I’ve always been fascinated by the similarities between our personal relationships and our money relationships.
Some people love money, some fear it, and some have that kind of love/hate “it’s complicated” thing going on. And our experiences of intimate relationships can be the same.
So, with February being the month of love, I thought there’s no better time to dive into this sometimes-sticky topic of love and money because, whether we like it or not, they’re intertwined with each other.
Why talking about money matters
When it comes to having a healthy and rounded relationship with your partner, one of the most important things you need to be able to talk about is money. And while I appreciate it isn’t the most sexy and exciting of conversations, it is crucial for building a strong and healthy financial relationship.
The problem is that for so many people money can be one of the most taboo and super touchy subjects to talk about. And this is especially true for women, because many of us are taught from a young age that it’s not a ladylike subject to discuss.
But when you realise that money issues are one of the main reasons why so many people get into trouble in relationships, and a big driver for so many divorces, overcoming some discomfort is clearly worth it!
And believe me, I’m talking from personal experience here. My historical money story and the near devastating impact it had on my marriage was the catalyst for me becoming a money coach and addressing my money beliefs head on (you can listen here to me sharing all about it).
Many couples also avoid discussing money because they assume their partner has the same financial goals and priorities as they do. The problem with assumption though is that it can easily take you down a slippery slope of misunderstandings and miscommunications, which then creates tension and stress in your relationship.
But things really and truly don’t have to be that way.
You see, when couples talk about money matters in an open and transparent way, assumption disappears and they’re then able to focus on building a strong and healthy financial relationship with each other.
When you’re honest with each other about your financial goals, priorities, and spending habits, you can then work together to support each other and create a budget that works for both of you. This kind of clarity is priceless and helps you make informed decisions about your finances, whether you’re saving for a future goal, paying down debt, or investing for your future.
Let’s talk money dates!
Often when I speak with my clients, they tell me that money conversations with their significant other feel so daunting and heavy and, well, boring! And when something feels that way it just adds another layer of challenge to an already overwhelming situation.
But when you take it back to its bare bones, the truth is, it’s just a mindset challenge that then becomes a bit of an avoidance tactic! As I often say, money is just energy, and so you can choose to approach it with the energy of fear and dread, or you can choose for it to be fun and liberating. Personally, I prefer the latter!
So, with that in mind, let me introduce you to the concept of ‘Money Dates’.
Whether you’re in a new relationship or a long-term relationship, marriage, or anything in between, make it a priority to schedule money dates into your diary.
And make them FUN!
Perhaps you go out for a walk or cook dinner together and talk about money at the same time. If you’re particularly anxious about getting into the conversation, moving your body in some way as you talk can really help to move any stuck, uncomfortable energy and get you into flow. You might even like to make a bit of a weekend of it and take yourselves off to a nice hotel where you plan out your finances and treat yourselves at the same time.
However you decide to set up your money dates, have fun, turn off your phones and other distractions, and talk openly and honestly about your financial goals, priorities, and spending habits.
Fun money exercises you can do together
To get some ideas flowing, here are some fun exercises that you can do with your partner (or with yourself if you’re currently single) to positively build your money relationship…
- Financial Audit: Look at your current financial situation in a non-judgemental way and identify together what’s working well and what needs improvement. Then, make a plan to help you deal with any issues and create a budget that you both feel happy with.
- Vision Board: I love vision boards and they’re so much fun to do with your partner. You can either create a physical board or an online one using platforms like Pinterest or Canva. Your board represents your financial goals and priorities. Use pictures, quotes, and other items that inspire you to reach these goals.
- Savings Pots: These are great for long-term spending goals, like a big holiday or a down payment on a house. And if you both like a little competition you could make it a fun challenge to see who can save the most each month.
- Budgeting Game: Set a specific goal, like you each reducing your monthly spending by a certain percentage and see who can hit the goal first! And plan a special treat to reward yourselves when you reach your goal.
I hope you can see that by creating a safe environment for each other, where you can both be open and transparent, you can build a strong financial relationship together.
When you add a regular ‘money date’ into the mix, you’re then fully committing to keeping the conversation going and working together as a team to reach your joint financial goals. And as the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work, and you deserve to have a dreamy relationship in every way with your special someone.
And here’s one final exercise you can do together – take my Money Quiz! Understanding your own money beliefs, and your partners too, is a game changer. Once you’ve taken the quiz, book a FREE Discovery Call so we can discuss your results in more detail, and come up with some personalised actions to help you move forward.