smart spending

Are you and your mate a money match?

Make a financial checklist
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Be willing to come back down to Earth with a thud, says Steven Pybrum, a Santa Barbara-based CPA and author of "Money and Marriage: Making It Work Together."

"Opposites attract, and nine out of 10 times a spender will be attracted to a saver, and vice versa. The chemistry of romance is very powerful," Pybrum says. "But once you start looking at the relationship through less whimsical eyes, you can see if he or she matches your interests."

Pybrum suggests that you make a list of what you want in a mate, and keep it on your nightstand. Check things off the list as the relationship progresses, including financial habits -- does he or she pay off their credit card bill every month, do they max out their 401(k) contributions -- and be patient if you think the romance has wings.

"You can learn about people just by being observant, but in reality, it takes a good two years to get a clear picture," he says. "It can take that long for the white paint to begin peeling off the black horse."




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