Money: Biggest cause of conflict between couples, reveals survey

Thursday, August 23, 2012
New York: A global technology firm – XO Group, operating niche websites like, and, and Chase Card Services, today announced the results of an across-lifestage survey titled "Why Couples Clash" exploring the sources and frustrations behind couples' financial clashes.

Polling more than 2,100 engaged, married or pregnant women across XO Group websites, the survey's results reveal what is at the root of arguments at every lifestage: money.

For example, half of engaged couples argue about money and finances while planning their wedding. And one-third of married couples also argue about when to start a family, with more than half of these couples (61 percent) unsure if they have the money to have a family.

"Every couple argues; it's perfectly normal," said Carley Roney, XO Group cofounder. "We wanted to get to the cause of the issues that come up at key moments in couples' lives and find out why they clash so that we can offer help."

Honest and upfront conversations about financial priorities, as well as saving and spending styles, are the key to success, according to Rachana Bhatt, Director, Chase Card Services.

"Wedding planning, marriage, home buying and raising a child are all major money decision moments," said Bhatt. "Keep the lines of communication open, talk to your spouse or partner in a language they understand, and develop a financial plan that works for both of you and your budgets."

Key Findings: Engaged Couples

When it comes to wedding planning, achieving a fairy-tale ending can seem like an uphill battle – but it doesn't have to be.

The Best Way to Spend? More than half (55 percent) of engaged couples have tiffs over whether their wedding is the best way to spend the money they have. The process of planning a wedding is a good time in life to ensure that couples have a financial plan in place for the wedding and beyond.
Budget Gets in the Way. Of the couples who clash about money and finances, about half (49 percent) fight because they don't have the budget to have the wedding they want, so each and every planning detail becomes stressful to them.
Family Politics Burden. When parents contribute financially to the wedding, things can also get heated. Among couples where family politics has caused issues, 22 percent fought because their parents were giving them money for the wedding and then thought that gave them license to help plan, too.

Key Findings: Married Couples

Three out of four married couples disagree about money and expenses. But with the right tools, financial bliss and marital bliss don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Money at Root of Arguments. With the majority of couples arguing about money and expenses, nearly half of these couples (45 percent) do so because they want nice things but don't have the budget for them, and 41 percent disagree on where to spend their money.
Who's More Frugal? Among couples who argue about expenses, nearly one out of three (30 percent) wives say they are more frugal than their partners. (How's that for kicking the stereotype?)
Family Timeline Causes Issues. Of the 34 percent of couples who disagree about when to start a family, about one-third say they are not sure if they're ready for the responsibility of raising children.

Key Findings: Pregnant Couples

When it comes to planning for a baby, more than half (58 percent) of expecting respondents said they didn't wait until they were financially secure to get pregnant.

Financial Preparedness During Pregnancy. Of those who are currently expecting, three out of four wish they were more financially secure at this point in their pregnancy. Furthermore, one in ten think they aren't financially prepared at all for the cost of their approaching child.
How to Afford Baby. One-third (35 percent) of pregnant couples argue about whether they can afford their baby, with 68 percent of these couples unsure if their current income is enough.
Timing a Problem. Twenty-two percent of expecting couples wish they had a little more time to themselves before they have children.
What Causes Worry. Affording children and giving them the life they deserve is the number one worry of couples having a baby (30 percent).
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