It’s time to have a talk. The “what are we doing here?” talk. But this time, instead of sitting down with your significant other to talk about your relationship with each other, it’s time to have “the talk” about your relationship with money. We understand that everyone has a different past, personality, and approach to handling their finances. The more you come to understand the motives and values that guide your money habits and tendencies, the more intentional and mindful your overall approach will be. And that’s what we want for you, to be intentional with your finances, and to be inspired to live your values.
Party of One
If you’re single, consider it a gift! You are in full control. Empower yourself by getting intimate with your spending habits. Have a date with your budget by pouring yourself a glass of wine and doing a deep dive into where your money goes. Look at the last three months’ worth of transactions to figure out what your average monthly spend is per category; then go a step beyond the awareness to ask yourself how you feel about those numbers. Do any of them need to shift to get your spending more in line with what you value (and what you’re trying to save for)? Set new spending goals and reward yourself with a box of chocolates if you can reach them.
Congrats! There’s no better time to talk money with your honey. It’s important to learn their money personality type and start planning for how you’d handle your finances in the next step. Try taking a money personality quiz together and sharing some numbers: credit score? Total debt? Monthly savings? If you’re coming up against some friction, take note and try a compassionate, empathetic posture. Remember, personal finance is personal.
That’s wonderful! Married folks have plenty of advantages when it comes to sharing their finances. Tax advantages and no more “going Dutch”. Maybe you’ve already had a money talk, but over time, relationships – and goals – change. Early in life, your goals may be focused on paying off student loans. Your 30’s and 40’s will likely be focused on paying for your kids’ education expense. By the time you are in your 40’s and 50’s you will likely have enough disposable income to invest more in retirement.
Schedule a “money date” once a month to check-in with your honey about goals, and to see if your actions are in alignment with meeting your goals. Other considerations: maybe your tolerance for risk in your investments has changed as you start to consider retirement; maybe you need to update your estate documents; maybe your life insurance needs have decreased.
Setting a date to reassess your situation can go a long way in bringing you back into sync with one another. And start the conversation with shared goals, rather than with the budget, because shared goals are often easier to agree on!
No matter what stage your relationship is in, we’re here to help!