You’re planning your dream wedding. Chances are you have a budget for your wedding (let’s hope). How often do you chat about the budget or any of your finances with your financé? Is it a pleasant experience — one you both look forward to or do you avoid it like the plague?
Regardless of your own personal money style, you are now a couple and it’s time to start planning and talking about merging your financial lives. Clear, frequent, and open communication is a massive part of that – whether you are talking wedding budget or trying to figure out who is going to pay the monthly bills. Below are three tips to make talking about your money with your honey a fun and yes even enjoyable experience.
1. Write a Financial Love Note: It may sound a bit crazy but romantic communications about your dreams, hopes, and goals will help you both learn what it is the other truly desires out of life. It reminds you both that you are a team and you can get through anything, whether it’s a tight budget due to wedding plans, or different perspectives about money. Be sure to show each other love in your notes. You can even leave each other silly little post-it money love notes like: “I loved the way you saved money on the caterer honey!”, or how about “I love that we are on the same page with our money!”
2. Make a Date!: The best way to make talking about money fun is to have a financial conversation while you are already having fun! I’m pretty sure the entire idea of having a “Money Date” may seem a bit bizarre, but just try it and you’ll see. Try things like talking about your budget while you’re both lazing in bed naked on a Sunday morning, taking a bubble bath, or make a nice dinner, light some candles, have a glass of wine, and talk about your finances. Plan a picnic or a even just go for a walk. The key is to have fun and add in a conversation about your finances. Not only will your financial communication improve but so will your relationship. Note: Your conversations don’t all have to be long either, frequent quick updates are often just as effective.
3. Make it a Game: It can be easy to avoid your money to-do list. However, procrastinating can have a major impact on your money and your relationship. So make it a game! Create a rewards system. At the beginning of each month, sit down together and create a list of all of the financial things you need to do. Next, place them in order of your likelihood to avoid each task. Things like research banking options, get life insurance, transfer money to savings account. Then, assign rewards or prizes for each task. The more difficult or unappealing the task, the bigger the prize. For example: #5: Pay the monthly bills on time. Prize: dinner and your favorite movie. Whoever does the task wins the prize. You can totally make this system into a fun game and before you know it all the items on your list are checked off.
Money conversations should be fun. Ultimately, it’s all about finding ways to work together toward financial success rather than against each other. Your money and your relationship will both thank you. Now go out and plan your first money date!
Please share your tips for healthy and fun communication about your money in your own relationship. I would love to hear about your challenges as well. Leave your ideas in the comments section below!