Magazine

My #1 Advice for People in Relationships

By Sallie Krawcheck

I came across a women-and-money stat that needs to be shared (and then printed on t-shirts, surfaced in viral tweets, and unpacked in classrooms): 98% of widows and divorcees would tell other women to take a more active role with their money.

98%.

It’s hard to get 98% of any group to agree on anything, but 98 f*ing percent of widows and divorcees agree they would urge other women to take a more active role in their finances.

You probably won’t be surprised that we agree with this, too. Wholeheartedly agree with this.

Here are a few other stats that fill out the picture of what’s happening when it comes to women taking control of their money in a relationship:

First: 78% of couples say they are happier when they talk about money. In contrast, in couples who don’t manage money together, 20% say they plan to leave their partner due to financial problems.

Other uncomfortable stats worth noting: 74% of women die single, and 90% of women manage their money on their own at some point in their lives, whether they want to or not. Women married to men tend to outlive them by six to eight years, on average. And it’s been found that for those who outsource the management of our money, when that money comes back to them, they have a negative surprise 74% of the time.

Thus, the 98% of widows and divorcees telling other women to take a more active role in their money.

There’s not as much research, yet, about how LGBTQIA+ couples split money, though what there is indicates that it can be hard for everyone to break out of these traditional roles, based on their earnings levels.

And this isn’t just a baby boomer or Gen X problem: 54% of high-earning millennial women outsource the management of their money to their partner. This compares to 34% of baby boomer women.*

That means that close to 40% of millennial women may be setting themselves up for a negative money surprise later in life.

So if I could give people in relationships one piece of advice about money, it would be: Keep control of, or stay involved with, the money throughout your relationship.

It’s why Ellevest has three complete guides to talking about and managing money with your partner: one for when you first start dating, one for when you start splitting the bills (which is one of our most-read articles ever — and what seems to be a big internet topic as of late), and one for when you’re married (or almost). It’s also why our money coaches host our live “Yours, Mine, and Ours: Money in Relationships“ workshop twice a month.

We know that bringing up money in relationships can be tough. And we hope these help.

One last thing: Let’s not forget that money is also a way out of a bad relationship.

It’s the freedom to leave. Saving up three to six months’ take-home pay, in cash, for emergencies, is one of the best ways to be able to do what you need to do.

Even if that seems daunting, just start. Wherever you are, just start. Taking the first step and taking control of your financial wellness means you’ll be taking care of Future You. And any loving partner would want that for the both of you.


Sallie Krawcheck Signature

I’m not sure that this means that millennials are more likely to outsource management of money to their partner or spouse; I think it means that baby boomer women are more likely to be divorced or widowed. Regardless, this isn’t a problem that is solving itself.

© 2021 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

*I’m not sure that this means that millennials are more likely to outsource management of money to their partner or spouse; I think it means that baby boomer women are more likely to be divorced or widowed. Regardless, this isn’t a problem that is solving itself.

Information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable but not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness.

All opinions and views expressed by Ellevest are current as of the date of this writing, for informational purposes only, and do not constitute or imply an endorsement of any third party’s products or services.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest. Her life’s mission is to help women to reach their financial and professional goals.