Why You Need to Schedule a Money Date
did you know money is one of the leading causes of conflict and screaming matches in relationships? i’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. money is a tricky subject because we all have different relationships with it, how we talk about it and how we spend it. regardless of if it makes us super excited or super uncomfortable to talk about, it needs to happen with our significant other so the money screaming matches are kept to a minimum.
i’ve been reading and loving emma lincoln’s blog, which specifically deals with money and relationships. she cuts through the crap and gives relatable and realistic information on how to navigate this tough topic with your boo-thing.
i asked emma if she could share some ideas on how to healthily talk about money with your partner. after all, having a solid understanding and agreement around finances is so ‘new wifestyle’ it’s not even funny. check out her solid insights below and visit her blog!
A money date is the sexier version of a money talk. It’s where you take a look at the numbers, gently tackle the changes you both want to make, agree on a beautiful vision of your future, and create a realistic plan of how to get there.
You’re going to walk into it with bank statements, and walk out with lipstick smeared across your face and a handprint on your butt.
In short, “ money talks” involve shirts with buttons, and “money dates” involve wine.
How do I know if I need a money date?
If you haven’t yet talked with your significant other about your 2015 or future financial goals, you probably need a money date.
If you’re not sure what’s in your husband’s checking account, credit card bill, or 401k, you probably need a money date.
If you’re thinking of buying a house, taking a vacation, or having a baby, yep, you guessed it…money date.
Here are 3 tips to plan a fun, successful and super-sexy money date:
- Tomorrow, not today
A couple nights ago, as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed, I decided it was time to redecorate my living room. Two hours later, I had moved the couch, emptied the bookshelves, ordered a TV mount off Amazon, and drilled approximately 57 holes, trying to hang a painting.
So I get it – once an idea gets lodged in your brain, the only correct time to tackle it is RIGHT FREAKING NOW.
But avoid the urge to start talking about money immediately after reading this. Take a few hours to think about your goals, and the changes you’d like to see, not just in your partner, but in yourself.
When we rush through personal change, we miss out on the whole point – growth is in the journey, not the destination. Taking the fast train won’t accomplish anything.
- Plan to succeed
When we start to think about money, it’s easy to think about all the negatives.
Student loans, credit card debts, a budget you haven’t looked at since 2004. And when you’re married, there’s another person’s financial situation to consider – maybe you’re paying for a gym membership your husband never uses, or sky-high insurance rates because he thinks he’s playing a supporting role in Fast and Furious 8: Speeding in Suburbia.
No matter how grim you think your financial situation is, you have to walk into your money date filled with hope. This isn’t a conversation where you both re-hash how broke you are, how low your credit is, and then blame each other.
Even if it’s only one or two small shuffles, you can make steps in the right direction. And in order to have a successful money date, you have to really, truly, deeply believe that.
- Pick a private location, but not your house
When it’s time to discuss salaries, the amount of money spent on shoes, and other painful topics, it’s best to be somewhere private. Numbers are getting shared, personal information is being aired, and chances are, a voice might get raised.
If you’re anything like me, you fight at home. When you’re tired, or frustrated, or hungry and there’s only one egg left because somebody forgot to pick up more.
When we are home, we are our most comfortable, and therefore, the most set in our ways.
And there’s too many rooms. It’s too easy to walk out, or walk away. To shut a door. To point at a 54” flatscreen and say, you don’t know HOW we racked up $10k in debt?!?
Try taking a hike. Or having a picnic in a big park. Plan your money date for a long car ride somewhere beautiful. A hotel room on your next weekend trip.
The farther we get away from our baggage (physical and emotional), the more likely we are to embrace change, accept suggestions, and think out of the box.
Where do you feel most comfortable talking about money with your spouse?