The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn about financial management practices of 64 self-selected couples from throughout the United States who believe they have great marriages. Three themes emerged from the data. First, for most couples one of the partners handled the day-to-day finances and that required trust and communication. Second, these couples had little or no debt or had a goal of paying off debt. Third, couples lived within their means and were frugal. Other findings described these couples’ practices of having joint or separate accounts, how they dealt with financial challenges, and their view of other couples having financial challenges.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (2003). Qualitative research for education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Bryant, C., Taylor, R., Lincoln, K., Chatters, L., & Jackson, J. (2008). Marital satisfaction among African Americans and Black Caribbeans: Findings from the National Survey of American Life. Family Relations, 57, 239–253.
Burgoyne, C., Young, B., & Walker, C. (2005). Deciding to give to charity: A focus group study in the context of the household economy. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 15, 383–405.
Conger, R. D., & Conger, K. J. (2002). Resilience in Midwestern families: Selected findings from the first decade in a prospective, longitudinal study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 361–373.
DeFrain, J., & Asay, S. (Eds.). (2007). Strong families around the world: The family strengths perspective. New York: Haworth.
DeFrain, J., & Stinnett, N. (2002). Family strengths. In J. J. Ponzetti, et al. (Eds.), International encyclopedia of marriage and family (Vol. 2). New York: Macmillan Reference Group.
Dew, J. (2007). Two sides of the same coin? The differing roles of assets and consumer debt in marriage. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 89–104.
Dew, J. (2008). Debt and marital satisfaction change in recently married couples. Family Relations, 57, 60–71.
Dew, J. (2009). The gendered meaning of assets for divorce. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 30, 20–31.
Grafova, I. B. (2007). Your money or your life: Managing health, managing money. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 285–303.
Gudmunson, C. G., Beutler, I. F., Israelsen, C. L., McCoy, J. K., & Hill, E. J. (2007). Linking financial strain to marital instability: Examining the roles of emotional stress and marital interaction. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 357–376.
Henry, R. G., Miller, R. B., & Giarrusso, R. (2005). Difficulties, disagreements, and disappointments in late-life marriages. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 61, 243–264.
McConocha, D., & Tully, S. (2001). Household money management: Recognizing nontraditional couples. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 27, 258–283.
Muske, G., & Winter, M. (2001). An in-depth look at family cash-flow management practices. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 22, 353–372.
Nyman, C. (1999). Gender equality in ‘the most equal country in the world’? Money and marriage in Sweden. Sociological Review, 47, 766–793.
Olson, D. H., & Olson-Sigg, A. (2000). National Survey of Marital Strengths. Retrieved June 3, 2009 from https://www.prepare-enrich.com/pe_main_site_content/pdf/research/national_survey.pdf.
Sanders, C. K., & Porterfield, S. L. (2010). The ownership society and women: Exploring female householders’ ability to accumulate assets. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 31. Online first: http://www.springerlink.com/content/j257775466502757/fulltext.pdf.
Schwartz, P. (1994). Peer marriage. New York: Free Press.
Skogrand, L., Schramm, D. G., Marshall, J., & Lee, T. R. (2005). The effects of debt on newlyweds and implications for education. Journal of Extension, 43, Article 3RIB7. Retrieved March 18, 2010, http://www.joe.org/joe/2005jun/index.shtmlchildhoodandmarriage.
Stanley, S. M., Markman, H. J., & Whitton, S. W. (2002). Communication, conflict, an commitment: Insights on the foundations of relationship success from a national survey. Family Process, 41, 659–675.
Stinnett, N., Sanders, G., & DeFrain, J. (1981). Strong families: A national study. In N. Stinnett, J. DeFrain, K. King, P. Knaub, & G. Rowe (Eds.), Family strengths 3: Roots of well-being (pp. 33–42). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Wallerstein, J. S., & Blakeslee, S. (1995). The good marriage. New York: Warner Books.
About this article
Cite this article
Skogrand, L., Johnson, A.C., Horrocks, A.M. et al. Financial Management Practices of Couples with Great Marriages. J Fam Econ Iss 32, 27–35 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-010-9195-2
- Financial management
- Great marriages
- Marriage education