If you’re on this blog you’ve probably discussed a lot of this stuff with your significant other already, but on the off chance you haven’t – or need a good push! – here’s a list of 20 great questions to talk about the next time you guys are in “the mood.”
And bonus points if you actually go over them while “in the nude!” (Heyo!)
They come from a friend of mine who’s launching a new app (Zeta) to help couples manage their money better, and you can read the full article I found these from via Refinery29: The 20 Money Questions You Should Ask Your S.O.
You’ll come away knowing a LOT more about your partner going over these, and they’re broken into three core sections: the past, the present, and my favorite – the future.
Questions are pasted below, along with my own answers because of course I can’t help myself from participating ;) Now time to get down to your skivvies!
Section I: The Past
“With money, the past does predict the future. Understanding each others’ money histories let’s you build empathy for each other and identify experiences that impacted your outlook on money.”
#1. What’s your first money memory?
Probably going to yard sales with my mom and trying to see how much I can get for a dollar (her dollar) ;) In fact, just this weekend she was telling me how easy it was for me to spend money growing up, but the second she had me spend my *own*, all of a sudden I couldn’t find anything I wanted, haha… Sounds about right!
#2. Did you know how much your parents earned when you were a child?
Nope – had no idea. I remember thinking we must be pretty poor though as I wasn’t ever allowed to get Nike Air Jordans like all my friends had… It was Payless, and Payless only, for us kids growing up – the worst!
#3. Did your family have a budget? How did you feel about it?
They 100% had a budget. Probably 10 of them! I never knew what was on them, or how much they allotted in each section, but being on a single military salary for our family of 5 they def. had to stretch their dollars far. Something I could appreciate much more these days, but certainly not back then (see: Nike Air Jordans)
#4. Did you get an allowance as a child? What did you do with it?
Yup! $1.00 a week for yearrrrrrs – also the worst! Haha… Though it did creep up to $2.00/week eventually until we were able to go out and earn money on our own (in which we were then cut off). I spent it all on baseball cards and going to the movies/bowling/mall/etc back in the day with friends.
One time I tried saving up for a Nintendo Game Boy, but after taking about a billion months to reach it I no longer wanted to spend the money anymore because it took forever to save! And it was at that point when I realized the true value of a dollar, but also that I was actually *able* to save up so much if I really tried hard enough. I’d like to say that was the turning point of my finances, but sadly it took another decade or so to really catch on ;)
(The original from back in the day!! Photo by Naíra Dias)
#5. Did your parents fight about money?
Nope. I don’t remember a single time they ever fought, although I’m sure they did every now and then behind closed doors (they were great at not bickering in front of us). Later I found out my dad had a separate stash that he was allowed to use on whatever he wanted to help keep the peace between them, haha… He loved spending money on more quality shoes/electronics/etc, whereas my mom was mainly concerned about the price tag :) This has since been one of my favorite tips to tell people, and one I implemented myself when first starting out in our marriage.
#6. What money habits did your parents practice? How did you feel about those habits?
They were/are SUPER frugal, eventually allowing them to retire early’ish while still living happy comfortable lives. My mom will actually celebrate her 3rd year being retired this fall, and the basis for it was all that frugality over the years! Remember our one-on-one interview with her the day she retired? –> The Last Day My Mom Will Ever Work :) I didn’t like the frugality back then (other than going to yard sales and thrift stores all the time – super fun!), but just like everything else I now “get it” and fully appreciate it.
Section II: The Present
“The future is about understanding how your money past has manifested itself today. It’s about understanding why you make the decisions you do and less about finding each others balance sheets (though you’re welcome to share those if you’re ready).”
#7. What drives your financial decisions?
Freedom…. from being forced to do stuff I don’t want to do. Also security for my family, especially now that we have three precious kids :)
#8. If you won $1 million today, what would you do with the money?
Get ready for the most boring answer ever! Pay taxes on it and then throw the rest into investments (VTSAX), haha… In other words, it literally wouldn’t change a thing :) Other than pushing us into financial freedom which of course would be more than pleasing. Had you asked my 21 year old self this question, however, you would have gotten a much more juicier answer :)
#9. What’s one money-habit that you admire about me? (I.e. your significant other)
That she doesn’t need to spend money to be happy. All she cares about is that we’re all safe and healthy and that we never have to worry about money in our lives. I have to remind her that we’re doing just fine and to actually spend some on herself every now and then, but by and large she’d be happy if she never had to think about money in her life at all… Which works well since I love talking and thinking about it! :)
#10. If I (your significant other) lost $100 on something and didn’t tell you, would you be upset with me? How about $1,000?
My wife wouldn’t be able to hide it as it would piss her off way too much to not let it show, haha, but if she did hide $100 it probably wouldn’t bother me at all. $1,000 on the other hand would, not in losing the money itself, but because I’d think she was up to something shady! And it would break our rule of having to talk the purchase over since we usually do so for things that are $100 and up.
#11. What scares you about money?
Losing it all! In some freak health issue or legal troubles or something… A problem that’s only recently crept in since actually *having* money, haha… Now the plus side is that we’d be able to earn it all back over time since we now know what we’re doing, but it would still suck to have to start back from scratch again, especially now that I’m out of Hustle Mode and into Daddy Mode. So fingers crossed this never happens to any of us!
#12. What do you wish you knew more about?
Estate planning. But after posting about it last week, we’re already on our way to understanding more! Y’all passed over a ton of great stuff to look over (and some healthy tough love as well!), and now we’ve begun the process of finding the right person to work with and getting this puppy started… I’m not any more excited about any of it, but it’s definitely helped talking about it out loud for sure :) So thanks!
#13. What would it take for you to feel happy about money?
Already there baby, woo! Just get me to Virginia now and I will be fully content!
#14. What does having money mean to you?
I’ll go with “freedom” again on this one. Without money your options are minimal, but with money they expand like crazy! Whether with jobs, desires, hobbies, lifestyles, etc. You don’t need to activate all the options, but just knowing that you HAVE THEM is an amazing feeling in itself.
#15. What are you comfortable telling about your money? Any debts that are important to know?
Haha… it’s all laid out there for the world to see already – nothing hiding with this guy’s wallet! ;)
Section III: The Future
“Knowing what we’re working towards helps us build a shared vision and chip away at it together. No matter if your current situation is good or bad, the future has the ability to inspire and motivate us to reach our goals.”
#16. What are you working towards? What dreams do you have (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years)?
Financial Freedom – i.e. having enough money to not have to work anymore if either of us choose not to!
- 1 year dream: move back to my beloved Virginia!
- 5 year dream: hit financial freedom
- 10 year dream: haven’t thought that far?
- 20 year dream: definitely haven’t thought that far :)
#17. What do you want to leave behind (for kids or others)?
This is something I think about on a daily basis. I of course want my family to be comfortable once I’m long gone and teach them everything I know to be of importance, but the whole *legacy* stuff in a bigger, broader sense, I have yet to put my finger on… I feel like I have the potential to make a much greater impact than I’m doing right now, but what *exactly* that is I’m still on the hunt for. It’s like having a car full of gas but just sitting there revving the engine waiting to find the direction to go in! So for now I just keep doing my thing and trying to be the best daddy and blogger I can be, and then hopefully once the epiphany hits I can slam my foot down on that pedal and GO :)
#18. Do you expect to get any inheritance from your family?
No – I don’t ever expect anything in life, so when ever/if ever that day comes I’ll just handle it from there. You already know what I’ll do with any extra money that comes my way anyways, haha… I always have a plan for money, but I never plan on getting any! (See what I did there??)
#19. What would you want to happen to your money if you died?
To go to my wife, and then down to my kids. And then for my wife to prepay my hosting/domain services for 100 years so this blog continues to live on without me :)
#20. Do you expect to support your parents or other loved ones in the future?
Never thought about before?! I guess I never expect anything to happen similar to the inheritance question, but I’d def. jump in and help however I can if that fateful day ever did come… I joke about moving back in with my parents one day to save money, but maybe one day they’ll actually be moving in with us? Which is fine as far as I’m concerned, after all they MADE ME and brought me into this world!! Haha… It’s the least I can do!
So there you have it! 20 questions to ask your lover if you need some good starting points… Hopefully you’ve already talked about a lot of this stuff, but if not – it’s a damn good day to start!
And if you like this sorta stuff and want to learn/find more, get on the waiting list for the Zeta app that’ll be dropping soon –> Zetahelp.com. It’ll be free, and they’ve also started a podcast around couple money as well: The Money Date Podcast
And no, I’m not getting paid anything to share this today :) Just love what they’re about and know we can use as many good tools as we can find! Managing money for ourselves is one thing, but mixing in an entirely new person or family is a whole other, haha… So hopefully you find this stuff helpful.
Back again on Wednesday for another titillating post!
Who knows what we’ll be getting into next… I never do :)
UPDATE – 7/3/19: links to Zeta are now affiliate links, meaning if you sign up and test ’em out I’ll get a little something something in return… which is obviously just extra goodness since I already blogged about them for free last year, haha…