Marriage & Money Quiz by Money Magazine: Did We Pass?

weddingMoney magazine has an article this month about how many married folks don’t know the details about their spouse’s finances. In one study, half of the pairs questioned came up with completely different answers when asked to estimate their family’s income and net worth. Are you and your partner similar? A quiz was included that is designed for each partner to take separately. Here are the quiz questions, as well as the answers that my wife and I gave.

How much money did your spouse make last year, including salary, bonuses, commissions, and freelance pay?

Me: I did the taxes, so I got this one correct.

Her: She was about 20% below my actual gross income last year. She reads this blog, so she know the after-tax and after-spending results, but I guess she underestimated how much in taxes we get hit with. Also, I have variable side-income which is not easy to track.

What’s the last big purchase (more than $100) your spouse made, and how much did it cost?

This is a tricky question. Is this a purchase meant solely for ourselves? Although it’s not like we never spend money, we both had a hard time remembering the last time we bought a $100+ item for ourselves, like a purse or a gadget.

Me: I remembered that she bought a plane ticket for work-related opportunity for $300 yesterday.

Her: She noted that I gave a $100 gift for a friend’s wedding (from the both of us) last week.

How much does your spouse owe, counting credit card balances, car loans and another other debt, aside from your mortgage?

Me: Nothing (correct).

Her: Nothing (effectively correct, if you ignore making money with 0% balance transfers).

What is the current value of your spouse’s 401(k) or other principal retirement account?

Me: About $15,000. This is actually incorrect – it is more like $25,000. I forgot that she had been working at this job for two years already. Oops! This is kind of sad, considering I actually check and record the balance every month in a spreadsheet for our net worth updates.

Her: $15,000. My Solo 401k is actually around $23,000. She admits that this was a wild guess.

If your spouse passes away, how much will you collect in life insurance (counting both workplace and individual policies)?

Me & Her:: We both currently have ~$300,000 each in mostly-subsidized life insurance through work. We have been discussing life insurance in general recently and were looking into getting individual term life insurance policies, although we’ve been “looking” for months now. 🙁

Overall self-grade as a couple: B. We weren’t completely clueless, but there is a lot of room for improvement. I think there is a good chance that a lot of people who read this blog have significant others who are not quite as interested in finances as they are. So why not give them this quiz and see how they do? It definitely helped us get closer to being on the same page.


  1. ChrisMr says:

    How does the grading work? Is it simple % or is there some fancy formula to help me determine my worth as a human? Would be curious to see my wife’s answers. Im often certain I could pick up a decent cocaine habit and she wouldnt have a clue…

  2. My fiance would fail this quiz so hard, she’s good about saving and not spending beyond our means, but she just doesn’t keep space in her brain for our current financial state.

    Case in point:

    She recently got a huge, HUGE raise. A five figure raise that constituted a 36% increase. But she’s asked me the exact amount 5 times and is always shocked when I remind her how much *she* makes.

  3. I have also been looking at getting individual Term Life Insurance.
    You said you been “looking” for months now? I’m just curious why you havn’t found anything yet?

  4. There is no actual grading scale. I just figured since it was a quiz I’d give an overall assessment of our results.

    Regarding life insurance, we got some online quotes but just haven’t actually gone out an picked a life insurance company to apply through yet. I wanted to try a local insurance broker as well, but haven’t gotten around to celling them yet.

  5. Good for you guys…

    It is so key to keep your spouse involved in the financial picture. My wife is good to enter in receipts into our budget that we did together.

    It’s nice to have somebody that you can count on as your equal partner in life, especially when it comes to finances.

  6. Mark Nelson says:

    Great questions. How do you think most couples would score? My wife has wanted to pay much attention to our finances. However we made a commitment a long time ago to do a monthly budget and a quarterly net worth statement. By doing that we as a couple have paid much more attention to our finances.

  7. My wife and I are no different that the results of the study as we would get different answers. I have tried to get my wife interested in our finances and though she has an idea of our situation, she has left the investment control up to me.

  8. clicclic says:

    One way to get your financial mojo sync’d with your spouse is a prenuptial agreement.

    We’re raised to think of them as evil instruments of woe, but they’re actually a great way to come clean about who has what and where.

    Full disclosure is a requirement and for this reason, everyone knows what everyone has/makes/etc. There are no secrets, which is exactly what helps a marriage succeed.

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