First, for full disclosure, I am married for 37 years, carry little debt, and my mortgage balance is <$10,000. Little is more important than honesty in a relationship, but this read in today’s Paris Post-Intelligencer made me laugh. I even forwarded a copy to my recently married son. Here are the highlights.
By the way, Paris is not THE Paris. This is from Paris, Tennessee.
- Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so the last thing you want to do is go in unprepared.
- Money is the No. 1 issue couples fight about. In fact, Ramsey Solutions released a study that shows money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity.
- So, making sure you’re on the same page about your finances with your future spouse is extremely important.
The article’s author claims to have three bestselling books on financial literacy. She might need to tie together some numbers because there seems to be a disjoint between household debt and divorce.
First, analysts analyze, so we pull numbers on divorce rates in Tennessee. In fact, they are very high. This local law firm cites data that says Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate with only 12.3 per 1,000 married people. Tennesse ranks tenth in the nation , with a divorce rate of 13%. By the way, Nashville has the highest rate in the state with 13.7% of people divorced. In Alaska, the divorce rate is 7.2% annually according to state data.
Now, we can’t get this article into Mercator’s Payment Journal without business numbers, so here you go.
- ValuePenquin’s annual survey on household debt indicates that the average household debt in the US based on Fed Data and Census data is $5,700 per household. Alaska is highest, with $13,048; Tennessee is ranked 44, at $6,217. With the lowest divorce rate, Massechusetts, ranks one spot better than Tennessee at number 43, with an average of $6,277 in household debt.
- As a credit manager, bankruptcy is as bad as a divorce, and Tennesse does lead the nation in that. This lawfirm cites the Memphis Business Journal with numbers that suggest 5.17 people per thousand in the state file bankruptcy, versus a national average of 2.93 per thousand.
The short story is this. It is obviously important to keep finances as a household topic. The correlation between debt, bankruptcy, and divorce is somewhat cloudy, but you cannot argue with telling the truth and managing a budget, at any cost.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group