Money Dates: Putting the sexy in savings
Light some candles, put on the music, pour a couple glasses of wine and fire up that spreadsheet…wait, what? You thought date night could only be dinner and a movie? Do I have news for you! If you want to reinvigorate your relationship, there’s an even better way to build up trust and intimacy.
Marriage.com says that after infidelity, the top causes of divorce are: Money, Lack of Communication, and Constant Arguing. How about constant arguing and communication breakdowns over money? To me they all fall into the same camp and luckily, they can be solved with the Money Date.
In all seriousness, I’ve regularly poured a glass of wine, and gotten cozy with my husband with a laptop and our bills with the intent to revisit our finances. Typically, every 1-3 months we will sit down and check how much we spent in various categories versus what we budgeted. Was there a particular area where we slipped up? Were there an abnormally high number of expenses due to emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances? What about spending areas where we’re simply not getting good value like that unused gym membership or excessive cable bill.
From there we check how our spending impacted our savings, carve out a plan to get back on track, clamp down on unnecessary expenses, find ways to earn a little extra income, and put together a timeline to get there. If you schedule a regular money date, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to do anything drastic because you and your partner will be on the same page, working towards the same goals.
You might feel embarrassed on your first money date, putting it all out there for your partner to see. But if you’re both willing to sit down and do this, you’ve already won half the battle. I’ve seen clients who worked as a team from the start, those where a rude awakening forced them to come together, and those who bury their heads in the sand and try their hardest to keep their finances separate. You don’t want to fall into the third category. Look at it this way: it typically takes a 30% increase in income to maintain the same standard of living after a divorce. Now review your options; take the time to communicate about money now or come up with an extra $20,000 or more a year for the rest of your life.