My husband and I met during the economic boom of the early 2000s so we weren't worried about our personal finances. When it came to our financial compatibility, we got lucky. I recently saw a quiz on CNNMoney that allowed us to figure out what motivates each of us to save or spend. By understanding our different priorities and values, we can better understand and make meaningful compromises.
Buying or renting
Housing is one of the largest expenses we have every month. My husband and I were on the same page about buying instead of renting when we first go married. The survey asked what I'd be looking for in my next house or apartment. Instead of choosing a big kitchen, more privacy, a neighborhood that will appreciate in value or more space, my husband and I chose none of the above. We both wish to stay settled so that we can pay off our home and retire in place in another 25 years.
Being responsible with money
My husband and I share the same philosophy about debt. The quiz asked if I were late on a payment, would I worry more about my reputation, credit score, where to get the money, how it happened or the impact on my family. We both said we'd worry about the impact on our family.
Getting a windfall
The quiz also asked about how I'd handle a sudden cash windfall. Since we have received tax refunds as well as unexpected work bonuses in the past, we could relate to that question. The options in the quiz included taking a trip, investing, putting toward house or using the money to fund a need or wish of a family member. My husband and I have always used cash windfalls to do a little of all of those things. We take a balanced approach.
The quiz also asked what I'd do if I fell in love with a big-ticket item I couldn't afford. Would I adjust my budget, figure out how to buy it in the future, buy it on impulse or make a sacrifice so I could buy it sooner rather than later? My husband and I each said we would wait to make the purchase until we could afford it. I recently told my husband I wanted to purchase a new leather sofa. We both agreed to buy a new one after we pay off our mortgage in 7 years. Although it may seem like a long time to wait, I feel empowered sitting on the sofa knowing it's helping me reach my financial goals.
I realized that my husband and I are not only financially compatible, but that we complement one another. My husband makes many financial decisions rationally and unemotionally. He often forces me to crunch numbers so I'm not making impulsive financial decisions based on how I feel. And, I often encourage him to spend money just for the fun of it when he is being too tight about his budget.
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