Talking Money at 40+ does get easier with practice and does become stress-free.
Money is a subject you can’t avoid discussing especially when you’re in a relationship. It may be daunting to start with, but hear me out…
1. Lay your cards on the table.
When talking money at 40+, If you’re in a committed relationship or are about to get married or buy a house together, have just started dating or have been together for years, it’s important to be as upfront and honest about all your money ‘skeletons in the closet’. Whether you’ve had issues paying off your car loan or have had some problems with credit card debt, tell your partner about it and don’t judge them when they tell you about their past money woes.
2. Take it slow, and lead by example.
No matter how long you’ve been together, you probably have some critical things to say about your partner’s habit of splurging on clothes or one too many down the pub. But don’t. If you want to build mutual money goals then you need to create a feeling of trust. Start by being honest about your spending habits. Together you can decide if you’re each willing to compromise and how to begin cutting back.
Think about those painful ‘we need to talk’ moments with exes (gasp!)? Well having The Money Talk can initially seem like a repeat of one of those, so the last thing you want to do is go in all serious or accusatory. Instead, start it off lightly with general questions and talk about other people you both know and how they manage money, this will give you an insight into your partner’s money values.
3. Make lists of your goals.
Go on one or maybe two holidays abroad per year? Do you want to own your home or is it more convenient to rent? Have children and/or pets (there is a difference)? Retirement at 55? Talking money at 40+ means talking about your future plans and dreams, openly and honestly, at the start of a relationship, not only helps with compatibility but will also allow each person to solidify their own money goals. And once you know each other’s goals, you can plan your future together.
4. Buy yourself Happiness.
Treat yourself. If you’re planning a holiday together or would like to get some new furniture or a new TV, then start saving together. Your dream holiday may seem as likely as a trip to the moon, but that’s because you’ve not committed to the cause yet! Feel the sand between your toes, taste that icy cool cocktail, and pin up a picture of that dreamt-of destination.
5. Now do your sums.
Find out how much your fantasies costs, and make them happen. Work out how much you’ll need to save, and how long you’ll need to save for. If you spend £5 on takeaway lunch each day, that stacks up to a whopping £1,000 over 10 months (that’s a good old holiday right there), plan for a lovely summer break and start taking tasty sandwiches from home. Make this fun by doing the 365 day 1p money challenge as a couple or agree to put aside a set amount each, such as £30 a month, into a separate bank account.
Food for thought.
Spending money on doing things you love will put a bigger smile on your face than gathering stuff around you, and it’s what memories are made of. Talking money at 40+ says forget spending all your hard earned cash in the sales, book a day or night out doing something you love instead (this is another list you should have pinned up on your fridge door), whether it’s date-nights, meeting up with friends, learning something new or heading off for a day by the sea. Take a load of selfies to remind yourself how getting out and having fun was so much better than shopping.
Remember that you’re worth it, but don’t do it too often. Be sure to balance those relaxing spa days, meals out and lunchtime shops and you’ll love them even more and spend less to boot. Put a treat date on your calendar, so you can watch that day of indulgence getting ever closer.
Revisit what you used to be good at before life got serious, like baking, painting, DIY or photography and to see if you can turn it into nice little earner through sites like… Etsy or EBay or Amazon. Or try your hand at something completely new and build yourself a website to host a whole range of activities. Not only will you unearth a side of you that somehow got buried, you might even make a few quid at the same time. Double the fun!