Have George Kamel’s Financial Habits Changed Since Becoming a Millionaire?

August 9, 2023

George Kamel talks about his passion for finding money-saving hacks, discussing how he maintained his frugal mindset even as his financial situation has improved, sharing insights on managing expenses and indulging in small conveniences. The conversation also touches on financial conversations in marriage and creative return hacks for shopping.

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I’m curious because obviously, you have a passion like this is fun for you, right? You talk about this, yes. What are your hobbies? I’m finding hacks, finding ways to save money. Yeah, I’m curious because now you’re in a different financial situation than you were 10 years ago, right? Like you are in the success level of life. Have you noticed some things have changed, like do you feel like, “Oh okay, well, I used to be super, super tight, and now I’ve kind of eased off a little bit?” Has it changed or are you like, do you have the same exact consumption behavior and habits that you had a decade ago? You know, that’s a great question. I think I truly have not changed. I think I’ve let go a little bit because I value time a little bit more, okay, and so I’m willing to let go for convenience sake. Okay, so things that I could do myself or, you know, if it takes four hours to research the trip, I might just go, like, “I’m gonna get the travel agent to do this for me because I just don’t have the energy anymore. I’m getting old like you guys, of course.” Right, well, well seasoned. Well, there’s always been things I’m willing to pay for, like getting someone to mow my lawn or, like, handyman work. I’m not the guy who’s gonna be like, “I’ll find a YouTube video of Rick in his basement showing me how to fix the dishwasher.” I’m like, “I’m calling the professional for 50 bucks.” We literally had a handyman come by, put floating shelves up, and we just ate Jenny’s ice cream while watching him do this. He just sat there and watched, 50 bucks an hour, I was like, “This is the best entertainment money could buy.” I think that’s amazing. So things like that, I think, are still worth it, but I have let go in some ways, and my wife is as bougie as me and has better taste. So, I feel like I was a tightwad with her where we would talk about things, I’m like, “Ah, I don’t know,” and now I’m like, “Go, like, you don’t fight her as much on those purchases. You’re like, exactly. If you’re gonna go do the thing, that’s okay to do the thing.” And there’s less tension now, and we’re just so driven that we still have big financial goals. So it’s not like we’ve hit this pinnacle where we’re like, “All right, we’re letting the foot off the gas, whatever you want to do, we’re doing it.” We still have more and more goals, and now that we have a baby on the way, we’re like, “We got to get the 529 going. The baby’s gonna add some line items to the budget. We want to get the high-quality organic food.” And so, all of that plays into it, so it just allows us to make those choices with a little less brain calories. Are y’all both savers because obviously, you’re a saver? Is your wife? We had this argument last night because I told her it’s like, “We’re going on the show; they’re going to ask who’s the spender and saver, and I don’t want to offend you because in my mind, she’s a huge fan of the show, right? She watches every episode. She doesn’t miss it. She’s a big – I can’t get her to watch my show, let alone yours.” So what I will say is we’re both very conscious; we’re very similar. I’m kind of in the boat of like, “If you eat your vegetables, then we can have some dessert.” So I’m the saver-spender nerd, in a sense, where if I can just get my savings goals done, I feel good about spending what’s in the budget and doing it with some diligence and some research. So it’s a really healthy mix to me. I’m not perfect in any way, and I’ve done dumb things, and you know, I told her, “Look, go look at the Amazon purchases. Who is the majority of the purchases by?” And it was not me. Well, I feel good about it, but she’s like, “It’s for the babe. It’s for the baby. I feel like because I don’t know if you get this too, I get that all the time too, “Hey, I’m not – this is not for me; this is for the family. No, no, we’re doing this for the family.” So it’s easy to justify things. This artwork on the wall, so we create a homey space because it’s for the family. I hear that stuff all the time, so I’m right there with you. I feel your pain, and it only gets worse as the babies get older. I wanna – as the older guy who’s in this young man sandwich here right now, is I wanna kind of lean into because I want to give the viewers something that they actually are like, “Man, I’m not getting that anywhere else. This guy right here – I almost said something else – but when he first – I was fortunate enough that I knew him before he was married, and then I got to see him get married and see him – that’s right. He did a whole show on – and it’s a great one if you want to go check it out in the archives – where I asked him before he got married, “What’s the dollar amount that you and your spouse are going to have to talk before you can just spend without getting permission?” And he came up with something like 15, 20 bucks, you remember it? It was fifty dollars. I think it was 50 or maybe 40 or something. I bet it was lower. Somebody will fact check that, put it in the comments. But I want to know, did you guys have that conversation? What is the dollar amount? And if so, how much? 100. I would say it’s generally a hundred dollars. A hundred-dollar purchase is like, “Let’s run this by each other.” Okay, I’m about to spend this; are you good with that? And of course, the budget reflects how much we have to spend on these things, but here’s my wife’s hack that I’m sure many spouses out there do. She’d be like, “Hey, I’m about to spend 500 at Target, but I need it in different sizes and different options, and I’m gonna return pretty much all of it every time.” And so that first conversation two nights ago, it’s so confusing because you’re like, “Well, she’s gonna – I guess she’s really spending like 40 bucks; I don’t know. Like, you don’t know; there’s no way to track it because when you’re looking at the app, when you’re tracking the budget, when you’re saying the spending, you have no clear reconciliation on that. So that’s a very – that’s a real tough one for me, and that’s how we – she kind of gets around this whole thing because I’m like, “Well, we’re for sure not gonna spend 500, like, by the end of the month, the budget will reflect that we did not, in fact, spend 500 at Target.’ But in the interim, you see that money leave your bank account, like, “Oh God, we just spent 500 at Target,” and then who’s gonna go do the returns? This guy, the return of the returns man. Okay, so here’s what we’ll use, a buddy system. Sometimes I’m not gonna act like, but I’m the guy, like if you have to – if you’re gonna have a tough situation, you got no receipt return, and I gotta, you know, put another controversy guy. And here’s what I did in Target. This was a brilliant hack that is a bonus hack for you guys. I went to Target and I had the receipt – weird loophole in Target system – if you buy something from Target and try to return it to a different Target in the same day, they will not let you do it; you have to wait a day. You have to wait 24 hours; it’s some kind of system, yeah. And so I was holding the receipt, and I said, “Are you serious? Like, we were just at the Franklin Target, now we’re at Cool Springs, I can’t return this? So now you gotta wait 24 hours.” And I said, “What if I didn’t have a receipt?” She said, “Well, you could do a no receipt return.” And I just crunched up the receipt and I threw it away. I said, “I’d like to make a no receipt return,” and her face was just like, “What? What? This man is just like – it’s broken; I can’t just saw the Matrix; I just glitched the Matrix.” It was one of the most satisfying, joy-filled moments I’ve ever had when it comes to shopping and spending. For more information, check out our free resources.



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