According to a new study, over 40 percent of people have no idea how much money their partner makes. The study, done by Fidelity, looked at 1,051 couples, so over 2,000 individuals, over the age of 25 aiming to look at couple's retirement planning. Forty-three percent didn't know how much their partner makes and, when asked to take a guess, 10 percent missed the mark by over $25,000. Yikes. That's a pretty big miss. This is especially surprising considering 72 percent of respondents said that they communicated "exceptionally" or "very well."
So how can people feel they communicate so well and be so wrong? Well, it may not actually be that they're deluding themselves. According to Yahoo Finance: "One of the lasting impacts of the recession has been a changing employment landscape, which has left many families with irregular incomes. More employers are leaning on contract or freelance work and by the year 2020, independent contractors are expected to make up 40 percent of the U.S. workforce." But is that enough of an explanation? Should we write it off to changing in employment? According to John Sweeney, Executive VP of Retirement and Investing Strategies for Fidelity, the change in employment should actually come with more clarity. He told Yahoo Finance, "When your compensation becomes more variable, it's even more important to have budgets established and make sure you're in line with how much you’re spending." I think that a little bit of mystery around money can be a good thing, it can be, because being in the dark could mean a lot of financial independence in the couple, which is healthy in a relationship. But it could also mean that one person is in the dark because they are completely dependent on their partner, which is not healthy and can contribute to infidelity. So a lot is dependent on where the mystery is coming from.
Here are things it's completely OK to keep to yourself:
I am all for sharing, but sometimes you just don't want to share a dessert. Okay, what I'm saying is I never want to share a dessert. I want my own effing dessert. IS THAT A CRIME? This also applies to snacks I have stowed away in my purse/desk/couch cushion/behind toilet. I just... I just need a lot of snacks. For me.
2. Your Favorite Hobby
OK, maybe you met and bonded over your shared love of kayaking, in which case kayak together til your heart's content. It's probably important that you do, because there are like seven people out there that like kayaking. But if you come into relationships with different hobbies it's OK, and healthy, to keep it that way. One of my friends had a boyfriend who insisted he start running with her (she had done loads of marathons and he had never jogged before) and it caused nothing but tension and fights when he did, plus it encroached on some very important alone time. Do some things together — some things, but not all of the things.
3. Your Favorite TV Show
Again, binge watching TV is a great thing to do on a cozy Saturday night in with your partner. But you don't need to hold out to watch every TV show together. It's okay to like some different things, and it's also OK not to wait the three weeks until she's ready and in the mood to catch up with your shows when you want to watch them now because... because you understand happiness. It doesn't have to be a team sport.
4. Your Best Friend
It's necessary for your friends and significant other get on, but that doesn't mean they need to be besties. When I'm dating someone it's very important my friends like them (I nearly hyperventilated before one guy had dinner with a couple of my friends because I so nervous about them getting along, even though he worked with one of them and I knew they were friendly). But it's not important that they're around each other all the time. That time with your close friends is still really important, and if you feel your significant other encroaching on that, it may be time to take a breather.