Money Dates

Relationships

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:

  1. If you won $1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
  2. Are you a spender or a saver?
  3. Do you like to spend money on experiences or things?
  4. What are you saving for right now?
  5. What are our financial goals? (How can we reach them together?)
  6. Did your family talk about money growing up?
  7. What are our priorities?
  8. If you are comfortable, what is your salary?
  9. Are there any big purchases you/we have coming up?
  10. Do you invest?
  11. 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!

Yours, Mine & Ours?

Relationships

We’ve interviewed many experts who agree that it’s important to talk money with your partner. One of the top sources of stress in a marriage is money so taking the time to focus on this before marriage can strengthen your financial partnership with your spouse. Getting married means sharing your money with your spouse. And when you’re used to managing your own money, even the thought of sharing it with someone else can be confusing, stressful — even scary. Banking with your spouse doesn’t have to mean entering into a world of conflict. Power couples bank together in a way that allows them independence while operating as a team. 

Before you start combining money, it’s lay all your cards on the table. Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym, calls this “getting financially naked” with one another. Talking money is personal and getting to this level with a partner is intimate. Everyone is bringing baggage to the table. It can be stressful and uncomfortable but ultimately helps better align your goals as a couple. What do you want to save for? Where do we see this money going in our future?

Bank Accounts with Benefits? Don’t be afraid to start small! Some couples who are living together, engaged or married consider setting up an “ours” bucket for finances. This could be a shared account or shared credit card. Determine how much each is contributing and set up a monthly transfer to the account.

This works really well when the individuals want to maintain independence while still easily managing shared expenses. It helps the couple to manage the shared budget for things like rent, household items, eating out together, etc. And most importantly, it keeps pre-marital money separate for things like student debt, if one partner isn’t prepared to take that on just yet.

We love talking about money and relationships! Check out our episodes on aligning financial goals with Lindsay Bryan Podvin and talking money like a power couple with Casey Rose Shevin.