Rocky Lalvani discusses spending time versus money to increase your quality of life

How to Balance Your Time Versus Money to Live a Richer Life

 

Do you know what you want in life so you aren’t spending money trying to impress people who might out-impress you tomorrow anyway? Keeping up with the Joneses is a true trap for physicians, and the likelihood of knowing that’s true for you and/or your peers is unfortunately really high. Maybe it’s time to understand why this is an important lesson to learn right now wherever you are in your financial journey. To gain a solid perspective on how to balance your time versus money, the “millionaire next door,” Rocky Lalvani, is a good place to begin I’d think!

Rocky Lalvani, Founder of Richer Soul, spends time with us to talk about time versus money. The discussion is a quality-derivative in terms of living a life you don’t have to struggle to maintain. He beautifully expresses the financial challenges experienced by physicians—a demographic naturally at the benefit of an income surge at a certain point in their medical careers. With this advantage, Rocky explains, it is easy to lose focus on how one is spending their money and recommends creating a substantive life rather than a superficial and meaningless one.

Avoid the “keeping up with Joneses” trap and keep tabs on how to balance your time versus money.

In this episode, Rocky and I talk about personal experiences with money. We bring the discussion to the doorsteps of our homes including what we do to raise financially astute kids. We provide a few ideas for you to do the same with your little ones.

Here is to a really great episode!

I guarantee it will be worth your time. Take a moment to listen in on this one. Just push play.

Resources referenced in this episode:

Richer Soul Podcast

The Millionaire Next Door

How to Teach Your Kids to Value Money on the Dad’s Married to Doctors Podcast

Don’t Forget to Add to Your Toolbox, Get Involved and Help. Here’s how:

If you enjoyed this episode, I’m sure you would enjoy reading this: 6 Proven Behaviors That Increase Wealth

Join the Financial Residency Community: Don’t forget to join the Financial Residency Facebook Community for exclusive access to taking the Wealth Potential, Investor Composure and Financial Planning assessments.

Help the Financial Residency podcast reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds. I really appreciate it, thanks!

What you will learn:

  • Be conscious of what’s important to you by learning delayed gratification.
  • It’s natural in the Indian community to negotiate everything.
  • Even though you have the money to do everything for your kids, don’t.
  • You can travel hack to nice places if you’re willing to look for bargains and negotiate.
  • The reference to a “financial rock” or “financial foundation” is about a couple of things including getting your debt under control.
  • Don’t get stuck with lifestyle inflation.
  • You don’t have to spend money to show your kids you love them.
  • If you are doing the right things with your money and aren’t making horrible financial decisions, you’ll be just fine.
  • Figure out what your ideal day, week, and life look like so you approach money with a strong focus.
  • Remove the arguments about money with your kids by setting up expectations.
  • If your kids are smart enough to go to college, they’re smart enough to find out how to pay for it.
  • Have conversations with your kids, show them respect, go to their sports, show them you love them by spending your time versus money on them.
  • Teach your kids to be constant learners.
  • Have conversations with your spouse and make sure you have the same expectations.

 

This episode is brought to you by one of our proud sponsors: Physician Financial Services

A recommended resource by Financial Residency is Physician Financial Services Owned by Larry B. Keller

 

Full Transcript: How to Balance Your Time Versus Money to Live a Richer Life

Ryan

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.

Rocky

So, my name is Rocky Lalvani and I came to the United States when I was two years old. We immigrated from India and it was 1968. At that point in time, you were only allowed to take so much money from the country. So, it was dad’s, and my mom’s, second big move; and they were allowed to take twenty-five dollars and they came to the United States to the land of opportunity, to live the dream. They both had a sibling here to kind of help get them started, and by started, I mean, we were pretty much at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Yet, within a very short period of time, almost every year we kept moving up to nicer and nicer places; and nicer and nicer homes. The community that they were involved in was all the people from back home. I saw this occur in the community. Everybody just seemed to have constant success. One of the cool things about growing up in this community is everybody talked about money, which is natural to me; but I’ve come to learn is not natural to everyone else. So, people would discuss how much their house cost, or how much their rent was, or how much they paid for a car, or how much money they were making.

It’s natural in the Indian community to negotiate everything.

Rocky

All of these things were just normal discussions. Little by little, I watched this group work hard, do the right things, and achieve financial success. Now, my dad did okay. Unfortunately, when I was seven, my mom got cancer and within a year she passed away. So, he was a single dad in his forties, trying to raise a son. It’s the early seventies, we were in the middle of a recession. So, he always did his best, he always put me first. He taught me a lot of skills and a lot of those skills were, and I think they’re just natural to our Indian community, we negotiate everything. The other thing is we like to live a nice lifestyle, in the sense that we want nice things, but we don’t want to pay for nice things. So, even though my dad never made a ton of money, we traveled all over the world. After I moved away, and he retired, even on a limited, fixed income; he would go all over the world, all the time, and enjoy all kinds of great things. You can get things for a lot less expensive than you imagine if you’re willing to look for bargains and negotiate.

How to balance your time versus money for a richer life with Rocky Lalvani

Rocky

He taught me just to constantly save. When I got out of college, that was the first thing I did. I set up all of these different automated savings systems, whether it was the credit union, the stock plan, the 401k, the brokerage account; and I just let them run. Now, I will say, I made a ton of stupid money mistakes over the years. I chased stocks; I chased returns; I sold when I should have been buying, when the market was at its lows. You know, in 2008, I panicked; in 2000, I looked around and I saw things were crazy and I did okay through that particular up-and-down period. So, I’ve made a million mistakes; and along this way, I’ve been able to become a multimillionaire, just following the practices in spite of the mistakes. That kind of brought up the second problem, which is watching all these people as I was growing up, many of them got extremely wealthy; you know, eight figure, nine figure kind of wealth. I noticed their kids were really screwed up, because as they went from the bottom to the top, they wanted their kids to have everything; and that’s not necessarily the answer. They never taught their kids money skills and their kids became entitled. So, I’m sitting here watching my kids grow up and I’m like, I want to make sure that even though I have the money to do everything for them, that these kids aren’t entitled. So, I’ve, kind of, over the years, through all the mistakes and life experiences, I’ve been able to put together a pretty good program for living life on my terms.

Even though you have the money to do everything for your kids, don’t.

Ryan

I mean, that’s pretty amazing. You’ve said so many cool little financial nuggets inside of there, that I do want to go at. Like I said in our pre-call here, that I’ve become a new fan of yours at Richer Soul, your podcast; and I’m excited to continue listening, and I encourage everyone listening here to really dig in and go check out your stuff. So, one of the questions I had though, is you said your…even though on a modest lifestyle, your dad was always traveling and still was traveling even after. So, was this where he was consciously saving…and I know you said getting discounts and things like that helps, but we assign every dollar a task. Right? So, was he not experiencing other things, or maybe spending frivolously on other things to save up for the travel? Was that his number one priority in terms of savings?

Rocky

He didn’t spend a lot of money, except on what few things he wanted; in the sense that, when we grew up, we didn’t have air conditioning. So, he would not spend on a lot of stuff and he would always save. So, when he wanted to travel, he would find deals; and you’d be surprised, especially when you…back when I was a kid I remember they would go through the ticket agents. So, a ticket to India was maybe seven or eight hundred dollars through a ticket agent; whereas, if you went to the airline, you were paying double-plus for that same ticket. So, he found those types of deals. I think he stayed…we have family all over the world, so he would stay with family instead of staying in a hotel.

Ryan

Okay.

Rocky

So, he still got to experience the world, but he didn’t have to pay for it.

Ryan

Yeah. Nowadays, I mean, there’s travel hacks and all sorts of things that other people have figured out. You know, back when the internet wasn’t around, your dad still navigated it, it sounds, quite well.

You can travel hack to nice places if you’re willing to look for bargains and negotiate.

Rocky

You’re right. Today there are so many travel hacks that you can have amazing vacations for a fraction of the cost. I’m not talking going to not-so-nice areas. I’ve travel hacked to stay in New York City, in the heart of the city. I’ve travel hacked to stay in London, on some of the nicest areas. We found deals throughout life. It’s possible if you’re willing to spend the time, which is one of the problems for your clients, is, especially being a physician; you’ve really got to balance your time versus money and figuring out where do you put your efforts.

Ryan

Yeah. It’s just being conscious about what’s important. Right? The kind of saying here is, the lifestyle creep. Once they finish training and they experience four to seven times their income, sometimes higher, from training to now being an attending; they have delayed gratification. It’s one of the things, it’s like how much do you let it inflate; and is this the right avenue to go? Is this what makes you happiest? Sometimes they get stuck all of a sudden…oh, we bought too big of a house, we bought the Tesla, we did all these things; and now we’re living paycheck to paycheck with a two hundred and fifty or three-hundred-thousand-dollar household income.

Rocky

That is very true. So, I like to tell a story of baking a cake. If you want to bake a cake, there’s a recipe to follow; and there’s a set amount of ingredients. If you take those same ingredients, and you use them in the wrong order, and you don’t combine them properly; in other words, if I take a pan and I throw some flour in it, and I put some frosting on top of it, and I crack an egg on it, and I put it in the oven, and then I take it out, and I try to beat it and add the rest of the ingredients…what kind of a cake am I going to have?

Ryan

Sounds disgusting.

Rocky

Sounds disgusting. Right? But, if I take those same exact ingredients and do it properly; I have a wonderful, beautiful cake to eat. I think that’s what you’re talking about. Taking the same ingredients and doing your spending in the property order. So, the first thing is to build your base. Understand and build that financial rock that everything else can be built upon. Once you build your financial base, everything else become easier. Part of that is knowing what you want in life. My dad knew what he wanted in life. I know what I want in life. Know what you want in life so that you’re not spending money trying to impress people that don’t even care about you, or are going to out-impress you, anyways, tomorrow. You know, the BMW in the driveway today; tomorrow someone’s got a nicer, better one and you’re still stuck with a payment and a BMW you no longer love. If you do things in the right order and you take the time to think it through, you’ll have the beautiful life, like that beautiful cake; if you don’t, you end up with that mess and you wonder how is it I’m making all this money and my life is not what I expected it to be.

How to balance your time versus money for a richer life with Rocky Lalvani

If you are doing the right things with your money and aren’t making horrible financial decisions, you’ll be just fine.

Ryan

Yeah. Really, what you’re referencing here is, I actually spoke with Sarah Fallaw, the owner of Data Points, and her father is Thomas Stanley, the author of The Millionaire Next Door; and I’ll link to that in the show notes, but you’re talking about social indifference…keeping up with the Joneses. I know that in that show, we went a lot into the psychology behind that, but it’s exactly true. You don’t need to live the doctor lifestyle, because that what society tells you. It’s really sitting down and thinking about…what do I really want out of life? What does my ideal life look like? What does my ideal day, week, or year look like? While money is still limited now, at some point, it won’t be. At some point, if you’re doing the right things, you’ll have plenty of money to do what you want. Yeah, Rocky, we could talk about doing the discount travel, travel hacks, and things like that; but, you know, let’s be real. If they’re doing the right thing to start, and they’re not making horrible financial decisions, and they’re building that financial foundation early in life; most of the listeners here will be fine. It’s understanding what’s truly important. I know we mentioned the financial rock or the financial foundation. Do you want to maybe go a little bit into that and let the listeners know, kind of, what we’re referencing here?

Rocky

Sure. I think, first of all, one of the things with physicians is that you have to have far more education than anyone else. So, it’s going to take you until much later in life to get out of … all of these goals, all of these residencies and fellowships, and really start earning money. In the meantime, depending on how you did that, you might be in tremendous debt. So, I think the first thing is, getting out of debt and putting together a plan to get that under control. The second thing is, you come out of your…whatever program you’re finishing up…residency, fellowship. You get your first job and all of a sudden, your income jumps dramatically. You’ve put of all of these purchases for years, you’ve kind of been living behind while everyone else has kind of been pushing ahead; and now you have this urge to kind of go build this amazing life. I think the first thing is picking where you want to live, because up until now…right…a lot of times, you don’t really get to pick. It’s who kind of picks me that I kind of like. You have to go to the medical school where the things come together, and the residencies where things come together.

Rocky

Now, you kind of get your choice. So, I think the first decision is where do you want to live and why? Are you just going to chase money or are you going to chase the dream life you want? So, part of that, I think, is family support. Physicians work so much, their spouse gets stuck with kids; and if they don’t have a support system in a community that they enjoy, that’s not a good mix. So, I think part of it is figuring out, truly, where you want to live. Then, once you get there, if it’s not someplace you’re familiar with; and you’re not, truly, familiar with the place that you’re going to work…it’s like marriage. They’re courting you, they’re telling you all these wonderful things during the dating process; but you don’t know if they’re true. If you go make a large financial decision of buying a house before you truly understand the area and the people that you’re working for, you might be stuck in two years. So, take the time. During that period, rent. No one’s telling you to live like a resident or a fellow. You can rent a nicer place. You can live a little bit nicer, but well below your means and well below this new income lifestyle. Figure out if everything is true. Is this really what I imagined? Is this the work environment that I imagined? Is this the neighborhood and this town that I imagined? Once you know better, two years out that it is, well at that point, you can go start to build your dream home or whatever it is.

The reference to a “financial rock” or “financial foundation” is about a couple of things including getting your debt under control.

Rocky

Then, be mindful to the dream home. I have a really nice house. It’s half of what I could have, but somewhere in my forties I came to an ah-ha moment. I was surrounded by all this stuff that we bought, and I realized all this stuff that we bought created obligations for me. Now that I have this nice house and this beautiful lawn, I’ve got to pay somebody to maintain the lawn. I’ve got to pay somebody to mulch the thing. All these things in my house require attention and work, and things are changing so fast that…I’m fifty-two, so when I got married people valued things totally different. You know, we bought a china set. Nobody wants to deal with china today, and twenty years from now, all that stuff that you’re spending money on may not be important. The reason I say this, is because in my mid-forties, we started paying people to come to our house, take all our crap, put it in piles, and literally we went through and said we’re going to keep this small little pile; please just get everything else out of here. All that money was wasted.

Rocky

All that energy and time that could have gone towards savings or getting rid of that clutter of mess on you. So, just be mindful. I know you see the world and you’re like I want, I want, I want. I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve done it and coming out the other end. I’m not the only one. All the people that I talk to in my age-group are all the same. If we had just not created all this clutter of all this stuff and let it go. I think that’s another big part. Then, put together a financial plan and have conversations with your spouse. Get on the same page. Make sure you have the same expectations. What is it that you both want out of life? Make sure that you’re on the same page and you’re working towards the same goal. I’ve seen so many physicians, you know, they’re killing themselves and working; their wife and kids are at the beach having fun all Summer, which is creating an even bigger bill. So, they’ve got to work even harder to support that family and they feel guilty, because they’re never there to be with their kids. So, now you’re guilt spending; and that creates even more problems. God forbit your spouse leave you, that’s another massive bill. All of these things are stressful.

Ryan

That’s half your net worth right there.

Rocky

Half your net worth. Right? So, go spend time…be intentional in making sure that you’re loving your spouse and doing stuff for her. I know you work hard all day and the last thing you want to do when you come home is have to please someone else. I get it, but it’s important. That’s why I think, if you take the time…and that’s the biggest problem…throughout education, you don’t even have time to think about anything else, but what you’re learning…is to create the space and start asking yourself those bigger questions. What do I want in life? What is important to me? There are so many ways to create a medical career beyond the one little path that you’re thinking. There’s so many other opportunities out there, that you may find you want something different. Medicine itself is changing. I’ve been around medicine for probably close to thirty years and doctor lifestyles thirty years ago, with Wednesdays off to play golf; and the nice lifestyle; and afternoons of fun on Friday. I don’t see it like I used to. Everybody’s working for what I call corporate medicine, unfortunately; and if you’ve got a strong financial base, you have the ability to say no. The power to say no is just so amazing. If you don’t like the way you’re treating you at work, or things aren’t being done the way you want, you can just turn in your resignation and say hey, I’m going to go do something else. If you’ve done the things right to create that financial base, you can.

You don’t have to spend money to show your kids you love them.

Ryan

I mean, that’s so, so well said. It just really is and I absolutely love it. You know, we’re really talking about life planning here. To actually put forth the effort to invest the time in yourself and your family, to make sure that the choices you’re doing and making are in your best interest, that excite you the most, that bring you the most happiness. So, we talked about buying real-estate or buying a home when you start out. I agree, if you’re moving to a completely new city and you have no idea what the hospital is going to look like, or the private practice that you’re about to start, you probably shouldn’t buy in that area. You probably should wait and understand what it is. But, if you grew up there; your family is there; you’re going back; you did fellowship or residency there; and you’re just coming and staying on as an attending, it might make sense to buy a home, because you know the area and everything. Nothing, no decision, is permanent in that sense. I’ve worked with clients that started working and making a killer salary, and then turn around and say you know what, this isn’t for me. Yeah, I’m making eight hundred thousand dollars, but I work six days a week and on the seventh day, I still feel like I’m working, because I’m still getting calls. So, I can’t travel, I can’t do anything, I can’t start a family; even though the money is there.

Ryan

So, I love that you’re putting all of this out there in a very beautiful way, Rocky. I think that’s amazing. You’ve mentioned a couple of times, around kids and financial…just raising financially-aware kids, or financially-savvy kids. I was just wondering if you could just go into that a little bit for us, because I think that’s fascinating. It’s something that I’ve written on. I just did a podcast on Dads Married to Doctors, a brand-new podcast there. We talked about my kids and what I do for them. Granted, my kids are three and two, so we’re not at the hey, let’s give them some type of an allowance, yet; but I do have my son…I’ll tell the story here. We go to the aquarium here in Vegas, at the Mandalay Bay. At the very end, and they’ve got them all over…Sea World and all sorts of stuff; it’s where you put the two quarters and the penny in and then you crank the little machine and out comes the penny, but they keep the fifty cents. My son doesn’t understand the value of that money yet, but he gets that we need at least coins to put in. So, I tell him during the day hey, you need to pick up your toys; make sure you get one of the coins you need for when we go to the aquarium; or, play with your sister and you can have a coin. When he gets the three coins, he gets all excited and then we go to the aquarium; and the sheer joy on his face when he’s moving the little machine over and he gets his penny, and you know, it’s got the shark on it or something. It’s amazing. Yeah. It’s the little things. Starting them young and understanding. I’m curious as to how…and I’ve heard your podcast with your daughter, which is, again, amazing; but, I’d like you to talk a little bit on raising financially-savvy kids.

If your kids are smart enough to go to college, they’re smart enough to find out how to pay for it.

 Rocky

So, this is somewhat of a struggle, in the sense that you’re all making a lot of money; you have nice things; and you’re probably living in a neighborhood with other people whose kids have nice things. It creates an entitlement expectation attitude. I think the goal is to say is that what you want for your kid? If it’s not, then you’re going to have to be very upfront and active in changing that. So, it sounds like you’re already doing that. Right? You’re not just going to Sea World, or wherever it is that you are, and going into the gift shop and buying him a ten-dollar item, are you?

Ryan

No. He gets the fifty-one-cent coin.

Rocky

He gets the fifty-one-cent coin. So, I’m going to tell you two things for this. Number one, fifty-one cents is cheap.

Ryan

Of course.

Rocky

Number two, that coin is tiny. Right?

Ryan

Yeah.

Rocky

You have a house full of kids, you see how fast your house fills up with crap.

Ryan

Oh, yeah.

How to balance your time versus money for a richer life with Rocky Lalvani

Rocky

The kids are perfectly fine with the little coin and a box. I mean, to play with boxes versus all these toys and the things that we buy for them. If you set your expectations upfront, if you spend time with your kids; they’re not going to need stuff. What they want is your love, they want to know that they are loved, they want to know that they are enough, they want to know that they are safe. None of those things require you to buy them anything. Spend time with your kids; especially at bedtime, when you’re leaving in the morning. I know it’s difficult, but if you spend time at those points; hugging your kids and making them feel loved, the other problems will fix themselves. Now, from a financial standpoint, we basically, about the age of five, is really when we started to get hardcore on it. You can start at the younger ages, like you’re doing. You know, have your kids do chores. Create the expectation that there are things that they need to do. At five, what we did was, we gave them their allowance at whatever their age is; so, it increased with age. We said, one dollar goes to charity and then you split the other half. So, the other half gets spending and saving. Saving meant, you’re going to save for something so far into the future that you have no idea what it is; maybe a house, maybe your retirement. It’s not for your car, it’s not for your college, and it’s not for Christmas. We’re talking, like many lifetimes for your five-year-old self. It was just to constantly set that expectation of saving for a very long period of time.

Have conversations with your kids, show them respect, go to their sports, show them you love them by spending your time versus money on them.

Ryan

So, I had thought you were going to say, when you said we’re splitting up, is like you were going to take taxes, at first.

Rocky

No, but some people do that. I’ve heard of some people who do taxes too.

Ryan

Oh, that’s comical. I was like how am I going to explain tax to a five-year-old.

Rocky

The other two bucks, you get to spend. So, here’s where the difference went. When I gave them their money to spend, when we went to Target and they said can I have a pack of gum? I’d go sure you can. You have money, go ahead and buy it. I will tell you, it is like a light switch, night and day, when it’s their money versus your money. All of a sudden, gum is not important anymore.

Ryan

Isn’t that fascinating?

Rocky

It’s very fascinating. I’ve had my kids pick up toys, walk around the store with them; and when it was time to pay, put them back. No arguments, no fights.

Ryan

Because they didn’t want to spend their money.

Rocky

Because they didn’t want to spend their money. They will spend your money all day long.

Ryan

Of course.

Rocky

They will not spend their money. Now, some kids will spend the money and some will blow it. These are learning, teachable moments. So, when they go and they buy something, and they blow their money on something stupid; a week later, go hey, how is that item that you bought? How’d that work out?

Ryan

Yeah. Are you still playing with it a week later kind of thing?

Rocky

You still playing with it? The other thing we would do is I would teach my kids…because if you’re at a convenience store, you can buy that pack of gum here, but we’re going to go to the supermarket next. You can get four for double the price, so maybe you and your sibling can work it out and you each put in a buck and you’ll end up with twice as much. Your choice. So, teaching that.

Ryan

On your show with your daughter, she said that her and her brothers saved up for a trampoline; and my immediate thought was, when you said ask them how it is, did they play with that trampoline a lot? Did they get a ton more enjoyment out of it, in your opinion?

Rocky

More than other stuff, but they probably didn’t play with it as much as they should have. I think that was more a going outside kind of thing. Yes, but they appreciated it more.

Ryan

Well, she remembered the story. So, it was impactful, which is, I mean, what is it a couple of hundred bucks? I’d rather them hear a story and it be impactful for three hundred dollars, than that twenty-five-thousand-dollar car kind of thing; or a bigger mistake than that. A couple of hundred bucks isn’t a big deal, but it’s their own money that they’ve “earned.” Right?

Rocky

Well, we gave them that money and then on top of that, I think what I’ve come to learn is, give them opportunities to make more money.

Ryan

Oh, okay. So, that’s where I was going to go next; please, continue.

How to balance your time versus money for a richer life with Rocky Lalvani

Don’t create a horrible mindset around money with your kids.

Rocky

I would give them opportunity. See, here’s the problem. There’s a whole bunch of fighting that occurs around this money and around the things. I saw this when my kids were young. You’re going to get your allowance, but if you don’t brush your teeth and do these three things, you’re not getting the allowance. Right? So, now you’re fighting over money. Now, you’re creating horrible money mindsets. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted my kids to learn about money, so I put it in their hands, so they could learn about money. I took all of the fighting away. Adding in chores that you could get extra for, I think is a great way to get over that battle. Now, it’s hey, if you want more, here is an opportunity list for you. Do what you want. You don’t want, then you’re not going to have. That’s your choice. Then, on top of that, I think we set expectations upfront. If you expect a car, you will need to figure out how to pay for it. You need to go earn money for a car. There will not be…I don’t care what the neighbor says and what they give their kid, there will not be a car on your sixteenth birthday. I told my daughter, I said, if you’re smart enough to go to college; you’re smart enough to pay for college. I know it’s a lot harder now than it ever was.

Ryan

Absolutely.

Rocky

Absolutely.

Rocky

We are going to provide a back stop, but honestly, unless you’re going to be a doctor, a lot of college is a waste of time and money. So, don’t set the expectation that you’re going to send them to their dream school, where they’re going to party for four years on two hundred and fifty thousand of your dollars. Those are money conversations. I had someone on my show, not that long ago, Kathy Fecky, and she actually spends a lot of time learning from millionaires and spending. She lived in an affluent neighborhood, I think in Malibu, in California.

Ryan

Oh, beautiful.

Rocky

She said all the other kids, when her daughter turned sixteen, were getting BMW’s; and the one kid cried because it was the wrong color, so they had to go change the BMW for the right color.

Ryan

Whoa.

Rocky

Her kid, she said you’re not getting a car. You want a car, you go pay for it. Literally, her kid bought some beater Jeep for like two grand. Guess whose car was the coolest of everyone’s?

Ryan

The Jeep.

Rocky

The Jeep. The two grand Jeep. Just think about it.

Ryan

It’s different.

Rocky

When you have a two grand Jeep, it’s different; there’s no expectation; who cares; everything’s an adventure; and it’s yours. It’s not like you were given this entitled type of thing. You don’t have to give your kids money and stuff for them to love you. You just need to love them, listen to them, have conversations with them, be in their world, show them respect, turn off your phones, go to their sports. When they play…I’ve coached sports all the way through up until varsity soccer; every year, at the beginning of the season, I sent an article to the parents saying: Here is your job. When your kid walks off the field, you are only to say I love to watch you play. That’s it. My job is to tell them how to play. Don’t fight with them, don’t argue with them, just love them and support them; and you won’t have to fix it with money. So, that’s probably the biggest piece of advice I can give there.

Is a college degree really worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Ryan

Yeah. I love it. So, a couple of things. You mentioned $250k in expenses for school to party on it. So, my wife and I both went to the University of San Diego, and it was in like the low twenties, mid-twenties, to go there, a year. I did the calculation, I went back and said based on how it’s been growing; which, just reference is almost nine percent is what it’s been growing for like the past, close to twenty years. My son, who’s three, it’s going to cost us almost $600,000 to send him to that school if it continues to grow. I can’t imagine it growing at that point, but at $600,000, I can’t imagine a college degree would be worth that. So, we’ll probably see more trade schools and things like that coming up, but I could not imagine ending up paying that kind of bill for them. That was the one piece on that.

Rocky

You don’t have to go to a trade school. If your kids can learn to code, you don’t need to go to college to learn to code. There’s so much stuff available online for your kids to learn; and that’s it, set the expectation to be a constant learner. Teach them to read books and enjoy them. Teach them to learn. Teach them to do stuff and to go out and figure out. Let them get jobs. Let them go work. There are tremendous amounts of business people out there who, you don’t really need a college degree to do that. If you get involved in real-estate…the power of real-estate is amazing, but you have to be intentional and you have to have the time to do it. You could make a killing in real-estate and you don’t need college degree to be in real-estate. There’s so many other ways to make money besides college. I think that’s…society has changed, because in the past a lot of people didn’t go to college; and then it became this whole big party business. I think that because it’s gotten so expensive, people are going to start looking for other alternatives; and there are tremendous ones coming.

Ryan

Yeah. Then, you’ve got, almost every listener here is going to be a doctor or married to a doctor; and they’re sitting here with…my average client has almost three hundred of student debt; and it’s just going to get worse for our kids as they grow up. My son’s three, my daughter’s two; so, I’ve got fifteen, sixteen years. I can’t imagine what the cost of college, cost of med school, is going to be like to do that. So, it’s definitely going to be a huge expense. I’m actually curious, though. So, you’re talking about how you paid your kids starting at five; and there’s a ton of different ways to do it; and I actually like the way that you’ve described. I’m curious on your thoughts. So, the way that I grew up, was to work…my job was school; and I was paid for grades. It wasn’t a ton, but I was basically paid for grades. If I had an “A,” I got “X” amount. If I got a “B,” I got “X” amount. If I got a “C,” I owed “X” amount. If I ever got a “D” or “F,” I’m pretty sure that I’d just be grounded forever kind of thing. There wasn’t a push to have me work; it was a push to have me work on my studies, and to actually do well in school, and to not party and things like that. Granted, partying is later on in the school age, if you will; but growing up, the whole time, I mean, since I was probably in first grade, I can remember getting paid…maybe it was a dollar, two dollars, or five dollars, or whatever it might be. Do you have any other tips or tricks in terms of that?

Here are tips and tricks for giving your kids an allowance.

Rocky

So, we did reward our kids for good grades. It was kind of an expectation that you were just going to be a straight-A student. If you were struggling somewhere, we would always spend the Summer helping our kids bring up their struggle and then push them forward in the areas that they excelled; so that when they went back to school, if they had excelled in an area and were ahead of the curve, they could use that extra time to work on the areas they were behind the curve, and then the entire day of school wasn’t a struggle, just part of school was a struggle. So, we did spend quite a bit of time and focus on education; especially, over the Summers, because most people just let that go and your kids slide down. Well, while your kid’s sliding down, my kid’s stepping up. That creates much more of a separation, but it’s not like this crazy lifestyle where you’re going from this…these centers they have now for education where you can sign up for all these things; my kids never went to those. We did stuff at home, just working with them one-on-one.

Ryan

You invested in your kids, is what you did.

Rocky

We invested in our kids. Yes.

Ryan

It’s beautiful.

Rocky

With time and, now, there’s so much software out there; and there’s so many electronic games. That’s the other thing, is watching what they watch on TV. My kids at five knew, when they would watch a commercial and they’d see a cool toy, especially one they’ve had; I’d be like hey, is your toy as cool as that one? There like no. I go, that’s right. That’s a commercial. They want your money. You know that money you have in your hand? They want it. They’re going to make it look ten times better than it really is; and since you have that toy, you can see that. You have to connect dots for these kids. Kids can’t connect dots. They can’t connect dots in high school. I’ve literally, especially when I’m coaching, it’s connecting dots. See “X,” see “Y,” see how they go together. You literally have to put it down to that level.

Start them early with saving and good spending habits-min

Ryan

I think you have to connect dots for adults too, that never had that kind of training from their parents to do that; which is a thing. Well, Rocky, I really appreciate you being on the show. At the end of the show, I always ask the guests one question. My question for you is, as doctors finish their training, what is the one piece of advice that you could give them to start off on a very strong financial foundation?

Rocky

Delay your spending. Don’t just run out and go crazy. You’re living on “X.” Right? As a resident. So, let’s say you’re living on fifty thousand and now you’re going to make two hundred thousand. Why don’t you go enjoy a hundred thousand firs? Live on a hundred thousand for the next year or two. Build that solid financial base, and once you have the solid financial base, then you can start to have lifestyle creep; and start to do nicer things. When you have the strong base, everything else will work out. If you don’t, you can end up like that cake that was done out of order. You’re stuck in a job you hate, you’re stuck with payments, and you don’t have a choice; because you don’t have the financial freedom to go do whatever you choose to do.

Ryan

Now, you’ve heard it. Have a strong financial foundation or become a disgusting cake.  Rocky, thank you so much for being on. I greatly appreciate it.

Rocky

Thanks so much for having me, Ryan. It’s been a pleasure to be here.

 

Ryan Inman