Money problems remain the leading cause of stress in a
Marriage. In a 2015 study conducted by American bank holding company Suntrust Bank, around 35% of respondents said that money was the primary cause of friction in their marriage. Arguing about money early in the relationship—regardless of the income, credit standing, or net worth of the couple—is also a top predictor of divorce, revealed Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher, in a study she published in 2012.
However, registered financial planner Rienzie P. Biolena, president and CEO of financial planning and wealth management consultancy firm Wealth Arki and Consultancy, Inc., says that constant communication can ease the marital stress often caused by financial woes. “Couples should really take the time to sit down and discuss their finances. Talk about how much money you really need in order to live comfortably,” says Biolena.
He adds that couples sometimes forget to treat each other like partners when it comes to handling money, often blaming each other when the household runs short on cash. “It should be a partnership. Every couple will have a different dynamic when it comes to handling money, but the couple should know what their strengths are when it comes to finances,” explains Biolena.
Case in point: Biolena handles the financial planning when it comes to savings and investment while his wife handles the budget management for their household, because those are their individual strengths. “One person can’t possibly do everything,” says Biolena, adding that marital stress and mistrust usually worsen when one chooses to solve financial problems on his or her own, without seeking the help of or even withholding information from his or her partner.
As with other areas of your marriage, communication is key when it comes to finances.