How to Get on the Same Financial Page as a Couple

Starting with knowing where your significant other is coming from and why can help you address your money differences as a couple.

A young couple sit on the floor in front of their sofa and look at a laptop together.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In elementary school, we learned that opposites attract and had fun seeing that principle in action as we played with magnets in science class. The same level of delight is often experienced when we meet someone who is different from us — the further they are from our end of the spectrum, the more interesting we find them. What we do not expect is the challenge that presents in our approach to finances. Everyone has their own views and tendencies surrounding money, some innate and some learned. Understanding each other is paramount to a couple’s success in this area, and the discipline of behavioral finance is the key.

What is behavioral finance? Investopedia defines behavioral finance as “an area of study focused on how psychological influences can affect market outcomes.” But it is more than that. Have you perhaps wondered why one person is aggressive in their investments, while another is conservative? Or why one is a spender and one a saver? These behaviors, among others, are innate and come from our experience with money, stemming from our childhood.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Kelly Gallimore, ChFC®, CES®
Wealth Manager, Merit Financial Advisors

In July 2021, Kelly joined Merit Financial Advisors, bringing 19 years of experience in the financial services industry, as well as human resources and team development. A student of Behavioral Finance, she incorporates various tools to provide insight into clients’ own financial views and how their innate strengths and struggles can influence decision-making and ultimate success in reaching goals. In addition to traditional tenants of wealth management, Kelly specializes in estate planning and administration, guiding families as they consider personal and financial legacies.