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MONEY: The Top Reason Couples Fight

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Couples have been fighting over money for as long as there has been money. And there’s no end in sight. According to a recent posting from Bankrate blogger TheCashlorette.com, nearly half of Americans (48%) who are married or living with a partner admit to arguing over finances.

Of those in serious relationships who confess to arguing about money, the vast majority say it has to do with spending habits; 60% say either one person is spending too much or one person is being to frugal.

The remainder are fairly evenly split between dishonesty about spending or savings, how to divide the bills and something else involving money altogether.

Differences in opinion when it comes to money can start early in a relationship – starting with who picks up the tab on a date. 

Women are more likely than men to let the other person pay for it (46% versus 2%) or to split the bill (37% versus 9%). Men, on the other hand, are more likely to pick up the entire bill themselves compared to women (85% versus 8%). Millennials prefer to split the bill (33%) – more than any other age group and nearly twice as much as Gen Xers (17%).

"It's nice to see that splitting the bill is popular with Millennials and hopefully catching on with older generations," said Sarah Berger, Founder of TheCashlorette.com. "Dating can be expensive.  A person shouldn't have to go into debt while looking for a significant other."

Dating can certainly put a dent in your savings account, if you're not careful.   When asked how much is appropriate for adults to spend on the first date, older Millennials (ages 27-36) and Gen Xers' (ages 37-52) median response: $100; twice as much as younger Millennials, Baby Boomers (ages 53-71) and the Silent Generation.

Assuming the dating is successful and proceeds to an engagement, how much money should be spent on an engagement ring? 

One month's salary (23%) is the most popular answer across all generations.  Interestingly, 41% of older Millennials say someone should spend one month's salary or even less. 

People who are married or living with a partner also find spending only up to one month's salary more acceptable than those who aren't married or living with a partner, 35% versus 21%, respectively.

Sarah Berger is "The Cashlorette."  TheCashlorette.com (a Bankrate, Inc. company) is a personal finance blog for young women.