A 2018 survey by Ramsey Solutions contends that nearly two-thirds of all marriages start off in debt, and according to CNBC, hiding money, hiding debt, overspending, under-spending, and financial abuse are determinants that contribute to failed marriages.
Money & marriage experts Talaat and Tai McNeely speak from personal experience when they advise couples on becoming savvy about personal finance. In a recent interview with TNJ.com, they spoke about their brand, “His & Her Money,” and revealed that their marriage started off with “financial infidelity.”
“Financial infidelity means that one spouse has debt that they have not disclosed to the other spouse. We overcame that and became consumer debt free within our first year of marriage,” they recall. “We started coaching couples in the area of finances in our home and we came up with the idea to take it to the masses by creating an online presence; that’s how His and Her Money was birthed.”
Here, we learn more from the McNeelys.
TNJ.com: What services do you offer?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: We offer free and paid resources. We have a plethora of education content through our YouTube channel, our podcast, and our website. We also have a private community where we offer group coaching and services all around the area of becoming better with your money, your relationships and your life.
TNJ.com: What is the soundest piece of advice you can offer a married couple?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: Don’t fall for the two-income trap. Never live off two incomes. Most couples buy a home, vehicles, and fund their lifestyle on two incomes. They also most times come into the marriage with debt. They are over-leveraged and most times stressed.
We recommend living off of one income, and use the other income to pay off debt, save for your future, and build wealth. We know that there are times when couples are already too deep in and can’t make that work. So, we recommend living off of percentages. Don’t live off of 100% completely when it comes to paying bills and debt.
TNJ.com: What is the biggest challenge most people face when it comes to managing debt?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: The biggest challenge most people face is their mindset. Most times they are in their own way. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Change your mindset around your debt, and don’t get comfortable with it.
TNJ.com: You mention the phrase “power couple” on your website. What is a “power couple,” and what does it take to become one?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: A power couple is a couple that is living their life on purpose. It doesn’t mean they don’t face or have any obstacles to overcome. It means they don’t let obstacles keep them from attaining their dreams and ambitions. They are go-getters. They hustle hard and nothing gets in their way of building the life they desire.
TNJ.com: How important is financial well being to one’s success in life?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: It’s everything. The state of your financial health affects you in more ways than one. It affects marriages, relationships, personal development, and so much more.
TNJ.com: Any short-to-long term goals you’re working on?
Talaat & Tai McNeely: We are working on creating our platform to really embody what we feel every person needs when it comes to his or her money. We are always seeking ways to bring better content that will help anyone, no matter where they are in their financial journey.