Couples & Marriage: Test Your Financial Compatibility
As featured in "Your Money and Your Man" by Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary.
Couples frequently avoid talking about money before marriage. That's unfortunate because sharing perspectives about money can help couples resolve the financial issues that doom many marriages. If you want to learn to meet in the middle when it comes to finances, take this financial compatibility quiz with your significant other. Download and print a copy of the quiz.
1. How often do you and your significant other or spouse discuss your financial situation?
A. Once a week
2. Have you set a monthly budget or plan to guide your spending?
3. How have you divided the financial responsibilities in your household?
A. One takes care of everything. The other is oblivious.
4. If you receive a bonus or an unexpected windfall, how would you spend your money?
A. Immediately head to the mall for an afternoon of self-indulgence.
5. Have you ever tried to disguise or hide a purchase from your significant other or spouse?
A. No, I'm always honest.
6. How much money would you feel comfortable spending on a single purchase without first conferring with your significant other or spouse?
A. Less than $50.
7. If you want to make a major purchase as a couple, what do you do?
A. Open up a store charge card, or charge it on the card with the most room.
8. How do you plan to teach your children about money responsibilities?
A. An allowance system where children earn money for completing their chores each week.
9. Have you made provisions to care for your significant other or spouse in case of death or disability?
A. Yes. I have an updated will along with disability and life insurance policies.
10. Are you and your significant other or spouse actively saving for retirement?
A. No, we hope to use our family inheritances for retirement.
Compare your answers with your significant other or spouse, and see if you're on the same financial page.
If you and your significant other or spouse had the same answers to at least eight of the 10 questions, then you are two peas in a pod. Your relationship seems to be rock solid, at least when it comes to financial matters.
Did you have the same answers for more than five questions but fewer than eight of them? If so, your financial relationship is a work-in-progress. You're headed in the right direction, but you need to check the couple compass before making your next financial move.
If you answered fewer than five questions the same, then you and your spouse may need a money makeover. You're clearly at opposite ends of the financial spectrum, and you'll need to close that gap if you want to reach your financial goals.
Even if your score wasn't where you hoped it would be, these questions can help frame your future financial discussions. Here are online tips from CPAs to help you address the financial issues raised in this quiz. These and tips on other personal finance issues are available online at www.financialfitness.org or www.360financialliteracy.org.
** Please note: This quiz is for entertainment purposes only. For a thorough financial evaluation, please consult your CPA. **
Provided courtesy of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.