While chocolates and flowers are lovely, there may be a greater need for a money date this Valentine’s Day. I’m coaching more and more individuals who have issues with their partner, whether it be mismatched spending, resentment over who pays for childcare, keeping money separately or just different attitudes to what matters. I’ve written this blog to share the power of scheduling money dates and how you can best go about it.

Couples should talk to each other about money for several key reasons, which contribute to both the health of their relationship and their financial well-being:

  1. Building Trust and Honesty: Open conversations about money create a foundation of trust and transparency. Discussing income, debts, savings, and financial goals removes the mystery and potential for misunderstanding around financial matters, fostering a stronger bond and mutual respect. It is so much better to share about these things rather than avoiding the topic and resentment building.
  2. Aligning Financial Goals: By communicating about money, couples can ensure they share common objectives, whether it’s saving for a house, planning for children’s education, or planning a big trip. A good question I like to ask is ‘what would you do if you were given £10m?’ – it allows for some fun but also a good insight into what people really want.
  3. Effective Budgeting and Planning: Talking about finances allows couples to create a realistic budget that accommodates both partners’ needs and lifestyle preferences. It enables them to track their spending, make informed decisions, and adjust their plans as necessary to meet their financial goals. This is really important pre and post children to make sure that both parties feel equally valued for contributions.
  4. Stress Reduction: Money is one of the leading causes of stress in relationships. Regular, open discussions about financial matters can significantly reduce this stress by addressing concerns proactively and preventing surprises that can lead to conflict.
  5. Joint Decision Making: Financial decisions often affect both partners in a relationship. Talking about money ensures that both voices are heard, and decisions are made jointly, which can include investments, purchases, or even everyday spending habits.
  6. Preparing for the Future: Discussing finances together helps couples plan for the future, including unexpected events like job loss, health issues, or economic downturns. It ensures that both partners are on the same page regarding emergency funds, insurance, and long-term savings.

Hopefully you now see the benefits of talking about money here are some tips on how to plan your money dates effectively:

  1. Schedule Regular Meetings: Make money dates a regular part of your routine, whether it’s monthly or quarterly. Consistency is key. Choose a time when both of you are relaxed and not rushed.
  2. Create a Comfortable Environment: Pick a location where both of you feel comfortable and free from distractions. It could be at home with a cup of coffee or at a quiet café. The goal is to make these discussions something to look forward to rather than dread.
  3. Prepare an Agenda: Before your money date, agree on topics you want to discuss. This could include budget review, savings goals, upcoming expenses, or investment plans. Having a clear agenda keeps the conversation focused and productive.
  4. Celebrate Achievements: Start your money date by acknowledging positive financial steps you’ve taken since your last meeting, no matter how small. Celebrating progress builds motivation and reinforces teamwork.
  5. Be Honest and Open: Use this time to share your thoughts, concerns, and aspirations about money. Honesty builds trust and understanding, making it easier to tackle financial challenges together.
  6. Set Goals Together: Discuss and set short-term and long-term financial goals and plot out some steps to get there. It’s ok if these goals change, the regular money dates gives the chance to review and discuss if it is still what you want.
  7. Learn Together: Use money dates as an opportunity to increase your financial literacy. Share articles, books, or courses you’ve found helpful. Discussing new concepts can inspire innovative ways to manage your finances.
  8. Be Supportive and Non-Judgmental: Approach sensitive topics with empathy and understanding. Avoid blame or criticism, and work together to find solutions to financial issues.
  9. Adjust Plans as Needed: Your financial situation and goals may change over time. Use money dates to reassess and adjust your plans, ensuring they always align with your current circumstances and priorities.
  10. Keep it Fun: Remember, money dates don’t have to be all business. Incorporate elements of fun, like playing a financial game or rewarding yourselves after achieving a goal, to keep the experience positive and engaging.

Money dates can become a valuable part of your relationship. I mainly coach individuals but the couples I have worked with have all appreciated the time to work constructively on the life they actually want to live rather than just guessing what their other half wants.

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