Why Financial Incompatibility Is A Huge Issue Among Single Millennial Women

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May 24 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Financial compatibility is all about being on the same page and understanding each other’s views of finances. This includes how each partner feels about managing debts, spending habits, financial priorities, saving goals, and their overall outlook on money. You and your partner may want to have the same amount of children and to start a life in the same city – but do your financial goals align?

Financial incompatibility has become a huge issue among single millennial women. According to a recent report from Credit Karma, 31% of millennials have broken up with their partner over money. They even found that millennials fight with their partners about money more than any other relationship issue. It’s safe to say financial incompatibility is a huge issue among single millennial women, and Her Agenda is breaking down three reasons why it’s the newest red flag to watch out for.

Unequal Financial Responsibility

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There’s always going to be one partner earning more money than the other. Gone are the days of men being the assumed breadwinner, though, in opposite-sex marriages. In almost 30% of opposite-sex marriages, women are now equal-earners. However, one partner earning more than the other isn’t typically the issue. The line between financial compatibility and financial incompatibility is towed when one partner is expected to pay for everything.

Disparities in financial contributions or responsibilities can strain a romantic partnership, particularly if one shoulders the bulk of financial burdens while the other remains financially irresponsible. This can include anything from covering dates to paying for bills.

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These potential issues can be avoided with an honest conversation. According to the 2023 Planning & Progress study by Northwestern Mutual, 40% of millennials say an honest conversation about your long-term financial goals should happen before a relationship gets serious. If you’re the breadwinner, having the money talk early on with your partner is important to assess your financial compatibility and nip unequal financial expectations in the bud.

When having the money talk, make sure you’re both relaxed, prepared to listen, and focused on setting common goals. Read more from Her Agenda about how to have the money talk with your partner when you’re the breadwinner.

Debt and Financial Stress

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According to Morning Consult’s latest State of Consumer Banking & Payments report, seventy-two percent of millennials are at least somewhat concerned that their financial situation will prevent them from having what they want in life. Regardless of this generational stress, millennial women are outpacing men in homeownership and financial literacy – allowing them to build the lives they dream of.

Why would they let a financially incompatible partner get in the way of that? If a partner has significant debt or is financially irresponsible, millennial women don’t want to take on the burden. This may be why 45% of women aged 24 to 44 are expected to be single by 2030,

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Different Spending Habits

Millennials – especially millennial women – have long been accused of being financially irresponsible and spending too much money on material things. Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, a personal finance expert and host of the “Money Confidential” podcast, reported to CNBC that the opposite is true.

O’Connell Rodriguez told CNBC the narrative that millennials are financially irresponsible is severely exaggerated. She stated that increased expenses are indicators of the times we live in, and every generation is spending money that way – not just millennials. So, it’s no surprise that reckless spending is a huge deal-breaker for single millennial women.

According to the New York Post, 45% of millennial women would make investing a financial windfall their top priority with 39% planning to put it in the bank – showing the importance of financial responsibility for millennial women. Per the 2023 Credit Karma report, 17% of millennials reported reckless spending to be their biggest red flag regarding financial incompatibility.

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Kelsey Kryger
By: Kelsey Kryger

Kelsey Kryger is a writer specializing in lifestyle, health, fitness, and business/entrepreneurship. Her work has been featured in Parade, UNATION, SimpliFaster, Beyondish, Planet Protein, and more.

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