Each month, my partner and I sit down together, lock eyes across the table and have a money date.
What’s a money date? Instead of candles and dinner, we have a date with our computers and spreadsheets. (There can still be snacks, don’t worry!) This monthly ritual is a chance for us to be financially transparent with each other and talk through any joint spending we’ve done.
It’s especially important because we don’t share any bank accounts (more on why we don’t share accounts here!) Since we don’t have those joint accounts having a money date allows us each the chance to see what’s going on with the other’s money.
The Power of Money Dates
The traditional way for couples to handle money together has been to combine all finances. All bank accounts, credit cards, assets, debts- it all goes into one big money pot.
I’m not a fan of that approach for several reasons. I’m not saying it doesn’t work for some people; I’m saying it doesn’t work for ME. Having 100% shared money stresses me out. My partner and I are largely on the same spending page, but I’m an extreme saver and he’s not nearly as driven to be one. Shared finances could easily lead to on going fights and who wants that?
But we do live together, and we do share expenses like rent, groceries, travel, and utilities. So to an extent our money is co-mingled and we do need to discuss finances regularly.
Enter the money date. This is a chance for us to review our joint spending, like groceries, and to pay each other back if one person spent more on a joint expense.
We also share progress on our saving and investing goals! Just because these accounts are in our individual names doesn’t mean we don’t want to share the numbers with each other.
Even if you do have joint accounts, I think a money date is well worth your time. It keeps you on the same long term page as your partner, and helps you keep healthy communication around money.
MORE ON JOINT FINANCES
How to Have a Money Date With Your Boo
I can’t lie y’all, our money dates have only strengthened our relationship. There’s total transparency between us and we get to be each other’s cheerleaders at least once a month.
Here’s how to have one of your own if you’re ready.
Step 1- Talk about money with no expectations. Most couples fight about money and it’s the number two reason for divorce in the US. So before you pull out any spreadsheets START with building good financial communication.
We’ve got several exercises for couples to do alone and together in our couples money workbook right here. Learning each other’s financial and emotional backgrounds is the first step to becoming a financial power couple!
Step 2- Set a consistent time for your date. Don’t try to cram it in on your busiest day of the week. If possible, give yourself a full hour to have your money date each month. (It doesn’t take that long once you get the hang of it, but to start an hour is good.)
As with any financial habit, consistency is key! So set a date a time that’s easy for you both to meet. Don’t make it harder for yourself than it has to be.
Step 3- Make it fun! This isn’t homework. This is a bonding exercise with your partner! So feel free to put out a plate of snacks, have your favorite drinks, put on some tunes you both love, light a candle- do whatever you need to to make this fun.
Step 4– Establish which numbers you want to share and dive in! You might only want to cover joint costs. That’s fine! Or you might want to get totally financially naked with each other. That’s also cool! Discuss beforehand and then bring the relevant information to the date.
BONUS: If you’re not sure if joint accounts are the best option for you, we walk you through the pros and cons and how to decide if they’re right for you in our couples workbook. As your relationship progresses you might move from separate accounts to joint. Or you might want to have some things joint and some things separate! We help you make that decision as a couple in our workbook.
Do you have money dates with your partner? Are you going to start now?
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