According to a new study carried out by the National Endowment for Financial Education and Harris Interactive, almost 90 percent couples discuss finances before getting married.
Over half of those even go so far as to find out their partner’s credit score before marriage.
The recent study was commissioned by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and was carried out by Harris Interactive. The results showed that 86 percent of those couples who were either married within the last 5 years, or intend to marry within 12 months had a plan to discuss finances before getting married.
However, many of the couples either did not know how to start the conversation or did not completely understand how to go about merging their finances effectively. Senior director of NEFE, Patricia Seaman said,
It’s not unusual for two people in a relationship to have very different styles of money management. The key is discovering differences early and reconciling them to maintain a positive financial future and a healthy relationship.
The survey offers advice to couples finding it difficult to merge their finances. The first step is to talk about dividing up the general household expenses and also decide on a set limit of spending money which each partner can use at their discretion. It is also important to review each other’s credit score and credit history.
The survey showed that 57 percent of those surveyed had taken steps to find out their future spouse’s credit score before getting married. The survey also showed that 22 percent of the respondents regretted how much they had spent on the wedding itself, so it is also a good idea to discuss a wedding budget with your partner when sorting out other finances.
One of the other issues for married couples which was highlighted by the study was financial infidelity. This often occurs when couples fail to communicate about their finances. Three in ten people admit to lying to a partner about their spending or finances.
Financial infidelity is a common problem. It can be anything from hiding cash or purchases to keeping a secret bank account. Some of the warning signs could be your partner feeling very defensive when it comes to talking about money or someone insists on handling all the bills and the financial transactions alone,
said Seaman. NEFE says that newly-engaged and recently married couples should learn to talk with their partner about money, establish joint goals and plan everything on a budget to avoid financial issues during married life.