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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Aug 10, 2022

Today’s show is an extremely requested episode. My husband, John, is a financial advisor and is here to answer all your money questions. Many of you have emailed and DMed me asking for this episode, so let’s jump into it.

3:11 – Why take financial advice from John?

  • John is a financial advisor and owns a media company, Third Wheel Media.
  • He migrated from journalism to interviewing financial advisors. He decided to do the job himself.

5:45 – John’s financial lessons

  • Both of John’s grandfathers were good with money but in different ways.
  • One grandfather was good at earning money by selling candy for a living. He was also a good investor.
  • His other grandfather was good at not spending money. He didn’t make much money but he was a good saver and sent his kids to college.

8:39 – John’s first house

  • John bought his first house at age 25 and put 20% down.

11:20 – Question: How to budget on one income and make decisions jointly?

  • This is more of a marriage question. All of the money that comes into the household is joint money, no matter who earned it.
  • With second marriages, spouses often maintain separate financial lives.

19:36 – Question: Do we have an allowance?

  • Yes, we each have our own spending money each month.
  • And yes, we have a monthly budget.
  • If you have a blow money spending category, you can buy whatever you want.

27:05 – Question: Should kids get an allowance, tithe, etc.?

  • Our son is 6½, so he doesn’t understand as much about money. Our daughter, who’s older, understands more.
  • We have kids’ piggy banks – spend (80%), share (10%) and save (10%). 

35:15 – Question: What is a good dollar amount for retirement?

  • No offense, but this is a pointless question because it’s impossible to answer.
  • John has clients who retired with $175,000 in retirement savings. Most people would say that’s not enough, but they don’t spend much and are happy that way.
  • John also has clients who aren’t getting much of a Social Security benefit. They have almost $2 million in savings, but they spend a lot each month.

42:38 – Question: Where do I start when living paycheck to paycheck?

  • People in this boat are often so stressed that they can’t get out of their own way.
  • There is a path out of debt, but it won’t happen overnight.
  • Define your priorities (rent, car payment, food, etc.) and increase income.

52:12 – Question: Are you comfortable talking about money with family and friends?

  • We’ve made money this thing you can’t talk about in our culture, but it isn’t like that in other cultures.
  • It drives John crazy that families don’t talk about money, and children don’t know the financial situation of their aging parents.
  • Why can’t we have these generational conversations about money?

56:01 – Question: Should I do a 529 or IRA for kids?

  • Do a 529 for kids. A Roth IRA is not the best use of this money.

58:14 – Question: How do you save for a vacation when there are other priorities?

  • You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on a vacation. It can be simple.
  • If money is that tight, the vacation probably isn’t a priority.

1:04:08 – Question: What to do if my finances feel out of control?

  • If you’re in financial despair, you don’t have a good command of your numbers.
  • Find out what you spend on groceries and miscellaneous expenses.
  • Spend a couple months and look at every expense.


There’s always a way out (of debt). The question is, how disciplined and motivated are you to make it happen? – John

If you are in a marriage or partnership … it has to be a mindset shift where this is our money, and not his money and her money. – Molly

This is why you need a financial advisor. We can figure this stuff out with you and determine what your life looks like and how much money you need. – John

Why can’t we have these generational conversations about money? – John


Thank you to our partners of the show!

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I’d like to thank our other partner of the show and that’s Tradlands. Tradlands is an INCREDIBLE sustainable fashion brand that believes in clothing that you can live in NOW and love forever. Clothing that not only makes you feel like your best self, but also fits in a way that flatters. Their gorgeous dresses, pants, tops, and more are designed to move with you throughout your busy days. Their Nico dress is my dress in a love language —not only does it have sleeves, but also POCKETS and you know how I feel about dresses with pockets. I love how comfortable and stylish each piece - and they come in colors like classic neutrals or vibrant hues. One of the things I love most about Tradlands is their focus on sustainability and creating small batch clothing that lasts… they never over produce what they make and focus on only the highest quality materials. And you know how much I love supporting small businesses, too. Check them out at and use the code MOLLY20 for 20% off!