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Thursday, December 2

The Relationship Between Money and Marriage

The Relationship Between Money and Marriage

By Jacob Schroeder October 12, 2021

I love scotch; she hates it.

There are many things my wife and I don’t agree on, but money isn’t one of them. We are intentional spenders, buying only what mutually aligns with our needs or values. For instance, disinterested in paying for the trappings of an ostentatious wedding, we tied the knot at New York’s City Hall; our reception was watching our first son play at a public playground in the East Village on a warm fall afternoon.

We’ve been happily together for 16 years, which makes me wonder: Does love make the financial side of marriage work, or is it the other way around?

The most important decision you’ll ever make

Warren Buffett’s financial wealth is only rivaled by his wealth of wisdom. Rarely does a day pass without someone in the finance industry quoting the Oracle of Omaha on social media. Heck, Warren Buffett’s influence is so great, people have essentially made careers out of quoting him.

Yet, with all of his knowledge on investing and business, he says the most important decision a person can make has nothing to do with investing and business. At the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, he said:

“Marry the right person. I’m serious about that. It will make more difference in your life. It will change your aspirations, all kinds of things.”

You don’t make it to Buffett’s level of stature with a track record of being wrong often, and researchers seem to agree with him on this point. Studies show that marrying the right person can significantly improve our health, career success and wealth.

Marriage will change you in many ways. By definition, marriage — joining two into one — is disruptive. Often, for the better. It is about pursuing new things while sacrificing others. A major contributor to that disruption though is money.

Although we’ve long moved on from the ancient practice of marrying for the sake of status, money is an irrevocable part of marriage, at times, for better, and at times, for worse. Here is what research has uncovered about the relationship between money and marriage.

The relationship between money and marriage

Married people are wealthier than single people.

 A 2005 study tracking people in their 20s, 30s and 40s found that married people experienced a 77% increase in wealth over single people. In fact, married individuals in the study saw their wealth rise 16% for each year of marriage. This makes sense considering married couples can combine incomes and share expenses.


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