Money Date – the Importance of Talking to your Spouse

Data shows a lot of relations have friction when it comes to money. Even though I find it hard to do sometimes, I do think it’s super important to have regular money dates. Discussing money with your spouse is super important.

Communicate!

Just communicate, especially about money! A lot of issues come from not communicating enough. Add to that the fact that money is always an issue between people and there’s a recipe for disaster.

Are you in debt? Tell your spouse. Do you want something else with your money than before? Talk about it. Even if the December stock market correction made you feel insecure, you have to talk it through!

Check if your goals are still aligned. Your partner doesn’t have to be fully on board, but it helps if he or she is not working against you. This is the situation me and Girlfriend are in at the moment. She’s not really focussed on becoming financially independent. And she doesn’t have to be, but the has to know that I am. We understand each other and have respect for each other’s opinion.

Money Date

The first time I heard about money dates was quite some months ago on a podcast. Back then I didn’t think much of them. Just occasionally money would come up in a conversation and Girlfriend and I would talk about it.

Two weeks ago we held our own first “money date”. We sat down with nice big cups of tea and talked money.

We discussed two related topics that evening. The first was about what we would do when she gets a full time job, hopefully right after this summer. The other part was related to this, and has to do with aligning our goals both short term and long term.

Dual Income No Kids

Girlfriend has a different view on my money than I do. Hell, she even called me a Scrooge McDuck the other day. But we try to have conversations about the subject.

Yes, we will be DINKs later this year, if everything goes according to plan. Due to some factors she’s only graduating university this year, while I’m working for a few years already (she’s just one year younger).

Of course there’s nothing wrong with being a bit older when you graduate, but it does have an impact on our finances. The biggest one is housing. Right now, Girlfriend doesn’t pay anything towards our housing costs. Granted, the apartment is mine (I bought it before we moved in together), and I can afford it by myself. The only costs we share are groceries, utilities and such.

We have discussed in the past that she will start paying me some money when she graduates. If she would live on her own that would cost money, and also if we were to rent or buy a place together. So when she lives in my place, it’s only fair to charge her some kind of “rent”. It doesn’t have to be much, but to be able to share the costs a little bit would be good we think.

Aligning Goals

The second part of the conversation was directly related to her starting to work. We ran a quick and dirty calculation for her monthly budget with a full time income (due to her line of work she already knows what she’s going to make).

With the money she will then have leftover she can do a lot of things. One of the things we discussed were a potential budget, but also a longer term plan. Eventually we will want to be able to buy a home together.

Ideally we’ll keep living in my current apartment for a couple of years, and save for a nice big down payment on our next house. I am against paying down a house right now, but I understand that going into the future having a paid off home really helps me become financially independent.

Girlfriend also liked the idea of having just a small mortgage payment and paying that down fast over time. So one of our longer term goals is to start saving for a home once she starts to collect a full time salary.

Short Term Goals

During the money date we also discussed short term goals.

For example taking a trip to the US this year. That’s quite expensive, so we discussed the basics of the trip. For example, we’re looking into using my airline miles to fly for cheap, then use Airbnb instead of hotels.

Money Date? Check!

We had a good time discussing money. It is not the easiest subject to talk about, but it was good to align with each other where we want to go.

Do you guys have a regular money date moment with your spouse? How does that work?

The next post is about financial planning.

4 thoughts on “Money Date – the Importance of Talking to your Spouse”

  1. Nice post B. We do talk about money, but not regularly. Just like with you, my wife is not that focussed on becoming FI but we do have the same future plans/images in mind.

    Your post triggered me. Maybe it’s time for a date ;-)

  2. Sound like you have a really healthy relationship there B. I saw a piece of research today (for the UK) that said that around 1/3 of couples have secret savings and around 1/5 don’t tell their partner what they earn.

    I think that’s extraordinary. At minimum I think that if you’re in a serious relationship you should share financial information. But, even better, like you’ve done you should share your shared goals and dreams and talk about how you will work your finances together to get there.

    • Well, really healthy I don’t know. I find it hard to discuss money topics with my girlfriend. But I know it’s important, that’s why I do this.
      I agree on the ridiculousness of these averages. Unbelievable. Working the finances together is the toughest part. Especially when one of the partners isn’t interested in FI. But we’ll make it work, I’m sure.

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