Roses, chocolate and dinner out might be the traditional way to celebrate romance, but one of the best ways to keep the love alive doesn’t have anything to do with how we celebrate holidays like Valentine’s Day.
Better than any treat or simple gesture, good financial health can help keep the spark going all year. Here are four reasons to talk about money with your partner, and why couples who talk money are more likely to stick together for the long haul.
TD Bank’s Love & Money Survey found that nearly 80 percent of those who talk about money with their partner at least once a week reported they were happy. Meanwhile, 42 percent of unhappy couples reported that their biggest mistake was “waiting too long” to talk about money in a relationship.
And the survey found that millennials might just do this best. Nearly 75 percent of millennials said they talk about money weekly with their partner -- and another 19 percent talk about it at least once a month. In fact, sometimes the money discussion starts even before the first date. The survey found that 48 percent of millennials who have used an online dating service talk about finances even before they meet -- compared to 36 percent across all other generations, the news release says.
“Talking about money can be uncomfortable,” says Ryan Bailey, Head of Consumer Deposits, Payments and Personal Lending at TD Bank, in the release. “Establishing a healthy dialogue about finances can help couples get on the same page from the start and result in happier relationships in the long run.”
When you’re not on the same page, it’s hard to map out a life together.
You might plan on buying a house, taking a few dream vacations, paying for most of your kids’ college educations and retiring in comfort. But does your spouse have the very same aspirations? Maybe their focus is on buying a boat and a cabin at a nearby lake for extended fishing trips.
You have just one life to live. If you don’t share the same ambitions and rarely talk about how you’re working toward meeting them, it’s likely one of you will end up dissatisfied in the relationship as you become frustrated that none of your life’s goals are coming to fruition.
They say opposites attract, but when it comes to financial habits, one study found that’s not always a good thing. Big spenders and cheap skates might be attracted to each other because they appreciate their partners ability to live in the moment -- or live within their means, depending on their point of view.
But researchers reported that when tightwads and spend thrifts marry, it’s likely there will be plenty of conflict over finances, which can make for an unhappy marriage. In fact, researchers concluded that these relationships ultimately are little more than a “fatal(fiscal) attraction.”
To put it bluntly, if you’re fighting about money -- or not talking about it at all -- it’s more likely you could be headed for a split. Money issues and arguments are the No. 3 leading cause of divorce right behind “incompatibility” and “infidelity,” according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.
Need more proof that it’s time to get on the same page with your partner? An academic study in the journal Family Relations found that though couples squabbled about parenting, in-laws and spending time together, financial disagreements are the strongest “predictors of divorce” compared to other marital discord.
So, while you enjoy the chocolate and dinner out this month with your love, make plans to tackle those money talks too. You’ll both be better -- and happier -- for it.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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