smart spending

Are you and your mate a money match?

Who pays the check?
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The little things that crop up early in a relationship can tell you a lot about the future -- including where you are on the financial compatibility scale. If your honey offers to pay her half of dinner, and that suits your style, it's a good start.

"That indicates they can pay their way and they have a sense of what's fair," says Tina Tessina, a California psychotherapist who writes an online column as "Dr. Romance."

If you go out to dinner and your date pays the tab, you should pay attention to how he or she treats the check when it comes. Manisha Thakor, CFA, co-author of "Get Financially Naked," says that simple act says a lot about the way a person handles money.

"I always tell people to look for this all-important sign: When the bill comes, does your mate actually look at it before they put down their credit card?" Thakor says. "I've noticed that there's a tight correlation between people who are good with money and how they look at the check. If they take a good look at it and make sure it's accurate, that usually means they're comfortable with money. If they just throw down their money and don't even look, that could be a predictor of financial irresponsibility."




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