- Jacob Patterson
Updated: Oct 4, 2022
According to Marriage.com, the second most common reason for divorce is trouble with finances. With close to 50% of Americans getting divorced, couples must consider if they are on the same page financially before getting married.
Here are some of the biggest financial dealbreakers:
1. Whose is what?
Many couples decide not to combine their finances and like to stay independent, often splitting expenses 50% or based on each person's income. Others choose to open joint bank and credit accounts, behaving as one person financially. This approach is thought by some to be more transparent and makes it easier to budget.
Joint bank accounts are slowly becoming less common. Currently, only about 14% of Baby Boomers don't share any accounts, but today, 45% of married/partnered Gen Zers don't share any bank accounts with their partners.
2. Secret Spending
A recent survey from TD Bank found that 32% of Americans (in the sample) are "keeping a financial secret from their partner." Some of these secrets included big purchases (40% of those with a secret), significant credit card debt (18%), and a secret bank account (13%).
The term "financial infidelity" has become more common in the last few years, signaling a trend of less trust, openness, and honesty surrounding finances in relationships.
With Millennials having significant levels of student loans, debt has stepped into the spotlight during financial disagreements.
Debt can be a big disagreement in marriages, especially when one person in the relationship is debt free, and the other is not.
Some people are more comfortable with debt, while others are not. Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey encourages Americans to pay off all of their debt. In 2021, the average American had $58,604 in debt.
Children can be one of the most complicated and largest financial commitments. Accoring to the USDA, the average cost of raising a child to age 18 in the United States was $233,610 in 2017 ($282,264 adjusted for inflation).
There are also other non-monetary costs of parenting, such as a partner leaving their career to raise children.
Some couples have a very different 'financial personality'. Some people are natural savers, and are very frugal, while others are natural spenders. These personality differences are why it's important to always communicate about your spending habits before and during marriage.
Feeling spooked about marriage?
According to a recent study by the CDC, those who are married experience a lower age-adjusted death rate for all 10 leading causes of death compared to those who are single.
Written by Jacob Patterson
October 2, 2022