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Are you and your spouse financially compatible?

Married couples may quarrel about a whole host of subjects including everything from whose turn it is to take out the garbage to differences in child discipline techniques. However, based on a 2013 Kansas State University; among married couples, money is by far the most divisive topic.

Money means different things to different people and, before tying the knot, it’s important to understand where a betrothed stands when it comes to earning, saving, spending and debt. Of course during the honeymoon phase of a relationship, both individuals are likely trying to impress one another and it may not be until an individual has fallen for a love interest that he or she learns that a significant other is horrible with money and has several thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

To avoid this type of surprise financial blow, experts agree it’s wise to do some financial sleuthing during the first few dates with a potential love interest. While it may seem rude or forward to simply come out and ask someone on the first or second date how much he or she makes, spends and has in debt; there are more subtle ways to broach the subject and discover whether or not a love interest may also be a good financial match. For example, an individual’s hobbies can be telling with regard to spending habits. Additionally, questions related to an individual’s upbringing, education and employment can also provide important financial clues.

It’s also important to be pragmatic when it comes to a significant other’s spending and saving habits and how such habits mesh or clash with one’s own. While a spendthrift may initially be drawn to a saver, drastic differences in financial ideologies will likely lead to problems down the road and may even result in divorce.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Is your honey good with money? Better find out before tying the knot,” Jim Gallagher, Feb. 21, 2015

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