Couples keep separate accounts

08 September 2004
Marriage seems to remain high on the list of priorities for young couples - but so does financial independence.

Of a group of couples on the cusp of tying the knot, half said they were not pooling any of their money, with 36 per cent more saying that they were only going to pool a very limited amount for essential bills only.

"It is commitment. But it is self-indulgent commitment," Carole Burgoyne, a psychologist at Exeter University commented.

She explained that the decision to retain financial independence showed "a short-time horizon in terms of what they are doing with money" at the same time as a long term commitment to each other in terms of the upcoming marriage.

Ms Burgoyne added that when asked about plans to share money, couples display "tension".

"They wanted to be able to go out to spend money without feeling guilty that they were spending joint money. They also wanted to be able to treat their partners sometimes, not just themselves," she said.

"Money acts as a useful kind of mirror for what is going on in a relationship."

She was speaking at the British Association's festival of science in Exeter yesterday.
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