Financial matters can be a cause of strain and discord in marriages, since it is frequently linked to issues of power, dominance, and divergent values or objectives. A new survey by the fintech firm Bread Financial finds that 64% of couples admit to being “financially incompatible” with their partners, with different philosophies about spending, saving, and investing their money. This friction can lead some to commit so-called financial infidelity, hiding purchases from their partner. In the survey, 45% of coupled adults admitted they’re guilty.
Fortunately, couples don’t need to choose between merging their accounts or going with the “yours, mine, ours” approach. They can create an individual account for their individual expenses and a collective account for shared costs, such as rent, childcare, utilities, etc. This provides the benefits of both accounts, such as joint bill paying, without as much concern of differences in spending habits.
When it comes to discussing money with your partner or spouse, communication and transparency are key. You should have frequent, respectful conversations about money to help build a stronger relationship. During these conversations, it’s important to figure out each person’s “money mindset” by understanding the “money messages” they received growing up and how they handle their finances.
When merging your accounts, it’s important to first understand your financial resources and debt. This can help you determine what financial approach works best for you and how much financial autonomy you hope to maintain.
If you’re just starting a relationship, it’s also important to discuss early on your money goals and values, to help set the foundation for a strong financial relationship. For couples who are already married or living together and sharing finances, it’s important to establish who will handle certain money matters, who will pay which bills, and if you’ll pay for them from a joint account.
Understanding your partner’s financial attitudes and having a strong dialogue about money can help you manage finances together and avoid arguments or even divorce. It may be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s worth it in the long run.
0. “Couples' 14 Biggest Financial Fights and How to Resolve Them: Advisors' Advice” ThinkAdvisor, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2023/02/14/14-big-money-fights-couples-have-and-how-to-resolve-them-advisors-advice/
1. “Most couples are ‘financially incompatible,' survey finds. Having a money talk could help — no matter how long you've been together” CNBC, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/14/most-couples-financially-incompatible-having-a-money-talk-could-help.html
2. “64% of couples are ‘financially incompatible' — having a money talk could help” Yahoo! Voices, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/64-couples-financially-incompatible-having-155955159.html
3. “Should couples have a separate or joint bank account?” Yahoo! Voices, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/couples-separate-joint-bank-account-163335138.html
4. “Are You and Your Partner Financially Compatible? | National | douglas-budget.com” Douglas Budget, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.douglas-budget.com/news/national/article_ec4b5b33-197f-5e97-bead-bf1118a987de.html
5. “Love and money: 5 tips for having healthy financial conversations with your partner” AZ Big Media, 14 Feb. 2023, https://azbigmedia.com/business/love-and-money-5-tips-for-having-healthy-financial-conversations-with-your-partner