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Are Barbie and Ken a good money match?

What are his income prospects? Does she shop too much? This couple should look at the serious financial issues before they decide whether to reunite.

By Teresa Mears Feb 7, 2011 5:06PM

Perhaps you've been preoccupied lately with the Super Bowl and haven't yet focused on the most important question to be decided this Valentine's Day.

No, it isn't whether you should buy your sweetie flowers or chocolate. The burning question facing Americans this Valentine's Day is: Will Barbie and Ken get back together?


The will she or won't she take him back social media campaign was organized by Mattel to mark Ken's 50th birthday. (Instead of joining AARP, the ever-young Ken sports a Justin Bieber look.)


Ken is buying flowers and chocolate and even billboards declaring his love. He had a custom cupcake designed by New York's famous Magnolia Bakery. The new and improved Ken (he finally got rid of the plastic hair) really, really wants Barbie back.


Barbie is being coy. Since she dumped Ken in 2004 for an Australian surfer, she seems to have supported herself in a number of prestigious careers, the most recent being computer engineer. We hope she has gotten over such habits as trying to get Ken to spend as much money as possible, as she did in the board game Barbie's Dream Date.


Before the two dolls decide whether to intertwine their futures, we think it's time they took a look at each other's finances. Post continues after video.

Does Barbie have student loans from her 125-plus career changes? Does she have credit card debt from buying all those outfits or did she buy them used at thrift stores or yard sales?


Ken seems to be working as an actor these days. He starred (with Barbie) in "Toy Story 3" and also played Don Draper in Mattel's special "Mad Men" series. Those gigs should have earned him quite a chunk of change. But what did he do with it? Did he blow it on another plastic Corvette or does he have a good-size emergency fund to see him through until his next acting job?


Too often, couples don't discuss money before they get into a serious relationship, and that causes problems later. As Farnoosh Torabi wrote at CBS MoneyWatch's You're So Money:

Before getting married, few couples ever really disclose their financial realities -- or their skeletonsA recent online survey found only 24% of couples created a budget before walking down the aisle. Nineteen percent avoided or didn't think of talking finances, and 33% didn't know their spouse's credit score.

Torabi provides four suggestions for breaking the financial ice, and we think Ken and Barbie should discuss their financial goals before they decide whether to get back into a serious relationship.


Take the Barbie Dream House. Do the two of them agree on how much of their income should go to housing? Do they have money in the bank for a down payment? Are they willing to scale down their house dreams to conform to their budget realities if Barbie's computer engineer job is outsourced to India?

Facebook entreaties and Twitter updates are cheap, Ken. Show her the money


And, Barbie, you'd better make sure your shopping is in check.


Are Barbie and Ken financially compatible? You can vote here on whether you think they should get back together.


This might, however, be a hint: Mattel is releasing a commemorative Barbie and Ken gift set, with the two dressed in the same type of swimwear the original dolls wore. The set will cost $5, and we hear it is already showing up at Target and Wal-Mart.


More from MSN Money:

Feb 9, 2011 12:00AM
At least Mattel is releasing the new dolls as a "couple".  Most 50-yr.-old men would be putting Barbie's YOUNGER sister, Skipper, into that Corvette convertible!
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