Money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. In fact, a 2018 Ramsey Solutions study cites money as one of the leading causes of divorce, second only to infidelity. Another study highlighted in The New York Times shows there is a direct correlation between how many times a couple argues about their monthly budget and their risk for divorce.
While it can be tempting to sidestep arguments by simply avoiding the money conversation entirely, this can be a pitfall too. Open communication is critical, even with an uncomfortable topic like money. Follow this recipe for financial harmony:
First, share your money experiences with your partner. Were your parents savers or spenders? What shaped your attitudes about money? What are your fears around money?
Second, no secrets! This ranges from secret credit cards, to an on-line poker habit, to that pricey gadget you pretended to buy on sale. Money secrets are toxic to a relationship, and the truth always finds a way of coming out.
Finally, join forces! Over half of new marriages start out in debt. Paying that down is empowering to your partnership. Agreeing on a plan and being accountable to your spouse can foster trust and intimacy. In fact, the Ramsey survey found that 87% of respondents who said their marriage is “great” said they and their spouse work together to set long-term goals for their money. And 95% percent of respondents who say they have a “great” marriage discuss their money dreams with their spouse, compared to only 45% of respondents who describe their marriage is “okay” or “in crisis.”
Staying happy means continuing to dream big. Share your money dreams with your partner. What countries would you like to visit? How many bedrooms do you want in your dream house? Set yourself small, shorter-term goals to boost your confidence while you save up for the big ones. If you and your partner approach money as a team, you’re more likely to stay together.
The information on this page is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.