Money ‘is the issue couples are most likely to argue about’

Spending too much is the most common cause of money arguments between couples, according to Royal London.

Vicky Shaw
Friday 11 February 2022 09:22
Money is the most common cause of arguments between couples, according to Royal London (picture posed by models/Nick Ansell/PA)
Money is the most common cause of arguments between couples, according to Royal London (picture posed by models/Nick Ansell/PA)

Money is the most common cause of arguments between couples, a survey has found.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people who admit to arguing with their partner have disagreements about money, according to mutual pensions and investments provider Royal London

The most common cause of these arguments is “spending too much”, according to the research, released ahead of Valentine’s Day on February 14.

A third (33%) of people also believe they are incompatible with their partner when it comes to spending and saving, according to the research.

One in four (24%) people in a relationship consider their partner to be irresponsible with money.

If you don’t talk about what you each want from your finances and how to manage your money, it’s likely to result in more friction and arguments

Sarah Pennells, Royal London

And a third (33%) also keep financial secrets from their partner, including hiding savings pots and having undisclosed debts.

A fifth (20%) of people who do not think their partner is responsible with money keep a secret savings pot.

Three-quarters (76%) of couples keep some or all their banking separate from their partner.

Around a third (35%) keep all their money in separate accounts, while just 24% of couples hold everything in a joint account, the survey of 2,000 people across the UK found.

Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, said: “While it may not seem like the most romantic topic, if you don’t talk about what you each want from your finances and how to manage your money, it’s likely to result in more friction and arguments.”

She added: “It’s also important not to let financial concerns simmer beneath the surface. Being more open with one another about money and financial goals will also help couples to build a financially secure future.”

– Here are Royal London’s tips for couples to talk about money:

– Set time aside to talk about your finances properly. Set some short-term goals such as having money in a savings account so you can pay for any emergencies, but do not ignore long-term goals such as paying off your mortgage and discussing when you want to retire.

– Agree how you will split household bills. This is particularly important if one of you earns more than the other. Some people automatically assume it will be 50-50, no matter how big the pay gap, so it is worth clarifying before the bills mount up.

– Be open about any debts you have, particularly if you have a joint bank account or joint loans. Your credit rating could affect that of your partner and vice versa.

– Decide whether you want to keep your money separate or pool it in joint accounts. If you have a joint account there is more transparency about your finances, but the bank could pursue either of you for the full amount of any debt or overdraft, regardless of who ran up the debt.

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