People identify financial stability as an important trait because they know money – and how one manages it – impacts a relationship. People often enter relationships with different monetary goals and views.
SunTrust Banks found that 41% of Americans consider financial stability to be among the traits they find most important in a partner, ranking only behind personal values (78%) and personality (73%). Further, more people value financial stability than looks (21%) or physical fitness (21%).
The SunTrust survey also found that a third of Americans in a relationship believe they are the saver and their spouse/partner is the spender. In contrast, only 21% claimed they are the spender and their spouse/partner is the saver.
SunTrust is leading the onUp movement to help people achieve financial confidence. Couples can go to onup.com to take a Mental Wealth Quiz, which assesses a person’s financial mindset and offers actionable tips. In addition, SunTrust suggests asking your partner the following questions to better understand his or her views when it comes to managing money.
• What are your most important goals? Talk to your significant other about aspirations and make a list of what you have in common. If aligning your goals is difficult, create a blend that represents your collective core values.
• How does your past influence your spending and savings habits? Make an effort to understand your partner’s personal history. Financial habits are often handed down by parents, so it’s important to empathize with your partner and understand how he or she was raised.
• Would you share your plans before making a big-ticket purchase? It’s important to know whether your partner wants to maintain a level of financial independence. Decide whether you need to talk with each other before making purchases above a certain price point, or whether you agree to keep finances separate.
• What is your debt philosophy? Financial disagreements often arise from different views of debt, from how much to use a credit card to the term and amount of a new car loan. Ask your partner what he or she considers an acceptable level of debt and see how much it diverges from your answer.