“You hear all about those compatibility tests and quizzes that couples are supposed to take,” Manisha Thakor tells me over the phone. “While these quizzes address a number of different areas of compatibility, financial compatibility is often overlooked.”
Thakor is one of the authors of Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey. Along with Sharon Kedar, Thakor has written a book about the importance of talking to your partner about money — and how you can get into the whole money thing.
“One of the things found in a recent study of relationships is that opposites really do attract,” Thakor continues. “For savers, there is something liberating and intoxicating about living in the moment and being with a spender. For a spender, there is often something comforting in being with a saver. It seems like a great thing, until it wears off.”
In order to help couples find common ground in money matters, Thakor and Kedar provide a financial compatibility worksheet in their book. “The idea is to get really clear on what is driving point of conflict,” Thakor says, “whether it’s different styles of investing or the classic spender versus saver dynamic.”
Once you figure out where you stand, you can then establish large goals, as well as work toward making the household finances flow better. “It’s not about changing the other person,” Thakor insists. “It’s about understanding them and where they are coming from. Then you can start to look for solutions, whether it’s giving each person half of a portfolio to manage or giving each partner a set amount of spending money for each month.”
Communication is key, though, and that’s why Thakor and Kedar wrote the book. “We conditioned to make this money talk awkward,” Thakor says, “but it’s best to just bring it up. Face it head on. Money is the biggest pink elephant in our bedrooms, and you need to call it out.”
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Get Financially Naked for review. Other than that, I have not been compensated in any way by the authors or the publisher.