smart spending

Are you and your honey a money match?

Run to the ATM to deposit it.
Head to your favorite department store for some retail therapy.
Pad your weekly budget with another $100.
Buy 100 lottery tickets.
Search for the person who dropped the $100 and give it back.
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A $50,000 savings account.
A $50,000 sports car in the driveway.
Seeing that $50,000 credit card debt disappear.
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I'm a joiner: I want to combine bank accounts, investments, household expenses and debts, etc.
A little distance please: We need to live together for a while before we make a long-term decision.
Keep 'em separated: I want autonomy over my personal finances.
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Regularly carry over balances on your credit cards?
Have any charge-offs on your credit report?
Regularly miss payments on household bills?
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Children.
A house.
Zero debt.
A sports car.
Enough money to retire.
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I'd save early and often to build a special college fund.
I probably wouldn't save up, but I'd probably help with expenses if and when they ask.
If my kids want to go to college, they'd better be smart enough for a scholarship.
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Yes
No
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One month's expenses.
Six months' expenses.
A year of expenses.
Emergency funds are stupid.
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Yes
No
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600s
700s
800s
I don't know.
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An emergency savings fund.
Homeownership.
A full-time job.
I don't know.
A top-notch credit score.
GET RESULTS

1% TO 20%

Unless you work out some of these differences, you may want to start putting away some cash for a one-way ticket to splitsville. Couples who fight over money at least once a week are 30 percent more likely to get divorced than those who disagree just a few times a month, according to a 2009 study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University.

21% TO 40%

Your differences on financial issues may put pressure on your relationship, so keeping up an honest dialogue on money is key. A 2014 survey finds that 76 percent of Americans had been hurt by "financial cheating" such as concealing purchases or bank accounts from their partner.

41% TO 60%

You agree on many of the big financial issues, although one of you may tend to play more fast and loose with their cash than the other. A little give-and-take on household financial issues and the occasional family meeting to discuss them may be enough to keep money disagreements at bay.

61% TO 80%

You are mostly in agreement when it comes to your money-management style and your financial priorities. That will undoubtedly help you avoid a lot of fights about money, but it might be smart to get an outsider's perspective from a fee-only financial planner. Good financial advice could help you avoid turning down the same dangerous financial path together.

81% TO 100%

You are on the exact same page as your partner when it comes to your money-management style and financial priorities. Now all you have to worry about is whether that page also contains the words "overspending," "debt" or "bankruptcy." Getting an outside perspective from a fee-only financial planner may be key to help you avoid groupthink.

START OVER

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