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What Do You Think Your Spouse Is Thinking?

Your spouse's views on finance might surprise you

It’s no surprise: Money causes tension in many marriages.

In fact, money causes more fights than sex or relationships with in-laws, according to a survey conducted by Greenwald & Associates. In the survey, seven out of 10 couples owned up to arguing about money.

The majority of married couples haven’t departed from long-standing tradition when it comes to household financial roles, with women still tending to handle everyday spending and budgeting while men plan and invest for the future, the survey found.

It also found that what spouses believe their partners think about money isn’t necessarily what their partners really think. (Think about that.)

For example:

  • Only 27% of men believe their wives think having the right investments is very important. Yet nearly half of women say they do care — about the same proportion as men do.
  • Only 45% of men say having an emergency fund is important to their wives, but 67% of wives actually believe it’s crucial.
  • Women tend to believe their husbands care more about paying off debt and saving for large purchases than the men actually do.

Both men and women fudge the truth when it comes to earnings and debt, according to Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at The Ohio State University. The typical husband says the household earns 5% more and is 10% wealthier than the wife says, while the wife reports that the family owes about $500 more than her husband says, says Zagorsky.

Despite the differences, the survey found that what both husbands and wives want out of life is pretty much the same: a family, a home and a secure future.

These goals can be best achieved when you both engage in financial planning with a professional advisor. If you don’t have one, call us. We’d be happy to help.

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