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5 Financial Mistakes That Ruin Your Marriage

In this article, Nancy Anderson, a Forbes contributor, identifies the “5 Financial Mistakes That Ruin Your Marriage” as:

  1. Materialism – valuing “things” or money over the relationship.
  2. Having conflicting money values.
  3. Adopting traditional roles when they don’t fit.
  4. Having opposing money styles. (It is not uncommon to see financial opposites attract one another.  Couples often have mismatched money styles)
  5. Magical thinking – getting results without a plan.

It makes for interesting reading (hurray for fun anecdotes!) and addresses a lot of the common issues that couples identify (be they dating, engaged, married, or on the verge of divorce) when they use Money Habitudes.
Anderson draws a lot on the work of Dr. Jeffrey Dew, a researcher at Utah State University. We often talk about Jeff’s research within the context of money, finances, dating, and marriage. As a bonus, because we travel in similar circles, we’ve had the opportunity to run into Jeff at a few conferences, most recently at the Financial Therapy Association annual meeting at UGA. He’s a smart guy with a really interesting line of research he’s been pushing forward. Probably the simple stat of his that we cite the most is that money fights predict divorce rates:

Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.

In his paper, Bank on it: Thrifty Couples are the Happiest, he finds that when a spouse feels the other spends their money foolishly, it increases the likelihood of divorce by 45%.
Of course, if money is an issue in a relationship (and when is it not?), it’s important that couples can talk about the difficult topic, understand and respect each other, and resolve the issue. Money Habitudes achieves this independently for couples and is also utilized by couples counselors, financial advisors, and similar professionals. Money Habitudes achieves this for couples independently and is also a tool for couples counselors, financial advisors, and similar professionals. At Utah State, professors integrate the cards into their student instruction, and educators in the Cooperative Extension program utilize them for community programming on money and relationships.