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Holidays like Valentine’s Day—full of hearts and roses and dizzying amounts of the color pink—make denying your relationship status almost impossible.
Sure, in the past you’ve tiptoed around the labels. But you’ve been playing games for far too long. If you really want things between you and your money to be gushingly hunky-dory, you’ve got to take it to the next level.
It’s time to DTBR—define the budget relationship. Whether you find yourself with no date, stuck on a blind date, or dating every single day, you can use our guide below to get the conversation started.
When friends ask what you’re up to tonight, you respond with a coughing mumble. Your lack of financial plans might sound depressing to some, but the truth is you don’t need ’em! You’re fine all by yourself, thank you very much.
Just last week, you bought a brand-new pair of shoes because you wanted to. You don’t have to consult a budget. You’re free to spend as you please, without the ol’ ball and chain dragging you down.
Unfortunately, you and God’s ways of handling money need each other. A healthy relationship with money will challenge you to grow. Even better? Your money will grow too.
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Maybe you’re new to the money-dating scene, or it’s been a while since you put yourself out there. Keep it simple. Ask your money out with these questions:
- Can I get your number(s)? Include monthly income, savings and debt.
- Want to hang out sometime? Go ahead and set a date and time to be with your budget.
- What would you like to do? You know, once you take control of your money.
You browsed our site looking for the perfect match. After hours of clicking and reading, you finally found it: the monthly cash flow plan. This budget has everything on your wish list: good looks, brains and personality. Tonight’s the night you two finally meet.
You get all gussied up, spritz your receipts with perfume, and head out the door, bouquet of pencils in hand. Five minutes past the pleasantries, you realize this isn’t going to work. Before you spoil a perfectly good evening with your “It’s not you, it’s me” speech, let us break the news: It actually is you.
Relationships take time. You’ve got to give the budget a good three or four months to understand what makes it tick. Smile, sit back down, and give this date another chance.
So what if budgeting isn’t the way most people meet their money? Your story will be a fun one to share with the kids one day. Get to know each other with these questions:
- What were your previous budgets like? Explore what worked and what didn’t.
- What are your expectations? List what you hope to gain by budgeting.
- How committed are you? Are you willing to put time and energy into this relationship?
Bzz. “Hi honey! Just checking in, how is your day?” Bzz. “I ate PB&J for lunch. What did you have?” Bzz. “Did you get my email?” Bzz. “Dinner at 6?” Bzz. “Missed you at dinner. Talk soon?”
Well, isn’t that ... sweet?
You touch base with your money all throughout the day and wonder what it’s doing as you fall asleep at night. Every month’s budget is all planned out—and heaven help anyone or anything that gets in the way. You and your money are tight.
Maybe a little too tight. We applaud your devotion, but it wouldn’t hurt to give your money some space. This isn’t a February fling. Your money needs to breathe, and so do you.
If you’re in this for the long haul, you’ve got to make room in the relationship. Otherwise, you might just burn bright and burn out. Keep the flame alive with these questions:
- What do you do for fun? Yes, fun. F-U-N. Plan for it, sure, but have fun!
- How do you feel about spontaneity? Do you make room in your budget for surprises?
- Do you make the most of your time together? Think quality over quantity when budgeting or checking your accounts.
It’s Valentine’s Day! You don’t have to wait for “the signal” to make a move. Lock eyes with your money, lean in, and go for it.