It’s called a “money date.”
The idea is that many if not most couples are reluctant to sit down and talk finances. So why not make such interactions more attractive by dressing them up as nights out?
“I have even suggested to clients, ‘Have the money date in your sexy clothes,'” Christine Luken, a financial coach based in Cincinnati, told the Wall Street Journal.
“Just go ahead and have it naked — as long as you get the money stuff done,” she said.
It’s a new spin on an old challenge: Getting couples to actively engage with their finances by setting budgets and investment goals, and by doing the heavy financial lifting that comes with living within one’s means.
The Journal cited the example of Tierra and Gregory Bates, who put on their fanciest duds, head to an upscale steakhouse and mix a little finance with their flirting.
“We’re discussing things, but we’re celebrating at the same time,” Tierra said. “Treating ourselves while still talking about the goals we have in mind.”
I say: Whatever it takes.
There are two topics that many couples have difficulty addressing: Sex and money. It’s not my place to address the former. As for the latter, the more openness between partners, the better.
For both a healthy relationship and a healthy financial portfolio, it’s important for all concerned to be on the same page about goal setting and the path to achieving those goals.
This is especially true at a time of economic uncertainty like the one we’re in now.
Credit card debt now tops $1 trillion because of many households dealing with the highest consumer prices in decades by running up tabs on their plastic.
The financial site WalletHub says U.S. consumers added $43 billion in additional credit card debt during the second quarter of this year.
The average balance now tops $10,000, according to WalletHub.
This is the kind of thing that can either add tension to a relationship or serve as common ground for tackling the problem.
The first step to fixing things is communication.
That’s where the money date comes in. If talking money is a turn-off for some couples, dress it up as a social occasion. Make it something you can look forward to.
And once you get all the rough stuff out of the way, you can go back to playing footsies under the table while enjoying your tiramisu.