If you have emotional or relationship issues, you know that you can seek a therapist for help. But who do you turn to if you have personal finance or money management issues? A financial therapist, of course!
As any couples counselor will tell you, a successful relationship requires commitment, loyalty, and attention. But the payoff of having a stable partner for life is well worth it. Self-styled “financial therapist,” Nicole Iacovoni, says that your “relationship” with your personal finances requires the same thing for long term financial success.
Speaking recently to CNBC, Iacovoni said, “One piece of advice I always give couples is to have date night. I tell couples who are also seeking financial advice to apply this same approach used to their finances.” Iacovoni suggests, that just like a “date night,” you should set up specific times to unplug from your busy life and check in with your finances. “It might sound unconventional, but personifying your money helps you see it for what it really is in the long-term. It is a lifelong partner that’s with you through all of your major decisions,” she says.
Iacovoni says that each “money date” can focus on something different, so you aren’t setting aside chunks of hours at a time. Schedule 45 minutes to an hour each week. Depending on where you are in the month or certain financial milestones you are approaching, you may want to hone in on different aspects of your financial life.
Here is her breakdown of the different kinds of money dates and when you should have them:
Approaching the next month
Go over your credit card statement to see what expenses you can cut in the next month.
Beginning of the month
Create your monthly budget to track your money coming in and money going out.
Throughout the month
Review your credit card bills and immediately pay off any large balances once charged so your credit utilization rate stays low.
Once a month
Pull your credit report by going to AnnualCreditReport.com (you can also do this for free on a weekly basis).
Before you borrow
Check your credit score to see where you stand and what kind of interest rates you qualify for.
Iacovoni says, “just like having date night with your partner helps fortify your relationship, making a habit of dating your money helps to strengthen your knowledge of your finances and to be more intentional about your money.”
What do you think of this idea? Are you in a good relationship with your money?