

Yeah we stuck with it a long time. We furnished our apartment with stuff from a garage. From a church garage sale. We bought a water bed.

We bought a water bed, y’all. With tubes. They had tubes in it. And dude, you want to talk about trying to learn how to sleep in the same bed with somebody else. If you’ve married, you know what I’m talking about. When you’re single, you can sleep any way you want. You can just be laid out. The covers can be anywhere you want. You can prop 1 knee up if you want to while you’re sleeping. Man, she hates it when I do that. But when you get married, you got to learn how to sleep straight. First of

all, because you can’t afford a king size bed when you first get married. You’re lucky, maybe a queen, but you’re probably on a double and you got to learn how to sleep straight. You got to learn how to not pull covers, how to roll over without pulling covers. And you have to roll over quietly so you don’t wake the other person up. But when you’re on a wave, waves roll. That’s what they do. And you couldn’t even get in bed without everything. It was like…

It was not ideal.

A sea movie dick in the horizon, whatever. I don’t know how to talk like a pirate all of a sudden.

Yeah, you never could.

So we then we upgraded to a futon mattress.

No, we actually had the futon. We slept on the futon first. No, waterbed first. Then we moved. We left the waterbed in Florida. We moved to Kansas City and slept on the futon, which used to be our couch.

Yeah, it was, it was a couch that we had in college and we slept on a futon mattress which was a double bed.

Yes, it was very tiny.

We learned to sleep very straight and we didn’t have living room furniture. We had that dining room table that little it was $100 from Macy’s and we saved. We saved. And when we did buy, we bought a mattress and a box springs and we laid it on the floor and we slept on that.

No, we had a bed frame.

Can I just do the show or am

I wrong

about everything?

You’re going to like come up with concrete blocks next that we step on concrete blocks.

I remember us buying a mattress and sleeping on a mattress and then saving up and buying a bedroom suite.

No, I’m saying we had a bed frame like like it came with the bed.

Okay, see, I thought you’re ruining my story. Okay, so we did sleep on a mattress by itself with a bed frame, not blocks. She’s very Particular about that because I am from Georgia and I grew up in a bed on blocks

on concrete

She thinks it’s the most redneck thing she’s ever heard of and Several times in our marriage I may have mentioned that if the kids wanted more storage space under their beds that I could buy 4 concrete blocks and set them up vertically.

Which is the worst part. The vertical is what I couldn’t get my head around. But anyway,

you could fit a micro fridge under your bed with concrete blocks. But anyway, Anyway, so we saved up and we got a, a bear. I mean, for the time, a very expensive. Bedroom suite. We got a dresser. Yeah. The, the, your dresser with the mirror. We got the, the King sized headboard and the whole thing was all wood and we still have it. Don’t

we do it’s still in good shape.

It was mission style. Mission style was very popular back when we bought this. I don’t know if it’s popular anymore, but it is in my house.

It doesn’t matter. It’s in our bedroom.

It’s paid for too. And nobody can take it back.


And, and then we, we had a living room with no couches in it. So we sat at the dinner dining room table and played Monopoly in the in the afternoons.


And and when we were dirt poor, by the way, when we were really poor, when Jim was in college, we used to go on. What was it $2 dates? What? 3, 3 dollar dates. Yeah, We would go to a restaurant. What was it called?

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand restaurant.

It was

in Kansas City.

It was in Kansas City. It does not exist anymore.

No, it didn’t make it.

And they would give you trading cards of all these old rock and roll stars, except they were old in the pictures.

They weren’t trading cards, they were coasters.

They were little trading cards. They were trading card sized, They were baseball card sized trading cards.

I think they were coasters.

Okay, maybe they were coasters.

I’m just going

to mark that and re-edit that for later where I’m right. Anyway, we would order 1 milkshake and share it

for $3.

And we would play war with the coasters. We’ll call them coasters.

They were coasters.

And Dick Clark would beat everybody else. But if we didn’t know who the artist was, they were like a pawn. You know, they were a low card. And then if we knew who they were, they could beat the other person. And so that we did that for months.

Yeah, we did.

And we just, we always lived beneath our means, living beneath your means just means not spending less money than you have to spend. And that way you have money to save for the emergency fund and to save for your kids’ college and to save up when it turns out you’re gonna live in the city and you wanna send your kids to private school instead of leaving them to the, to the God bless their hearts. And there’s people that have to do it, but we didn’t want to have to send our kids to city schools. So anyway,

yeah, we paid cash for stuff. We live beneath our means. We did go into debt for cars, obviously, but not, but, but we would pay them off early. We made sure we had no penalties when it came time to pay them off, because sometimes they’ll get you that way, they’ll be like, yeah, you can pay it off early. We’re still going to get our interest though. And obviously, when it came time to buy a house, we went into debt for a house. I think that’s fine. I think that’s great. But we bought our first 2, 3

houses were foreclosures that were really jacked up and I was very handy and still pretty handy.

But I

had a lot more energy back then and I resurfaced them, fixed them up. And so we paid almost nothing for them and sold them for a lot more than we paid for them. We basically flipped 3 houses the hard way. We lived in them for 4 or 5 years. So anyway, this episode is not going to make a lot of sense without having heard last week’s episode


it kind of sounds like we’re bragging and the whole point is I came from very, very humble beginnings in a triple wide trailer that was only meant to be a double wide and they stuck a single wide on it and cut holes between them so that we could pass through And then the water also passed through too. My mother spent money to feel happy about herself and to avoid feeling poor. Jen’s family barely had money for the essentials And dad was pretty tight fisted with money.

Yep. Yeah. He always talked about money. All of us, me and my siblings still get stressed about spending money, which is good in a way.

So when we had kids, this is the last thing I want to plug in here. We got about 15 minutes. Is when we had kids, it was very important for me and her both to get them used to money as soon as possible to learn how to handle it. Obviously, God’s stuff too. Okay, we did God’s stuff too. But behavior and how to handle money because so many people don’t handle their money right. And so they got allowances like really early in life and earning money as soon as they could get the concept of it. And

so whenever we would go to the store, I would take the kids and Jen would shop. And I would take them to the toy aisle because mom never let me go to the toy aisle and dad come in, I still go to the toy aisle every time I go to Target or Walmart, 50 years old. And I still go look and I look like a creepy guy. What’s this dude doing with all these kids around? Because I’m still a child. And there’s Legos here and that makes it OK, because there are men Legos anyway. So I

take the kids there And we’d hear all these kids whine, and I want a toy, I want something. And my kids would try that. And then I would say, do you have money for it? Yes. How much is it? It’s $20. Do you want to spend your $20 on it? No. Okay, then put it on your Christmas or birthday list. And they learned the value of a freaking dollar. And to this day, they still have a good handle on things. Jenna is just like me. She loves to go and have fun and adventures and she wants

to spend money. But she also has saved up thousands of dollars from working at Chick-fil-A and saving her money and keeping it. And she bought the car that we had lent to her for cash when it came time. She bought it from us. And when Jay comes his time, he will be in the same position to do the same thing. And they are able to afford things that they want. And in a way, I learned the same thing. There’s something in our home called the Save the James Fund. It started when we were just babies together,

barely married.

I think it started because of Kevin.

It started because of Paul Godbout. Paul Godbout, I said, we need to save the James Fund. I said, go collect money. He was 9 or something like that. And he came back with 25 cents. Somebody gave him 25 cents. And that began the Save James fund.

He sent Paul to collect.

He ran around church and he asked people for money for save the James and somebody gave him 25 cents, not in

a quarter. It was 25 cents in change. So he did it more than once. He was successful more than once.

And so now that I do podcasting and stuff and the podcasting pays in ad revenue and Patreon, all that money goes into, literally it is called the Save the James Fund.

You call that your checking account, the Save

the James. Yeah, Save the James Fund. And so I still like to have things like I like to have every now and then I like to buy a new computer only when I need it. But when I need a computer, I don’t have to pull money from the family. When the mixer goes out and we need new microphones or something goes wrong. I don’t have to take money from the family. The podcast has a fund set aside. And if I wanted to get an iPad so that I could draw pictures on the iPad and use it

for artwork, I don’t have to take money from the family. I saved that money on the side. And that’s something I never would have done without. I hate to say this, my wife’s influence.

Why do you hate to say that?

Because I’m always right.

You’re you’re never right. Like, have you ever listened to the show? You’re never right.

She has tried several times to change the name of the show to Jen’s Always Right.

Yeah, that would kind of work.

It’s too much like I love Lucy and that you know poor Ricky he was kind of a jerk though in every episode wasn’t I

never Really watched it.

See I’m 3 years older than you and there were reruns so 3 3 years makes the difference. It doesn’t now but back then when you were 1 and I was 4 Yeah,

that’s a big difference

a big difference. I was watching Electric Company, you know? Yeah. And you were spitting up and pooping your

pants. I probably was.

Not anymore. Well, anyway, so if there’s anything we want to take from this for our listeners is, is live beneath your means. You know, don’t spend all your money. It’s so stressful. It’s so stressful. And you will live longer if you don’t have money issues. Your marriage will be surprisingly better if you live beneath your means. And like the house we live in is really nice. It’s the nicest house I’ve ever lived in. It doesn’t have wheels on it. It’s really cool. It has windows that you don’t crank, you know, to open them up like on

a trailer, like in Florida. And it has doors that you don’t push the knob in to lock the door. That’s the way trailer knobs used to be. You push the knob in.

I’ve never lived in a trailer.

They’re ceiling fans. Man, the hot water always works because my stepdad put it on a timer. And I wet the bed as a kid. And so I’d wake up in the middle of the night and try to go take a shower. Yeah, cold water. So there’s hot water. I mean, the air conditioners not in the window. It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty great. It’s a big step up. Like I said, best place I’ve ever lived in my life. But we, we, again, I don’t want to sound like it’s a brag thing. It’s just, we could do more.

We could do more. We could do more. We could go out to West County. We could buy a house. We could live. We could have, I could have a big old fat truck if I wanted, but we have chosen a lifestyle that is beneath what we can afford so that we don’t have to deal with the stresses. Like when Jay’s car gets hit and then Jenna’s car got stolen this year and they ran it into a tree. I mean, we have been through our deck as it was falling apart and we were able to rebuild the

deck and we are still gonna have to get it painted. You know, it’s stuff we’re able to pay cash for because not because we’re rich, but because we don’t spend a buttload of money on stuff and we don’t go into debt and we don’t pay interest because you know when you buy that car that brand new car and you say you get it for 10 grand at the used car lot. Do you know how much you pay by the time you’re done paying off that car? I mean, how much is an interest? Do you end up

paying on a $10, 000 note?

I mean, I don’t know, like offhand, but probably 4 or 5 grand. Well, It just depends on your rate and

all that. Yeah, it can be it can be up upwards of $20, 000 though. I mean, it can be really high, especially if you miss payments and stuff like that. And credit cards are even worse than that. So that’s That’s the message we bring is that there’s a good way to handle money. And if you have any questions or anything, you can email us at WBRcast at gmail.com. You can support us on Patreon, patreon.com slash WBRcast. And for everything else, visit we’rebothright.com. I’m James.

I’m Jen.

And we’re both right. We’ll see you guys next time. God bless.