As many of my clients can attest, I love assigning money dates to them as homework or financial exercises, especially when they are not exactly on the same page where household finances are concerned. So I thought I would devote a podcast episode to money dates and how you can make them a fun and successful part of your journey to financial fitness.
I am excited that my friend, Elle Martinez, of the website and podcast, Couple Money decided to join me to discuss this topic. Elle was previously a guest on Martinis and Your Money in the episode 5 Smart Money Tips for Couples; and she is a practicing money dater with great tips and ideas for what a money date should look and feel like.
What are we drinking?
Elle — Saw-whet Saison Ale
Shannon — White Wine Spritzer
- Elle and her husband are practicing money daters.
- Elle says money dates are financial check-ins to help couples communicate and should be fun!
- They are an opportunity for couples to become closer and should be a judgment-free zone.
- Elle says everyone should know their net-worth (assets minus liabilities) and how much is in their accounts.
- Shannon says at minimum couples should have a money date once a month.
- Possible questions to discuss if it is your first money date include:
- Where are we now?
- Where do you want to go?
- Some of the biggest fights between couples happen because one person in the relationship hasn’t discussed their financial goals with the other.
- It is normal for couples to have disagreements relating to your finances.
- You can’t be afraid to deliver bad news to your partner, and you also can’t be afraid to receive bad news during these conversations.
- Every financial decision you make affects your partner; you have to be on the same team if either one of you want to achieve the goals you have.
- Shannon says even if you have separate finances in your relationship, sharing your numbers during a monthly money date is very important for accountability.
- You have a responsibility to make financial decisions that are acceptable to your partner.
- Money is a tool that can draw a couple closer together or drive a wedge between them.
- Keep your money dates big picture and goal-focused.
- Both Shannon and Elle agree that spreadsheets have no place in money dates unless they are something extremely important to you.
- Just like avoiding talking about the downs in your relationship, avoiding talking about your financial downs doesn’t make them go away.
Steps for a Successful Money Date
- Lay ground rules for the date to make sure it is a fun and positive experience; Money dates should be relationship-building, not relationship-destroying.
- Get all your accounts together.
- Determine your immediate goals, then your near-term goals.
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to go?
- Work together to figure out how to achieve those goals—COMPROMISE.
- Evaluate how previous financial decisions affected your financial goals and relationship to determine what you both need to work on until your next money date.
- Always end your money dates on a positive note!
Connect With Elle through her website Couple Money