How Important is Money to Marriage? Apparently Not as Important as This

What’s the key to a successful marriage?

My parents have stuck together for 27 years, so I text my mom the question.

Her response: “Trust! Laughter! Compromise! Spending time together! Good conversation! Support! Emotional support!” (Yes, all of those exclamation points are necessary, apparently.)

Some would perhaps add that “spark” (which I refuse to discuss with my mother) and maybe even God — or similar religious beliefs. I’d add similar political views because after this election… yikes. Conscientiousness is also a good one.

And an adequate income would be nice, right?

What People Say is the Key to a Good Marriage

What about just helping out around the house?

My mom has always been the stay-at-home type, so she cleaned the house, did laundry, put food on the table, maintained our yard… and more.

I swear the most my parents argued about when I was growing up (to my knowledge, at least) is housework. And apparently, they aren’t the only ones.

A recent Pew Research report illuminated the trend: “More than half of married U.S. adults (56%) — both with and without children — say sharing household chores is ‘very important’ to a successful marriage.”

This might not seem surprising, but it is when you consider what the Pew study shows is not as important:

  • Adequate income
  • Shared religious beliefs
  • Having children
  • Agreement about politics.

While 46% of Americans say, yes, you need to bring home some bacon (not literally, but that would be nice, too), 61% say it’s more important to share household chores.

In fact, chores rank right up alongside “satisfying sexual relationship” at 63% and “having shared interests” at 66%.

What do I conclude from this? For all you singles: Update your Tinder profile to include, “Interested in those who do housework, cook, etc.” Delete “Looking for a wealthy banker, lawyer, etc.” But be sure to ask the important financial questions.

And for all you married folks: Perhaps worry less about your bank account and more about the dust bunnies rolling through your house.

Your Turn: Do you agree? Is doing chores more important than providing a sturdy income?

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents. She prefers doing laundry instead of dishes.