Couples with shared finances quarrel less


Published November 30, 2021 at 10:34 AM

Family. Couples who have joint finances have fewer financial conflicts than those who have shared or partially shared finances. But for younger couples, it is the opposite, shows a study from Stockholm University.

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– Having shared finances can mean that you have poorer communication in the relationship or that a partner has more need for financial independence. Joint economics can instead be a sign of stability, communication and so-called team spirit, says Linda Kridahl, researcher at the Department of Demography at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University and one of the authors of the study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

The connection between joint finances and fewer conflicts is particularly clear among couples with financial difficulties, among older couples and couples who have lived together for more than 30 years.

However, the study shows that joint finances do not is the best for all ages. For younger couples between the ages of 20 and 29, on the contrary, a shared economy is more advantageous, given the risk of economic conflicts.

– Younger couples may not have as many joint expenses and may not have established their relationship as strongly yet, says Linda Kridahl. Among older couples, it may be more advantageous to have joint finances because older couples usually have limited income. Having a common economy can create a certain security, something that is not needed in the same way at a younger age, says Linda Kridahl.

However, it is not possible to say for sure if it is how the couples organize their finances that affects the origin of economic conflicts or vice versa.

The researchers also found that couples who have difficulty getting their finances together at the end of the month are five times more likely to experience financial conflicts.

Economic conflicts give an indication of how well the couple's finances are working and the quality on the relationship, Linda Kridahl emphasizes.

– How couples organize their finances is also central as it is often taken for granted that couples have joint finances when, for example, assessing household income when deciding on housing allowance or the like, says Linda Kridahl.

The study analyzed responses from 4,939 respondents aged 20 to 80 who are married or cohabiting and who live in Sweden. The study shows that 20 percent of the respondents feel that they have financial conflicts with their partner. In total, 44 per cent apply joint economy and 29 per cent partly joint economy. 18 percent apply shared finances, which means that partners manage their own finances and that partners are responsible for certain joint expenses.