This topic is critically important to couples, with the vast majority (88 percent) of adults 25 to 34 who are married or living with a partner saying that financial decisions are a source of tension in their relationship. That’s according to a new survey from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Ad Council. The survey found that financial decisions caused tension in one-in-five relationships (20 percent) on a daily basis, with an additional 31 percent reporting these money issues as a source of weekly stress.
The Feed the Pig campaign from AICPA and the Ad Council aims to help young adults adopt positive saving habits at a time when they are making major decisions – starting a career, buying a house, getting married, starting a family – all of which will greatly impact their finances. The national public service advertising (PSA) campaign encourages young adults ages 25-34 to visit FeedthePig.org for simple tools to help them save for their goals, and plan for the future.
“Financial planning, budgeting and investing are serious issues that become increasingly complicated and stressful when approached as a couple,” said Greg Anton, CPA, CGMA, chairman of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. “We encourage couples to have a serious conversation about their financial hopes and dreams and the steps they need to take to get there. The tools and resources on the Feed the Pig website help couples plan for retirement, combine their finances and even plan a wedding.”
Other findings of the survey among adults ages 25-34 who are married or living with a partner:
- Only 42 percent have discussed their long-term financial goals as a couple;
- Just one-in-three (33 percent) have developed a joint retirement strategy;
- 50 percent say that combining finances with a partner who saves differently than them gets in the way of saving more;
- Only 56 percent have discussed their individual savings and spending habits with one another;
- Just 51 percent have established a household monthly budget;
- Almost half (47 percent) of those who are married or living with a partner say all of their expenses are shared equally.
Members of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission provided the following tips on how to handle financial decisions when in a committed relationship.
1. Get a good sense of each other’s financial values and beliefs.
2. Come up with a time every month or quarter to discuss financial matters so it becomes part of a routine.
3. Visit the ‘Couples’ page on the Feed the Pig website for tips and tools.
4. Try to discuss important financial decisions on neutral ground, perhaps even in a restaurant where emotions can remain under control.
5. Know how much each partner earns so that realistic financial goals can be developed together.
6. Determine how much debt each partner has so you can work together to pay it off.
7. Get your credit score (for free) since your partner’s credit score could affect your ability to buy a home or car, or maybe even get a new job.
The survey was administered by the Ad Council and conducted by LightSpeed Research in December 2015. The nationwide, online survey was completed by 500 employed adults, ages 25-34.