Why You Need to Schedule a Money Date

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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.

Enough said.

Tips for a Successful Money Date (4)


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?


  1. Amanda

    April 8, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Ooh, we recently had a money date! Thankfully nothing got too heated, since we both knew where we stood on current and past spending, but we needed to really outline the plan for our financial future. It feels great having shared goals now. We even instituted monthly budget check-ins to keep eachother accountable.
    P.S. This would be an even more fun date if you kept it at home and made it into strip budget. For every account/goal you finish sharing, an article of clothing gets removed. Lol!
    Amanda recently posted…Tell Me About Your Town Announcement

  2. Marc Gabris

    April 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I appreciate this great advice!

  3. Audrey

    April 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I just got back from lunch with the hubby and read this. We had just discussed money at lunch! It wasn’t a full-on money date, but it was a mini date for sure (and no raised voices, woo!). With an unexpected tax return and a small amount of money coming our way we decided we needed to make decisions on where it was going to go before we had it (cough* savings, IRA, college savings for future babies *cough* a new drumset for my husband *cough). It was a great talk and when we revisit the topic I can’t wait to make a date out of it & use these tips!
    Audrey recently posted…My TV Bucket List

    • Emma Lincoln

      April 21, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      It’s awesome that you guys sit down BEFORE the money hits your bank accounts and decide where it’s going.
      Emma Lincoln recently posted…Denial is Not A Good Bank

  4. Amberly

    April 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I love this idea!! Definitely pinning and sharing this one 🙂 I think this is SUPER important!
    Amberly recently posted…The Perks of Being Married to an IT Guy

  5. Rachel G

    April 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    It’s definitely needed to be able to talk openly with your spouse about financial decisions. we’ve got some big expenditures coming up, and it’s reassuring to talk things out together.
    Rachel G recently posted…Recipes for a Tiny Kitchen

    • Emma Lincoln

      April 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      I love that you find it reassuring, and not intimidating / unhelpful / best to be avoided. Isn’t it funny that we marry the person we want to be the closest to, and then we resist talking about all the scary stuff?
      Emma Lincoln recently posted…Denial is Not A Good Bank

  6. Sarah

    April 13, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I’m just catching up on emails and blogs after a week away visiting my parents. This morning, I was booking accommodations for a mini road trip/friends’ wedding, so it got me thinking we could plan a money date while we’ll be away at the end of May. I’ve scheduled it in the calendar 😉

    We monitor our finances using Mint, because of multiple accounts both in Canada and the U.S. It’s great to have a complete picture of our spending, income, assets, etc. all in one place. And tax season has been great timing for us to reassess where we’re currently and plan a bit for the future, though not very specifically. The husband even suggested using unexpected tax returns to create a special fund for each of us: his R&D fund, my DREAM fund, to spend on advancing career or other dream BIG-type ideas without having to dip into our other savings or regular cash flow.

    • Emma Lincoln

      April 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Can I steal your special fund idea?! I think it’s awesome when couples start using their money as little hope-tokens for the future.
      Emma Lincoln recently posted…Denial is Not A Good Bank

  7. Mandy

    April 13, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Found your blog today and really like it! Thanks for the great idea. Unfortunately, my fiancee lives in another state and will have to wait 2 weeks before I ask him out on a money date.
    Mandy recently posted…First We Form Habits, Then They Form Us

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      hoooray so glad you stopped by, mandy! excited to check your blog out! hope the money date goes well, even if you have to wait a few weeks (most people never do it in the first place!)

    • Emma Lincoln

      April 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Mandy, let us know how your money date goes!
      Emma Lincoln recently posted…Denial is Not A Good Bank