A survey published by Areavibes of over one thousand participants details some interesting finds about the financial habits of the modern American family. The individuals reviewed in the report indexed below ranged in age from 19 to 83. These individuals were married, divorced, widowed, engaged, or in some kind of romantic relationship.
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Generation breakdown of financial management
Given Baby Boomers are the most likely to be married, it stands to reason that these participants were observed to be the most significant demographic to adopt a shared account method to manage their finances. Fifty-eight percent of Boomers combine accounts with their significant other for more effective fiscal management. More than half of Generation Xers employed this method, at 52%, and only 38% of Millenials opted to share accounts with their partners.
On balance, younger respondents preferred the separate account approach; either by doling out fiscal responsibilities proportionate to their respective earnings or by dividing bills straight down the middle. The least common method of managing finances in all generations is one wherein the person with the highest income pays all the bills and then grants their partner an allowance.
Sharing an account with your partner seems to be the most successful approach if you can hack it. Ninety-seven percent of respondents that share everything in a joint account reported being satisfied, though 95% of couples that had separate accounts but contributed equally to expenses expressed a similarly optimistic figure (95%).
Timing appears to play a critical role in the effectiveness of each system. The majority of surveyees decided to manage finances together when they moved in with each other (39%). Thirty-four percent of couples thought that it made more sense to combine their financial concerns when they got married, and a relatively small minority of 17% of couples managed finances together from the very beginning.
What items are couples the most ashamed of splurging on?
Fear of partner disapproval motivated most of the participants to purchase items in secret, though the source of embarrassment as well as the objects of particular splurges varied by gender. Women proved to be more inclined to hide purchases of shoes, clothes, jewelry and beauty products, while a significant portion of male respondents confessed to not disclosing splurges on electronics (collectively, participants hid up to $371 per purchase on electronics from their significant others), video games, and alcohol and drugs. Both groups frequently omitted fast food expenses and the purchasing of gifts from each other.
Although the fear of disproval was occasioned the most as the reason for secret spending at 58%, many offenders simply felt it was none of their partner’s concern about how they spent their money. Women were more likely than men to do a little investigating, most commonly by secretly peeking into their partner’s online bank account. As far as reasons are concerned, surprisingly enough, a minimal number of both male and female participants that snooped did so because they were suspicious of infidelity. The primary goal of prying was shared between curiosity and financial concern. Eighty-six percent of busted splurgers, kept doing it after they got caught.
Baby boomers, the generation that cited shared accounts the most consistently were also found to be the couples that fought over expenses the least. For whatever reason Generation Xers fought about money the most. Thirty-six percent of this generation said that they butted heads as often as one to four times a month.
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