How couples view and manage money has an impact on the health of their relationships. Conventional wisdom says that a quick way to squelch a happy occasion with your partner is to raise the subject of money.
However, recent reports and studies indicate that may be changing. A 2016 survey by Ameriprise Financial found that 77% of couples are in basic agreement about their finances. And there’s even better news for millennial couples: a 2016 Chase Bank Generational Money Talks Study shows that they are much more comfortable having conversations about money, thanks to their boomer parents, who are more open about discussing money with their children as opposed to earlier generations.
The Chase study also indicates that millennials understand the important role money plays in their lives. It reports that 78% of millennials follow a budget, 77% say that they have confidence to make complex financial decisions and 64% are optimistic about their financial future.
Millennial blogger and former communications associate for the Ecumenical Stewardship Center Timothy Siburg has shared examples of how he and his wife Allison personify these statistics. They make regular, meaningful conversations about money a priority, such as their monthly pancake breakfasts to discuss their finances. He says of these regular budget meetings:
“This taking a step back is not just a financial thing. It’s a faith practice. There is prayer involved, and giving thanks.
I give thanks that my wife and I, though our income levels have fluctuated, for the most part have meaningful work. I give thanks for all of the people who have helped us get to this point as friends, mentors, cheerleaders and collaborators. I give thanks for the gentle but important reminders of why we took on student loans and moved from Washington to California and Minnesota.
We did so because of a sense that we wanted to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We wanted to be part of God’s work in the world, and felt like God created us and is calling us to be a part of that work in some way.”
So millennials, give yourselves a collective fist bump, high five or pat on the back. Stewarding our God-given relationships and resources is one of our most essential responsibilities as followers of Jesus. Thanks for providing hope that it is possible to have open, honest conversations about money with the important people in our lives on our discipleship journeys of navigating faith and finances.
Editor’s note: This post was revised from a series introducing the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS Initiative, which engages young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you read here and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page, follow COMPASS on Twitter, and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.