Pour the wine, light the fire, get the dessert… it’s time for a money date! For a lot of couples, money isn’t exactly romantic. For many, it’s uncomfortable. Even scary. But money dates are important for couples to align their values and goals.
When should you start talking money? Is it the first date? When you move in together? Once you’re engaged? Married? There is no right answer.
Even before you start really talking about money your date is showing you their values (where the money goes). Do they take you out to fancy dinners with champagne and candlelight? Do they order the steak or just eat the tableside bread? Or maybe you get takeout and watch a movie at home? Do they splurge on a sushi spread and rent the newest release? Or do you split a cheese pizza and watch a movie on his sister’s Netflix account? On your next date, see how your date shows their values. What are they telling you without telling you? How are you talking money without talking about money?
Where do we start? Starting with “does going out to dinner work with our budget? can lead to “should we start saving for that dream vacation?” which can lead to conversations like investing for a future together – a wedding, a home, a family, retirement, etc.
Here are some conversation starts that you can use on any date to get the money talk flowing:
- If you won $1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
- Are you a spender or a saver?
- Do you like to spend money on experiences or things?
- What are you saving for right now?
- What are our financial goals? (How can we reach them together?)
- Did your family talk about money growing up?
- What are our priorities?
- If you are comfortable, what is your salary?
- Are there any big purchases you/we have coming up?
- Do you invest?
- How do you picture your retirement?
Practice makes perfect… Habits! Now that you both are talking money, let’s make this a regular thing! Deciding how to manage your finances will be one of the first and most important decisions about your financial future as a couple. And the way in which you talk about money may evolve over time. There is no “one size fits all” approach here. Find the cadence and style that works best for you and your partner.
Money dates shouldn’t be a shame or stress inducing evening. So make your money date something that you both look forward to. Check out our episode with Aditi Shekar, founder of Zeta, to learn about how to talk money with your partner on your next money date!