Episode 229

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Building Wealth on Tipped Income. Barbara Sloan


Episode Description

Money is one of the most common topics couples argue about. Money represents security, happiness, and control. Being financially intimate means being able to share your thoughts and feelings about money openly and honestly with your partner. But when one person is dependent on the other, or you don’t share common goals, or don’t feel comfortable talking about money, the dynamic changes and it affects every aspect of the relationship. By uncovering your attachment style you can understand why you think and act the way you do in relationships.

In this episode, Certified Financial Therapist, Financial Planner, and founder of Healthy Love and Money, Ed Coambs discusses the importance of understanding your attachment style in a relationship. We take a look at what attachment styles are, why they matter in relationships, and how you can identify yours to become more self-aware and build a healthier long-term partnership.


Uncover Your Attachment Style

To cultivate more financial intimacy and joy in your relationship and your finances, visit healthyloveandmoney.com and identify your attachment style. 

About Ed

Ed Coambs is a former firefighter turned financial advisor turned marriage and family financial therapist. Ed is all too familiar with walking into high-intensity situations, navigating “the flames,” and walking everyone out safely.

With both formal education and personal experience in resolving conflicts, managing finances, developing emotional intimacy, and understanding family systems, he is an informed and empathetic guide. His goal is to help couples uncover and understand the roots underlying their financial conflicts.

With 20 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing a wide range of money-related distress, Ed started from the ground-up teaching in several different church-based financial programs. Ed earned an MBA with a focus on corporate finance which led him to become a Certified Financial Planner.

Ed understood how money worked but had no real formal training or understanding of how individuals, couples, and families worked. So what did Ed do? He went back to school again and this time he earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy. This training filled many gaps in his understanding of how money and people worked. Or didn’t work. You get the idea.

Buy Ed’s Book

The Healthy Love and Money Way : How the Four Attachment Styles Impact Your Financial Well-Being

We learn countless ideas from our families about money. Many of them are caught and not taught. The Healthy Love & Money Way shows how our attitudes about ourselves, relationships, and money evolve from our past experiences and the attachment styles we developed as children. If you are having money fights with your significant other today, those arguments may be connected to unresolved issues from the past or methods of survival that

are no longer relevant to present life. Using the latest in love and brain science, as well as anecdotes from his own evolution from an insecure attachment style to a secure one, Ed Coambs shows how healthy love and money can be achieved no matter your starting point.


Get Social with Ed

FinTech We Recommend

FamZoo Online Family Banking

Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Money is one of the most common topics couples argue about. Money represents security, happiness, and control. Being financially intimate means being able to share your thoughts and feelings about money openly and honestly with your partner. But when one partner is dependent on the other, or you don’t share common goals or don’t feel comfortable talking about money, dynamic changes and it affects every aspect of the relationship.

By uncovering your attachment style, you can understand why you think and act the way you do in relat. In this episode, certified Financial therapist, financial planner and founder of Healthy Love and Money, Ed Combs discusses the importance of understanding your attachment style. We take a look at what attachment styles are, why they matter in relationships, and how you can identify yours to become more self-aware and build a healthier long-term partnership.

Discover what type of attachment style best describes you by visiting healthy love and money.com and look for the attachment style quiz in the menu or click on the link in the show notes. [00:01:00] I’m Bob Wheeler and this is Money You Should Ask where we explore why we do what we do when it comes to money.

Ed Combs is a former firefighter turned financial advisor, turned marriage and family financial therapist. Ed is all too familiar with walking into high intensity situations, navigating the flames, and walking everyone out safely. With both formal education and personal experience in resolving conflicts, managing finances, developing emotional intimacy, and understanding family systems, he is an informed and empathetic guide.

His goal is to help couples uncover and understand the roots underlying their financial conflict. It is so amazing to have you on the show, Ed. [00:02:00]

[00:02:00] Ed Coambs: Thanks, Bob. I appreciate it. I’m so glad to be

[00:02:02] Bob Wheeler: here. How has life been since FinCon, which is where we met?

[00:02:05] Ed Coambs: Oh my God. Life since FinCon has been unreal and fantastic on so many levels.

[00:02:12] Bob Wheeler: Well, just to let people know, we met, I saw you on a financial trauma panel and a lot of what you shared really resonated, so I really appreciate you being such an open book and you wrote a book. We’ll get into that , but you’re a financial planner. You do financial planning and couples therapy specialist sort of all in.

[00:02:33] Ed Coambs: Yes, I have multiple identity, not in the diagnosable type, but this very short bios history is I actually started my career as a professional firefighter and it was there that I learned that guys complained about two things, their wives and money . I thought, well, I don’t wanna have those problems when I grow up.

I was 19, 20 years old and we had a guy doing financial planning, financial planning, air quotes, but he drove Alexis and wore suspenders and I was like, man, that guy’s got something figured out. And so I was [00:03:00] like, okay, I’m gonna do the financial planning. Fast forward, got my mba, cfp, married my wife who’s a dentist, and that service, you say, wow, lucky guy.

Good for you. And on the inside I was like, holy shit, what do I do with this reality? My wife has more education than me, makes more money than me or friends have more money. They have more education than me. Oh, what is this insecurity thing that I don’t really know what is or how to. And so I went back to school to become a couple’s therapist to figure out how people work, not realizing I need to figure out how I work

Oh, that . Oh yeah. Me. Oh, I’m part of this whole thing. Like I just wanna help everybody else. Right. That was part of my thing is I just wanna help everybody else. There’s nothing to see here with me. And so in the last eight years, I’ve really been honing and questioning and realizing, oh, I have my own healing journey to go on and get through and work through, and.

Have just been asking endless questions about how to use [00:04:00] counseling to help myself, to help others to work with clients. And then this funny thing that we like to talk about is how do I apply that to people’s relationship with money?

[00:04:08] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And I have a couple of quotes here and some stuff before the show money for you if I have this right, was a source of stress, shame, fear, and anxiety within your intimate relat.

[00:04:20] Ed Coambs: 100% and it still can be from time to time. I mean, you have the accounting background, so you appreciate this. We’re doing end of year tax planning, my wife and our account. He’s like, oh yeah, just transfer this amount of money from your wife’s business account over here to get the retirement contribution and this amount.

And I’m making this business transition where I don’t have lots of cash on hand, and I’m just like, this sucks. I don’t like this. This feels bad. And meanwhile, he’s not paying attention that that might mean anything to me. Right. That my wife is fully funding our retirement accounts, our kids IRAs, HSA accounts, and it’s just like, And I’m sinking lower and lower into myself.

I’m like, oh, I know where I’m going. So it’s like at least I have the [00:05:00] self-awareness and ability. But it, yeah, the emotional responses still get triggered.

[00:05:04] Bob Wheeler: They still do. And I think that’s an important piece because a lot of people think, oh, Hey, if I read Ed’s book, if I read Bob’s book, it’s all done. . I wish.

It’s a relationship. Ed’s continual, your Money relationship goes on for probably longer than some of the other relationships do. , because it goes on till the end. .

[00:05:25] Ed Coambs: Hello, estate Planning right and what you do or don’t do Your Money. Legacy continues on to the next generations for sure. Yeah.

[00:05:33] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And was there ever a time where you felt like there was a couple that you couldn’t help?

Like it was just,

[00:05:39] Ed Coambs: did you see the couple? I just left my office earlier. No, , I’m kidding. . I think what it means to help a couple has had to change in my own mind first. Mm-hmm. , I’ve had magical thinking that I would save all couples and send them into the land of shangrila and perfect relationship. That’s not actually how it works.

But yeah, I mean, certainly early in my career there was couples where like this, I [00:06:00] don’t know what I’m doing and I didn’t really know what I was. In the last few years, I have felt much more confident and I do hold out hope for all the couples that I work with, and I also accept that some will not ultimately work out.

Yeah. No matter how good of an work we do together.

[00:06:15] Bob Wheeler: Well, it’s so interesting because I work with couples when they come in for tax planning, Uhhuh, , and often, not as much now because they know I’m gonna ask this, but the couples will come in and they say, we have dinner writing on this. Who’s right? , who’s right?

Because I wanna take the other one out. They’re wrong. Well, who’s the winner? Yes. So I always ask this question, are you on the same team or are you trying to beat each other? Mm-hmm. , Uhhuh, . And they’re like, oh, what? I’m like, I’m just checking. Cuz if it’s a competition, you’re trying to take each other out, that’s sort of gonna be different than are you actually trying to win as a couple?

and so many of us get caught up in story or it should be this way, or I’m supposed to make more, or I’m supposed to contribute [00:07:00] differently, and then it snowballs, you know? And we all learn about money differently. Some people grow up and their parents are teachers and they teach ’em how to budget. And other people grow up entrepreneurs as parents, and you’re just living dollar to dollar and trusting.

Yeah, none of them are wrong. They’re

[00:07:17] Ed Coambs: all just different. They’re different expressions and ways of being with money. The laughter about the competition is, yeah, couples. As I’m listening, I’m like, oh shit. In my tax call, we were just talking about like . Probably part of my shame is that there’s relational insecurity, but part of that lens is also competitive.

right? Especially with money. Like it’s this competitive, scarce resource. You gotta get yours. And so we bring that all that competitive spirit, right into our intimate relationship with our partner around money. And yet competition and intimacy usually don’t walk hand in hand unless you’re on the same team, right?

And then you can be a really close team where you’re competing against something else. But if you’re trying to compete against each other, you’ll fight to the death. I mean, if you’re a true competi, Well, and

[00:07:58] Bob Wheeler: that’s the thing, right? And as [00:08:00] you’re saying that, it’s funny because people will do that. They’re like, yeah, it’s all good.

It’s all equal. I won . But it’s all good. Like it’s totally, but I have three more points than you do , which is why I can be so kind, benevolent, and open. Yeah. Because I

[00:08:14] Ed Coambs: won . No, my God. Yes.

[00:08:17] Bob Wheeler: Oh yeah. Competition. And maybe everybody, but I think especially men are conditioned. I was conditioned. My value is my successes, Uhhuh, and all my accomplishments.

So I don’t even have time to rest cuz I gotta get to the next one and win another one. And it’s a lot of pressure. At least it was for me cuz I was like, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. But I’m just gonna keep faking it and try and win this thing. Oh, I won. Oh, Jesus. I don’t even know how I won that thing.

All right, let me try this. Oh wait, they thought I did good. I don’t know how I did good on that, but I gotta keep moving because they’ll figure it out sooner or later that I’m actually just faking it like crazy.

[00:08:54] Ed Coambs: Yeah. Right. Which is so common. We hear people talking about imposter syndrome right now. Yeah.

But I think the [00:09:00] competition, and what’s been interesting on my own journey around that is I actually had a whole nother lens on top of that that said, I’m not competitive. Mm-hmm. Now, mind you, I played varsity soccer, varsity swam. and you don’t get to play those unless you’re competitive. Right? But like in my mind, the story was I’m not that competitive.

Cuz my primary story in my head is I’m a nice guy,

[00:09:21] Bob Wheeler: right? And nice guys aren’t competitive

[00:09:24] Ed Coambs: and they don’t wanna beat people because they don’t wanna make them feel bad, right? And so there’s all these layers of ourselves that are showing up on the way we approach money. And when we’re in denial about these parts of how we really are, it comes out, it causes havoc.

[00:09:40] Bob Wheeler: Well it does, and I wanna find this in the book because I resonated with this. I know that people are gonna resonate with this. This is so true because, and this ties into the nice guy or the, I don’t wanna be competitive. You wrote, you were doing all these great things. You were doing the financial therapy association and you said, I still could not acknowledge the success for myself.

My [00:10:00] insecurities blocked any recognition for the contributions I was making. And I know this goes a little bit into imposter syndrome, but there’s, I think, this place for a lot of us that think, yeah. Hmm, I don’t see it. Right,

[00:10:13] Ed Coambs: because we also get all these conflicting messages about how we’re supposed to be in the world as children, right?

Some of us get it more verly like humility. Well, humility kind of blocks the ability to take pride a lot of times, at least in the interpretation of a child’s mind, right? And so depending on which is valued more, and then just the way you see your parents live, like my. With all due respect and love, they don’t walk around with any meaningful sense of pride in what they do.

That doesn’t mean they don’t feel proud of what they’ve done, but I certainly didn’t pick up on it. Yeah, and

[00:10:46] Bob Wheeler: I think when you talk about that, it’s like in therapy, I would imagine you want people to see their goodness, but if we acknowledge our goodness, well then we’re arrogant and egotistical and narcissistic.

And so it’s a trap, right? It’s a trap. [00:11:00] Or go out and make lots of money. Oh, you made lots of money, you’re evil. Well, wait

[00:11:05] Ed Coambs: a minute. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t, what do I do? Ah, yes.

[00:11:10] Bob Wheeler: It’s a double edge. Yeah, it’s a trap. Yeah. And so the more that we can start to bring this out in the open, talk about it, normalize it.

Mm-hmm. and our parents didn’t go with any intention of like trying to traumatize us. I

[00:11:24] Ed Coambs: mean, most of. Most parents are not trying to intentionally traumatize their kids. No,

[00:11:29] Bob Wheeler: they’re trying to make it better, and they just didn’t know better. And so this is not about parents are bad. My parents made a lot of mistakes.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m gonna keep making a lot of mistakes. And I’m gonna

[00:11:42] Ed Coambs: keep going. Well, we have no other choice but to collapse into despair. I mean, and that’s part of this, I think as far as I understand, the human condition at this point is when we see ourselves as bad, we fall into shame.

Yeah. And that’s a use part of the role in my mind of being a therapist, is helping people connect with their goodness, their authentic goodness. [00:12:00] Absolutely not the destructive, toxic, self-entitled, narcissistic stuff that we’re talking about. Like there’s this middle. The

[00:12:06] Bob Wheeler: goodness thing. Right. It’s so hard because we wanna be good and then if we’re good then we’re narcissistic.

And it’s not that we got to, but I think it’s so important to understand it’s okay to have our goodness, like you were saying, authentic goodness. .

[00:12:21] Ed Coambs: Yeah. Authentic and goodness. I think there’s a place of self reflectivity. There’s a place for healthy humility. Mm-hmm. as opposed to like self diminishment, right?

Is just like, I am really good and in that I can hold space to say, wow, Bob is also really good. But when it’s like, it’s only about my goodness, and I miss the fact that other people can be just as good, talented, smart, capable, in same ways as me and completely different ways, and

[00:12:45] Bob Wheeler: it’s all. And it doesn’t make us less than, I think that was the piece for me sometimes is, well, if I let other people be good, then I must be not good enough.

Uhhuh, Uhhuh, , because there’s only a certain amount of goodness that gets to go around and I don’t wanna take too [00:13:00] much cuz I want to be good. Good, right? Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Like it’s just a constant catch 22. Yeah. In your book you talk about there’s four different type of attachment styles, and for people that are new to this stuff, can you talk about what an attachment style.

[00:13:16] Ed Coambs: Yeah. Well, and let me share a funny story about this, because coming out of my firefighter MBA C fp, in my first graduate course to be a therapist, the course is called Advanced Developmental Psychology. I have no idea what the heck that means. . And then the professor shows us this video of some monkeys in a cage, and there’s a wire mesh mother with a bottle to feed from an A Terry cloth mother.

Mm-hmm. . And they’re showing what do the monkeys prefer, these little. They go get the food and then they go to the Terry Cloth. And this is Harry Harlow’s famous Reese Monkey study right now, I’m so clueless to the significance of this, but that piece of science amongst many other pieces of science have come together into what’s called attachment theory.

And over the last 80 years, [00:14:00] many, many different scientists have been studying the human bonding process and trying to understand it. And we also can approximate it through other living creatures, monkeys being one. But I didn’t like this idea because it meant that my bonding and developmental experiences impacted and shaped me, right?

And so in my own healing, growth and journey, I wanted to reject that for as long as I could because it didn’t feel safe to consider that how I was raised and what my parents did or didn’t do for me would have impacted me in. So for anybody that’s kind of newer on the healing journey or thinking about mom and dad impacting them, know you’re in good company, that’s a very normal early starting response.

Over time as I was working as a clinician and reading more and understanding what this means and the implications, and we talked about before the show recorded starting to do more and more of my own work and really more and more of my life breaking down. Start to see the truth of this. And so attachment theory is the study of human bondedness.

And a big [00:15:00] part of attachment theory is understanding that humans form four broad patterns of connection, relational connection. The first one is secure attachment. This is when you grew up in a caregiving environment where you felt parental warmth, acceptance, emotional nurturance, emotional understanding, and when things got out of line emotionally, the parents could repair or acknowledge and recognize, like, so mom makes son angry five minutes later.

Wow, you know what son? I’m so sorry that it made you angry. You were doing this. This is what happened for me, and now the sun understands why, and they go on. Right? So it’s not about not having bad emotional experiences, it’s. Being able to recognize the impact and work with them. And that’s four children, 5, 6, 7, 8.

But if this starts in infancy, attachment body obviously starts in the womb, but even early breastfeeding, all of that starts to send the message to the developing brain. Is this a safe, hospitable, warm, caring, nurturing environment or is it a disconnected, dangerous, threatening, cold environment? So attachment style one is secure.

The [00:16:00] other three are insecure attachment style. Insecure. Anxious is about, I’m gonna say how I wanna say this, never quite feeling like you’re enough. You often see yourself as less than the other. Mm-hmm. . And oftentimes your caregiving figures really couldn’t reach your emotional needs very well. So you learned that you had to over function to try to get your needs met, and you were never really sure if you were very effective in actually getting things done.

And so you have this relational anxiety, you’re always trying to get relationships to work, but never really certain that they’re working well. The flip side of that is avoidant attachment style. Now, you could have similar types of caregiving environments that led to the anxious, or you can have parents that are more of the cold withdrawing, dismissing, rejecting style, so they’re minimizing the value of emotions.

And so you do that. You have to turn away from relationship to survive, right? So you dismiss the value of relationship and being close. It also means you never really get to know yourself very. , which is true for both the anxious [00:17:00] and the avoidant. You don’t really understand yourself very well. You’re either, the avoidant is more self-absorbed typically, and the anxious is more other absorbed, and in that other absorption you are self-absorbed.

Right, exactly. It’s a funny twisted logic. So those are styles two and three, and then style four is disorganized attachment. And that typically means your caregiving experiences were very inconsistent, hot and cold, warm and cold. And it just was very unpredictable. And so you don’t really know what to expect from relationships, right?

At least with the anxious of the vo, you have some predictable sense that things are not gonna feel great one way or another. You just don’t know, like it’s consistent. So those are the four attachment styles in a. Yeah, and

[00:17:41] Bob Wheeler: those have a huge impact when you go into relationship. And even if you don’t go into relationship, if you’re just on your own and you’re spending money, if you’re coming from chaos, disorganized, if you’re coming from anxious or avoidance, right, you’re maybe you’re not gonna look at your bank accounts.

You’re just like, I’m just never gonna, I’m not dealing with it. [00:18:00] And so every day we’re making financial decisions whether we bring our lunch, whether. Walk to work, whether we’re like, there’s just so many decisions that we make. Am I gonna save? Am I gonna spend, do I buy the coffee? Do I upgrade? Do I get the supersize constantly?

How do I

[00:18:16] Ed Coambs: feel about myself in that? Right? Yeah. And then there’s this self-evaluation. And then for many of us, it’s also the evaluation, especially if you’re anxiously attached. How is my partner gonna feel about this? What will they think? What will they think? Or what am I trying to get them to think of me because I’m doing this or not doing that?

And so that’s where the relational anxiety really shows up in the money patterns on spending. But it goes into our investments and our taxes and our insurance decisions, and our estate planning and education funding, right? All the big major areas of financial planning. Who we are, we, we bring who we are

[00:18:47] Bob Wheeler: to all.

Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve sort of come to believe that we all have a story and every story has a cost, right? We’re like, yeah. Oh yeah. Because when we’re doing taxes, we hope we’re telling a non-fiction story. Right? And if we’re [00:19:00] telling a fictional story, we at least hope it sounds non-fiction, , right? But we’re all telling a story.

And whether we know it or not, it’s costing us either it’s a good cost or it’s a bad cost, but yeah, it’s just all underlying, and most of us, or at least me, was unconscious about it for so long and really having to bring it up. It’s not

[00:19:19] Ed Coambs: fun. No, it’s really painful oftentimes to become aware of the inner narrator or narrators.

So a fun part of our psychology, some would argue, is that we don’t have just one voice in our head. We have multiple voices going in our head, and that’s not like a mental health disorder. That’s a normal psychological setup. More popular therapy models. Right now it’s called Internal Family Systems and it talks about having different parts and how to work with those different parts.

So yeah, we got voices

[00:19:46] Bob Wheeler: going in our head, and I will say to a lot of people out there that have started doing the work, I thought a lot of the voices in my head were my parents, but it actually turned out it was my voice just disguised as my parents . Oh, I love it. Yes, at a certain point I took it [00:20:00] on, right?

Absolutely. At a certain. It’s on me. And that’s

[00:20:03] Ed Coambs: hard. And it’s a reclaiming of power to do that, especially of those voices because we do take on our parents’ voices that help us narrate the world and narrate ourself. But in that healing journey, we’ve gotta reclaim our ability for all of our voice. And that’s easier said than done

[00:20:21] Bob Wheeler: for sure.

Now you talk about financial intimacy, Uhhuh . Do you think that a lack of financial intimacy affects intimacy in other parts of people’s lives?

[00:20:31] Ed Coambs: A hundred percent. So kind of three big intimacies in my mind are emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy, and financial intimacy. And those are all deeply intertwined with each other.

If I’m angry and resentful about your ability to be emotionally close to me, I’ll start spending a shit ton of money to get your attention right. I work without in my practice all the time. And then obviously that goes into the bedroom

[00:20:52] Bob Wheeler: too, right? And really, financial intimacy and financial infidelity are sort of IWiN.


[00:20:59] Ed Coambs: [00:21:00] infidelity is the dark side of financial intimacy. I’m gonna

[00:21:03] Bob Wheeler: go find it somewhere else.

[00:21:04] Ed Coambs: Yeah. Or I’m not gonna tell you about what’s going on because I don’t feel safe to tell you about my insecurities, which is where I’ve fallen on my face with my own wife. Only my own side of the track is I didn’t feel as if I was good enough to tell her about my financial mistakes.

I didn’t feel as if it was safe to be honest about this is how much debt I now have in my business as I’ve tried to get it. And again, the story, right? That was the story in my head, that it’s not okay that I’ve crossed this threshold that’s not been stated by her or I, but now all of a sudden the debt is at this level that feels wholly unacceptable.

And oh my God, if I tell her what will happen, and that fear of judgment and rejection and criticism was more than enough to stop me from being financially transparent. , which I had been for many years prior. So that’s what you come back to. Attachment styles. If you have insecure attachment styles, you’re not gonna feel fully safe and confident to talk about difficult things when things don’t go right financially, which is inevitably gonna happen in an intimate relationship.

[00:21:58] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and I was just thinking is [00:22:00] when we don’t talk, when we don’t share our assumptions, or I think you’re thinking this, we start to make silent agreements, we’re not gonna bring this. And then all of a sudden we’ve made like 50 silent agreements and we don’t even know how to backtrack on any of ’em. We get so invested in the stories and I know we didn’t actually agree, but we sort of agreed cuz we didn’t speak about it and we sort of silently shook hands to go down this path that we almost can’t get back from.

[00:22:27] Ed Coambs: That’s right. Yeah. I think as humans and especially intimate relat. I don’t know that we can take time to verbalize all the agreements we’re making with intimate partners along the way. And so you just, there’s a certain facilitated process of just being able to make some assumptions along the way, but at some point those assumptions are gonna get violated and that’s where you

[00:22:44] Bob Wheeler: rumble.

Yeah. I love Brene Brown cuz she talks about these, she shares some stories where she’s made all these assumptions about her husband and . He was literally completely thinking about something else. Oh, but boy, the story was real for her. We’ve [00:23:00] all. And we

[00:23:01] Ed Coambs: all do it and we’ll continue to do it. There’s no fully freeing yourself from that.

We are meaning making story making creatures, and that can be a really great thing. And if we can recognize when we’ve spiraled, which is what Brene talks so eloquently about, is how quickly the story can start to spiral into more and more exaggerated states. . And yet it feels real because our stories are subjectively true to

[00:23:22] Bob Wheeler: us.

Yeah. And we’ll find anything to reaffirm it and go, yeah, yeah. Add more fire. Add more fire.

[00:23:27] Ed Coambs: Yes. This feels good.

[00:23:29] Bob Wheeler: Yes, this is good. I’m getting warmer. Uhhuh . Well, you’ve got this new book out, the Healthy Love and Money Way. What are some of the key points that you really would love our listeners to take away from that?

And they read?

[00:23:40] Ed Coambs: You know, I think one of the things that I’ve heard from people that have read the book is I’m. Like I air some of my dirty laundry in there for the sake of, I guess maybe using that word humility, but also just to say like, we’re complex critters. We got a lot of moving pieces going on that are all shaping and influencing the way we approach our money in that.

I also hope [00:24:00] that the stories share hope that you can move through and work through the financial setbacks that you’ve gone through or are going through currently. And then that third piece is if you’re in an intimate relationship, you’ve gotta figure out how to do this with your partner. I mean, I hope it’s okay to say this.

Doing money and sex is another alignment. Look, masturbating can be really fun and ple. Doing money alone can be fun and pleasurable. Right. But doing money with your partner, well just like doing sex with your partner well could be really fun.

[00:24:30] Bob Wheeler: even better. And you got a witness, , and you got a witness

[00:24:33] Ed Coambs: and so great, like shared pleasure.

This is something that I was working with a couple very recently where they’d just gone on a big trip and they had overspent and they were beating themselves up. Oh, we overs spanning. We need to be saving. I said, well, did you guys create some incredible shared experiences together? , yeah. You need to speed this trip up because you have some other life events coming.

Are you gonna continue to save over the long term of your life? Yeah. Okay. Sounds like you use money to really [00:25:00] facilitate a nice time together and create some great shared memories. Didn’t look, kind of think about because they’re being so hard on themselves about violating the money rule of overspending.

Yeah. But being able to be there together, have them look at each other, talk with them and help guide them into that. They’re just like, oh, thank you. This is such a better way to experience our

[00:25:19] Bob Wheeler: money. I think there’s such a part. I know for myself that sometimes I forget that the whole point of saving money, making money, having a healthy relationship with money is so I can actually have some pleasure and stop and go, oh, this is one of the moments where I actually get to splurge and treat myself because I’ve been good.

And I think for the longest time, if somebody else was in pain, I can’t share my pleasure cuz I’ve gotta stay. In pain to maintain everybody else. The good guy syndrome, right? Gotta make everybody else feel comfortable. , instead of saying, I feel your pain, I see your pain, right? And I’m in a really different place right now.

Neither one is good or bad, it’s just I’m in a different place. I don’t have to be ashamed of that.

[00:25:59] Ed Coambs: That’s [00:26:00] huge psychological work to be able to get and hold that place and to navigate that relationally well is that seeing another person in distress and then being able to hold that. I’m also in an okay place.

I think for a lot of people on their wealth journey, they hit these points where it’s like, I don’t deserve to have all this wealth because look at all these other people that don’t have it. It doesn’t feel okay to have this. How can I have this and feel and then I’m pushing a little harder. But this is where philanthropic activities try to balance the mental skills in some ways.

Yeah. And. We’ve gotta consciously figure out what we’re doing and how we manage that. And it’s not, again, another not easy, simple answer. Like, here’s the exercise, Bob, that alleviates all of that. And I’m like,

[00:26:38] Bob Wheeler: no, now. And unfortunately you don’t get to read 75% of the book and you’re 75% there . You got it

Well, I just read 10%, I’ll be 10% better. Yeah. You gotta do the work like it’s not fun. It’s not. And I know we talked about this and I’ve talked with other people, it’s just not, it’s hard work. It’s hard. No kidding. [00:27:00] It’s not easy. Yeah. And it’s worth it.

[00:27:02] Ed Coambs: And it’s worth it. And I think I would add, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

Right? Yeah. Especially on this. If you’re going through this internal journey of who am I? Who am I in relationship with money, where did all this come from? Well, you’re gonna inevitably come into painful points and experiences around. But the point is not to just get to that painful point. The point is to work with resolving and metabolizing, if you will, so that you can get to the other side.

Right? We’re not trying to just take you into your financial pain for the sake of it. That’s pointless. That’s self-flagellating. Yeah. What can I do now that I’m really owning and experiencing to resolve, to grieve really is the process oftentimes. And mechanisms to grieve are many, but we need to grieve the loss of the pain and the trauma around money or other lived experiences.

[00:27:52] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for me, there’s no point in doing all this if we’re not like willing to be changed, willing to grow from it. Otherwise, it’s just, yeah. Re [00:28:00] trauma. . Retraumatizing. Yeah. We were retraumatizing ourselves, right? Like yeah, that’s, I’m not really down for that. I am down for pushing through it, and I think for me, knowing.

When anger comes, I can say, oh, there’s the anger piece coming up, or here’s the self-sabotage piece. Ah, isn’t that interesting? How curious, the timing of this little voice coming in and then not letting it take me out, but just saying, could you just take a backseat? Could you put it on mute, dude? Put

[00:28:27] Ed Coambs: it on mute.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that’s part of doing our own work, is recognizing that voice. And really what’s interesting is I’ve been studying more of this very technical area called interpersonal neurobiology. How our brains, we learn how to mentalize and imagine what’s going on and how that helps to regulate the flow of emotion.

Right. So you’re talking about like you can be curious cuz a lot of times when we’re early in our healing recovery stage, we have unregulated emotion and anger that just you fly off the handle or you just shut down. And [00:29:00] as you’re healing, you’re building that inner voice that can say, oh, I see you’re getting really angry now and it’s connected to.

And it reminds you of this time, okay, you’re okay. Remember we also have this that’s going, yeah, it’s hard. It’s hard and there’s a lot of brain activity that needs to go in and you know, I think NAI forgot or just didn’t think about. But what’s so helpful for me is to remember that our mind emanates from the structure of our.

And so as we go through psychological exercises, we’re not just changing our mind, we’re changing the structure of our brain, right? And so in the analogy, when we go to change our physical bodies, we have to do exercises to get the muscle mass to grow or change, or to strengthen, or to become more flexible, depending on what you need.

And so we have neuroplasticity. Our brains can grow and change. Old dogs can learn new tricks, just not.

[00:29:53] Bob Wheeler: It’s not . Absolutely. Let’s rewire remap and work on that mindset and knowing that [00:30:00] some of the old stuff is still gonna be there and just recognizing it’s, it’s just part of me. Well,

[00:30:05] Ed Coambs: it is. And what the image that I like to use with a lot of my therapy clients is the neuro pathways that are causing the most problems right now.

The things that are going have deep neuro pathways that are like eight lane superhighways for you. And what we’re trying to build are new neuro pathways that are like uncut country roads. And the more we can go down that country road and get it carved, it’s gonna become a two-lane highway. And then it’s gonna be a four-lane, and then it’s gonna be a freeway and it’s gonna become more and more natural.

And as you drive on that freeway and we use this other old super highway, it’s gonna start to crumble. Because when you don’t activate those neuro pathways as often, they have to fire together to stay wired together. So you stop activating them, you start activating the new ones. You literally start to change the firing in your brain.

So it’s incredible

[00:30:48] Bob Wheeler: stuff. It’s incredible stuff and they gotta get your book to learn more about this stuff because Yeah, it’s powerful. And we are at the fast five, so we’re gonna shift the energy just a little bit. Great. [00:31:00] We’re gonna get down and dirty here. The Fast five is brought to you by Survey Junkie.

Join millions who take online surveys and make extra cash. I hope they don’t crash. Click on the link in the show notes to learn more about Survey Junkie. All right, ed, here we go. Down and dirty. What is your weekly budget for Chai Lattes with oat. Weekly budget would be

[00:31:18] Ed Coambs: 28 bucks.


[00:31:20] Bob Wheeler: All right. But worth every penny.

[00:31:22] Ed Coambs: Yes, absolutely. And I started bringing, oh, I don’t have, oh, it’s right here. I bring this guy in and I get 50 cents off. So that’s

[00:31:29] Bob Wheeler: nice. Oh, there you go. See, making ways to save while you spend. What inspires you to keep going when things get tough?

[00:31:36] Ed Coambs: Uh, recently it’s been my kids. I have three young boys, 11, six and almost five, and I realized that they’re watching me very intently and then taking in all that I’m doing.

And so I want them to see that dad’s resilient and recover us when things get tough. That’s awesome.

[00:31:51] Bob Wheeler: Gotta model it. Gotta model it. What was the most interesting thing you saw at FinCon in Orlando?

[00:31:57] Ed Coambs: The dance party on closing night [00:32:00] was so fantastic. For me, it talk about healing experiences. It really was a healing experience because for me, it reminded me of my high school dance party.

The combination of people from different walks of life reminded me of where I grew up. And what was different for me though, is no longer being that insecure teenager. Yeah. And so I could just be there and dance and have fun with no agenda. I wasn’t trying to hook up with anybody cuz I’m happily married.

And so it’s just like you could just be free and have fun and watch everybody else have fun. And yeah, that was by far the best part. .

[00:32:30] Bob Wheeler: I love it. I love it. They always have good parties. You’re passionate about mountain biking. What’s the most you’ve ever spent on mountain biking gear?

[00:32:41] Ed Coambs: I know this is supposed to be fast, but I have to sit with this for just a moment.

I bought a mountain bike. This is my first super high-end bike for $2,000. And I felt super proud because the guy that I bought it from was a firefighter who had bought it for $4,000, used it three times and then decided he wanted be a rock climber. So he sold it to me for 2000. And as I say that, I’m like, man, that’s been a long time.

I’m due for a new [00:33:00] bike.

[00:33:00] Bob Wheeler: That worked out. That worked out. Yeah, I’m in la. I don’t wanna spend more than 50 cuz somebody’s gonna take it. , . That’s my mindset. , how do you maintain your financial mindset?

[00:33:12] Ed Coambs: You know, I think journaling is a big part of. I’ve gone through seasons with a lot of active journaling.

It’s a little more sporadic now, so journaling is definitely one of them. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, I just kind of slow down and go to the journal and figure out what’s going on.

[00:33:27] Bob Wheeler: That’s great. Yeah. Journaling is great. I was reading the other day, I, science has just proven that. Men actually have emotions too.

So thank God. I think it’s been scientifically proven. Journaling is a great way to stay in touch with some of that stuff that’s going on. For sure. Yes. We’re at the Eminem moment, our sweet spot. Money and Motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners?

[00:33:51] Ed Coambs: Yeah, so we talked about financial intimacy earlier, and if you’re on the journey of building wealth, one of the most important things you can do is nurture your intimate relationship with [00:34:00] your partner. Then one of the most practical things you can do is actually sit down and get right in front of their face.

Don’t just do this without them knowing, but it’s called eye gaze. Really make eye contact with your intimate partner, and then talk about your financial life. You’re com. I’m with you here in this, and I realize saying that there’s a lot of people like, oh shit, hell no. Not a chance not doing that. That’s okay if that’s your response, that’s information.

That’s feedback. That can be a vision for what you might want to get to in time is the relational comfort and security that you can make eye contact and talk about an important part of your financial. I would say start with a simpler topic where maybe you’re both on the same page and practice playing with eye contact, and then when you’re on different pages about something, then you can do the eye contact.

[00:34:45] Bob Wheeler: I love that. And again, just be curious if it’s like triggering you. Oh, good information. Good to know. It’s all information. Just be really curious and let the judgment stay behind the door somewhere else. Yeah, [00:35:00] that’s awesome. Ed, I really appreciate this conversation. I do have to joke that at least with your wife, when there are problems, you’re a firefighter, so you can put out the fires , even if you’re, even if you’re

[00:35:11] Ed Coambs: traumatized.

I’m tried. I’m still trying. Bob, those fires, it’s not the primary fire that’s the problem as a firefighter, it’s the secondary that shows up like in the middle of night after you go back to the firehouse, it’s like, damn, I thought I put that out. Oh man. Here is

[00:35:23] Bob Wheeler: again, shit. Okay. I dealt with the big one, but there’s a whole bunch of little ones that are still.

In the bushes, the

[00:35:28] Ed Coambs: hotspots that need cleaning up. Yeah. Oh yeah. No,

[00:35:31] Bob Wheeler: absolutely. Well, I think the biggest thing for me though, and we talked about this a little bit beforehand, is the vulnerability and sharing your story and be willing to say, yeah, I didn’t do it all right? Because there is such a pressure for us to like get it right, do it right, show up, and to be able to say, look, I’ve had some mis.

I can see my goodness, and I’ve also got my shadow. There’s parts of me that are so pretty and that’s okay too. It doesn’t take me out. [00:36:00] And it would be great if it was easy and we could all just like push an app and then we’ve all got amazing bodies and we’ve all got mental fitness beyond compare. But we gotta show up, we gotta do the work.

There is a payoff, it’s worth. But to just start digging in and actually think about if you’re listening today and you’re in relationship, even if it’s with your parents or your kids, are you being vulnerable? Are you fully showing up or are you just presenting and saying what they want to hear, what you think they want to hear?

We get to choose whether we wanna show up or not. And I hope that through this podcast people will start to look and say, I want something different. Yeah. And so I really appreciate you coming in today and sharing and being vulnerable and letting people know. Yeah. So where can people find out about you and your book on social media, online, all that good stuff?

You’ve got a great book. You have a copy? Can you hold it up?

[00:36:52] Ed Coambs: Oh yeah, absolutely. So the book is The Healthy Love Money Way, and it’s on Amazon and Audible Kindle. I [00:37:00] think that’s kind of the easiest way to just go ahead and grab it. My website is healthy love and money.com. So that’s a great jumping off point.

And I have a weekly blog that I send out. I have that an attachment style quiz actually that you can go to and grab and take. And then on social media, LinkedIn and Instagram are the primary places where people can find

[00:37:17] Bob Wheeler: me. Awesome. Well, we’ll put all that in there and the quiz and all that stuff so people can go discover their attachment style.

It’s good information, it’s just good information. Even if you don’t like the one you get, , you may

[00:37:30] Ed Coambs: not like it, y’all. I know it. I know it. Yes, absolutely. But it’s part of self-discovery.

[00:37:35] Bob Wheeler: Part of self-discovery. Well, and it’s been such a pleasure. I appreciate it so much and I hope you have an amazing rest of your week.

[00:37:41] Ed Coambs: Thanks so much, Bob. Appreciate the time as well. Take.

[00:37:51] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are [00:38:00] holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the rollercoaster Ride of Financial Fears and journey towards financial.

To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.