His and hers are fine for bathrooms but not so hot for money
By Dian Vujovich
I know two men who’ve run a hugely successful restaurant on Cape Cod for more than 40 years. They are as different as night and day, both married and while supporters of one another don’t hang out together. This odd couple, however, share something that a large number of others don’t—-they’re both cheap. Pretty much equally cheap as spending isn’t high on their radar unless necessary. As it turns out, having a shared money value is a heavenly combo whether you’re in business or married. Too bad it doesn’t happen all that often in marriage.
American Express released results from their Spending & Saving Tracker survey revealing that professional couples under the age of 30 with college degrees earning at least $50,000 argue a lot about money. Seventy-two percent say chats about household finances lead to arguments vs. 45 percent of couples overall.
Young marrieds also lie a lot about moola. Thirty-nine percent don’t fess up to all the purchases they make vs. 27 percent of all couples. And 43 percent keep their debts separate vs. 20 percent of the general population. Maybe that’s got something to do with the fact that financial opposites are often attracted to one another.
A paper from two university researchers, titled “Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction”, found that opposites attract when it comes to extreme spending styles. In other words, tightwads are likely to marry spendthrifts with results that are often less than matrimonial.
“When you ask divorced people what led to the demise of their marriages, money is always at the top of the list, but just a handful of studies had investigated how couples handle financial arguments,” says co-author Rick Scott, now an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan. “The source was always that couples were struggling financially. We had all observed in our own lives couples not struggling at all with money but who still fought about it quite often, so we knew lack of money was not the only reason. We thought conflicted feelings toward spending could be the source.”
Additionally, Brad Klontz, financial psychologist and co-author of Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health says: ” Keeping finances entirely separate enables couples to avoid talking about money altogether. While they may avoid fights, they also miss out on the benefits of challenging their money beliefs and assumptions.”
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