Consumer Alert: Money matters and marriage

Consumer Alert: Many Couples Disagree About Money

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – As Valentine’s Day approaches, make budgeting your love language. I know it sounds far from romantic. But when couples goals are aligned, it brings them closer. And if you and your partner agree about your financial priorities, there’s a lot less to fight about.

Fidelity investments found that after the wedding, flowers, and well wishes, many couples find a major difference in how each handles money. They interviewed almost 1,800 couples and one in three disagree about major goals.

One in four identify money as their top relationship challenge. Forty-five percent admitted to arguing about money at least occasionally. And of those struggling with money matters, one third had no idea how much their partner made.

“Couples come to the table with different levels of financial knowledge, ability to have these tough conversations, and norms that they grew up with. So, what’s normal in one household is not normal in another. And when you come together as a couple, part of your job is to create those new norms and areas where you’re gonna be aligned,” said Meredith.

So, with the help of Fidelity, here’s Deanna’s do list:

Take debt dates with your darlin’.

Sit down periodically with a good meal, pen and paper, and look at the budget. How much money is coming in and how much is going out.

Next collaborate when counting your cash.

So many couples let one pay the bills and the other is along for the ride. I always say couples that pay together stay together. Because then there are no secrets. You both know where the money is going.

Lastly, confidently critique your calculations.

What I mean by that is be honest with each other about short- and long-term goals. Then calculate. what are we going to do to get there.

That builds confidence that you can reach those goals with the help of the other.

Who knows, maybe this Valentines Day, instead of spending money on flowers and an expensive meal, you can have a debt date with your darlin’.

Here are links to financial tools for couples. Conversation guides, articles, check lists.