Finances are complicated. Figuring out how to manage credit card or student loan debt, save for emergencies, future goals, and retirement, and still manage to have a comfortable life in the present can be a tall order — something that many young Americans are struggling with.
And as if these challenges weren't already enough, the pressures that come with financial planning are affecting the way many millennials approach their romantic relationships.
The fact is, millennials have a lot of debt. A recent NBC News poll found that 62% have more debt than they do savings. And according to a 2019 Bankrate survey, just 40% of Americans are prepared to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense. This shaky financial footing means that millennials often approach partnerships much differently from how their parents did. Today, millennials are increasingly postponing marriage, and financial instability and student loan debt have a lot to do with it.
When it comes to figuring out how to organize not only your but your partner’s financial health, things can get tricky. Building a financially sustainable life isn’t cut-and-dry — every couple’s circumstances are different. For this reason, we asked ten anonymous individuals across the country to open up about how they approach finances in their relationship, what's working, and what they wish things would look like.
From enmeshing finances to private bank accounts to resentment around debt, these couples illustrate just how varied millennial finances can be — and shed much-needed light on how we might have more candid conversations about money with our partners and, in doing so, build sustainable relationships with sturdy financial futures.