Kim and I had our first date on February 19, 1984.
Our date was a table overlooking the beach and a simple walk along a white sand beach with a bottle of champagne. I did not have much money, so that was about as romantic a date as I could think of for a good price. Sitting on the beach at the foot of Diamond Head, Kim and I talked until the sun came up.
That night she told me about her life, and I talked about mine. When the subject of work came up, I told her about my rich dad and his lessons. She had been a business major in college and was very interested in rich dad’s B-I Triangle and the process of becoming an entrepreneur.
Sitting on the sand at the water’s edge in the moonlight, talking to the most beautiful woman I had ever known about business, was like being in heaven. Most of the women I had dated up to this point were not into business. Kim was. She was very interested.
Of course, as most first dates go, I asked her what she wanted to do with her life.
Immediately out of her mouth came, “I want to own my own business. I’m not good at taking orders.” With a smile, I said, “I can help you with that.”
Now, some women may not have found that as romantic as she did, but within one month we began our first business venture together. Along with being life partners since that first date, we’ve also been business partners.
We are true partners—in life and business. And I think a large part of that is because we have the same goals and habits when it comes to money.
5 Money Habits Of Happy Couples
Once you find the right partner, your finances (both joint and separate) should remain a frequent topic of conversation throughout your entire relationship.
Never stop talking about money.
According to a study by Ameriprise a few years ago, 77% of American couples report they are on the same page with their finances. Surprising? In these times of economic distress, it may seem too good to be true. How do these couples build happy relationships, with each other and with money? What’s their secret?
The study outlines five money habits of happy couples, exploring how these couples achieve financial harmony.
#1 They Make Money A Priority
Many people don’t think that money should be the most important thing in their life. Some people think it’s offensive or superficial to focus on how much money they make or how they are using their money.
But the majority of happy couples agree that money is a priority. They make a point to talk about it and plan their lives around their financial goals and needs.
It’s like my rich dad said, “Money may not be the most important thing in your life, but it affects everything important.”
#2 They Talk About And Agree On Financial Goals
Whether it’s retirement, saving up to buy a house, or becoming financially independent, most couples have very clear, shared financial goals.
Sharing financial goals, and working toward them together is not only a great way to increase your likelihood of achieving them, but it’s also fun!
Very early in our relationship, Kim and I talked about our financial goals. We both shared the goal to become financially free, as well as a vision of owning our own business. Though we faced a long bumpy road, those shared goals kept us going. W
hen we started The Rich Dad Company, we did so together, as partners, and it made all the difference to our success in business and our relationship.
#3 They Set Spending Limits
The report found that the money secrets of happy couples include setting a spending limit. “Any purchases over $400 (on average) need to be discussed.”
A spending limit can be a great way to ensure you and your partner have open communication about finances.
Spending large amounts of money without discussing it with your partner can lead to trust issues and resentment. But being open and upfront about big financial decisions can help solidify your relationship.
#4 They Have Joint Banking Accounts
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about joint banking accounts.
On the one hand, I think they can be a great way to support constant communication as a couple. When your finances are tied together, you have more reason to talk about how you’re spending or saving your money as a team.
On the other hand, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a separate bank account, as long as your partner is aware of it. Many couples have both: A joint bank account for shared household expenses (mortgage, utilities, groceries, pets, children, etc.), and separate accounts for personal items.
Either way, the key is communication. Having secret accounts or stashes of money your partner doesn’t know about, is not indicative of a healthy relationship. But, I do think there’s merit to keeping some of the money you earn in a separate account — that way if things don’t work out with your partner, you are freed from some of the frustrating legal entanglements that come with splitting a joint account.
#5 They Share Responsibility For Retirement Planning And Investment Decisions
The study found that an astonishing 92% agree on their target retirement savings goals.
Retirement is a wonderful time to relax and pursue the things you love with the person you love. A lot of people look forward to the extra time they have to spend with their partner in retirement.
Unfortunately, retirement is too often one of the most stressful times in a couple’s life. If they haven’t planned properly or communicated what their goals and expectations are for retirement, then what should be a happy, relaxing time can quickly dissolve into stress and anxiety.
That’s why happy couples should talk about retirement right away, and work toward their retirement goals together.
If you’ve been in a relationship, or if you’ve been married for a while, and haven’t had these conversations yet, it’s not too late to emulate how happy couples deal with money.
Many people get uncomfortable talking about money, so take it gentle and slow. Work at it from different angles until you find the one that gets the response—and eventually leads to deeper conversations.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily