Most couples disagree about money from time to time, but the happiest ones know how to work through their differences, Ameriprise Financial reported Wednesday.
Three-quarters of participants in a recent Ameriprise study on couples and money said they agreed on most financial matters, while more than a third also said there was room for improvement.
The study found that 88% of couples were happy with how they had divided up financial responsibilities in their relationship, and 68% said they communicated well about their financial situation. Both individuals in the pair rated themselves as engaged, responsible and confident in managing their money.
“Money doesn’t have to be a deal breaker for couples,” Marcy Keckler, Ameriprise’s vice president of financial advice strategy, said in a statement. “Instead, it provides them with the opportunity to work as a team to create a strong financial foundation built on communication, planning and shared responsibilities.”
The Ameriprise study was conducted online this summer by Artemis Strategy Group among 1,514 U.S. opposite and same-sex couples (married or living together for at least six months with shared financial responsibility), ages 25 to 70 with at least $25,000 in investable assets.
While 82% of couples said they work to quickly resolve differences in financial decisions, 31% said they argue about money at least once a month. The most common points of disagreement:
• Major purchases—34%
• Decisions about finance and children—24% of respondents with offspring
• A partner’s spending habits—23%
• Important investment decisions—14%
The study found a neutral party, such as a shared financial advisor, can help couples deal with disagreements about money. “Couples who see the same advisor report that it has helped them improve both their communication and their understanding about financial matters,” Keckler said. “It’s also helped many of them defuse potential conflicts. Approximately 40% of couples who describe themselves as not ‘on the same page’ financially say that advisors have helped them negotiate money issues that might otherwise have caused tension.”