Talking about money in a relationship isn’t always easy. You may have different incomes, different backgrounds, different spending styles, or maybe you’re just shy about finances. But when you’re in a relationship, talking about money and being honest about your finances is key, because they affect so many different areas of your life.
But a new survey from Policygenius, the online insurance marketplace, has found that a surprising amount of couples don’t share even basic financial information with their partner. But, interestingly, this might be having some big consequences on their relationship.
The survey of the 1,526 adults, revealed that 20 percent of participants kept and managed their money totally separately from their partner. And, of the people who managed their money separately, 20 percent were planning to leave the relationship due to financial issues — that’s a whole lot of people thinking of throwing in the towel because of money.
On the other hand, for couples who did manage their money together, only four percent of people were planning on leaving their partner. So maybe the couple who banks together, stays together. And yet, there’s still so much that people are keeping from their partner.
“I’m glad this is coming to light,” Priya Malani, co-founder of Stash Wealth tells Bustle. “[T]he sooner you get on the same (financial) page as your partner, the faster and more efficiently you can begin working towards your goals — whether they’re big or small! Dealing with money is no different from any other issue you face as a couple — raising kids, taking care of elder parents, buying a home, etc.” Money is an important issue that affects both of you, so, like every other major issue, communication is viral. It’s crucial not to let communication break down just because money can be difficult to talk about.
“You want to make sure you both speak the same language, because if you don’t, it WILL become a great source of stress in the relationship,” Malani says. “How you handle money is directly related to your values. If you and your significant other disagree about money, it’s time to have a bigger conversation and find some middle ground.” And yet, it turns out so many of us are still being secretive and avoidant when it comes to our finances.
Here’s what the survey found, because when it comes to money, we’re still not opening up.
1. 24% Don’t Share A Major Account With Their Partner
While for some people, joint bank accounts are a symbol of a serious relationship, around a quarter of people don’t share any major account with their partner. Bank account, credit card, mortgage — there’s not one single major expense that they share.
2. 30% Don’t Know Their Partner’s Salary
Surprisingly, almost a third of people don’t know their partner’s salary. It makes sense that at the beginning of a relationship you might not want to share private information about what you earn, but as you get more serious, isn’t it bound to come up?
3. 38% Don’t Know About Their Partner’s Debts Or Assets
Debts, assets, and general spending patterns were another area where couples were just not being honest with each other. A lot of people seem unaware of their partner’s financial situation which is potentially dangerous — especially since essentially take on someone’s debt if you enter a marriage or civil partnership. There are big issues that you want to be aware of.
4. Nearly Half Don’t Know Their Partner’s Credit Score
Forty-seven percent of those surveyed didn’t’ know their partner’s credit score. It makes sense that, if you’re not taking out major loans or mortgages together, it might not come up. Still, it’s crucial to be aware of this if you’re in a serious long-term relationship, as it may affect your buying power and financial stability in the future.
5. 43% Don’t Know About Their Partner’s Retirement Savings
Many of us may not want to think about our relatively non-existent retirement savings, but it’s not an issue you can bury your head in the sand about. If you’re planning a future together, it’s important that you feel like you can be honest with each other about how well prepared you are for the future.
Finances in relationships can be tricky and, unfortunately, sometimes our finances dictate our relationship decisions. In fact, 10 percent of those surveyed said they can’t afford to leave their partner, whether they want to or not.
Originally posted on Bustle