One of the biggest money mistakes women make in relationships is not talking openly about finances with their partners. Ideally, you should be having financial check-ins with your partner at least once a month. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we chat with Loreen Gilbert, CEO and founder of Wealthwise Financial Services, about how to get the most out of these “financial date night” conversations.
How often should financial date nights with your partner be taking place and what should you review during these check-ins?
Financial check-ins are imperative for couples looking to keep their finances in order. Some couples meet on a weekly basis while others meet on a monthly basis. No matter how frequently you meet to discuss finances, there are some key metrics to keep top of mind:
- Your spending plan: Where are you overspending and/or underspending based on your monthly budget?
- Net worth: Where have you made progress and where have you lost ground?
- Upcoming expenses: Expenses are not even month-over-month. What upcoming expenses do you need to address together?
What short- and long-term goals should you discuss during these “date nights”?
Financial goals can be broken down into one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year goals. Looking out 10 years can help a couple stay connected on how they see their family and lives developing both financially as well as personally. Bringing it down to your one-year goals can help you hone in on what financial goals are top of mind — for instance, putting a pool in the backyard or perhaps saving more money for your children’s education.
What are some common disagreements that may occur during these check-ins and how can they be resolved?
It is important to normalize disagreements about money between partners. Rarely do couples agree on every detail on how to divide resources and where to prioritize spending money. This is why it is important that each person has some autonomy over their own spending money. What’s key is having a similar long-term vision of lifestyle and financial goals.
One common area of financial disagreement is not about spending money for yourself, but on how much to donate to charities. Discussing together how much you would each like to give and compromising between those two numbers is a good practice. Going through this same process for any spending differences can bring a couple closer to each other. Oftentimes, going through this process will bring the partners closer together on financial goals over time.
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
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