Radio Interview Transcript


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the Wedding Details Radio brought to you by Now here’s your host, Damien Allen. 
DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to Wedding Details Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and today joining me on the phone is Dr. Taffy Wagner of Money Talk Matters. She is a former contributor to OneWed, TheManRegistry and Wednet. She has been interviewed by The Associated Press, US News and World Reports, and Called Magazine regarding money and marriage issues. She is the Denver Marriage Communication Examiner for and she is now talking with us on the phone. Good afternoon and welcome to the program, Dr. Taffy Wagner.
DR. TAFFY: Good afternoon, I’m so glad to be here.
DAMIEN: And it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. You speak about a lot of things, you’re an expert in this field.  What does financial education mean to couples who just got engaged, Dr. Taffy?
DR. TAFFY: Financial education means that they don’t have to have any regrets after they say I Do. It means they can talk about money right now, lay everything out on the table that they were afraid to talk about when they became engaged. It can actually save them from being that couple that ends up at the divorce table saying well you didn’t tell me this. Instead they know right up front what they are getting themselves into.
DAMIEN: Hasn’t money always been part of a marriage? Why do you think so many engaged couples ignore the red flags?
DR. TAFFY: It has always been a part of marriage, but I think people have ignored the red flags out of fear. They are afraid if they tell somebody how much debt or how many financial mistakes they’ve made that the wedding will be called off. They also believe that we can get married, but I can change things once he said, “I do. Or once she says, “I do.” I can change the whole situation, because they are kind of doing it undercover. They think they will become the money manager, and they can begin to pay everything off with dual incomes.
DAMIEN: What are some of the red flags that newly engaged couple should watch out for?  
DR. TAFFY: While they are engaged and they’re going out on dates, and they are having all these dinners, they need to look for one how much money is being spent. If the groom is always going to be paying, is he paying for the meal all the time, but is he also paying his bills? Is he lavishing her with so many gifts if they’ve had an argument as a way to mask where the problem is, but also are either one of them relying so much on their parents for money. Instead of working it out for themselves and handling their own financial responsibilities. And I do want to add one more thing in and that is do they both have a very good work ethic or is there a presentation of a lack of work ethic on somebody’s part, and the reason I say that is because every now and then I get these comments behind the scenes on one of my websites that says, my fiancé is not working right now, he’s not paying his bills, and I think to myself, well what is the message he is trying to send to you as you are preparing for marriage? Does he want to send a message that he is not going to pay the bills and he’s not going to handle responsibility? Or does he really want to say I’ve had a situation that happened at work and I’m not working, but I am going to get a job and I’m going to handle my responsibilities.
DAMIEN: Now you have Money Talk Matters. What are the goals of Money Talk and how did you discover the need for this?
DR. TAFFY: The goals of Money Talks is to say to couples, whether they are engaged or newly wed, listen, we know that you are not taught money management skills per se, because that wasn’t something I was offered in K-12. And so it’s a resource to help them learn how to talk with each other about money versus at each other. Not arguing about money, knowing how to discover that you both came to your relationship with different financial backgrounds, good, bad, or indifferent, but now you need to form a mutual financial foundation as a married couple. That way you can go forth within your marriage without having the stress of, oh I have a financial secret and he/she doesn’t know, or I didn’t make a good decision when I was single and now it’s coming back to bite us. So Money Talks is a very candid program that shares with couples throughout the lifetime of their marriage how to talk about money. How to decide on vacations that need to be spent as far as family holidays, how to plan for a if you have elderly parents, and you’re going to need to chip in when it comes to finances on making sure they are cared for, but also how to decide how do you handle being a student, because sometimes we go back to school as married adults and now that money is going to be taken away from the household finances to be used for school. So how do we handle that as a husband, a wife, a student, an employee, and a parent, because we do become parents, and how do you deal with money in all those different roles that it plays within a marriage.
 DAMIEN: How do you suggest a couple "start the conversations about money?'
DR. TAFFY: I think they should do it in a very lighthearted way. You know, go out and have a great dinner at one of your favorite restaurants and say, you know, I really started thinking about our mutual situation, because we are making decisions as we are planning for the wedding, but let’s go one step further and start talking about our marriage. What is it you would like to see for the marriage? What are the goals you have as far as finances? As far as savings, as far as long term goals? And start it out very lighthearted and then get into, and this is an ongoing conversation, Damien, it’s not a one time conversation, because we use money almost every day whether we are putting gas in our car or whether we are buying lunch. Whatever it is, we use money all the time. So we need to start talking about it as a resource, as a tool that can be used in a great way versus a derogatory manner that oooh I made a mistake so now this is what defines me. No we made mistakes, because we didn’t know what to do with money. We were not taught and now we need to actively say, “Alright, here’s what the situation is, what are some creative ways to solve financial situations that exist?”
DAMIEN: What is your number one budget recommendation for a newly engaged couple, Dr. Taffy?
DR. TAFFY: Number one budget recommendation, sit down and be very honest about all the money that is coming in and all the money that has to go out. Whether it is child support, whether it’s an old bill that you haven’t paid on and a creditor is going to be calling, because we have lived prior to becoming engaged or in this marital relationship, and we have made choices that might not have been good. And what I would hope would happen is that whoever the spouse to be is that they don’t hold your mistakes against you, because they were not there. They don’t have a right to judge. They don’t know what the whole situation was; however, yes they have to deal with some of the repercussions of it so we need to come together and say, “Listen, here’s how we’re going to handle this together so we both can benefit. I’m not going to point the finger at you and blame you, because nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes.”
DAMIEN: Now you have an amazing background, Dr. Taffy, you are the author of the Bestsellers “Debt Dilemma”, plus Homebuyer’s Helper (How to Have and Hold on to your House) and a great book for our military personal "Discharged Into Debt."  How did these books come about?  
DR. TAFFY: Actually each of these books is part of my story, because I was the person who was raised in a single parent household and got into debt. I did what I saw, because I wasn’t taught how to manage money, and God bless my mother, because she did great with what she had. It’s because of her that I have been able to get to where I’ve got to, but I wanted to share that story so that people would not make some of the same mistakes I did with debt dilemma. And once my husband and I both got out of debt, what we did is we turned around and bought a house, because that is the best way to invest your money. So I teach people how to buy a house without incurring extraneous debt, and what I mean by extraneous debt is that revolving credit debt of buying furniture and putting it on a credit card instead of paying in cash. So I say, “No, I’ll pay for it in cash.” Save your money. Take your time, but be able to enjoy your house and not be living health poor where you can’t decorate the house, where you can’t enjoy the house, because we all believe we are entitled to that American dream. So let’s have the American dream and really enjoy the dream. Now Discharge into Debt for the military personnel. I am a veteran. I served in the Air Force for 8 years and so it’s the same book pretty much as the dilemma only it has the military terminology. And it doesn’t have the faith based recommendations that are in Debt Dilemma.
DAMIEN: You are also starting a blog for wives discussing money management. Could you tell us about that and where can wives sign up for it?  
DR. TAFFY: Yes, that is called Marriage Money Matters, because Damien, most of the time wives end up managing the money whether they want to or not. And so we find ourselves in stress, we get the blame if something goes wrong with the finances and still we are afraid to talk to somebody or get help. So I started that membership site. It’s so that wives could go on there and have access 24/7 in the private comfort of their own home. They can write me about any of their issues. There are a ton of resources already on there. I have downloadable e-books. I have calculators on that site. I have interviews that I have interviewed of wives who dealt with child support issues and divorce, becoming a widow and not knowing how to manage money, or being a wife who is an entrepreneur, running a household, having a business in the house and still managing money, and spreading it out over all those different areas that it needs to take care of.  So it is loaded down with a lot of resources and information already. So wives can have access right there and if they have to clean up financial situations, and the husband can be saying, “Wait a minute, I did make a great decision, I married the right person. I don’t have to blame her, we’re in this together.”
   DAMIEN: And that’s what it’s all about. Could you kindly share the website address and contact information one more time with the listening audience?  
DR. TAFFY: The website is and they can write me at That site is for all of the engaged couples and the newly weds and they can get access to marriage money matters from that site as well.
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us today. 
DR. TAFFY: Thank you so much.
DAMIEN: We are please to announce that Dr Taffy is one of our resident experts for where you can link into Dr. Taffy and listen to her common-sense advice  about Money Talk! My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon
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