A recent nationwide telephone survey from Harris Interactive, conducted for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), has found that finances have become the most common cause of strife among couples in the US. To the surprise of no one, over 25% of married or co-habiting couples stated that the reason for most arguments between partners is a disagreement about money.

The survey further showed that money matters cause more arguments between couples than disagreements over work, friends, household chores – even raising children. At Tamarind Financial Planning, we believe that a personal finance plan can alleviate much of the stress between couples which are caused by money matters.

Hire a personal finance planner to reduce stress in your relationship

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”~ Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke

As with virtually any dispute between couples, communication is the key to avoiding conflict over financial matters. While it may not be true that financial issues are the cause of 50% of divorces in this country, the survey did show that issues over money can cause a great deal of strife in a relationship. Hiring a personal finance planner can go a long way to relieving this stress and discord.

Most conflicts over money between couples arise from disagreements over…

  • Misperception of needs versus wants – 58%
  • Unexpected expenses – 49%
  • Insufficient savings – 32%

A personal finance plan will add structure to your financial lives, reducing the need for arguments over money. When both partners understand their needs, wants, and goals, the things they have in common, it becomes easier for each to focus on financial success, rather than on differences of opinion.

A personal finance planner will help couples focus on the things they have in common, leading to…

  • Reduced conflict over money matters
  • Mutual goal setting
  • Improved financial outcomes
  • Structured financial discussions
  • Regularly scheduled “money meetings”
  • Financial education
  • Financial recommendations
  • Professional support

The sooner you begin a personal finance plan the better

Much of today’s marketing of financial services leads many couples to believe that financial planning is only for the “wealthy.” Many advisors require $1million or more of assets to manage before they will take on a client. As a result of this marketing trend, younger couples who are in the process of building family wealth; couples who have many important financial decisions to make, may decide to put off hiring a personal finance planner. However, the study also found…

“The average number of arguments prompted by financial matters rises with age. While among all married adults the average number of disagreement is three per month, among those aged 45 to 54, the average number of arguments rises to four per month.”

My experience is that there are a wide range of resources available at a variety of price points, including a personal finance planner for you. Many of these financial planners will work with their clients on an hourly or project basis, advising them on any level of assets, including employer retirement plan assets – Tamarind Financial Planning is one.

For more on some of these wonderful finance planning resources, check out my blog post, “Finding the Right Financial Planner.”