Valentine's is just around the corner, but it will be a non-event for my husband and me. Unromantic? Perhaps. Financially compatible? Definitely.
You see, we don't put in much effort celebrating this day because we genuinely feel that our money could be better spent elsewhere or on other days. We all know how businesses jack up prices of bouquets, restaurant meals etc in the lead-up to that one day. If we do "celebrate" Valentine's, it will most likely be something that we both agree as being budget-friendly.
This question must have popped up in your mind sometimes: "Are my partner and I financially compatible?" After all, differences in the handling of money has been one key reason for breakups or divorces.
So, here are 5 quick questions to check you and your partner's financial compatibility quotient. Just put one tick against a statement if you agree with it. The more ticks you have, the greater the compatibility usually. Well, financially at least. There are so many other factors that make a relationship work, so if you don't get all ticks, don't fret too much over it. Take it as a reminder to work on it further.
Sign No 1: You guys have similar ideas on fun as a couple
There are couples I know who would go all the way to celebrate Valentines' or other special days, with a 50-rose bouquet and floating balloons. They burn a hole in their wallets every year but they feel it's well worth it. So, there we have another financially compatible couple (assuming that they can afford it). Problems usually arise when one partner thinks vastly differently from the other. Discuss and agree on a "middle ground" if so.
Sign No 2: You discuss money openly and candidly
You may be each other's soul mate but when it comes to discussing money, does any party clam up or both end up arguing? One sure sign of financial compatibility (and of the seriousness of the relationship) is that you are willing to share personal financial information with each other, e.g. bank balances, monthly salary and the debts you hold.
Sign No 3: Both are supportive of a joint account
As the relationship gets deeper, the thought of having a joint account almost always comes up. Since you do so many things together, pooling money together is a sure sign of financial compatibility and mutual trust! Some may differ on their methods of pooling money together e.g. agreeing to be in charge of certain expenses even while keeping separate accounts. That's alright as well. But personally, I find having a joint account to be the most open way to do so.
Sign No 4: Neither has a secret bank account
Well, there is no sure way to check if your partner has a bank account hidden away. But if you yourself don't hold one, and you and your partner are already very transparent with each other on financial matters (See Sign No 3), chances are neither is hiding any secret stash away.
I personally know of girlfriends who hold such secret accounts. Most are stay-home-moms and felt this gave them a sense of security in the unfortunate event that the husband strays. I suppose there are exceptions to this rule, although I would think the husband could give the wife the sense of security instead of her doing it on a sly. He could, for example, open a personal account in her name and deposit money in it every month. This again boils down to being open with each other.
Sign No 5: Both share common financial goals and dreams
Truth be told, my husband and I do not have many common hobbies nor interests. He loves running and adventure. I love yoga and staying at home. Trust me, we've had our fair share of ups and downs trying to navigate our 20-over years of marriage. However, what we both share fervently is our pursuit of the same set of financial goals, dreams and values.
So this Valentine's, have an intimate chat with your other half on what goals and dreams he or she has. Typically, this also means targeting a certain financial goal, e.g. $X amount of money to open that long-desired café or round-the-world holiday. You'd be surprised how working towards the same financial goals helps make your relationship stronger. So, give it a go this Valentine's Day!
This article first appeared on The Home CFO.