Money – no matter who does the research, money is always among the top 3 things couples fight about. Cliff and I have fairly similar financial attitudes, and our conversations about cash can still surprise us with their level of tension.
I’ve been impressed with a recent Slate series on money and marriage by Jessica Grose. The author is a newlywed, who for personal and professional reasons set off to figure out how other couples were handling their cash. She breaks couples into three categories: those who keep everything separate, those who share some and keep some separate, and those who combine all their financial resources.
Sprinkled throughout the five-part series are stories from real couples (some married, some living together) that illustrates the benefits and pitfalls of each system. They’re remarkable glimpses into the lives of others, and I think they provide great illustrations of how real relationships function. (Check out the “comments” section of my entry on ‘Marriage Crutches’ to read one example.)
Check out the series – it may not provide Suze Orman-style advice, but sometimes it’s helpful just to know where you fit in comparison to other couples like you. (For more on this, take the demographic analysis survey Grose provides in her first article.)