When it comes to money and marriage, young women are more likely to know about and manage a couple's finances. According to a new national survey* by FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website, married women between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely among married people to play a significant role in managing the couple's finances, and less likely to squabble with their spouses about money.
"We found that younger women, in many ways, are the most money-savvy among married couples," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "We sought to understand how couples manage their money, how much they fight about money, and how much they know about their financial situation. Younger women are the most likely - among men or women of all ages - to take on responsibility for understanding and managing the household finances, and do it without fighting about money issues."
- Younger women are more likely to manage the household finances by themselves, rather than letting their spouses handle it or managing the money together. Thirty-seven percent of young married women say they handle all the household finances, compared with only 30 percent of young married men.
- Younger women are less likely to fight about money with their spouses. The survey found that while "Money" is the No. 1 issue most married couples fight about, younger women are more likely to fight about their partner's bad habits than money. In fact, money is tied for third with issues involving relatives and in-laws, after bad habits and having or raising children.
- Who knows the most about their spouse's finances when they get married? Whether it's income, debts, net worth, retirement savings or even credit score, most younger women knew the details about their spouse's finances before they got married. By contrast, less than half of younger men say they knew their wife's net worth, retirement savings or credit score before they got married.
"Money and marriage are inevitably intertwined," said Rahlfs. "Property rights, joint responsibilities and obligations, and legal benefits are as much a part of marriage as vows and wedding rings. How much couples know about their finances and how they decide to manage their money are important issues as couples go through their married life together. Whether married or about to get married, couples should understand the legal and financial aspects of marriage."
FindLaw.com has free helpful information on topics such as marriage, adoption and divorce, including a fiance(e) and newlywed financial checklist, guide to adopting a child, and factors to consider in dividing property in a divorce.
*The FindLaw.com survey was conducted using a demographically balanced telephone survey of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percent.