There are all kinds of dates: playdates, first dates, last dates and married date nights. Time and effort are put into these dates, but have you ever considered a ‘money date’? Have you ever thought about dealing with your finances with the same intensity as you use for planning a date?
Money is a life long journey, so why not schedule regular money dates to pay your bills, reconcile your bank accounts, review your investment statements, etc.? Just like first ‘romantic’ dates, the first few money dates may seem a little scary or intimidating or downright stressful. But guess what, you will become more comfortable on these money dates as time goes on.
Below are a few tips for setting up successful money management dates:
#1: Pick a Time and Place
For your first money date, plan a place and time for the date to take place. It should be somewhere quiet and where you feel comfortable. Organize what you will need for this date, such as your recent utility and bank statements, pay information, calculator, pens, paper, etc. And don’t forget the coffee or tea! If this is a totally new experience for you, don’t plan a 3-hour first date, as that will be too overwhelming. On the first date, you may just want to acquaint yourself with your “partner” – review your statements, pay information, etc. Then at the end of this first date make sure you schedule the next one.
#2: Get Clear on What You Want
Over the next few dates, spend some time on each date to discover what you want to get out of the “relationship.” For example, do you want to establish a monthly budget? Do you want to find ways to pay down your debts? Maybe you want to start saving for a vacation, or just simply gain a better understanding of your investment statements. Remember, these are your dates and you want to enjoy them.
#3: Schedule Regular Money Dates
Money dates shouldn’t be a one-time-only get together; you want to be in this for the long run. And just like developing a relationship with another person, developing a relationship with money takes time, but it does get easier. As time goes on, you’ll become more comfortable on your money dates, just like you would with a romantic partner. Remember your first date with your current partner compared to the ongoing time spent together now? The more frequent or regular you make your money dates the more comfortable you will be.
#4: Don’t be Afraid to Make Changes
If it isn’t working out then make changes. Maybe you’re trying to accomplish too much in too little time. Maybe your expectations are too high, or perhaps you need a change of scenery. Consider spending a money date night at a money management workshop sponsored by Credit Canada. Or if you and your money run into problems, it might be time for some free counselling—credit counselling, that is—to help you get over these humps and difficulties. One of our certified credit counsellors can assist you as you work out your relationship with money, and all of our counselling is free.
#5: Set New Goals
You want your relationship with your finances to evolve, so as you progress in your relationship with money set new goals and expectations – you don’t want the relationship to get stale.
Remember, your relationship with money could be one of the longest relationships of your life. So, enjoy your money dates and reap the rewards of having a healthy relationship with money and your finances.
If you’re looking for some free advice on building a healthy and productive relationship with money and your finances, our certified credit counsellors are standing by. We’ve helped thousands of people build healthy and strong relationships with money — take a look at our client reviews.
During a free counselling session, one of our counsellors will review your expenses, income and debt and then create a customized spending plan that will help you accomplish whatever financial goal you might have, whether it’s getting rid of your debt for good, saving for a down payment, or planning for retirement. Call 1-800-267-2272 to book a free appointment.