Relationships are tricky enough without adding money to the mix. For young and older couples alike, talking (or not talking) about debt, or about ways to spend or save, can cause tension.
To understand how this impacts younger couples, MagnifyMoney surveyed nearly 1,000 Gen Zers and millennials who are married, engaged or in a relationship. According to our findings, nearly three-fourths said they’d been mad at their partner because of a financial decision they made, while 15% hadn’t yet discussed debt with their partner.
Here’s what else we found.
Nearly 3 in 4 millennial and Gen Z couples — which includes married and engaged couples and those in relationships — have been mad at their partner for a financial decision they made:
Those who earned between $50,000 and $74,999 were the most likely (84%) to have been mad at their partner for a financial decision. Conversely, just 16% of that income group said they never felt that way, compared with a range of 22% to 35% in the other brackets.
Among those who said they’d been mad at their partner for a financial decision, the most common circumstances were either that their partner made a big purchase without telling them or the partner spent a lot of money on something they consider frivolous:
Interestingly, older millennials (ages 33 to 40) were most likely to report hiding debt as the financial decision that made them mad at their partner (11%), versus 6% of younger millennials (25 to 32) and 8% of Gen Zers (18 to 24).
We also asked whether a partner had been mad at the survey respondent for a financial decision they made, and 67% said yes. However, there was a variation among gender, as 78% of men said they had made their partner mad at them for a financial decision, versus 58% of women.
As for the reasons why a partner had been mad at a respondent’s financial decision, the top two argument drivers were the same as when the respondent was the one who was mad:
For many, the most difficult part of dealing with finances while being a couple came down to being raised with different views on money.
A point of contention could be frivolous spending, said Lauren Perez, a MagnifyMoney deposits writer. With video games, for example, one partner might not agree with the other’s spending decisions because they feel the money could be spent elsewhere.
“Someone who is used to living paycheck to paycheck may not understand the money views of someone who comes from generational wealth and vice versa, which can certainly lead to disagreements,” Perez said.
She also cited the gender pay gap as a potential reason, in which men can make significantly more than women. Among all respondents, 19% said one partner outearning the other was the hardest difficulty.
Building off what we just discussed, more than 6 in 10 (63%) men in these millennial and Gen Z couples make more money than their partner, compared with 26% of women.
Couples seek premarital counseling as a way to invest in their relationship and prepare for the future.READ MORE
A newsletter designed to help
you achieve relationship goals.
A newsletter designed to help you achieve relationship goals.
To safely consume this site, we recommend reading this disclaimer. Any outbound links will take you away from Zeta, to external sites in the world wide web. Just so you know, Zeta doesn’t endorse any linked websites nor do we pay/bribe anyone to appear on here. Any reference to prices on the site are just estimates; actual prices are up to specific merchants and their current desire to charge you for things. Also, nothing on this website should be construed as investment advice. We’re here to share our favorite tools, tactics and tips for managing your money together. This content is for your responsible consumption. Please don’t see this as a recommendation to buy specific investments or go on a crypto-binge. Lastly, we 100% believe that personal finance is exactly that, personal. We may sometimes publish content on this website that has been created by affiliated or unaffiliated partners such as employees, advisors or writers. Unless we explicitly say so, these post do not necessarily represent the actual views or opinions of Zeta.
The Zeta Joint Card and Joint Account is offered by LendingClub Bank, N.A., or Piermont Bank, Members FDIC. Zeta Help Inc. is a service provider of the issuing bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at the issuing bank are combined and insured under an FDIC Certificate, up to $500,000. The Zeta Joint Debit Card, provided by MasterCard, may be used everywhere where MasterCard Debit Cards are accepted.