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Welcome to the Family Finance Project
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The Currency of Affection: The Impact of Daily Fluctuations in Financial Satisfaction on Relationship Bliss

Couples experience conflict about various topics, from work-life balance to sex. Amidst these heated debates, there is one topic that consistently appears as a common ground for disagreement and a powerful emotional trigger: money.[1] It is common knowledge that finances can affect relationships. This is more relevant than ever today as financial stress is at its highest level in nearly a decade.[2] Whether you are dating, married, or cohabiting, financial satisfaction can have an impact on your relationship satisfaction. Dr. Casey Totenhagen and colleagues put this to the test, conducting research where couples recorded how they felt financially (like what do you feel is the level of your financial stress today?) and relationally (like how satisfied, content, and happy are you with your relationship?) every day for two weeks.2 It is no surprise that as financial satisfaction fluctuates, so does relationship satisfaction. To add to this, gender also has an impact! So, what does all this mean for you and your relationship? Let’s get into more specifics!
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Shalom Bayit: Finding Peace in the Home

The Jewish community has beautiful cultural practices and rituals that we can all learn from to foster positive outcomes in life, marriage, and parenting.[1] One example of these practices is the observance of Jewish Shabbat, or Sabbath (taking place from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday). During this time, families can connect as they eat together as a family, receive blessings, or find time to prepare traditional foods together. Dr. Heather Kelley, Dr. LeBaron-Black, and their colleagues have found that this observance can bring family members closer together as it “fosters a sense of duty and unity” in the home.
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Maneuvering Student Debt for a Fulfilling Life

Figuring out finances can create challenges, and we are here to provide some information that could be helpful for you! In simple terms, the study The Effect of Households’ Student Debt on Life Satisfaction led by Dr. Thomas Korankye[1] shows that having student-loan debt harms how satisfied people feel about their lives. Even though taking on debt is often seen as an investment in the future, it can make people feel less satisfied with their lives until the debt is fully paid off.
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Love, Money, and Attachment: How it All Connects

In their recent article, Couple-Level Attachment Styles, Finances, and Marital Satisfaction: Mediational Analyses Among Young Adult Newlywed Couples, Dr. Xiaomin Li and colleagues analyzed how relationships, finances, and attachment styles interconnect.[1]
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Is Financial Stress Good or Bad for Couple Relationships? Well, It Depends…

According to personal finance expert Rachel Cruze, “Money and marriage should go hand in hand.” Unfortunately, Cruze has also asserted that money is the number one topic that married couples argue about and the second cause of divorce behind infidelity.[1] With the significant impact of money on marriage, is there any good news for couples experiencing financial stress? Gratefully, yes!
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Does Your Credit Score Have Power in Your Relationship?

A credit score can be a dreaded 3-digit number that could be the key to either opening our doors or locking us in. Credit scores play a crucial role in all major financial crossroads including, but not limited to, (1) buying a house or a car, (2) taking out student loans, or (3) qualifying for that awesome rewards credit card you want. But can your credit score’s influence leak into other parts of your life? Research by Matthew Saxey, Dr. LeBaron-Black, and others would say yes![1] It turns out that the quality of your credit score may impact your romantic relationship in unexpected ways, including financial self-efficacy and financial deception.
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Talk is Cheap: How Parents Shape Their Kids' Money Skills 

In a recent article, Dr. Ashley LeBaron-Black and colleagues[1] explored the association between parental financial education during a child's upbringing and the financial wellbeing of those children as they transition into emerging adulthood.   
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Collegiate Coddling: Preparing Your Child for Financial Independence as a College Student

If you’ve read anything on this website, you’ve learned that parents have a significant impact on their child’s thoughts, beliefs and behaviors surrounding money. Even emerging adults report how their parents’ actions are still impacting them. A recent study[1] by Dr. Joyce Serido and other researchers focused on how emerging adults retrospectively viewed how they were parented and how it affects their financial habits and personal wellbeing in their first year of college.
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The Mental Toll of Student Debt, and Other Predictors of College Students’ Financial Stress

Dr. Kristy Archuleta and colleagues studied[1] 180 college students who sought financial counseling. Their objective was to explore the impact of financial concerns on individuals’ mental well-being. The investigation delved into various factors, including debt, individuals’ satisfaction with their financial situation, and their knowledge of finances, aiming to discern the relationships between these factors and the experience of financial stress. The primary focus of the study was to uncover the influence of student debt on an individual’s financial anxiety.
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How Parents and Social Factors Influence Finances During Ramen-Filled College Years

The years following high school are a time of financial change and stress.[1] High school graduates who opt for a college education often find themselves trading home-cooked meals for microwave ramen. Many college students find themselves with limited funding throughout their education, often graduating with debt.[2] Lacking funds increases the importance of healthy financial habits. After all, to some degree financial success is less about how much you have, and more about how you handle what you have. However, many students do not have the financial resources and information needed to successfully navigate these years. Are there ways in which these young adults can enter college better prepared?
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Ashley LeBaron-Black
About Ashley LeBaron-Black

Meet The Team

Too often academics live in an ivory tower. They spend months or years conducting a study with insightful results, only for a few other researchers to ever hear about it. We’d like to change that. The purpose of this website is to share research findings in an easy-to-read and easy-to-apply format. This is your one-stop-destination for understanding family finance research for parents, couples, and emerging adults. We hope to see you frequently.

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