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How To Have a Successful Money Date

A money date is a great way for you and your partner to talk about financial goals. Here, you'll find six tips for a successful money date.

Updated March 14, 2024

by Meredith Rines

Accountant and Certified Financial Planner
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When did you and your spouse last sit down to talk about finances? Not just about bills but about your financial situation as a whole? Most couples don’t set aside time for a “money date” to discuss money, goals, and debt. We’ve all heard that up to 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and money is at the root of most divorces.1 Money issues could be anything from different spending habits to different financial goals or even a power struggle when one spouse makes more than the other.

However, most disagreements about money can be avoided with an open communication plan between spouses by setting up a regular money date. This plan doesn’t have to be long or drawn out, but it needs to be consistent. You must sit down with your spouse at least once a month (if not more) to discuss your finances. There are a few best practices regarding a money date to ensure you stick to the task, minimize interruptions, and allow for a judgment-free zone.

How To Have a Successful Money Date

Here are six tips for having a successful money date with your partner:

1. Tune Out All Distractions

During your money date, focus solely on each other and your finances. Having an open and honest conversation about money is much harder when your kiddos interrupt you. So, hire a babysitter, ask the neighbor kid, or drop off the little ones with Grandma and Grandpa for a few hours so you can have one another’s undivided attention. You must be fully present, so turn off all distractions — phones, email inboxes, Facebook, and other interruptions. Put your phones on silent, close your inbox, and turn off the TV.

2. Know What You Want To Discuss

Have a game plan before sitting down together. This could include talking about your bank account’s current state, what monthly bills have been paid, and what amount you have in debt. You also need to discuss any upcoming expenses that might be out of the ordinary so you’re both aware of them. These could be work trips, girls’ night outs, boys’ trips, activities for your kids, birthday gifts, or any other gifts you might need to purchase soon.

3. Check Your Budget

Once you know your current position, it’s time to update your budget. Go through each category, line-by-line, and see where you stand for the month. If you see any spending that seems off, look into it. Check out bank transactions or billing statements to see why you went over. This is why it’s essential to sit down at least once a month (although weekly is ideal) to have your money date. If there’s an error in a billing statement, you’ll know sooner, which means you can fix it faster. If your family is consistently overspending in one budget area — like groceries, eating out, etc. — you can take the steps to correct it.

4. Be Open With One Another

Many marriages have a spender and a saver. One person wants to live life, have a good time, and enjoy the moment; the other wants to save every penny they make. If that’s your case, you need to be open and honest with one another about your spending or saving habits. A money date needs to be a judgment-free zone. That means no yelling, no making one another feel bad, and no inserting opinions on your partner’s values. Don’t be afraid to (respectfully) share how you feel!

5. Talk About Your Goals

A money date is a great time to talk about goals and dreams for your family. Dream big — become debt-free, buy land to build a home, take a trip to Disney World next summer, buy a new car, or any other dream! When discussing dreams and goal setting, you can create a plan to reach those goals. It will be easy to start dreaming together, especially if you’re on the same page with your current financial position.

6. Schedule Your Next Money Date

Before ending your money date, go ahead and schedule your next one. It’s best to get it on the calendar now so it doesn’t slip through the cracks. Try to sit down on the same day each month and around the same time. For instance, you might make it a routine to have a money date on the second Tuesday of every month or the first Sunday of the month. Having a regular money date is vital to keeping an open dialogue with your partner regarding finances.

There you have it! Those are the best practices for having a successful money date with your spouse. The first time you have a money date may not be the easiest date you’ve ever been on, but it will get better. Just be consistent, and you’ll find that it gets easier with time!

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Meredith Rines, MBA, CFP®
Meredith Rines Accountant and Certified Financial Planner
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Wife, Mom, MBA, Certified Financial Planner, and a budget and financial strategist helping families pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted. Meredith resides in Missouri with her… Read more

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