Nearly half of Finnish couples quarrel about money

09.11.10 9:00 | Lehdistötiedotteet

Nordea’s survey indicates that most Finnish couples have shared finances. The finances of every second couple also cover personal expenses. Yet, surprisingly often money causes disagreements.
Especially married couples and couples past middle age share their finances. More than one fifth of the respondents share expenses in proportion to the family’s income and keep the remainder for personal expenses.
- Every sixth couple shares household expenses evenly and leaves the rest for personal use. Young people in particular reply that they keep part of their income for personal expenses, and so do cohabitants, says Anu Numminen Nordea’s Private Economist. 
Personal or joint account?
Couples may have shared finances but still keep separate accounts. Eight couples out of ten say that they have separate cash/salary accounts. Every fifth couple has a joint bank account for household expenses. This is typical, especially in families where the spouses have under-age children together.
- The salary of only every sixth respondent goes to a joint account with the spouse. Compared to other families, in blended families the spouses seem to keep their money matters more closely separate, Anu Numminen says.
However, even in families with shared finances Finns tend to keep their savings in their own name. This is especially the case with cohabitants and women who earn more than their spouses. Furthermore, 7 per cent of the respondents have secret savings or investments their spouse is not aware of.
Nearly every second couple quarrels about money every now and then
Nearly half of the couples say they quarrel about money at least every once in a while, and young couples tend to do so more often than older ones. Every tenth respondent feels that talking about money with their spouse is difficult. In blended families agreeing on the spending of money is a cause for concern more often than in other kinds of families.
Besides quarrelling, a spouse may hide purchases from the other spouse, not reveal the actual price of a purchase or disapprove of the way the other spouse spends money. If the spouses have shared finances or joint bank accounts, it seems to be important that they have a similar attitude to spending money and saving.
- It is slightly surprising that, according to the survey, there is more dissatisfaction about money matters in families where the woman earns more than the man. The man earns more than his spouse in three households out of four and the woman in only one out of four. Yet, the survey does not indicate whether the dissatisfied party is the woman earning more than the man or the man earning less than the woman, Anu Numminen says.
The survey was carried out between 24 September and 4 October 2010 by using an Internet panel. The panel constitutes a representative sample of the Finnish population. The gender, age and place of residence of the respondents were taken into account in the interviews. The interviews covered married couples or cohabitants between 18 and 65 years of age, altogether 1,091 people.

For further information: 
Anu Numminen, Private Economist, +358 9 165 88218
Anni Kuusisto, Group Identity and Communications, +358 9 165 42653