Money + Couples = Fights
According to a recent survey by TD Ameritrade, money is the most common reason married or cohabiting couples fight.
In an effort to help those in romantic relationships eliminate the arguing and distrust surrounding their finances, GoBankingRates’ managing editor, Casey Bond of El Segundo, Calif., developed Love and Money: A Quiz for Couples that will determine whether partners are a financial match made in heaven — or a money mess waiting to happen.
“I formulated the questions in this quiz not only based on my experience as an expert in the personal finance space, but as someone who has also struggled with money-related relationship strain,” Bond said. “My significant other, conversely, spends money like it’s going out of style. It doesn’t help that one of us earns much more than the other.”
The study that found couples fight about money five times per year, on average. More than 40% of survey respondents said they do not fully trust partners to manage their combined finances, yet only 5% stated money was an important factor when choosing a partner.
“What I’ve learned, and what others who take this quiz should understand, is that you don’t have to be a perfect match with your partner in terms of money management.” Bond said.
According to the survey, communication and lack of budgeting could cause issues with couples. The survey found that 43% don't follow a budget, and half of couples jointly share household financial responsibilities.
“Money is one of the most challenging topics with couples because our identities are involved,” said David Peters, a family therapist in San Diego. “Our style of using money, saving money, expressing ourselves with money, and protecting ourselves with money all give us our identity. Just as with politics and religion, a lot is at stake in negotiating about money.”