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Are you and your partner financially compatible?

When we meet a new partner, we chat with our friends about physical, emotional and spiritual compatibility.  But have you ever thought about financial compatibility? To some this may sound a little crass and I am sure to everyone else not very romantic.

No longer is it the responsibility of one spouse to look after the finances of a couple, instead the responsibility is shared by both partners. Therefore, as a couple becomes more serious, issues of financial compatibility will creep in to the relationship.

Understanding your partner’s financial personality is crucial if you want to make a future together.

Financial Compatibility Quiz

As your relationship develops, you and your partner should complete this quiz adapted from Suze Orman’s Book “The Courage to Be Rich”.

Circle the statement that best describes your partner in each of these five categories:

A: Invites you to dinner, chooses the restaurant and then complains about the prices on the menu.
B: Expresses material longings for things such as vacations, jewelry, etc. far beyond his or her budget.
C: Constantly buys and sell stocks for the thrill of it, rather than as carefully considered economic moves.
D: Seems to regard his/her parents or others as a source of income.
E: Is saving the maximum allowed by law in retirement accounts and monitors all these investments to make sure they are performing to the best of their ability.

A: Complains about child support obligations.
B: Tries to impress your friends by bragging about money.
C: Prefers to take vacations in places where there is gambling.
D: Has a messy wallet, or a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards but absolutely no cash.
E: Never buys an item to impress others and never brags about money.

A: Talks about using his/her business expense account for personal items.
B: Cannot pay off credit card bills at the end of every month.
C: Cannot get up and walk away from a gambling table, even if losing badly.
D: Spends money on a new pair of expensive shoes, even though other bills are overdue.
E: Loves to talk about finances and is open to teaching you.

A: Seems uncomfortable using the pronoun “we”.
B: Can never go into a store without buying an item whether he/she needs it or not.
C: Is constantly baffled where the paycheck went.
D: Receives calls from bill collectors.
E: Is charitable and generous and does not define him/herself by how much is in the bank account.

A: Would never put loose change into a donation box after making a purchase.
B: Gives you unusually expensive gifts that you know he/she can’t afford.
C: Is constantly placing bets, be it on a backgammon game or an office pool.
D: Avoids talking about money and acts like everything is just fine when you suspect it isn’t.
E: Pays all the bills on time and rarely carries a balance on credit cards.

Now for the score: count how many of each letter you have circled and record the number below.

A____
B____
C____
D____
E____

The letter with the largest number reveals your partner’s primary money traits:

A = Penny pincher
B = Spendthrift
C = Gambler
D = Financial wreck
E = Financial catch

What to do now?

Financial problems are one of the top reasons for divorce; so you want to start the conversation about money with your partner early. If you are not on the same page, you need to find some common ground that will allow you to create a stable financial future together. This will involve ironing out your financial differences but take the advice of Suze Ormond: “Be patient. If you are financial opposites you are not going to resolve your differences in one conversation.”

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