Love & Money: Embrace the Power of Money DatesFeb 14, 2023
I've always been fascinated by the similarities between our personal and money relationships. Some people love money, some fear it, and some have that kind of love/hate "it's complicated" thing going on. And our experiences of intimate relationships can be the same.
With February being the month of love, I thought there was no better time to dive into this sometimes-sticky topic of love and money because, whether we like it or not, they're intertwined with each other.
Why talking about money matters
When it comes to having a healthy and rounded relationship with your partner, one of the most important things you need to be able to talk about is money. And while I appreciate it isn't the sexiest and most exciting of conversations, it is crucial for building a strong and healthy financial relationship.
The problem is that money can be one of the most taboo and super-touchy subjects to talk about for so many people. And this is especially true for women because many of us are taught from a young age that it's not a ladylike subject to discuss.
But when you realise that money issues are one of the main reasons why so many people get into trouble in relationships, and a big driver for so many divorces, overcoming some discomfort is clearly worth it!
And believe me; I'm talking from personal experience here. My historical money story and its near-devastating impact on my marriage was the catalyst for me becoming a money coach and addressing my money beliefs head-on (you can listen here to me sharing all about it).
Many couples also avoid discussing money because they assume their partner has the same financial goals and priorities as they do. The problem with assumption though, is that it can easily take you down a slippery slope of misunderstandings and miscommunications, creating tension and stress in your relationship.
But things really and truly don't have to be that way.
You see, when couples talk about money matters openly and transparently, assumption disappears, and they can then focus on building a strong and healthy financial relationship with each other.
When you're honest with each other about your financial goals, priorities, and spending habits, you can work together to support each other and create a budget that works for both of you. This kind of clarity is priceless and helps you make informed decisions about your finances, whether you're saving for a future goal, paying down debt, or investing for your future.
Let's go on a money date!
Often when I speak with my clients, they tell me that money conversations with their significant other feel so daunting and heavy and, well, boring! And when something feels that way, it just adds another layer of challenge to an already overwhelming situation.
But when you take it back to its bare bones, the truth is, it's just a mindset challenge that then becomes a bit of an avoidance tactic! As I often say, money is just energy, so you can approach it with the energy of fear and dread, or you can choose for it to be fun and liberating. Personally, I prefer the latter!
So, with that in mind, let me introduce you to the concept of a 'Money Date'.
Whether in a new or long-term relationship, marriage, or anything in between, make it a priority to schedule money dates in your diary and make them FUN!
You could go out for a walk or cook dinner together and talk about money at the same time. If you're particularly anxious about getting into the conversation, moving your body as you talk can help move any stuck, uncomfortable energy and get you into flow. You might even like to make a bit of a weekend of it and take yourselves off to a nice hotel where you plan out your finances and treat yourselves simultaneously.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun, turn off your phones and other distractions, and talk openly and honestly about your financial goals, priorities, and spending habits.
Fun money exercises you can do together
To get some ideas flowing, here are some fun exercises you can do with your partner (or yourself if you're currently single) to positively build your money relationship
Financial Audit: Look at your current financial situation in a non-judgemental way and identify together what's working well and what needs improvement. Then, make a plan to help you deal with any issues and create a budget you both feel happy with.
Vision Board: I love vision boards; they're so much fun with your partner. You can either create a physical board or an online one using platforms like Pinterest or Canva. Your board represents your financial goals and priorities. Use pictures, quotes, and other items that inspire you to reach these goals.
Savings Pots: These are great for long-term spending goals, like a big holiday or a down payment on a house. And if you both like a little competition, you could make it a fun challenge to see who can save the most each month.
Budgeting Game: Set a specific goal, like you each reducing your monthly spending by a certain percentage and see who can hit the goal first! And plan a special treat to reward yourselves when you reach your goal.
I hope you can see that by creating a safe environment for each other, where you can be open and transparent, you can build a solid financial relationship together.
When you add a regular' money date' into the mix, you're fully committing to keeping the conversation going and working together as a team to reach your joint financial goals. And as the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work, and you deserve to have a dreamy relationship with your special someone in every way.
And here's one final exercise you can do together – take my Money Quiz! Understanding your money beliefs and your partners too, is a game changer. Once you've taken the quiz, book a FREE Discovery Call so we can discuss your results in more detail and develop some personalised actions to help you move forward.
Ilana Jankowitz is a certified Money Coach born and raised in South Africa and currently residing in Zurich. Her work is all about identifying behavioural patterns around money, transforming negative thinking and moving from a self-destructive mindset to one that is positive and inspiring.
She is passionate about helping women to break free from self-doubt, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence and move towards financial liberation and she can help you too with her free money quiz. You can read all about Ilana and her work here or on any of my social pages Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
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