Is Your Partner Financially Compatible?

by Kay Lynn

The headline reads, “Tightwads and Spendthrifts Attract, Marry, Fight” and I knew this was blog material.  You see I’ve been married to financially incompatible people twice and in opposite ways!  The first time I was the tightwad (because someone had to be) and the second time I am the spendthrift.  

A study that included over a thousand adults determined that even though people are more likely to select partners that with matching personality traits and looks they go for the opposite when it comes to finances.  Of course the result of the opposite orientation is fighting.  In my Financial Peace University class, Dave Ramsey mentions that money is the number one reason couples fight (and in some cases divorce).   So what do you do once you fall in love with a financial opposite and marry?

Determine Types

 There are basically two financial personalities which are spenders and savers.  There are other terms (no curse words allowed) which includes nerd, tightwad, miser and penny pincher for the saver.  Spenders get called free spirit, spendthrift, and wasteful.  Hmm, neither of these sound good.  That’s because these are the extremes while I’ll bet most people might lean towards one category or the other, but not be extreme.

To understand your partner’s relationship and tendencies with money it is important to know which money personality you’re dealing with.  It goes both ways. 

Work Together

Mr. Boomer is careful with money and is the natural saver of our family.  However he used to overdo it to the point of cheapness.  I’m the spender and in the past would go into debt buying my kids things they “need” even if I shouldn’t have and couldn’t afford it.  We both have regrets about our behaviors.

The good news is that we have benefited from each other’s mistakes and positively influenced each other. He’s been a positive influence on me so I have cut drastically impulse purchases.  By discussing whether something is a want or a need and reasonable or not better decisions are made.

Conversely, I have been helpful to Mr. Boomer and he more easily spends money on vacations and nights out than he did in his pre-Bucksome life.  He’s learned that although you should plan for a long life, you can’t take it with you!


 Understanding your partner’s money bent and working together to enhance each other, you can eliminate a lot of the conflict referenced in the research.  I can’t honestly remember the last time we had a money fight.  Our common goals, love and respect keep us on the right path. 

Are you financially compatible with your partner? If so, how do you make it work?


Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009.

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frugal zeitgeist September 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm

My partner and I are much more financially compatible than my ex-husband and I were, but we certainly have our moments. He’s a saver and has no debt other than his house, but he’s not quite as much of a saver as I am. He’s gotten a little more cautious about spending, and I’m trying to unclench a little. We’re an ongoing work in progress.

Bucksome September 8, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Sounds like you two are positive influences on each other which is a sign of a healthy relationship.

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