Using Money As A Tool To Build Stronger Families with Andy Hill

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In life, many people think they have to choose what they can have.

They should choose happiness over wealth, family over career aspirations, etc.

Today’s guest proves that it’s possible to have it all!

Andy Hill is the founder and CEO of Marriage, Kids and Money – an online brand dedicated to helping people achieve the pillars of family health and well-being: Happiness and Wealth.

This podcast won’t give you all the answers – but it will instead guide you toward the right direction for you and your close ones: Developing the life you’ve always wanted to live!



Marriage, Kids and Money Website

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Full Episode Transcript:

Daniel Wrenne: What’s up guys? Hope you’re having a great day. I am looking forward to introducing my guest today, Andy Hill, and wanted to give you a quick rundown on him and our conversation first before we jump into the conversation. So Andy has a podcast he’s been running for many years now where he talks about family and finances and it’s great podcast. He’s done all sorts of great things around this subject and has dedicated lots of time and energy.

Daniel Wrenne: And so Andy and I talk about exactly that. We talk about family and finances and get into where he came about with this idea and how he got into it and how he developed this specialty. We also talk about some of the most important things he’s learned in his multiple years of creating content around family and finances.

Daniel Wrenne: And I think some of the things that we talk about might surprise you a little bit here. We also talk about some concrete ways to consider measuring how you’re actually doing following your values. And then Andy shares some of the biggest challenges and we talk about what those might look like for families and how we’re facing them today.

Daniel Wrenne: We also explore this interesting concept of maybe asking your family or talking with them more about what they need from you to improve their life and kind of involving them more in that values, discussion and progress along the way. And then we wrap up with talking about some ways of teaching our children about money. And Andy shares some specific recommendations for percentage targets to teach children, and then even some accounts to potentially set up for your kids.

Daniel Wrenne: So I think, we had a great conversation. I always enjoy talking money and family. And so I think you’ll enjoy it as well. And so I can’t wait to get it kicked off. So let’s jump into that right now.

Daniel Wrenne: Andy. What’s up? Welcome to the podcast.

Andy Hill: Thanks so much for having me, Daniel. I appreciate it.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, I’m excited to chat.

Daniel Wrenne: We got a lot of things in common. We were just catching up. And so that always makes for a good conversation. And what I wanted to focus in on, there’s a bunch of stuff we can talk about because we’re both money geeks, so we’ll try not to bore you guys listening with our personal finance geeking.

Daniel Wrenne: But really what I wanna talk about more is family and integrating that with your finances. And Andy has done a lot of work in that area. He created a podcast blog, a brand, marriage, kids and money. And so I know he’s spent a whole lot of time and put in a whole lot of effort, blood, sweat, and tears in that subject of mixing family with money and parenting and all that sort of thing.

Daniel Wrenne: So I look forward, I think that’ll be a great thing to kind of cover. Given that’s such an important topic for people. Most people we talk about that’s like top of the list. It’s like family is most important to them. So yeah. Before we jump into that, I would love it if you could give us kind of an idea of how, ‘cuz it’s not that you, it’s not every day that you come across somebody that’s producing content on family and money as their job.

Daniel Wrenne: That’s what I do.

Daniel Wrenne: And here’s, that’s what you’re doing. So I’m really curious, like how in the world did that happen?

Andy Hill: Absolutely. Yeah. So I graduated college and I started my career in corporate event marketing. I had a communications degree actually. I wanted to college I had no idea what I wanted to do.

Andy Hill: I followed what my brother did. He went to Michigan State, he got a com degree. I’m like, “I don’t know, I’ll do that.” So I fell into event marketing. It was a lot of fun in my twenties, traveling around, getting, be able to go to different parts of the country, even different countries to show off luxury cars.

Andy Hill: It was like super cool job for a 20 something, right? And then over time as I started to settle down, I met the woman of my dream, started to have kids the whole event marketing, corporate event thing got kind of tired. Working on the weekends, working on the nights. And I wanted more structure and more time for family, ‘cuz that was most important to me at the time.

Andy Hill: So, when we learned that we were gonna be parents, I definitely had a money mindset shift that helped trigger where I was gonna go with my career in the future. And after about 15 years in the corporate event marketing industry, I needed something else. I needed something different in my life to kind of have a spark and eventually maybe have it become my full-time job.

Andy Hill: So I remember having a really bad day at work one day where corporate management said, “Hey, you’re not on this team anymore that you’ve built and grown. You’re now on this team and you don’t have anybody on your team anymore and you’re gonna be doing this.” And it was like, there was no conversation around what you were interested in or what you wanna do.

Andy Hill: It was more like, you’re gonna do this. And I realized I didn’t really have any control of my life. I didn’t really have control of my corporate life. And then when I was at home, I was raising toddlers with my wife. And I didn’t really have a lot of control there either. So I felt like I needed something in my life that was like, okay, what’s for me?

Andy Hill: What’s something I’m interested in? What’s a fun hobby? And I loved talking about personal finance. I loved learning about personal finance. I love talking about family finance specifically. And so I decided to start a blog and a podcast on a whim in 2016 as a hobby, and slowly turned it into a side hustle as I figured out how to make a little bit of money from it.

Andy Hill: And then in 2020, beginning of the year, I transitioned into it full-time. Making full-time content around family finance, personal finance. And that’s what I do for a living now.

Daniel Wrenne: Right before the pandemic hit.

Andy Hill: Right. You know what, if you’re ever gonna leave your steady corporate career, don’t do it two months before the pandemic comes.. Cause that was tough.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. Yeah. Well, people think of the corporate jobs or employment even as like steady and secure and safe and comfortable. And which I guess it kind of is those things, but on the downside, it’s like autonomy, not so much control, not so much. It’s way easier to get fired. When you’re self-employed, you are your own boss, so it’s harder to get fired and..

Andy Hill: Yep, absolutely. I hear you.

Daniel Wrenne: There’s a whole lot of perks. I think entrepreneurship puts you in the driver’s seat to be able to solve problems and create solutions and that’s what you’re doing now.

Daniel Wrenne: At the end of the day, you’re helping people and helping them in a pretty important area. So that’s also rewarding, more rewarding. I mean, event planning and all that is rewarding, I’m sure, but helping people turn the corner on their finances.

Daniel Wrenne: That’s like life changing and yeah, it’s good work.

Andy Hill: It’s very fulfilling. I feel the most accomplished when I receive notes from people that any video I put out or a podcast I put on an article I put out actually help them with their goals. And it’s really moving.

Andy Hill: I love it. Yeah. Honestly, I love it. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, me neither. I would say the same thing ‘cuz we’re in the same, we’re not in the exact same line of work, but we are in a very similar line of work. And when I got an email yesterday or this morning from someone that listens and they’re like, “the shows you’ve been doing lately are just fantastic for what I’m going through in my life. And it’s been super helpful.”

Daniel Wrenne: And I emailed her back. I’m like, well, thank she cuz she was saying thank you and I’m like, “Thank you. When I get these, I’m like super motivated. I’m like let’s do this.”

Andy Hill: And that’s the juice that keeps me going, honestly. I mean, financial success is fun because we like talking about money, but it’s those personal notes of gratitude ‘cuz it’s cyclical.

Andy Hill: You get that gratitude to you then it’s honestly, it’s like, as you said, you wanna reply, “thank you, you’re keeping me going” and those are the vibes we need to be keeping going in this world.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, it’s not about the money. I mean the money is important to kind of live, but I think that sort of thing and the relationships are key.

Daniel Wrenne: So excuse me. In your experience you’ve spent a lot of time in this world of like family and finances. I’m curious, like what are some of the most important takeaways you have gathered or learned about marriage and family and money and those sorts of things.

Andy Hill: Yeah, I would say some of them are personal takeaways and then some of ’em are just from conversations I’ve had with people, whether it’s coaching or listening on the show, is that sometimes we get numbers focused where I wanna become debt free or I wanna become, I’ll raise my net worth or I wanna become a millionaire, or whatever.

Andy Hill: Some things like these numerical goals and I think we can lose sight of the purpose of wanting to do those things if we don’t put a why around it or if we don’t put our family values around it, or things that are important to us as individuals and then the collective of our family.

Andy Hill: So I’ve learned that personally, that these big wins that we might have, financial wins, are that much sweeter when they help you move towards a place you want to go in your life. Where you’re moving towards those goals that you’ve set up and said, “Hey, I wanna be able to work less so that I can spend more time with my aging parents, or I wanna be able to work less so I can spend more time with my kids. Or I want to craft my day where somebody else isn’t telling me what to do, or whatever it is. Or I want to just breathe easier because I feel like I am under this weight of debt or this financial mismanagement and I want to feel free and I wanna make some progress.”

Andy Hill: So when you’re able to write down those values or write down those goals and then see yourself progressing towards them, I think of those financial wins become that much sweeter.

Andy Hill: And I’ve learned that personally over my financial journey as well as talking to a lot of people about that as well.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, that’s a good one. I have had a similar experience. I was looking at my goals from 2006 ‘cuz I’ve always been in the personal finance industry and have learned the goal setting, financial planning process.

Daniel Wrenne: But I was looking at my goals from 2006 and it was like net worth x.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, yeah. And it was just a number and it was like, ” Man, that’s pretty weak.” But that was just kind of how I was operating it over time. I think personally that’s my favorite thing about good financial planning or the process of creating your financial plan is that it helps you to take a little time to think about not only like the goals, but where’s it coming from?

Daniel Wrenne: Why are you shooting for that goal? What’s your purpose, values, vision? What’s your why, basically. What’s the reasoning behind it? Because that’s the thing that motivates you. We’ve said this like a gazillion times on the podcast, but it’s like hitting the net worth goal or whatever it is, does not bring happiness, like in itself.

Daniel Wrenne: And in some cases it makes life more complicated. Yeah. But when you can accomplish your purpose, I mean, that’s like as rewarding as it gets and as super motivational. And I see that all the time in my work too, as people are very heavy, focused on the numbers and maybe they realize that maybe they don’t.

Daniel Wrenne: I think kind of adding to that, what I see that’s probably most concerning is when people say that they are not numbers focused and they say something like, my purpose or my values, they’re like, I’m pretty clear on that like family’s most important and that sort of thing. But then I like the quote, like, show me your you know what I’m gonna say?

Andy Hill: Yeah, yeah. Yep.

Daniel Wrenne: “Show me your checkbook and your calendar. I’ll tell you what’s most important.”

Andy Hill: Exactly.

Daniel Wrenne: And you look at the time and attention and resources and it does not align with that what they say is most important. That’s a concerning position to be in ‘cuz there’s this like buried ahead in the sand happening and lack of awareness I guess.

Andy Hill: Yeah, I’m very much about whether it’s your finances or your marriage or wherever, these are more of verbs. These are action. You gotta put action around what your words are. They’re coming outta your mouth because otherwise they’re just words. They’re hot air.

Andy Hill: If you really want to say you’re focused on creating more time to be with your family, then as you said, show me your budget, show me your calendar, and does that align? And if it doesn’t currently, that’s okay, but maybe the progression of little baby steps to get to where you want to go.

Andy Hill: Right. That was a big deal for me. I was working whatever, 50-60 hours a week and I wanted more time back so that I could be. a present father, present husband. More involved in my community, better taking care of my health. And that was my goal over moving away from my corporate career into taking on entrepreneurship.

Andy Hill: And even as I started the entrepreneurship thing, I was like, I still had this crazy, “well, how about our work 50, 60 hours to make this thing super successful?” And that it wasn’t until like, “Hey, you own your own business now, man. You can make the hours, you could make the time.” And so it took a while for me to realize, “Oh, I can, and I can choose to work 20 to 30 hours a week if I want to and make that a priority.”

Andy Hill: And then everything outside of that becomes the things that you really wanna do outside of obviously loving what I do, family, my health, being with my parents, being with my wife. And I found that to be growing and growing as the years go by.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. I like that as a, I mean, if you’re into kind of like this is no numbers focused, but it’s not numbers focused. I like looking at that as like a KPI.

Andy Hill: Yeah, absolutely.

Daniel Wrenne: It’s kinda like a performance indicator. The corporate world would say. So if you’re looking at your values and you’re saying what’s most important is family as an example, then it would be probably worthwhile to look at your budget and your calendar or your time spent and see how that’s shaking out.

Daniel Wrenne: And it’s just a good exercise, a thought process for everybody. And perfection is not the goal. it’s more just like “which direction are you moving?” And that’s been my progression too, is like, early on in my career. I was like hardcore into work and just working for money.

Daniel Wrenne: Really. Yep. And I didn’t quite connect the dots and then I’ve slowly progressed towards less attention and time towards work, but it’s still a challenge because you have to say no to things when you get successful too. That’s the other challenge is it’s hard to say no.

Andy Hill: Yeah. That’s a skill.

Andy Hill: That’s a skill that takes a lot of practice and that’s really hard for me. My wife jokes around, but my nickname is, “Andy Andy Andy”, because I keep on adding things to our plate, to my plate, to her plate. Because I don’t know I have a drive and a desire to do great things. But that drive and desire also needs to be managed so that I don’t move away from the things that are very, very important to me. It’s a learning process. So I feel like there’s a theme going on here, Daniel. It’s like the marriage of the numbers and the goals coming together to be one.

Andy Hill: And obviously we can’t get rid of important tools like a net worth tracking or your investment tracking or debt elimination or whatever your numeric goals are. But make sure that it has some sort of purpose. Like sometimes I find myself investing just for the sake of investing. And when I look at it, then I’m like, “Well, what is that for? Is that for retirement? Is that for my kids’ college? Is that for,” well, no, I just wanna, grow my investment account.

Andy Hill: So I got my..

Daniel Wrenne: That’s like kind of ego pride coming.

Andy Hill: I think that’s exactly what it is. Absolutely. Because the number better.

Daniel Wrenne: I can identify. It’s like I want my net worth to be bigger because I want my network to be bigger so that I can be a..

Andy Hill: So I can feel warm and fuzzy inside. Like, I’m like, I’m a big man.

Daniel Wrenne: Yep. big baller.

Andy Hill: That’s right. That’s right.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. But that has problems if you peel back the ears. Oh, yeah. And I find myself doing the exact same thing. My wife and I just had a conversation recently about finishing a basement in our house.

Daniel Wrenne: And way it’s gonna have to work is we’re gonna have to forfeit investing a fair amount to make that happen. And I am uncomfortable with that.

Andy Hill: Yes, exactly. That’s your whoopy, that’s your cushion of comfort. Like, no, I’m investing a certain amount. I do this for my professional life and to invest a lot less would mean I’m not as much of a financial educator or financial planner, right.

Daniel Wrenne: But then the question is what’s the purpose of the investing. I think I saw an article or podcast you had done where you talked about segmenting out the goals and how baseline retirement age 65 or whatever, once that’s kind of like carved out and saved for adequately, then it’s like, well redirect your savings to something else and make sure what that comes down to is connecting the dollars to goal or purpose.

Daniel Wrenne: And I think that’s important. Take away there is if you’re in that, not everybody’s in that boat. Some people are like, I’m not saving enough. But if you’re in that boat of like, I have just more wealth, I have more wealth, that’s kind of a problem in itself. And connecting it to the goal, and maybe it ends up being that like your goals are already fully funded. And then it’s like, well, go back to your values if you say family’s important, like maybe you should pair down hours work.

Andy Hill: Sure. Or if building your community or making the world a better place. Yeah. Or whatever you decide, “Hey, I am this person, or I say, I am this person. Well, what are you doing with your time, your money, your energy to move towards that?”

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. What are some of the biggest challenges families are facing today? I’m curious your thoughts on this just in general.

Andy Hill: Generally, I mean, it’s all in the news and everything like that, but I think just having your dollar go a little further lately with inflation and just a general uncertainty that still exists within the world post covid.

Andy Hill: I think that it’s changed a lot of family dynamics of working from home, not working from home, what that means as an individual, what that means for our careers. And I think that marriage dynamic too can have a lot of interesting play as well, where both parties we’re maybe both working in an office, now they’re both working at home and now there’s this odd hybrid thing going on.

Andy Hill: I think that has a lot of conversations that married couples need to have around what are our new roles? I think maybe the traditional way was a way for so long, and I think that the ability for couples to have modernized over the past decades is fantastic. And it’s even amplified over the past few years too, with the ability for parents to share a bit more of the at home life and all that goes into it.

Andy Hill: So, I’m excited for the future for families and parents to almost have the ability to redefine what they see as their important values and what they see as the way that they wanna spend their time. And although it might be swinging back towards the strongholds of the corporations, I still think the employees have a lot of say at this time and in our world and our society to kind of craft the way that we think families should be together.

Andy Hill: And it is sometimes a sad fact that we spend more time with our employees or our employers than we do with the people that we love the most. So if there’s a way for that balance to shift more towards, I don’t know, the family unit and people moving towards the values and the desires they have instead of feeling like they are trapped in a job, I think that would be beautiful.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. I wonder if that shift has been away from the family unit is my suspicion over the past, say, a hundred years or whatever. I think the shift has been towards other things besides family. And I think we got to also throw in like work is one thing. Sure. But then there’s also like all these other attention grabbers now, like cell phones.

Andy Hill: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

Daniel Wrenne: Everything’s like pulling at your attention. So, I keep going back to this time and attention and where are you spending that? And you got money too, but like time and attention is even more important.

Andy Hill: Absolutely, absolutely. Those are resources, right?

Daniel Wrenne: And if you’re not dedicating full attention to family, that’s a big challenge. And I think if you look at the family unit today I would say we have lots of room for improvement. Just if you look at, I mean, like divorce statistics are one thing. I don’t know if they’ve gone up or down, but I think people are kind of unhappy, like depression is really high, which is a negative thing.

Daniel Wrenne: And people seem to be stressed more, like anxiety is really high and there’s a lot of like foster children. Like that’s really concerning. Like the unit, it feels like the unit is a little bit or less tight today, maybe than it used to be. And as people are more aware of this, I think the future can be much brighter as we kind of pull it back the other direction.

Daniel Wrenne: The challenge is like you have to say no to things and make changes and those are all big scary, hard things to do to kind of rededicate or redirect time and attention. Back towards the family unit. I was talking with my wife and I got another example of my wife and I talking about this stuff is not the basement, but we were talking about attention and how I have a hard time dedicating attention when she brings up a conversation about something.

Daniel Wrenne: So, it was about one of my good friends whose mom recently passed away and I get like very zeroed in on tasks. and when she brings something up, it’s hard for me to shift to what she’s bringing up. And I’m laser focused. And I probably am kind of like not even paying attention to what she’s saying, which is definitely disrespectful to my wife.

Daniel Wrenne: But this is a tiny example, but like the more I can dedicate attention to her to listen to something she’s bringing up that really is very important for me and her. And kind of give that attention her way and not be focused on a task or on my smartphone or working or whatever it is that kind of thing, like really tightens the family union.

Daniel Wrenne: And I think is, if my wife and I are tight, that’s gonna have tight, produce a tight family, tight children, tied everything. And people don’t equate that to money exactly. But it all ties into money too, right?

Andy Hill: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a perfect example of this sort of blend of what’s happened over the past few years too with the, “I’m working from home, or I’m working from an office”.

Andy Hill: And the ability to kind of physically and metaphorically shut down one task and then be back and present for another. It’s tough because we’re melding a lot of these things. We’re laptops in the bedroom, we’re smartphones at the kitchen table. I mean, I’m not saying that this is you specifically.

Andy Hill: I think this is..

Daniel Wrenne: I’ve been there

Andy Hill: ..Culturally. I’ve done it too. And mess up sometimes as well, where it’s like, “Oh, that’s not the best man I could be this week.” But I’m at least aware of it. And I think that’s the first thing with a lot of improvement is just awareness.

Andy Hill: Right. Recognizing it as opposed to obliviously going through the day, being like, what’s her problem? You know? So I think awareness is key. And then, obviously as a goal-oriented individual and people who are listening to this show, I’m sure are very goal-oriented individuals. I think setting aside that time to say, ” what do I wanna do?

Andy Hill: Who do I want to be? How can I improve in small ways to get there?” I think is a key step for whether it’s family issues or financial challenges. You know?

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. I’ve thought of another way from time to time of looking at family, ‘cuz the interesting thing about families is if I’m a dad, I’m saying family’s most important to me.

Daniel Wrenne: The interesting thing about it is it’s like not, basically what I’m saying is my wife and I have three kids, so my wife and my three kids are important. That’s like my immediate family. Yeah. But I’m the one saying it, it’s not even, I haven’t consulted them about how they define that as being a win or successful?

Daniel Wrenne: I’m just saying like, I want family to be most important, and I kind of like go on my way and I’m like, or I do whatever I do and, but I rarely consult them or even think from their perspective, like, what does it look like for them to consider us doing a good job with family? And I think that’s an interesting thought process is like, well, what if we asked our kids how do they define a good relationship with their dad? Or what if you ask your spouse?

Daniel Wrenne: That’s a little bit of a gutsy question to ask, but like, oh,

Andy Hill: I think those are the important questions. Those are the questions. What other questions do we need? Especially if we’re as we say, family focused individuals.

Andy Hill: I think it’s taking the time to ask those questions and it doesn’t need to be formal, like, I wanna set up a meeting so we can talk about this. It’s like when we’re having coffee together, when we’re having a glass of wine together, when we’re sitting down and just having conversation, what do we want out of this relationship?

Andy Hill: How do you define success? When are you the most happy with me as a spouse? And the same thing as a father. When you get a chance to have those conversations when they’re maybe not on their phones or doing something with their friends and, when are you most happy with dad?

Andy Hill: When have we had the most fun together and when, what do you wanna do more of with me? Those questions are fun. One tradition that I started a few years ago was one-on-one time with my kids each month. So this is dedicated couple hours. They get to choose what we do and we go off and do something just one-on-one, knowing when you have more than one child, like you have three sometimes they don’t get the attention that they maybe want because we’re all doing things as a big unit, and I found that to be a really nice time to just dedicate to them, to their interest. And I’m always putting away my phone.

Andy Hill: They’re putting away any devices they might have, and we’re just hanging out. We’re just learning about each other, playing around, doing something goofy, something not serious, and having fun. And I’m hopeful that as they grow up, they’re gonna remember those times with dad to say, Hey, that was fun.

Andy Hill: I really liked when we did those one-on-one times. And same thing with my wife. When we’re planning well it’s nice to get out of the house and do something together, especially during the wintertime where we’re making some memories together and laughing like we used to when we were just starting to date. All those things that brought together those great memories. what can we do to recreate those? Because life gets busy. Life gets real busy, and we start to go in our daily routine and years pass by and you say, wow, when’s the last time we did that?

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. That’s good. I have a similar routine with my kids and wife and, I do mine on their birthday to the month. If they were born on the seventh of the month of April, like we did seventh every month.

Andy Hill: That’s a great idea.

Daniel Wrenne: Cause I have a poor memory of.. And that helps me twofold. I can remember the birthday and I can remember which day of the month it is that we’re doing it and

Andy Hill: Oh, that’s great.

Daniel Wrenne: And it’s same sort of thing. And then just in general, I think, it would be interesting. My kids are just starting to get to the age where I can like ask them like what they would value most, but I think what the answers would be for both spouse and and children would be.

Daniel Wrenne: Time going back to time and attention, like, attention real attention, not just like, “Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.”

Daniel Wrenne: But like, dedicated attention and with the time to them doing the things, especially doing the things that they loved doing. Yesterday, my, or the day before, my youngest son kept asking me to jump on the trampoline with him, which is just such a good example of in my world, something I, like, I don’t really want to jump on the trampoline.

Andy Hill: Totally.

Daniel Wrenne: It’s, it’s kind of like, and it was cold outside and my legs were sore cuz I had worked out or something. I’m like, I came up with 15 reasons why I didn’t wanna do it. Normally, I mean, I’ve tried, this is a work in progress, like I said. And I’ve said no to that so many times.

Daniel Wrenne: But that time I said, “Yeah, okay, let’s go do it.” and it was fun. I mean, it was not I had to get kinda in the routine, but the part reason it was so fun is cuz he had a blast. I mean, he was loving.

Andy Hill: And that made you have fun. Right?

Daniel Wrenne: Exactly right.

Andy Hill: I’ve gone through that same struggle with my son too.

Andy Hill: I think there’s a lot of things as a whatever 5, 6, 7, 8 year old now that he thought was a lot of fun that he wanted me to do and I’m like, “I’ll do it.” But I get to a point where I’m like, we enjoy that and I can only fake it so long. So there’s eventually this hybrid, hopefully as time goes on, we’re getting to this point right now where he actually enjoys watching football with me, which is fun.

Andy Hill: Cause I don’t like watching football, which is a lot of fun. So he’s paying attention to the game, knows stats, and knows like who the players are. And we’re about to get into the playoffs and it’s fun. So we’re, it’s like there’s a point where it starts to meld together where you both like kind of the same thing.

Andy Hill: But yeah, there’s a little bit of give and take. It’s like, okay, you’re gonna come with me to do this thing that I like son, and I’ll show you, and then vice versa. I’ll jump on the plane a little bit because yeah, there’s gotta be a little give and take. But yeah, I feel you, man. There are times when we finish school for the day and it’s play with dad and it’s not always the stuff that I’m interested in.

Daniel Wrenne: I think a successful day is at the end of the day, I’m like dead tired. Yeah. And I’m like stumbling to bed because I’ve given my all given it all right. Wrestling matches, jumping on trampolines and all the things. But the challenge is with money going back to finances and the pool on usually time to make more money is a lot of it is I feel this pressure to perform professionally to make more money. And a lot of times people have this like dialogue in their head that they’re saying like, I’m doing it for my family.

Daniel Wrenne: Like, I need to earn more money so that I can follow this value that provide for the house, for my family, or whatever. But it goes back to the question, ask your kids what they value most of all the things you do. A lot of cases they’re gonna be like, we don’t even see you. Yeah. Let’s start there.

Andy Hill: Yeah. I’d like to see you more. Yeah. I’d like to spend more time with you. Anything. That time we wrestled. Usually. Usually it doesn’t go back to having more money. Right. Or it’s not like the thing you bought me that one time.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. My kids would say, I know my middle kid cuz he just said it recently. He would say like, Bucking Bronco. It’s just like the game, goofy game he played that’s wrestling. Yeah. Where I’m the Bronco.

Andy Hill: Uhhuh. Yep. Yep.

Daniel Wrenne: But he’s like, that’s probably what he would rank is like his favorite thing of all the things I’m like, “Wait a minute, you don’t like the nice house, you don’t care about the car. You don’t, it’s just the buck and Bronco?”

Andy Hill: Yep. That’s a really good, that’s a really good point. Absolutely. And I think that as we’ve been talking about, the merging of those goals can allow us to have those things. So yeah, we work real hard so that the financial stress can be decreased.

Andy Hill: We eliminate our debt, we invest a bunch. So retirement is not as concerning. But when you hit those things or when you get to those things, make sure that you’re moving towards the life that you wanna have as well at the same time. And not continuing to say, well, I’ll be that dad, or I’ll be that spouse when I accomplished these things.

Andy Hill: Or down the road. Or in retirement, I’m gonna be the most relaxed person. And ‘cuz who knows what retirement’s gonna look like? Or are they even gonna wanna spend time with you?

Daniel Wrenne: Right. I mean, I’ve heard that a million times. It’s like, I worked my butt off 80 hour weeks so that I could become financially independent or retire by.. And then I eventually did, and I realized I hadn’t never developed a relationship with my kids, and that by then they didn’t really wanna spend any time with me.

Andy Hill: They didn’t wanna be with me. Yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: That’s a sad spot to be in. Yeah. I saw some other stuff you were putting out about YOLO and Fire, and I love..

Andy Hill: Yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: I love those concepts. And because they’re kind of like, it ends with each other, but I like how you’ve talked about it, where you can kinda like progress from one to the other. I think the problem with fire, hardcore fire, is kind of along the lines of what we’re talking about. It’s like putting all your time and attention towards your career so that you can retire as soon as possible, become financially independent and retire as soon as possible.

Daniel Wrenne: That’s like the most hardcore version of fire, I think is

Andy Hill: Yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: All time and attention towards that one thing. But the problem is there’s no time and attention left. And it’s kind of like, it’s not balanced at all.

Andy Hill: Absolutely. Yeah. I’ll fall into that trap for sure.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. I’ve been there and worked through that. But then on the other end of the spectrum it’s like YOLO is like, you only live once, so it’s like you gotta enjoy the moment and do the things that are most important. And, I see it more as a progression. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Daniel Wrenne: I would like to kind of be in a career that I enjoy enough to be working forever in so that it’s not as much about retirement. And it’s more about like, enjoying the time that I have and accomplishing the goals that I have and that sort of thing. So it’s become less about fire, and more about like yolo.

Daniel Wrenne: And it sounds like that’s how you’ve progressed too.

Andy Hill: Oh yeah. And I think that swing can happen for a lot of people. It definitely did for me, like when Nicole and I got married, it was definitely yolo. It was like, I’m in love with this woman. Let’s have some fun. Let’s goof around. Let’s spend all the money that’s coming in.

Andy Hill: We’ve now doubled the amount of income we have. I was making 60,000. She was making 70,000. So automatically our life gets to double ‘cuz we’re living together. And we did the concerts, we did the dinners, we did the friends, parties, we went on vacations and it was fun. I don’t regret it at all. It was a blast.

Andy Hill: And then when my daughter came into the picture, it was like something in my mind went, “Hey, I need to financially prepare and make sure that we’re gonna give her the best life possible. And that her parents never fight about money and that she’s gonna have enough money for college so she doesn’t have to worry about student loans.”

Andy Hill: All those things started to come in my head cuz I enjoyed personal finance, I enjoyed money and that was my default. And so the fire switch turned on a little bit where it was like, okay, hardcore savings, hard, we want 50% savings rate for 10 years probably. Geez. And it helped us to do some incredible things.

Andy Hill: We paid off our debt, we paid off our mortgage, we hit coast fire. And it was just one of those things where I think that combination of me maybe not loving what I did as a career and wanting out

Daniel Wrenne: Yep.

Andy Hill: As well as wanting to be the best man, the best dad I could be, the best husband I could be and best earner allowed for me to move more towards that fire path. Again, it’s not horrible, but I didn’t like where I was going. And by the time we paid off the mortgage and moved towards having some of these investing goals hit, I realized that the happiness didn’t come from the goals being hit.

Andy Hill: I wasn’t like automatically, I mean, I’m sure damn happy when we paid off our mortgage. That felt really good. And then investing goals, they felt really good. But it wasn’t like automatic light switch. I’m now, I’m out a lot happier. It wasn’t until I decided that I really needed to shift my priorities and my time towards the things that I say that I love, that I wanna spend more time towards that I moved a little bit more towards yolo. I think the happy medium for me, at least personally is part-time work. I try to keep my schedule of work from to 20 to 30 hours a week. And lucky enough for me, those 20 to 30 hours are something that I absolutely love doing. I’m working right now talking to you, which is great.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, this is work.

Andy Hill: This is work. So I have that time during the week to do what I love. And then I have also carved out specific time for me to exercise every day because I got high cholesterol and I need to beat that number. And I love being with my kids. So I’m there when they go off to school.

Andy Hill: I take ’em to school. I’m there after school to make ’em food and help ’em with their homework. And I’ve got a lot, a great amount of time to spend with my wife just goofing around and playing, having coffee, talk in the morning, and then spend time with my aging parents. Like, I love them and they’ve been so good to me in my life and I don’t wanna say, “Oh man, I was busy with work and I wish I would’ve spent more time with them.” I want that time to be now. And they’re healthy and god willing, we got 20 years, together, still. Yeah. So I wanna be focused and spend time with people I love.

Daniel Wrenne: It’s interesting, at least my observation has been that the people that are most hardcore fire, it’s like this correlation between how it’s like the more they hate their job, the more fire they get.

Andy Hill: Yep.

Daniel Wrenne: And the more they love their job, the more they’re like, nah. So it seems like most of the time that the thing driving the fire is the frustration with work. And I know that’s very common with physicians.

Andy Hill: Yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: Is a lot of you guys are really fried at work and it’s a tough situation.

Daniel Wrenne: You’ve lost control, autonomy’s gone and all that. And so people are just like, “I gotta get outta here.” So it’s like, fire is the only way. But I would challenge that and say like, Look at Andy. I mean, or there’s a lot of examples of that, in shifting career, maybe exploring that avenue first at least before you go too far down the road, because there’s a lot of negative consequences that can come from doing the whole fire thing.

Andy Hill: Yes.

Daniel Wrenne: So what’s interesting about it is it like pushes you further into a job you hate. So it’s like, you’ve already got this job you hate, but if you go hardcore towards fire, it kind of like pushes you more into the thing you hate more.

Andy Hill: Yeah, I gotta stick around, I gotta maximize this income, I gotta, yada yada. But it’s, as you say, there are other options, like, so if the place you’re working at or the situation you’re working at, there are other jobs. There are other jobs, yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: Anywhere

Andy Hill: ..Or there are ways that you can become a self-employed individual with your skills.

Daniel Wrenne: Or do a podcast.

Andy Hill: Or do a podcast Exactly. where you help people. Absolutely.

Daniel Wrenne: And tell them about getting away from their fire to enjoy their life. I mean, you don’t talk about anything on podcasts and there’s a lot of physicians out there that are fried at work.

Daniel Wrenne: And what’s interesting is there’s been a huge amount of new podcasts being created around physicians burning out and how they’re working through that. And, well, it’s cause..

Andy Hill: We need community. People need community. People need to hear it from other folks, cuz it’s not, when you meet somebody in the middle of the day, how you doing?

Andy Hill: Oh, I’m great. I’m good. How are you? Fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Thanks. Busy. Great. Here’s the greatest thing that happened to me recently. Nobody’s diving deep in saying, actually my job, it feels like it’s soul sucking. Like I can’t stand it and I don’t have time for the things that I enjoy. My health is fading.

Daniel Wrenne: Hmm.

Andy Hill: I feel like I’m 60 when I’m 40. Like, that’s not conversation, but I think..

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah, nobody’s gonna say that, exactly.

Andy Hill: But it’s important at least to have people on this beautiful internet that we have where we’re sharing real stories about the real struggles of life and have some community, and also understand that there are ways to design the life you wanna have.

Andy Hill: And I think there is, I mean, we’re coming to this conversation of stunt search, essentially, like buying your time. The financial moves and the individual things that you can do can allow you to buy back that time. And it might take some moves to get there. And one of them can be just switching jobs and doing that hard research.

Andy Hill: I know you feel like you probably don’t have a lot of time to be, I can’t look for a job right now. That’s the last thing I have time for. But what if that’s the thing that set you free? What if that’s the thing that helped you from this stress depression ball that you might be in, and it could really help you.

Daniel Wrenne: Right. It’s worth, it’s priceless. I mean, and if you can kind of buy into that, it becomes very motivating to Yeah. Look for alternatives and there’s plenty of good alternatives where, you can enjoy it or move the direction of, it’s not gonna be like perfect either. That’s a myth.

Andy Hill: It is

Daniel Wrenne: Moving towards the direction of more desirable, I think we’ll, kind of reduce that pressure to feel like I gotta be financially independent as soon as possible.

Daniel Wrenne: And cuz you can see yourself like working in this for a much longer time. And I think that’s more balanced too, cuz you can spend the time with doing the things you really value. And most people don’t say like, work is my number one value. I guess it can be, but most people I interact with don’t rank that as like their top value.

Daniel Wrenne: It’s more like outside of work.

Andy Hill: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely.

Daniel Wrenne: Like family. So I wanted, as we get close to wrapping up, I wanted to talk about our kids too and money and helping them. Cuz that’s a big topic. We’ve covered that in several shows recently on helping to start to teach our children about money.

Daniel Wrenne: And I have enjoyed, I’ve bought several books and gone through it with my kids and it’s been kind of a fun exercise. I probably talk about money with my kids too much.

Andy Hill: Me too.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. But we’re like finance geeks, so, and they’re probably like, ah, not another money conversation, but I think most people probably don’t talk enough about money. And that’s probably a good starting point. What do we do? What do we do as parents? Like how do we start teaching our kids about money?

Andy Hill: Yeah. I think that’s a great way to start it for the folks that say, ah, well, I’m not a money geek. Or, I, what do I know? I think you know what you know. And I think being able to share just everyday things that you’re doing and then almost speaking out loud about it, you’re at the grocery store with your kids.

Andy Hill: Hey, look at these prices here at the grocery store. This costs this. Or what are the things that we need at this store versus the things that we want? I know they’re, we’re down this candy aisle. That’s gonna be a fun want that a lot of us would enjoy like a little extra treat. But what are the things that we need to make our lives good?

Andy Hill: Like some of those easy conversations needs versus wants just the prices of things. How money works in general. You go up to that credit card machine and you wave that thing and it goes bloop, bloop. Like, it’s just magic. I mean, the idea of unlimited physically spending money is, it’s gone. I mean, it’s almost gone.

Andy Hill: It really is. We’ve transitioned our kids as around maybe five years old, seven years old, from sort of a money in jars situation to a physical debit card with digital jars. So we use ally, you can use it probably any, bank for this. But physically having separate money and separate jars for purposes as we’ve been talking about.

Andy Hill: Like not just saving to save, but what is this for? And so we have a giving bucket, we have an investing bucket, we have a saving bucket. We have a fun bucket. Like spend it on whatever you want. And a lot of those things help to define why we’re talking about money. Or why we’re saving money, why we’re investing money.

Andy Hill: And those things can really help kids have it click a little bit more as opposed. They understand the fun one. It’s like, oh, I get Roblox, or I get I get toys, or I get Pokemon cards. The other things, need a little bit more definition so that they can be interested in the future. And that takes a lot of time.

Andy Hill: Obviously it doesn’t need to be a switch flipped overnight, but I think these little tiny conversations, maybe not the heavy-handed ones can start to make progress over time so kids can feel, oh, I get it. Or I heard mom and dad talk about that, or, this just doesn’t feel so intimidating because I’ve heard it before.

Andy Hill: I think that there’s this general taboo in the world about talking about money that makes people shy away from it. Maybe from negative experiences, maybe they had as children or as even as adults, feeling like, okay, money is bad. Money’s just a tool

Daniel Wrenne: Root of all evil.

Andy Hill: Exactly. Money’s just a tool to help you do the things that you want to do in life.

Andy Hill: So if you’re able to think of it as a tool, like it doesn’t have a soul. It’s just a thing. And if you’re able to wield that thing to help you to be a better family individual, be a better person in general for the world, then I think that’s how you win with money.

Daniel Wrenne: Yep. Completely agree. The Ally account, are you setting it up in your name and just having separate buckets for their benefit kind of thing? Or are you having like actual custodial accounts, like in their name that they have multiple buckets.’

Andy Hill: It’s a custodial account. My name’s on it with their names attached to it, so.

Daniel Wrenne: Okay. So that’s like technically just for you guys listening to clarify. Technically it’s like the kids own the asset. It’s like technically their money. But dad’s in charge of managing it and you can kind of make transactions that sort of thing. And it comes with, you have a debit card that you

Andy Hill: Yeah, I have a debit card.

Andy Hill: It’s in my name. But most purchases, honestly, whether you’re purchasing online or even in the store, doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’m there with them when they’re making those things. My, my kids are 10 and 8 so they’re not off to the mall, but I’m not even sure any people go to the mall anymore. Off to the movies with their friends or anything like that.

Andy Hill: But I think even in that case, you’re flipping the thing and goes blip-blip. So, I think it comes with essentially your ownership, but training wheels, so I really like that. There’s obviously there’s a bunch of other ones we bank with Ally, so I liked that having the custodial one.

Andy Hill: But there’s other ones like, FamZoo, which is a great debit card for kids. Or go, Henry, Greenlight, Goal Setter, a lot of these ones out there really help you to kind of have that extra training wheels for the kids and maybe even add some financial literacy lessons within them.

Andy Hill: And I think those are fantastic FinTech tools out there that are helping to make this generational wealth thing possible. And I applaud all those FinTech leaders there because sometimes it’s, as we’ve talked about, maybe not the most profitable business idea, but really it is helping to create money, smart kids, and I love it.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. Ha. I’m curious about the, you said give, spin, save, or Yeah. Invest basically those three buckets and then is there another one?

Andy Hill: Invest.

Daniel Wrenne: Invest. Okay. Yeah.

Andy Hill: And then for a while we had college as well. But I think that, we just pared it down to invest because within that can be so many different buckets, right?

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. That’s more broad. Yeah. Yeah. And you, do you guys kind of talk about a percentage to each approach or is it..

Andy Hill: Yeah, so, I have a theory for generational wealth. I call it the 60/40 generational wealth plan for kids. So 60% of the money that comes in, we do this for our family, is what I suggest to parents is for fun, is for fun spending. Money for them to learn how money works to goof around with, to make mistakes with. I actually encourage mistakes because those where the lessons come from. And then 10% forgiving because I think that honestly, a big part of general happiness is being able to give your money to causes that you care about, to family, to friends. Being able to give gifts on people’s birthdays. It takes you out of yourself, which is good. Yeah.

Daniel Wrenne: For having It also helps remove this emotional attachment to money and helps you view money more as a tool.

Andy Hill: Absolutely. And then 10% for savings and then 20% for investing. Because I think there’s a lot of big goals in our lives that are gonna come through investing, and if you’re able to do that early with kids time and compound interest are your best friends. Because if you’re talking about home ownership with rising prices for homes right now, starting early for investing could make a huge difference in a home down payment for your kids when they’re 30 years old. Or if you’re able to get ’em involved in the family business, if you have one, maybe a Roth IRA when they’re in their pre-teens or teens to start investing early for their retirement for 50 or 60 years.

Andy Hill: Like that stuff is powerful. Yeah. So that’s why I encourage 20%. And obviously when they turn 18, 22, get their own job, hopefully they stick with that 60 40 plan the test. But if not, it’s at that point it’s outta your heads. But I think that as individuals, if we can train people to train our kids, at least to understand that those other three buckets besides spending are very important for you to hit the goals that you want in life, that will help combat lifestyle inflation. Because we all leave college and we’re all eating pizza and ramen, and then we get our first check and that’s like, I’ll take that luxury car at least please. You don’t need it, man. You don’t need that. But if you’re able to keep consistent with, Hey, I want to control my lifestyle with the new money that’s coming in, that’ll allow me to continue to build generational wealth like my parents did.

Daniel Wrenne: Yeah. A lot of that comes from just educating your children, I think at an early age and you are coming out with a course, right? To kind of help further this education. You wanna tell us about that?

Andy Hill: Yeah, absolutely. It’s called Make My Kid a Millionaire. So it’s got that catchy title, kind of draw people in because hey, that’d be fun, right?

Andy Hill: But. When we’re talking about millionaires, we’re talking about happy kids, we’re talking about generous kids. We’re talking about kids that have a purpose towards their investing and their savings goals that surround family and generational wealth. So, it’s all about how to inspire that generational wealth because I think a lot of it is not just handing the kids money and saying, here you go.

Andy Hill: I left you a pot of gold. Good luck. Because you have to, like a lot of people, if you don’t have experience with something, you will more than likely fail. You talk about these lotto winners that get plopped with a bunch of money and how quickly they lose it. I think it’s like 80%, 90% go bankrupt or lose it all within the first five years.

Andy Hill: It’s something insane like that. I think it’s sort of the same if we’re working so hard to say, Hey, I’ve worked, I’ve saved and invested for you. Here’s your trust or your, but I didn’t teach you anything for the past 18, 20 years. You’re gonna see some failure. You’re gonna see some the of that third generation, wealth failure where we’re not training our kids up in order to handle it.

Andy Hill: So I think there’s a lot of that in the course we’re talking about inspiring and generational wealth investing for generational wealth and then protecting it as well. So I’m excited to release that in the next couple months.

Daniel Wrenne: Nice. Yeah, we’ll definitely link to that when that’s out and..

Andy Hill: Yeah, I’ve got a little bit more information at, if you wanna throw that for people.

Andy Hill: But I’m excited to release it and share what we know as individuals. And I also interviewed 300, 400 people who are very, very smart on the subject and included them in the course as well.

Daniel Wrenne: Nice. That’s good. Well, Andy, I appreciate you coming on. It’s been a good conversation. Like I said, there’s a lot we could talk about and I feel like we’ve hit some of the really important stuff, but definitely some subpoints we could kind of get into for future conversations, so hopefully we can stay in contact.

Andy Hill: That’d be great, Daniel. I appreciate it, man.

Daniel Wrenne: Thanks, Andy.