Money & Career

Would you marry a guy who is clueless about finances?

Before we got married, my husband would use his hard-earned cash to buy furniture and electronics while I would hoard my money away, spending little on fixing up my home. He also hated talking about money while I talked about money and financial planning all the time. We argued about money in the beginning – a lot.

bride and groom dolls, money and coins

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Personal finance isn’t sexy (for most of us anyway). But this week Canadian banks have done their best to put a financial spin on love just in time for Valentine’s Day, with two surveys about relationships and money.

On Monday, TD Canada Trust announced that 77 percent of Canadians say they wouldn’t marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or if they held excessive debt. ING Direct followed up the next day with their own poll showing how 92 percent of Canadians say it’s important to date someone with a similar outlook on money.

Since money is at the root of many a divorce, I agree that people in a relationship need to get clear on how their significant other views money and finance.

But are different money styles always a barrier to a healthy relationship? I’m not so sure. Take my husband and I – when we met we had totally opposite money styles.

Our main source of conflict? He was a spender and I was a saver. Before we got married, he would use his hard-earned cash to buy furniture and electronics while I would hoard my money away, spending little on fixing up my home. He also hated talking about money while I talked about money and financial planning all the time.

In the beginning we argued about money – a lot. Merging our money styles was really hard – but we did it over time. A few years and two kids have completely changed the way we handle money. We’ve reached a financial common ground, yes, but getting there hasn’t really been about the money. It’s been about building a common approach to how we react to and handle lifes changes. And of course being able to talk things out for the most part.

I’m glad I didn’t write off my husband in those early days when I worried about his credit card balance – and I’m quite sure he’s glad he didn’t walk away from me when he saw my crappy furniture and ancient TV set.

Are we just an anomaly? Or do you really think people with different money styles can build a long-term relationship? Can spenders and savers stay married over the long-term? Share your experiences below.

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