Have you ever seen the show “Marriage or Mortgage” on Netflix? A couple has about $30,000 that they can either use as a down payment on a home or on a big wedding. After seeing a few houses and being wooed by wedding vendors, the couples have to decide which option seems like the best use of their money.
When should you start talking money?
Before my husband and I got married, we had conversations around some similar major life milestones. Looking at the numbers, my husband deduced that we could financially afford to do any two of the following three things in the next two years: have a small wedding, buy a house or have a baby.
Why do couples shy away from conversations about money?
Well, like most things in our relationships, we can trace it back to our childhood. Often times, children are not exposed to productive conversations about money in the house. They may be chastised for asking questions about money, particularly when asking their parents or other relatives how much they earn at their job.
Relationship stress & money
Money and finances are a source of conflict for many couples. In fact, in my own research, 75% of married participants indicated that they currently had an ongoing or repeated argument over money occurring in their relationships.
How do couples manage their finances?
1. Pooling System 2. Partial Pooling System 3. Independent Management System 4. Housekeeping Allowance System
According to one study, sharing responsibility for money decisions is more likely to happen when partners earn a relatively similar amount at their jobs.
Money pooling & money fights
Couples who pool all of their money together are the least likely to experience conflicts around money. Alternatively, couples who keep their money separate are most likely to experience conflicts about money.