There are many fun dates you can go on with your partner from rock climbing and watching a movie to even skydiving. But a financial date is one of the most meaningful dates you could plan. Order delivery from your favorite restaurant, cozy up at home together, and spend an evening talking about money.
In any serious relationship, it’s important to get on the same page financially. Sharing finances is nearly inevitable when you’re planning a life with someone. Even if you choose to keep your money separate, as many couples do, you will undoubtedly have mutual financial interests and goals. Taking the time now to understand each other’s views on money, preferences for managing it, and aligning your financial goals can save you both a lot of misunderstanding and frustration down the road.
On your financial date, talk about your goals. What do you and your partner need to feel financially successful? How do your partner's goals align or differ from your own? These are the types of questions that should be discussed to avoid tension and bigger problems later. After your first financial date, you should both have a clearer understanding of each others’ views towards money, so you can work together towards common goals.
To prepare for your financial date, download and print a copy of a financial worksheet for each of you. You can either complete the worksheet individually and then compare answers, or work through the questions together. The purpose of this date is to understand each other and find common ground. Scheduling a monthly financial date creates consistency that will help you stay aligned on your shared goals.
After you have completed the worksheet, agree with your partner on one thing that you can do together to improve your financial strength. You can also use digital tools like Digital Money Management to track your goals and your progress towards reaching them. Your goal might be to spend less in a specific category, to save up for something you’d like to purchase together, or to pay off a shared debt. Be specific about what you’re each going to do that will help you accomplish your goals, and follow up on your progress in future financial dates.
Financial planning can strengthen your relationship when approached with love, respect, and an open mind. By regularly engaging in conversations about money with your partner, you build a strong foundation of communication, compromise, and shared decision-making which can prepare you for the inevitable financial shocks that life will deliver. Turn those conversations into a date with good food and soft music to make it a treat, not a chore. Even mundane tasks like managing money can be special and fun when done with the person you love.