Having spent years conducting research and surveys on how money affects relationships, Yellen shares these statistics:
- Financial stress causes problems in almost 70 percent of relationships.
- 31 percent of respondents said they have kept spending secrets from each other
- Almost half of couples never discussed finances before committing to the relationship
- Arguments about money can throw a wet blanket on sex lives
- 20 percent of couples say they would have sex more frequently if they had more money
Yellen shares these tips to help couples improve their communication around money:
- Recognize that money is an emotional issue: Choose a time when you’re both relaxed and not rushed to start talking about money issues.
- Regularly discuss finances together: Set goals together, and track your progress.
- Agree on how to divide your money: Topics to cover include individual discretionary spending, household expenses, retirement savings, and extended family responsibilities.
- Avoid taking on too much debt: Instead of constantly talking about the burden of your debt, focus on your financial goals — where you’d really like to be, and how you’ll get there. Facing your debt as a team can actually strengthen your relationship.
- Never engage in financial infidelity – If you haven’t been fully honest regarding finances, now is the time to clean it up! Begin by stating “Our relationship is important to me, so I want to make sure we have a foundation of honesty about our finances.” No matter what comes up, stay calm, and avoid judgment, and focus on positive solutions.
- Understand and acknowledge your different spending habits – Seek to understand rather than correct each other. If something in your partner’s attitude bothers you, tell him how you feel and why. See if you can find compromise.
Want to learn how your relationship stacks up when it comes to financial intimacy? Take Pamela’s Love and Money Financial Self-Assessment here. It only takes a few minutes.
About the Author: Pamela Yellen is a financial investigator and the author of two New York Times best-selling books, including her latest, “The Bank on Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future.”
Pamela investigated more than 450 financial strategies seeking an alternative to the risk and volatility of stocks and other investments, which led her to a time-tested, predictable method of growing wealth now used by more than 500,000 Americans.