Wednesday, November 14th, 2018
Financial Management Behaviors, Financial Concerns, and Relationship Happiness: A Comparison of Married and Cohabiting Respondents
Using data from the Familial Response to Financial Instability Study (Dew & Xiao, 2011), the purpose of the current study is to example similarities and differences in the usage of positive financial management behaviors among married and cohabiting couples and how these behaviors influence the current financial state (debt and assets), financial concerns, and relationship happiness of these participants. Among married couples, cash, credit, and savings management behaviors are related to debt and asset accumulation, while credit and savings behaviors are related negatively to financial concerns. Cash and insurance behaviors are also related positively to relationship happiness. Among cohabiting couples, savings behaviors are related positively to asset accumulation, while insurance behaviors are related positively to debt accumulation. The results of the current study identify potential similarities and differences in the influence of positive financial management behaviors among married and cohabiting couple relationships. Promoting positive financial behaviors, especially during times of economic uncertainty, may not only reduce couples' debt and enhance asset accumulation, but also reduce the level of financial concerns couples experience. These factors may also help couples to maintain or possibly improve relationship quality. Although exploratory in nature, the findings are promising, but they also suggest further need to examine the role of positive financial management behaviors and their influence on couple relationships, particularly from a longitudinal perspective.