I'm going to be honest with you... sometimes it's hard for me to talk about money with my husband. It never really feels like the "right" time, and it's hard to know how to structure the conversation. But I know it's important, so I try. In fact, I've tried a number of approaches over the years, and oh boy, did I find some ineffective ones. 😅
One of those approaches was waiting until we had kid-free time so we could be focused, which usually ended up being over date night. But we didn't go on dates all that frequently, which meant that we often went a LONG time between our money talks. Because we went so long, the list of things built up, which stressed me out. This then resulted in me often shedding tears on date night. No wonder my husband didn't look forward to having money talks!
I'll spare you all the other ineffective approaches we attempted, and share the one that worked- weekly check-ins. Every Friday morning, we meet for coffee to check in, using a check-in checklist. We go over our schedules and meal plan for the following week, discuss financial things, and touch base on a couple other things.
The check-ins aren't daunting anymore, because they happen often enough that things don't build up. Scheduling issues (like childcare and no school days) rarely fall through the cracks, and date nights are saved for fun. This system has worked wonders for both our finances and our relationship!
Maybe Friday morning coffee dates aren't your thing... maybe it works better for you to connect after you put the kids down, and maybe you prefer the privacy of your own home over a public coffee shop. Regardless of where and when it works, I'd challenge you to try weekly check-ins, and see how they work for you and your partner.
A couple pro tips:
- Set the timer, and whatever you do, don't go over an hour! (Unless you both agree to)
- Eliminate as many distractions as possible.
- Use some sort of list to track what you need to talk about- could be a shared app or a list on your fridge.
- Use a worksheet like my free Weekly Partner Check-In to make sure you cover the bases.
Give it a try, and see how it works for you!
If you'd like someone to help you start the money conversation, you're also welcome to book a free consult with me! I love working with couples to help them get an organized view of their money, clarify their financial goals, and bring their money into alignment with their values. 💗