This week on Slate: “Our Newlywed Money Dilemma”
I’ve been intrigued by Slate’s new series called “Our Newlywed Money Dilemma.” Writer and newlywed Jessica Grose posed the question, “How should we manage our finances?” and surveyed more than 5,000 people to investigate what works and what doesn’t. In this week-long series, she presents her findings, tackling one topic each day and including wonderful graphics like the one above. Who hasn’t had a money fight on one—or all—of these topics?
One tidbit I love is the names she assigns to the three types of survey responders: Common Potters (all money merged), Independent Operators (separate finances), and Sometimes Sharers (joint and separate accounts). Which category do you fall into?
When talking about love and money, it’s hard to not get defensive or sensitive. What I admire most about this series is how fairly the information is presented. For example, at one point Grose describes two couples who have different beliefs about—believe it or not—budgeting for a haircut. For the Sometimes Sharers, the husband agrees that the wife’s haircut is a professional expense (she’s a marketing specialist), and therefore can be paid for through their joint account. For the Common Potters, the wife sees her haircut as a professional expense (she’s an attorney), but her husband doesn’t and gripes about the cost. Grose remarks: “You could say these two couples are just talking about a damn haircut. Or you could say that their divergent approaches reveal something far deeper about the way [the husbands] feel about their wives’ careers.”
I encourage you to explore the series:
- Take a quiz to find out how couples like you handle their money
- See tons of interesting charts and graphics, including how education, prenups, and other factors affect financial sharing
- Find out if Common Potters are more likely to have lasting relationships
- Discover why Sometimes Sharers are so stressed out
- Learn why the 8-year mark is when Independent Operators begin to merge