Fighting with your spouse over money? Survey says likely not
By Jay Keller
The median age for couples getting married has climbed from the early 20s in 1960 to somewhere around the age of 30 in the modern era, according to a recent analysis of Census data.
As such, couples are finding that joining finances is no longer as simple as it was 50 years ago with many bringing into the relationship more financial baggage from credit cards, student loans, investments and mortgages.
A recent survey conducted by TD Ameritrade shows that the average couple discusses money less than two times a month and, on average, fights over money five times each year.
The data also shows that despite sharing household financial responsibilities nearly half the couples surveyed admit to not following a budget or spend a lot of time talking about debt, spending habits and money management.
When it comes to trusting their partner to manage the combined finances, forty percent of the respondents say their spouse or partner is not trustworthy.
One-fifth of those surveyed say they “sometimes” hide spending habits from their spouse or partner and over one-third say they were somewhat or not at all aware of pre-existing debts brought into the marriage.
“While discussing money may not be the most romantic of gestures, it is important to not only have those financial discussions early in a relationship, but to continue having them throughout your marriage to help avoid financial surprises and minimize financial arguments,” said TD Ameritrade’s Carrie Braxdale in a company statement.
Women more often than men, according to the survey, are likely to tackle groceries and the household budget, if one exists.
Men were more likely to take the lead on investing decisions, retirement savings and tax returns.
The survey also found that men and women in the relationship took an equal role in deciding day-to-day expenses.
The survey also revealed as undesirable in a potential partner certain financial habits outside of personality, character and looks, etc.
The most common marital deal-breakers when it comes to finance, according to the survey, were the lack of motivation to get ahead, relying on parents for financial support, having significant credit-card debt and poor money-management skills.