RSS
Does marriage make you poorer?
The conventional wisdom is that getting married is good for your checking account. Is that still true?

"Wean yourself off of fun now," lovebird,  said Jessica Pressler in New York Magazine. Some young New York couples are paring back date expenses during the recession, and one couple told The New York Times they’re even embracing the new “penury”—“they feel it’s helping prepare them for the Next Step,” marriage. “Ha, that’s right,” because "that’s exactly what marriage is like: a recession. One loooong recession that never ends. Ever.”

Marriage may not actually make you poorer, said Barbara Kiviat in Time. But it probably won’t make you richer, either. The “conventional wisdom” is that sharing a mortgage and other big expenses lowers the cost of living, but “the economic benefit of marriage isn’t what it used to be.” Why? There are several factors, but the main reason for the narrowing married-single gap is that single women make a better living now.

Even if marriage doesn’t make you poorer, said Debbie Robins in The Huffington Post, money issues might well make you less likely to stay married. “Financial disagreements” are the reason 90 percent of divorcing couples give as the “primary cause for why their love turned to loathing.” Of course, the chances are if you’re “warring over money,” you’re really fighting over something else. But it’s good to keep in mind, in marriage and life, that money isn’t everything.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week