couple squabblingIt will likely shock no one to report that American couples squabble over money, but the percentage of them that do—47%–may indeed surprise many. That’s among the revealing statistics contained in Fidelity Investments’ fifth annual Couples Retirement Study. As Paul Katzeff writes in an interesting piece that cites the data, “the top cause of financial fights is sparring over spending habits with your significant other, according to 67% of couples. Not saving enough money is the second biggest source of money spats, 37% of couples say.” His article continues:

“Bills and debt are the third and fourth biggest reasons couples argue over money, according to 33% and 29% of survey respondents.

“And those and other money rows often don’t go away by themselves. One in four couples says their money clashes over cash topics are never resolved.

“But Fidelity offers couples a bouquet of roses in the form of reassurance that there are, in fact, things you can do to avoid financial heartache in your relationship. Here are the five most popular tips for achieving financial harmony, based on answers given by respondents to the committed couples survey:

  1. 57% said save as early as possible for retirement.
  2. 41% said make all financial decisions together.
  3. 39% said make a budget and stick to it.
  4. 38% said have an emergency fund.
  5. 26% said don’t hide expenditures from each other.

“Respondents were at least 25 years old, with at least $75,000 in household income or $100,000 in investable assets.”