Couples who share their finances fight less

December 10, 2021

In a newly published study from Stockholm University, the authors Ann-Zofie Duvander and Linda Kridahl, investigated correlations between economic wellbeing and how couples choose to share their economy. The results include that couples with shared finances tend to fight less about money. We have spoken to one of the authors.

The article is part of a larger research project which mostly focuses on living conditions for elderly couples. When the authors started working closer with the material, they found it interesting to include younger couples, and see how they compared.

“That's how it began. Not all surveys have a question about how couples organize their finances, and we found that interesting,” says Linda Kridahl.

Even if the study found a correlation, it's important to remember that it could go both ways. 

“There is a correlation, but we would like to note that it could go both ways, that couples who fight less generally choose to share finances. But the results are clear, couples with shared finances do indeed fight less about money, regardless of how you look at it,” says Linda.

The connection between shared finances and less fights gets stronger the older the couples are, and the longer the couples have stayed together. It could also build a sense of safety to pool money. That is probably why the authors found it favourable to have shared money among couples who struggle to make ends meet by the end of each month.

How about younger couples?

The study shows that it matters less how middle-aged couples share their finances. Either way seems to have little to no effect on fights about money. The author’s explanation for this is that middle-aged couples have so many intertwined expenses, for example joint living or kids, that the boundaries between “mine” and “yours” gets fuzzy.

Among the youngest couples, however, a fully shared economy seems to be the most favorable.

“The younger couples don't have as much need for shared money. They haven't reached that part of life yet where they are dependent on their partner's money. When moving in together or getting kids, both need to contribute. They will have to find a way to share.”

For further reading, check out the study in its entirety:

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