Every couple I know has trouble agreeing how to manage their money.
It’s not always a total disaster. Sometimes it’s more of an annoyance.
There are ways to improve your financial communication. Here’s how…
Want to get better at something? Practice.
The same is true for managing your money together as a couple.
Derek, are you suggesting we practice spending money?
Practicing helps you get better at anything you try, why wouldn’t it work with money?
Here’s one way to improve your financial communication and practice spending money together.
The $100,000 Question
Answer this question together as a couple… What would you do with $100,000?
Answering this question with your partner is an excellent gateway to having better conversations about money. And it’s the first conversation I recommend having if you’re just getting started with money talks as a couple, or if your conversations tend to turn sour.
The reason you should have this conversation first is that it’s an easy, low-pressure, and potentially fun question to answer. This conversation will help you build a foundation for future money conversations.
Your answer might look like this:
- $23,000: pay off debt
- $7,000: emergency fund
- $6,000: church, charity, or help out a friend
- $12,000: new (pre-owned!) car
- $4,000: vacation
- $20,000: mutual fund retirement account
- $28,000: down payment on a house
Your partners answer will likely look different. Working through those differences is the whole point!
When you answer this question with your spouse, you are basically telling each other what you value in a fun way. You’ll get to talk about your differences and discuss how your priorities blend together to form common goals.
It’s also good practice for spending real money! You may or may not have $100,000 sitting in the bank right now, but over the course of your life, you will spend many times that. When you practice spending fake money with your spouse—and have all the conversations that come along with it—it makes having real conversations about money easier.
Go ahead, spend the $100,000 together and see how it goes.
Go get ’em tiger!
P.S. This little exercise is straight from the pages of our book One Bed, One Bank Account.
“There is NOTHING sexier than rockin’ a budget with your partner, except for maybe doing it naked. Let Derek & Carrie encourage and inspire you with One Bed, One Bank Account.” – J.Money, BudgetsAreSexy.com
“One Bed, One Bank Account will increase the rate of return in both your relationship and your bank account!” –Dan & Joanne Miller, 48Days.com
“I wish I would have read this book before I got married. Every couple needs to learn the art of talking about money, and Derek and Carrie offer a fresh perspective that the world needs. Get this book!” –Jeff Goins, Author, The Art of Work