Published in: Banks | Oct. 18, 2019

6 Signs You and Your Partner Are Financially Compatible

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Are you and your beloved going to fight about money, or do you mesh well when it comes to financial management? Check out these signs that you're sympatico. 

When you're trying to decide if you and your partner can make your relationship work for the long haul, there's lots of different factors to consider. One of the most important is financial compatibility. 

If you and your partner can't get on the same page about money and find ways to communicate and compromise, you're setting yourself up for lots of fights in the future -- and these fights could undermine the strength of your relationship.

Young couple nose to nose and smiling.

Image source: Getty Images

The good news is, there are ways to tell if you'll be able to get along when it comes time to handle your money as a team. In fact, you should look for these six signs that you and your partner will likely be able to merge your financial lives successfully if your relationship goes the distance. 

1. You can talk about money without fighting

According to a recent survey conducted by The Ascent, 70% of people in romantic relationships report that it is easy to have financial discussions with their partners.

If you and your partner are among the 30% of people who find it difficult to talk about money, this is going to be an ongoing problem. Couples absolutely need to be able to have conversations about all sorts of financial matters throughout their lifetimes and you need to be comfortable discussing money issues openly, honestly, and without a lot of conflict.

2. You don't feel the need to hide purchases

The Ascent's research also found that financial infidelity was common, with 71% of partners in committed relationships committing at least one instance of financial infidelity.  

Unfortunately, issues related to purchases are the leading examples of financial infidelity. The most common things couples lie to one another about include hiding purchase prices, hiding the purchases themselves, lying about purchase prices, and lying about items purchased. 

If you feel comfortable sharing all of the purchases you make with your partner, you are far less likely to have money fights in the future -- and you're less likely to feel you have to be dishonest with your beloved about what you're buying. The ability to discuss the things you want is a very strong foundation for open communication about money. And this major sign of financial compatibility bodes well for the future of your relationship. 

3. You trust your partner's spending habits

Some of the most troubling data from The Ascent's study related to a lack of trust about spending. As many as 30% of men and 39% of women didn't trust their partner to be responsible with spending money. 

If you trust that your partner will be responsible with how money is spent, you're much less likely to feel you need to be controlling -- and you're a lot less likely to argue about what your partner is doing with cash. 

4. Divergent credit scores aren't cause for concern

You and your partner should know each other's credit scores. If your scores are similar, this is a great sign that you've both been responsible with how you borrow and will continue this pattern as a couple. 

If your scores are dramatically different, this isn't necessarily a problem -- but you do need to understand why. 

If your partner's score is low because he or she has no credit and doesn't believe in borrowing, you'll need to decide if this is a lifestyle you can live with. If your partner's score is low because of a medical bankruptcy or high student loan debt, this isn't usually a red flag that suggests future problems. 

But if you have a great score above 800 and your partner's score is 580 because he or she has maxed out credit cards on frivolous purchases, this could be a problem unless you're certain they’ve changed.

5. You have similar spending priorities

When you're a couple, your spending will affect your partner -- even if you keep separate accounts -- because you'll need money to accomplish joint financial goals. 

If you both agree on how much to spend and save, money fights are far less likely to happen. But if one of you is a spender and the other a saver, you'll need to make sure you can find compromises that work for both of you. 

6. You agree on the size of purchases that need to be discussed

The Ascent's research is clear: Both men and women feel that their partner shouldn't spend too much money without advance notice. However, women tend to have a lower price limit before they desire communication -- women want their partner to give them a heads up on any purchases over $227 on average, while men would prefer to have a conversation before their partner spends $261 or more. 

There's also a spending threshold above which both men and women believe decisions should be made jointly. Women want to decide on purchases together if they exceed $427 in cost, while men don't feel that decisions need to be made together until the price hits $498. 

These discrepancies are small when looking at averages, but it's important that you and your partner are on the same page with no wide gaps in how much you each feel that you can spend without consulting the other. 

If you want to be able to drop $500 at the mall with no questions asked and your partner thinks you should talk about purchases over $50, this is definitely going to pose a problem. On the other hand, if you're both in agreement that you should have a conversation about purchases $200 or over, then these types of fights are far less likely to occur. 

Financial compatibility ultimately comes down to being able to communicate

Ultimately, you and your partner don't need to agree on every money issue to be financially compatible. You just need to be able to talk openly, trust each other's money management skills, and find ways to work together to accomplish joint financial goals. If you can do that, money fights shouldn't derail your relationship. 

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