Talking about money

Tamsin is joined by Wealth Coach’s Sara Maxwell to discuss the sticky subject of talking about money, particularly in a relationship. If you have come out of a marriage or partnership where you weren’t the money person, you have probably found the financial settlement even more stressful. In this episode, we talk about how to change that in your next relationship.


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Sara Jane Maxwell
Sara, PCC DipFA, Certified Professional Financial Coach and Founder of Wealth Coach. Empowering individuals, couples, groups and organisations to find the joy in connecting to their money and future. Drawing on 20+ years experience in the Financial services industry, to engage and transform the relationship with money. Passionate to inject colour and energy into the grey of finances.
Wealth Coach site
Couples Talk Money

Tamsin Caine

Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at tamsin(a) or arrange a free initial meeting using She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

Tamsin Caine 0:06
In today's episode, I'm joined by a fabulous money coach. He particularly concentrates on working with couples, we're going to talk about how to talk about money in couples, you might have come out of a bad relationship with the boss when you weren't the person who looked at the money and you found divorce even more stressful and even more fearful as a result of that. We don't want that to happen in your next relationship. So Sara's going to talk to us all about how to avoid that how to talk about money in your new relationship. So let's jump right in.

Hello, and welcome to today's episode of Smart Divorce Podcast. I'm so happy to be joined by the incredible, colourful, fabulous, Sara Maxwell.

So to introduce there are a few tricks with people supporting them to find joy in connecting to them really which I love. injecting some colour, energies and joy into what can sometimes feel like the gray of money. And you'll see from Sara's lovely talk, if you're watching on YouTube, and if you're not go and have a look on YouTube, and her bright coloured heart in the background, she is one of the brightest people that I know. If you have a look at her Instagram page, it will absolutely make you smile every day. Sara is their financial coaching trainer twice certified and ICF PCC accredited, just over 20 years experience in financial services where she picked up her financial advice qualifications. She founded the wealth coach and co founded couples talk money with friends of the podcast in group. Sara welcome! I'm so happy to have you talking to us today.

Sara Maxwell 1:51
Oh, thank you what a beautiful introduction, I think. Yeah, I'm really happy to be here as well. And I've been I've been listening to the podcast, I really enjoy it. I really enjoy the no nonsense way people talk about money and other really important things. And I think it's really, really helpful. So I'm so pleased that you invited me to be on here, I'm really grateful. Thank you.

Tamsin Caine 2:15
So today we're going to talk about couples talking about money. And this is something that I know is really close to both of our hearts. So just as a as a bit of background and a bit of introduction as to why I thought it was important to talk to you today was that the majority of clients that I work with in in my work as a as a specialist financial planner, the majority of my clients haven't been the money person in the relationship. And when I say that, what I mean is that the majority of the majority of relationships, you split the jobs according to whatever happens to be the thing that you're best at. So in my marriage, my husband, I've said this many times before my husband used to be the gardening, and I used to clean the house, I flipping hate gardening, unless it's growing something that I can eat at the end. And I realise that sounds a bit bonkers. But that's just me. So when we split up, one of the first things I did was get a gardener to come and do the gardening. There's nothing wrong with that there's nothing wrong with splitting up the jobs, according to who does what best. But when it comes to money, it's slightly different in that both of you need to know where you stand. I'm right in thinking that you're on board with that view.

Sara Maxwell 3:38
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there's so much that couples don't know about each other when it comes to money. I've even worked with couples that have been together for 20-25 years. And still in our sessions, they're finding out really important things about each other's views about money about each other's relationship about money and about, you know how their sort of parents or caregivers interacted with them and kind of why that's caused some of the idiosyncrasies that they may have now. So it's just kind of that that almost that information gathering as to what has happened to that person in front of you to kind of bring them to the person that they are today and being able to kind of have some form of understanding of that.

Tamsin Caine 4:27
Absolutely. Money is so difficult to talk about, isn't it and in the UK, and I can't talk about what it's like in other other cultures and other countries, but certainly, in the UK, we're so bad at talking about money. I know groups of friends who'd rather sit and tell me graphic details of their sex life rather than tell me what they earn or what's in their bank account. And we really need to smash through that. So that we can get people talking about money because you're only going to learn about it if you talk about it with your friends, and it's only going to start beaming normal and natural, if we start talking about, isn't it?

Sara Maxwell 5:05
Absolutely. And it's getting comfortable with starting to talk about it. So we might not go straight in with, oh, this is how much he earned. And this is these are the benefits that I receive at work. But we might go in with, oh, you know, when I think about money, I feel quite stressed, you know, eat, just go in and on something that you feel comfortable with, with trusted friends, I think at first because you don't want to put yourself off by telling somebody that's then going to kind of take the mick and share what you've said, and kind of put you off talking about it. But it's so powerful to be able to say the things that are on your mind, to somebody who's then not going to judge you and not going to react in the way that you're nervous about them reacting. I've had situations where people have told me what they deemed to be the worst possible secret, and they've been holding it as a real shame, you know, something awful that happened to them in the past, perhaps around debt or something like that. And when I then don't react, and I say, okay, that's, you know, there's nothing to be to feel any shame about the, the relief, that kind of seems to happen to that person is quite unbelievable. It's almost like they suddenly sit taller in the chair, you know, there's suddenly this weight is lifted, because they've said this thing that they've been really holding on to, and nothing bad has happened, you know, the world didn't fall apart, it was it was okay to say it out loud. And I think the more we get comfortable and get used to being able to say those things, the less kind of shame that we will hold around it and the less judgement will hold of others if we all start to share a little bit more.

Tamsin Caine 6:46
Yeah, absolutely right. So again, what we're talking about is people who have come in and perhaps come out of a relationship, they been through divorce, they're looking at getting involved in a new relationship. But when he wasn't the thing that they looked at in their previous relationship, they might start to understand a little bit more about money from perhaps working with somebody like me through their divorce. But then they enter a new relationship. So presumably, on the first day, you're not going to share your financial world with somebody. So where do you start to begin to open up with with a new partner about money?

Sara Maxwell 7:32
Do you know it's interesting you say that on the first date, because I think there are things that you can talk about on the first date that relate to money that allow you to open up about it as a subject. So you're right, you're probably not going to want to share all of your information. But you might want to have the conversation before you even go out on the day of, you know, what are our thoughts on Bill's bliss, seeing what I write, you know, you might want to kind of drop that type of thing into into the conversation so that you're kind of starting to talk about money, before even the day you know, you can have you can slip in little bits of information about just small things relating to money, how you feel about it, what's going on for you at the moment, it doesn't necessarily have to be sharing reams and reams of information. But I think you can go in and start to have little snippets of, of the conversation. So I guess on the first date, probably the only thing that you concerned about is kind of where you go in is it affordable, you know, things like that, and not having those expectations that one person will pay your or one person won't Oh, if you do have that expectation, perhaps sharing it?

Tamsin Caine 8:41
Yeah. Yeah. Do you know what? That's really interesting that you should say that because I don't think even that I don't think we have the conversation before we're there. Remember, a friend of mine, who've been paid for going on a date and saying that the person that she was on the date with had kind of gone alright, so it's x amount each. And she was a bit like, what? Because she kind of thought that I kind of thought he would pay. And she was a bit of like, knocked over by by last pose. It's quite an old fashioned expectation that you expect the other person to pay, isn't it? But yeah, she was a bit bold, a bit shocked when it was like, oh, no, what, bill?

Sara Maxwell 9:29
Yeah, absolutely. Oh, you've got that that idea of when you go on a date, and, you know, somebody orders all the really expensive wine and everything and you've not had the discussion about what are we going to split this or because you're ordering all of this expensive stuff? Are you thinking that you're going to pay for it? And I think it's moments like that were having those conversations will really make a difference, like throughout your relationship. So almost being able to voice what's going on in your head. I think Make it easier down the line. Because what you don't say in those first few days, you then almost hold on to us. Oh god, does this mean I'm tight or you put lay all these labels on yourself, instead of just saying it out loud saying out loud, what's what's going on in your head or, you know, drop in a text afterwards, or, you know, whatever it looks like, but I think trying to drop these types of things into conversations, early doors, and maybe asking questions like, you know, oh, what was it like in your home life? You know, asking questions like that will naturally kind of pull out people's experiences and how they've lived before now. And I think you, you're always kind of picking up snippets on, you have little bits of information. And you know, don't be afraid to I think you can say, you know, if I asked you a question and you feel uncomfortable about it, then you can absolutely tell me that you feel uncomfortable about it, and we cannot talk about it. So I think as long as you open up in that way. So you know, I'm going to ask you a question, which people don't normally ask each other. But if that's too much for you just just tell me, you know, I tend to be quite open and honest, therefore, you know, just let me know if that's too much for you. Yeah, in any way.

Tamsin Caine 11:15
about other things wouldn't you would would say, you know, I don't know, if you're asking that somebody's family background or previous dating history or whatever, you'd be like, Nope, don't want to talk about it. It's not a problem. And yet, ,

Speaker 2 11:30
Yeah you sort of say, say the question that like, you know, what was stolen and waiting for I don't know what's happened your chair to fall through the floor or something like that. It's like, it's just such an another thing that then adds a layer? Doesn't it to the question of the other person going, God, you look so uncomfortable asking that question that it's almost making me not want to answer.

Tamsin Caine 11:52
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So you don't necessarily work with people? On date one? Again,

Sara Maxwell 12:01
I've never had anyone on date one that will be interesting. Hey, can we come work with you?

Tamsin Caine 12:09
Pretty fascinating their way anyway, anyone's gonna go on a first date and they'd like to go with Sara please do let us know. Because I'm really interested in that. So So tell me about, you've got obviously, couples to talk money with kit with Kim. Lovely, lovely, lovely Kim. Tell us a little bit more about how that works, and how that can help couples to just start to be a bit more open about their finances and their relationship?

Sara Maxwell 12:42
Yeah, absolutely. So But before I tell you about Corporal Salman, I was just gonna say because you asked a question before, which related to kind of somebody going into a new relationship and perhaps taking some of the baggage from the old relationship. And it could be that even before you come and do work together, as a couple that actually you do a bit of work on your own. So almost getting yourself to a point where you understand your own relationship to money, you kind of understand where you're at, practically, with money, you have an understanding of what you might want for the future, just yourself, and then come together and do the work as a couple. Because I think in those very early days, understanding as much as possible about yourself, and how you might have changed from that separation and going into this new relationship and what you might be carrying through that you don't really want to carry through. And I think that's quite important, because you don't want to bring all that baggage and just sort of hand it to the new person, you want to try to work through that baggage and make it a bit lighter before walking into this to this new relationship. So just wanted to say back because you, you kind of mentioned about a couple coming together after, after, after a divorce or after a separation.

Tamsin Caine 14:06
That's good advice, but because the money impacts so many parts of our lives. Because I think that we have this view of money and we see the you know, when when we talk about money, all I see in my head is like church treasures chest. Like big stacks of gold coins. People can pay Do you know what I mean? Like it's quite, it's quite an old fashioned view, I guess. But it's sort of the nursery rhyme I view with of money. And that money is a tool at the end of the day, but because it's the tool that helps you to do other things, actually, your view of it and your previous experiences with it and your baggage as you called it around really, really impacts can impact all sorts Have other parts of your relationship. So it is massively important to, to deal with it initially. So I think that's, that's fantastic advice for ILL. So how, tell us a little bit about once you are in, in a relationship got past the first date we've got passed, they're going Dutch on their first meal then then what do we do then? Where do we go?

Sara Maxwell 15:26
So I think that it really it's opening up, it's starting to communicate, it's starting to kind of ask the questions and something that we do on the courses, we have a welcome session. And in that welcome session, we're basically guiding people to start to have communication with each other about forming an agreement between themselves about things like when is best for them to speak about money, how they like to be asked questions, like, what would potentially trigger them. So it's almost having that pre conversation of creating that agreement of, you know, how, how would I tell if something that I asked you upset you? Or, you know, would you please be honest with me, if the way that I asked you, something triggers you or kind of all those types of questions, because most before you even go in and start asking the practical questions, or the questions around relationships or money, it's great to put that in place of like, why are we actually doing this? So almost, you're creating this empowering statement of, you know, the reason that we're doing this work together and finding out more about each other, as money in relationship to money, is because we want to build this fantastic life together. Or is because we've both decided that someday we'd like to go and retire in a booth, or whatever the kind of vision is for, you know, that's what I want to do. Yeah, that's one of mine. But I think it's kind of, it's that pre conversation, it's that lovely conversation that helps you to understand how to communicate really well with your partner. So what they like and what they don't like. So when they want to be given space, how much time they'd like to think about question, because there'll be some people who are asked a question, and they can come up with the answer immediately, you know, it just springs to mind, and they're happy to say it, there'll be other people when asked a question, they want to think about it for 24 hours, they, you know, it's a big question. And they want to really consider their response, they don't want to give an immediate response and things like that, it's just so helpful to understand that, you know, because if one person wants to know more about what they're going to talk about, when they sit and have this couples date, it will be great if the other person could almost provide a list of questions that they'd like to know the answer to, so that they are able to prepare beforehand. So it's kind of almost learning each other's styles before you even go in and have the communication because what you're doing then is you're kind of setting up for a way more positive discussion. And then maybe agreeing to, okay, parts of this conversation might feel difficult, because we're talking about things that we've never talked about before. So we're going to give ourselves a treat of something at the end of it. So we're going to go to the cinema in the evening, once we've had this conversation, you know, so really building up what would amazing look like for this initial conversation. So I think starting really small start starting that way. So starting with something that feels easy, would be kind of my advice as a first step. And that's the way we like to do things with our couples. And that's the way I like to work when I'm working one to one with a couple. So you're kind of easing in gently, rather than going in and saying, so what's the total sum value of all your debts? You know, if you missed any payments, and somebody would immediately go, Oh, my God, I'm holding all this shame about debt. I can't tell you and then you start to think God, do I need to lie? Because they're asking me such a big question. So yeah, my kind of initial advice would be let's go in as soft as possible, and talk about how we want to communicate with each other and put some agreements around that first. I think that's always a really great step.

Tamsin Caine 19:21
How about but I have some questions apart from kind of movies that you're gonna be when you retire.

And I don't know how long it would take me to think about the answer to a question because I think it would depend on how difficult the question was. And sometimes so in my my work, financial planner, I know that I can't personally ask myself the questions that I would ask my clients because I'm not going to push myself to answer them, I'm not going to dig deeper and try and get the books that the actual question and the actual answer. So think. So how? How do you know? How are you going to know what's gonna trigger? You have the Do you have a style of technique that these couples who are speaking to each other about what might trigger them about me? How did they know?

Sara Maxwell 20:32
Yeah, that's a really, really great question. And that might not be something that's on their list, because the two of them might feel that they communicate really easily with each other, and they don't really have any trigger points. But the types of things that I've seen and heard before, what would trigger me is if I'm just about to leave the house, and you asked me a really big important question about money, or you asked me to decide something in a short space of time, or you asked me something, whilst I'm driving, and I feel as though I can't concentrate is kind of what can come out usually is, you know, ways that it's best not to speak to me, or what is that I would kind of really like you to ask me questions. And sometimes the triggers could be around, you know, I'm going to find it difficult to talk about the debt that happened in my past, because it was a really difficult time in my life. So if that's something that if that's something that we're going to talk about, could you give me a bit of time? And could we go quite slowly? So could you let me tell you instead of asking questions, or it could be anything, it could be absolutely any thing you know, it could be, if you ask me about how my parents or caregivers dealt with money, that's gonna feel difficult, because I don't feel like I had an amazing home life. So that's not really something that I want to talk about. So it's just really kind of sharing, okay, this, this is like a bit of a no go area, or an area that we really need to tread lightly because I find it difficult talking about it. Um, do you know the way that we ask questions, so I guess, I'm very much taught in coat in the coaching world that you wouldn't ask somebody? Why did you do that? You know, the Why did you do that? It's almost like you're, you're assuming, okay, you did that wrong? Why did you choose that option? You might say something like, Oh, what was your thought process there? And you can feel the difference between those two questions. Because when I say why did you do that? You go, Oh, she's questioning me. She's judging me. So I think sometimes it's even just sharing, okay, these are words that we're not going to use, I feel really judged when you say, whatever word to me, or when you laugh at me about the fact that I'm a spender or whatever, like, there could be so much that comes up in that what will trigger me question that really helps to keep the heat out of out of the date or out of the talk, whatever you want to call it.

Tamsin Caine 23:05
That "why" word, it feels very accusatory, doesn't it? Like you've done? I'm asking why? Why on earth? Would you think that was a good idea? It's a bit like, as soon as you said, why I backed away from the screen, and it is it so it's a really difficult word. And there are I think, I might be talking rubbish. And please message me on instagram if I am. But I just feel in that in Wales, they use y in slightly different way. And in I'm sure in Ireland, they do. We did some training in Ireland years ago. We try not to use the word why. And I've got a feeling they use it in a slightly softer way in slightly different ways to perhaps the way that we do in England. But it is it is a tricky word. Thank him, just kind of thinking about things that that might sort of trigger me or that might set that might be things that I would find if I'm not very good at spending on myself. So I guess, that if we were having a conversation about anything that I spent, you know, that whole thing, and this is quite a 70s thing, that whole Oh, this whole thing now I've had it for years. Like I've never done that. I've never said that because that's not quite right. I get that because I find it really difficult to spend money on me. Whereas I find it dead easy. Spend money on my kids, like no problems whatsoever. And I think those sort of conversations can be difficult around around spending money on you because we are all entitled to spend money on ourselves as well as as well as on kids and stuff. So I'm thinking that might be something but obviously, you know, everybody's got got their The right thing.

Sara Maxwell 25:01
I love that you just found that I love that you've just listened to that you've just thought, oh, actually, it might be a trigger for me if my partner said to me, Well, why did you buy that? You know, so you can share that you can say, look, I find it incredibly different, difficult to spend on my own joy, you know, you're probably going to have to support me to make sure that I am having this allowance, and that I do spend on myself. And you might have to be a little bit careful around questioning me around it. And that's brilliant. Because that will really support you to spend more on on your joy, or to at least spend what you've kind of decided you'd like to spend on your joy more freely. So it's a brilliant example.

Tamsin Caine 25:41
Yeah, not. So what we're, I guess we can have jumped in and talked about money date. And we thought that what, what a money day is? So can we sort of, I guess we're moving forward, because we've kind of set this goal in the couple. What might trigger of what we need to take slowly? What subjects we need? Be careful around when we're talking about it. But what is the money date? How often should we have them? What's important to in the process of actually setting that up?

Sara Maxwell 26:18
Yeah, they're all really good questions. So in our programme, we set up the couple has the couple's date every two weeks. So we do that, because we have a live session, then they have a couple of days in between, then we have a live session a couple of days, then we have a live session. And then they have three weeks of couples dates together. So they're pulling three couples days quite closely together, just really to get them used to and encourage them for knowing kind of the real power of having these couples dates and the information that it helps to draw out of each other and how good that is for the kind of future success of how they talk about money and how they feel about money, which is really important. So we then say at the end of the programme, that it would be great if you could at least try to have a couple days once a month, may be for the first year, and then you might push it out to once a quarter after that. But the benefit we think of having it at least once a month is that you're then just able to reflect on the last month whilst you can still remember it because What's tricky about having couples dates really sporadically is you can just forget, you know why and what you've done. And you know, what, what was behind the decision that you made, because it was three months ago. So I think as regularly as you can manage, and even if that's a really short couples date, so even if that's 15 or 20 minutes, focusing on the top three urgent things from your last couples date, so really, the regularity is more important than the length, because you just want to really remain quite focused on having some sort of check in and communication. And if you have to have a super short 110 or 15 minutes, then you might decide, okay, next month, we're going to book a full hour into both of our calendars. And we're going to make sure this happens. And this is what we're going to commit to covering. So it's just so beneficial to have that point in time that's already in your calendar, where you know, you're going to talk about these important things, because then there'll be things in the month that you can save until your money date, you know, non urgent stuff you can save, which is which is really good. Or if if something got a little bit difficult. So if you are having a tricky conversation, you might say, can we save this couples? Can we save this conversation for our money date, is there a way that we can talk about it that takes the heat out of it. So it can be really good just to sheduled them in so you can start to communicate and there isn't anything that the couple's date has to contain. But we think that it's really useful to go into a couple's date with some form of desired agenda. And so you know, what would we really love to get out of this? And why are we doing it so almost having that intention going into it, and then always having that little treat at the end. So if you haven't a couple's money date every month, the treat could be something quite small. It could be like a bar or chocolate or any you know, anything that kind of lands the end of the meeting on something which feels really enjoyable. We always think is is a good idea and it tends to work well for for the couples that we with.

Tamsin Caine 29:42
That's fantastic. What sort of things I know there's not a that agenda each each time. And I like the idea that it's monthly and and that it's prioritised as well that it goes in the calendar and it's not, don't lie I trash it for boys night out or trip or something that kids need to do. I, once it's in the diary, like make it make it important, make it a priority, because as soon as you stop, and like God, I would just do it next month, then yes, it will, it will stop. And that that'll be really hard to get back into. It's like stopping going to the gym, isn't it? Yeah. But what things what things would you advocate covering in money dates, whether it's not, whether it's not necessarily everyone, but the sorts of things that that couples should be discussing.

Sara Maxwell 30:38
So the six couples dates that we have in the programme, we they're quite specific. So we send out worksheets for the couples to kind of work through together in those six couples dates to get them used to the idea of having a couple's date. So our first one is around what I said to you before around the agreement of how we communicate with each other. And that's really all that's discussed in in that couples money date. And our second one is kind of a series of questions around relationship to money, where that came from learning more about each other's relationship and just trying to understand each other better. And then we move into a date around practicalities. So they'll start to kind of put pen on paper about where everything is how they, you know, where the money sits right now how they spend on a monthly basis. And there's kind of lots of help and support with that. And then in the three sessions between three and four, we do lots on vision for the future. So it's starting to think in an ideal world, like, you know, in however many years time like people pick totally different timeframes. But you know, in an ideal world in five years time, this is what perfect would look like for me. And then the other person will say, in an ideal world in five years time, this is work for me. So you start then to have those conversations in those dates around. Okay, I know that's really important for you. That's not very important for me. So how do we agree on the compromise? Because there's always going to be compromised, because you know, two people are never going to want exactly the same thing. So there's some really powerful conversations that happen in those three days, because it's all around what would I really want? And how do we compromise together and make sure that it feels fair, when we're looking at goals and visions for the future. So those sessions are actually quite exciting, because we've got the practicalities out of the way we've got a better understanding of each other and the way that we communicate with each other. And now we're working on the exciting stuff. And you know, what are we looking to create from doing this work? What's our intention? What would we love to happen? And that's where the conversation starts happening around, you know, in how many years we'd like to be moving to a booth, all those types of types of conversations, which are just so powerful, because in a couple, you don't tend to have those conversations very often. Yes, you might sort of say, I'd love to do this at some point in the future, but it's kind of a passing common instead of No, this is really what I would dream of making happen. So it's that ability to really communicate on what matters to both of you for the future. So yeah, there's kind of three dates that really wrap around all of that, and people that aren't able to get clear on Okay, what does the compromise look like? What's our next step? And then our final couples date is all around. Okay, let's think about the next six months. Let's be quite keen about what the next six couples dates might need to look like, you know, what do we want this list to look like? What would we love to achieve? So I think you could follow that format. If you wanted to, obviously, I'd love you to come on the programme, but you could follow that type of format in couples dates without being on a programme, you know, you could you could do that with each other. And you could ask each other a series of questions around these subjects, without having the sessions with us.

Tamsin Caine 34:12
Having your help and support and, and knowing how excellent you are at coaching people. I think anybody listening to this be like, well, they were like me be gramm Rudman do it ourselves, but it's fascinating and fantastic. Because the idea, I think, when I, you know, when we first mentioned, windy days, people are about like, oh, I have a look at the bank account and the values of the pensions and values. You know, what the house is worth, and I wish that standing on the mortgage is like, and especially somebody who's not really interested in money, not really looked after money before. That just sounds dull as dishwater the idea of sitting around a table with person you love, and figuring out what you want to do with your future and how you would like your money to create this ideal life for you. Sounds quite a lot more exciting, doesn't it? Absolutely, totally agree with you that that's absolutely what we should be what we should be talking about. Because if you know what you want to do and where you want to go, then you can start working out how you can get your money to help you to get the vote, whether it be through retirement, or...

Speaker 3 35:30
Definitely, yeah. And it makes you way more mindful about how you spend your money now, because if you create this agreement where you both agree that Yep, okay, we want to move to beat in retirement, you're way less likely to spend money really frivolously Now, if you've got this vision for the future, whereas if you have no vision for the future, you don't have that type of communication, you're possibly just going to be kind of sailing through life without necessarily thinking about the future. And when we talk about money, it doesn't always need to be, Oh, got, you know, how much am I going to need in retirement to live in? Whilst all of that is really important, actually acting on dreams and aspirations to that just makes it a bit more exciting. And that's the other reason why we've made that commitment early on about, okay, why are we doing this? You know, what's the actual reason that we're coming together to do this work? Is it to improve our communication? Because, you know, we want a better future? What it what is the reason for both of us? And, you know, committing to that is, is a really big part of the process? I feel.

Tamsin Caine 36:35
No, I think you're absolutely right. To when you when you run the course, how many people are on the course, are you? Are people going to be discussing their their views and opinions on relief in big group? Because I'm guessing that's going to feel a bit overwhelming to some people?

Sara Maxwell 36:56
Yeah, absolutely. So we take a maximum of 10 couples through the programme. And what we do is, as we're in the live sessions, when there's something for them to discuss between the two of them, we create breakout rooms for all of the couples so they go away, and they have their conversations about their own personal stuff, privately and separately, and they can raise their hands if they want Kim, all right, and dip into the room with them. So obviously, I know you've had Kim on the podcast before and people can go and listen to that podcast if they want to. But Kim is a is a couples therapist, and she's also a money coach. But she's absolutely incredible at kind of setting up a space to have a non heated conversation. So the kind of advice that that she gives out around the couple's dates and around how to communicate with each other is always incredible. And when she goes into a room to work with a couple, she's absolutely brilliant at kind of helping them to resolve whatever it is that's kind of heated in that moment. So we love working together, because we've got such such different kind of background and experience. And that really kind of supports the couples really well. So when they come out of those rooms, we do give a couple of minutes in case anybody feels they'd like to share. And sometimes I mean, people tend to because it's quite a small group, people do tend to become quite comfortable in talking to each other and you know, potentially even communicating outside of the group. And if people have got things they'd like to share, because they think it would benefit others, or they want to share it because they want to almost release any shame that they've carried about it. So they want to kind of say it out to people, then they do and they can, but there's no expectation. So we wouldn't go around the room and say, okay, you know, what about you kind of thing, if and when people feel like sharing, but the majority of the work is done privately. So we get them to join the zoom session separately. So they're not sitting next to each other. They're sitting in different rooms of the house, which really helps with that concentration of listening to somebody and talking to somebody because they're on a screen instead of sitting next to you. So there's no like in the naughty ones in the class fidgeting between each other or writing each other notes. You know, we're getting everybody's attention all the time, which is which you know, we feel works really well and seems to seems to work really well for the for the couples on the programme as well.

Tamsin Caine 39:32
About Us fantastic. And I can't believe it, but we are coming to the end of our time together. Is there anything that you want to add or that you feel that I should have asked you that hasn't? Now I've loved all your questions.

Sara Maxwell 39:48
Yeah, I've really enjoyed it and that time has just completely flown. I suppose all that's left to say is that our next programme is live so the first session is on the 21st of set September. So I know that you'll put in show notes, the website and the link and all that type of thing. And hopefully we'll have some seats left by the time the podcast goes live, but if not, we will, you know, we run these programmes quite regularly. So if you have a look on on the couples talk money website, you'll be able to find more information or book to join us for this one. And also Kim and I do work separately and one to one with couples. So if you feel as though you'd like to work kind of outside of the programme and one to one, then then both of us do do work one to one, so feel free to look me up on wealth coach and came up on her link from the last part.

Tamsin Caine 40:44
Perfect. Do look up on Instagram because her Instagram posts are so beautiful, and they properly make me smile every day because they're very, very colourful. Put me in a good mood.

Sara Maxwell 40:58
Oh, that's lovely.

Tamsin Caine 41:01
Thank you so much for joining me. It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you today. We will see you soon.

I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn't mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It's called 'Separation divorce and dissolution UK.' Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we'd be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!


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