Hello readers! I hope you enjoy hearing some of my recent thoughts on money and marriage :)
I recently read an article that presented survey results suggesting that many millennial married women are not involved in the long-term finances of their family. I was definitely surprised by this finding since it does not seem to be my personal experience in my own marriage nor in the marriages of my close friends. Despite that not being my own experience, I thought I would write a short post encouraging all married people, especially women, to each be involved in the finances of their marriage.
The study found that, while the surveyed women may take care of the day-to-day finances, they didn’t often have a good understanding of the status of their long-term finances. A common reason for this was that they thought their spouse was simply better equipped to handle this area of their life, thus these couples take on a “divide-and-conquer” approach. While that might make sense for things like household chores, it probably isn’t the best idea for managing your finances. Obviously, you don’t know what the future holds, so it’s best to be aware of what’s going on with your money if something happens like one spouse passing away. Women frequently outlive men and this survey reported 74% of widows and divorcees being negatively surprised by something in their finances once they were required to take over finances.
For example, in my marriage my husband is the one to put air in a low car tire (there are so many potholes in the city, ugh), and it’s actually something he doesn’t totally hate doing (unless it’s pouring down rain, which has happened to us on the PA turnpike more than once. Alas, that’s a story for another day) However, I still know how to air up the tire and keep a pump in the trunk of the car. It’s not because I don’t trust my husband, or think he’s unable to do it. Rather, I just can’t predict the future and there might be a time when I’m driving without him. I imagine he feels more peace knowing that, if he’s not there, I can handle this on my own.
I’m not suggesting that you be involved in your financial health as a way to keep options open if you no longer wish to be married, unlike many other articles and blog posts in today’s world might suggest. I do believe that marriage should be a lifelong commitment and I’m not suggesting divorce just because you’re fighting about money or something. It actually seems like both couples being involved and communicating about money can improve the health of your marriage! Take a look at these stats of women who share responsibility for long-term financial planning:
94% of women report higher confidence in their financial future
93% of women report fewer mistakes made with both involved
91% of women report being less stressed about their finances
According to another survey by Ramsey Solutions: 94% of those with “great” marriages discuss their money dreams together, compared to only 45% of those who say their marriage is “okay” or “in crisis.
Ladies, perhaps in your marriage the husband is better suited to make financial decisions or simply enjoys this more than you. Well, I think that’s great if you can be aware of that and thankful that God has given him this ability. However, this is not an excuse for you as the wife to not have any clue what is going on with the long-term finances. This study shows that you can lower stress levels by having a good understanding of what’s going on, and you’re both less likely to make mistakes when you discuss these things together. That sounds like a win-win to me!
If in your marriage you’ve been employing a divide-and-conquer approach to long-term finances, my hope is that this post will encourage to you and your spouse to sit down and talk about these things together as a partnership! I pray that it will strengthen you as a couple and grow you both closer to God and his plan for your lives.
Thanks for reading! :)