Time to set up a date night where you plan on just talking about all your dough! That is…all your finances!!
Make it a date night to add a bit of fun and lightheartedness to the sometimes hard to discuss topic.
If you don’t have kids, then start the date early to give you lots of time to get into some good details and chat about some future planning or dreams for your money.
If you do have kids, see if you can find a friend, neighbour, or family member to take your kids for the night. It really helps if you can cut back on the distractions.
Once you have figured out a plan for the kids, plan the menu for the afternoon or evening, especially snacks! (no need for anyone to get “hangry” while talking money!) Get some nice sparkling water (alcohol may end up having a negative impact on the conversation if it gets a bit heated – it’s best to save it for another date night, or to celebrate at the end!) Next, try to gather up as much information and detail about your money as you can!
How much do you have?
During the dough date, try to talk about it all! Establish how much money you currently have in the bank at this very moment, talk about credit card balances (and be honest!!), talk about investments or saving plans, talk about large upcoming expenditures like vacations or a car, talk about the kids and what you want to save for them or their education, talk about your own futures and explore each other’s retirement plans.
How much comes in and how much goes out?
After some of the heavy chit chat, start coming up with a plan. Talk about your income, and then go through some bills and figure out a bit of a budget – you can get as detailed as you want here! Decide how much of your paycheck is saving for your future or still spending on your past. Decide what to do if you have any ‘leftover’ paycheck, if you have covered your expenses and still have income left over.
As you start thinking more about budgeting, you may find that you don’t necessarily agree with your partner about the day to day spending. It may be time to start compromising…a lot!! Remind yourselves that you each matter, your ideas each matter but get real about the money! You only have so much coming in, and you still have ongoing necessary expenses. Everyone should educate themselves on some good ways of investing money and how your money can work for you. Listen and talk about goals you have for either the day to day spending, the monthlies, annually or even what you want from your future life.
The dough date is simply a chance to really get on the same page when it comes to your money! It’s about getting to know your partner on a whole different level, whether you and your spouse have a joint account or not. Money can’t be ignored, it’s a big topic! So give it the time it needs and have some fun with it.
Have a dough date this weekend and get into a debt repayment or savings routine now that Christmas is over!