True.com, a dating website, recently asked some 2,000 of its users what couples should spend more time discussing: women chose money, men chose sex. "Hot sex isn't what keeps people together," says Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University. "But not being on the same page about finances can be fatal."
In this month's Money Magazine research shows married couples are astonishingly clueless about many aspects of their financial life together. Half of pairs came up with completely different figures when asked to estimate their family's income and net worth. And, about a third of those surveyed admitted to lying to their partner about money. The article attributes this problem to the way couples divide financial labor in the family --who pays the bills, who invests, who buys insurance and who files the taxes. The article suggests the solution is to talk to each other. It advises reinforcing informal talks about money with a more pointed sit-down in which you review each other's savings.
Here are some things you both need to know: how much money did your spouse earn last year, what's the last big purchase your spouse made, how much does your spouse owe, what's the current value of your spouse's 401k, how much did the two of you report in joint income on your tax return last year.
Have you ever lied to your spouse about how much something cost? Do you look at your spouse's credit card bills? In between balancing work and home life, do you considering discussing finances a top priority?