When it comes to modern love, does the “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours” rule still apply?
According to a new study by finder.com, 72 percent of people in relationships prefer to combine finances rather than keep them separate. That is 128 million people who’ve joined forces financially as well as romantically.
“In an age where relationship statuses come in all shades of grey and pledging forever doesn’t necessarily come with an ‘I do,’ combining finances might be the ultimate act of commitment,” said Rachel Dix-Kessler, finder’s consumer advocate.
Credit cards are the most common way couples are combining their finances, with more than one in three Americans (36.1 percent) claiming a joint credit card with their partner. Joint credit card accounts are followed by joint bank accounts (34.8 percent) and joint loans (18.5 percent) as the most popular ways to combine money with a significant other.
While 34.8 percent of Americans in relationships keep at least one account separate, the same number completely eliminate any individual accounts. However, love and money aren’t combined in any form for 28.1 percent of U.S. couples, who have chosen to keep finances completely separate.
“While it’s likely that we only open our accounts, and hearts, with the best of intentions for a relationships, the course of true love never did run smooth, so it’s important to be transparent with your partner about your expectations before signing on the dotted line,” Dix-Kessler said. “First, determine why you need a joint account whether that is for joint expenses, or perhaps to support one person who is out of the workforce. Getting on the same page regarding purpose and guidelines for use of the joint account will minimize the potential for disagreements in the future.”
Men are about twice as likely to have joint bank accounts than they are to have a joint loan, while women are more likely to have joint loans (i.e., house, personal business or auto) with their partners. Women are also more likely (31 percent) to keep their finances separate from their partners, while only 26 percent of men do the same.
Generationally, millennials are most likely to keep all finances separate (39 percent), while only 26 percent of Gen X and 19 percent of baby boomers do the same.
“Never feel bad about saying no and opting to keep your accounts separate,” said Dix-Kessler. “After all, if the relationship were to take a turn it’s much better to be safe than sorry.”