Excerpted from Get Financially Naked, Copyright © 2010 by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Media, Inc. Co. All rights reserved.
2. What if I know my partner is not receptive (or I find out during the conversation that my partner is not receptive) to talking about the topic of money? Just because you get an initial cold shoulder doesn't mean you two are doomed in the financial harmony department. Our recommendation is to tee up the conversation by talking about your views on money, and seeing if you can ease in with the Financial Foreplay questions from Chapter 3. The key is this: Don't give up, and be persistent. Your mate's reluctance to discuss money could very well be simply a sign of painful, but resolvable, issues in their money history (recall the exercise you did in Chapter 2 about your money history and what you learned about yourself). A cold shoulder does not mean it's OK to just ignore the conversation about money. It means there are some underlying issues that, if explored, may actually bring you closer, emotionally and financially. As you approach the topic of money with your honey, if your partner is reluctant to talk about money, you'll want to be very sensitive to how you respond to anything that does bubble up. Money is a hot button for many people. When your partner does begin to open up, it is essential that you listen and be supportive to whatever is said. There will be plenty of time down the road to discuss areas of disagreement or places where compromise are needed. 3. My partner is wonderful, loving and very generous toward me. However, I'm worried because the math just doesn't seem to add up. When I look at what my mate does for a living, it doesn't appear to be the type of career with the salary level necessary to pay for the kind of lifestyle my partner leads. How do I bring this up? The harsh and sad truth is that literally millions of Americans, at all ranges of the income spectrum, live beyond their means. They bridge the gap between their income and their expenses by running up hefty balances on their credit cards or taking equity out of their home. If this is how your mate is funding their lifestyle, you owe it to each other and the integrity of your relationship to know about it. Maintaining a lifestyle beyond your reach through the use of credit is not sustainable and typically ends up resulting in severe financial distress -- not to mention the possibility of being hounded by bill collectors or ending up in foreclosure. One way or the other you two will end up discussing your finances. Your goal is to do so before it torpedoes your relationship.
Some of you may be wondering how scientific this quiz is. The short answer is, it's not. It's a qualitative exercise designed to help the two of you further reveal to yourselves and to each other how you approach money. There is no "right answer" or "best score." The quiz has 10 questions about money, divided into three categories: Interest, Knowledge, and Behavior. There's no judgment here. Any response is a good response because it reveals how you truly feel. All we ask is that you are honest with yourself and your mate in responding to these questions. If you're feeling at all apprehensive or doubtful about the usefulness of this quiz, check out the following sidebar. We've summarized some of the reasons people don't like to talk about money with their mate -- as well as how they feel after they take the plunge and do so. Hopefully this array of honest feedback has made you realize that you are not alone. Pretty much any feeling you've ever had about money, someone else has had it as well. We're all in this together. So let's get started with the quiz so you can get started getting closer to your mate and your dream financial life. Important Note: If you are not in a committed relationship right now, go ahead and fill out this quiz in the context of your own personal financial situation. You'll learn a lot about yourself. If you are in a committed relationship, you'll still want to fill out the quiz on your own (and have your partner do it separately as well). However, you'll want your answers to be in the context of your household. For instance, you may know how much of your income you are saving for retirement, but for purposes of this questionnaire you'll want to answer the question for your household, i.e., do you know how much both you and your mate are saving relative to your combined incomes, etc.
Click Here to take the GET FINANCIALLY NAKED Compatibility Quiz OK, now it's time to debrief with yourself and with your mate. Here are some questions to kick it off: Which section did you have the most number of "yes" responses to? The fewest? Were you surprised by your answers to this quiz? What did you learn about yourself when doing this quiz? Which area did your mate have the most "yes" responses to? The fewest? Were the results for your partner what you would have expected? Are there any subject areas you think you two should talk more about?