Whether there is merit to the old “Opposites attract” bromide that suggests vastly different people often find good chemistry as a couple remains open to debate. But good chemistry goes only so far for couples with stark differences in how they approach money and their financial lives, for unless they can find financial common ground in some key areas, those divergences could lead to strife or worse, the kind of escalating money problems that can sour a solid relationship.
Couples with divergent financial approaches are more common than you might expect, says Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) member Sean M. Pearson, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in Conshohocken, Pa. “It’s understandable, and frankly predictable, that couples often have divergent financial personalities. Consider a typical couple: They have a few children, who all develop a blend of the two parents’ sensibilities, plus their own spin they pick up along the way. Some families are open about family finances, but many are not. Children pick up some clues from their families, but it’s often a patchwork of lessons. Those financial preferences continue to form until adulthood, as they figure out how to pay for education and start their career. Eventually adults pair off and start the process of blending all of that background with someone else, who has their own unique financial journey and preferences.”