We’re talking about the psychology of money today with Ramit Sethi. As a finance entrepreneur, Ramit aims to help his followers create the rich and abundant life they deserve, no matter what their starting point is. If you’ve felt tied down by money rules, Ramit Sethi is ready to help you break free. His book, I Will Teach You to be Rich changed our lives, and now he has turned his focus to how money conversations unfold in relationships on his new podcast, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. Ramit helps couples untangle financial problems and communication barriers that come with talking finances in relationships.
Who is Ramit Sethi?
Ramit Sethi is a financial advisor and author of the New York Times Best Seller, I Will Teach You to be Rich. Ramit not only helps people manage their finances, but also helps them create a healthy mindset around them.
He takes a no BS approach to finances. Ramit spent college studying technology and psychology at Stanford University and has learned over the years how intertwined money, love, and finances truly are.
Ramit helps us work through our financial priorities, our financial dreams, and our financial behaviors. If you’re ready to learn more about optimizing your finances and embracing money psychology, keep reading!
In this post, we’ll cover:
- Debt anxiety
- Reflective questions about money psychology
- Creating a plan that fits your lifestyle
- Spending priorities
- Gendered spending tendencies
- Figuring out what money means to you
- How to speak to your partner about money
Ramit Sethi on money habits
We started talking to Ramit about financial limitations — some valid and some solely triggered by money anxiety — and how to break free. Ramit explains that he often sees people living an overly restrictive lifestyle even when they have excess spending money, simply because they are anxious about spending.
Ramit Sethi explains that, for many of us, our behaviors around money reflect how we grew up with family money and what that looked like for each of us.
Krista and Ramit talk about wedding spending and Ramit explains that weddings are an opportunity to spend as much as you want and financially can if that’s something that matters to you.
“I think it’s a tragedy to live a smaller life than you have to.”
Ramit has helped so many people with their finances, which makes him an expert in many different patterns in money psychology. One common problem Ramit’s followers face is financial debt. Ramit explains that:
You may be approaching debt in a problem-oriented mindset if you tend to talk about the debt you’re in rather than how you’re getting out of it, or if you don’t have a plan at all.
Ramit has seen debt anxiety first hand and notes that most of this anxiety comes from a lack of planning. The first step in breaking free of anxiety surrounding financial debt? Use a debt pay-off calculator; it’s a quick Google search away!
The peace of mind in this situation comes from knowing you are actively doing something to pay off the debt that’s been a ghost on your shoulder. The key, Ramit says, is to make a plan that fits your lifestyle.
Many of us are tempted to pay off our debt ASAP… but we don’t always need to rush it. There’s an invisible script around debt that says you must pay off all of your debt as soon as possible before taking any pleasure in spending money.
But debt doesn’t have to work in a linear fashion. If taking an extra month or two to pay off your debt means you can live more comfortably and spend money on little things that bring you joy, it’s worth it.
Additionally, we dove into exploring our personal versions of rich life dreams with Ramit Sethi. He mentions that so many people know they want to be rich but fail to make a plan. More importantly, many people haven’t taken the time to visualize what their ideal rich life looks like.
Take a few minutes and jot down 3 to 5 words that describe your rich life. Here are some questions to get you started:
- If you were rich, how would you spend your money?
- Would you travel?
- How about buying expensive clothing?
- Would you donate more to causes you care about?
- Would you buy a bigger house?
- How would you spend your free time?
Knowing what your rich life looks like is essential if you want to make a plan. After all, you can’t arrive somewhere if you don’t know what direction you want to go toward.
Ramit explores the topic of investing in both his book and in his podcast. Investing can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be, Ramit says.
He encourages people to begin doing automatic investing in which you do little to no work at all (you can read more about this in his book).
When you are ready financially, you can decide to put more money into investing, but starting small will help you get comfortable with the idea of investing and then see the reward begin to grow.
Talking about money in relationships
We talked with Ramit about relationship complications that can arise from financial conversations. Whether you’re frustrated with your partner’s spending habits or you’re discussing a prenup, it’s important to speak from a point of curiosity.
This will help you gain insight into why your partner spends the way they do. Just like the question discussing childhood experiences with spending, this question helps us examine our own money psychology and our partners’.
Ramit finds that answers to these questions tend to differ between men and women. He often hears that women see money as security while men view money as freedom. These differing views on money’s significance can be a good place to start the conversation with your partner.
Many of the couples Ramit Sethi works with get into arguments because of the way they approach these discussions. He suggests having a third party.
If you can’t have a financial advisor or a therapist to guide you through these difficult topics, his podcast, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi, is a great place to start. Ramit helps couples untangle financial problems and communication barriers that come with talking finances in relationships.
Ramit on friendships + money
At the end of our conversation, Ramit brought up a topic that resonated deeply with us. Ramit encouraged us to be around people that we want to emulate financially.
It’s nearly impossible to change your financial and psychological behavior if you are surrounding yourself with people who reflect the behavior you are trying to change.
For example, if you want to stop feeling anxious about spending money, but only spend time with people who never spend on things they enjoy, then it’s going to be tough to get there.
Ramit encourages us to always be thankful for the money we can spend on things we enjoy and to be mindful, but intentional, of how we spend it. Feeling inspired? Grab a copy of Ramit Sethi’s book, I Will Teach You to be Rich, or listen in to his podcast, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi.