13:55 PM

zendough.com Survey Finds Nearly One in Five Americans Avoid Discussing Household Finances Before Marriage

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) -  As wedding season approaches, and young couples across the country get ready to invest in each other, too few take the time before tying the knot to discuss the financial implications of starting a family -- a major potential source of stress for married couples. In fact, one out of five respondents in a new survey revealed that they avoided the subject altogether before getting hitched. zendough.com is offering tips to couples to help them manage their finances before walking down the aisle and offers resources to help them stay financially together for years to come.

The newly released Zogby survey commissioned by zendough.com found that nearly one in five respondents (19.4 percent) either didn't think of discussing finances before getting married or thought about having "the talk" but avoided the conversation. Only one-fourth (24.2 percent) talked about finances and took the important step to create a budget before walking down the aisle. One-third (33.3 percent) said they did not know their spouse's credit score, even though one spouse's poor credit score could impact a couple's access to credit in the future.

"Discussing finances with your significant other can be scary and awkward, but being open and honest about your individual financial situation can help you avoid issues or stress down the road," said Heather Schneider, education director for zendough.com. "zendough.com provides personalized checklists with resources, tips and tools to help couples honestly, calmly and intelligently discuss and prepare for specific goals, such as buying a home and starting a family, before getting married."

Before getting married, the experts at zendough.com offer the following tips:

  • Be honest with your future spouse and discuss your financial goals and dreams.

  • Make a list of creative ways to manage wedding expenses. For example, using potted flowers and making the invitations yourself can help you shrink your costs without reducing your style.

  • Discuss whether to establish joint checking and savings accounts.

  • Develop a money management plan that meets both your needs.

  • Allocate part of your monthly budget to saving for a down payment on a home or other large purchase. For example, if you'll jointly earn $100,000 per year, saving 5-10 percent of that could help cover a portion of a down payment on a home.

  • Regularly review your credit and debt information at a site like zendough.com to help each of you better understand your collective financial situation.

Before starting a family, the experts at zendough.com offer the following tips:

  • Make a list of the essentials and the "nice to haves" for your baby and focus on the essentials. For instance:

    • Evaluate your medical insurance policy to see what expenses will be covered during pregnancy and infancy.

    • You probably don't need that top-of-the-line, high-priced stroller or crib with all the bells and whistles. Consider purchasing a highly recommended, reputable and safe stroller or crib that still fits within your budget and you'll have money left over for diapers and formula.

    • While it may seem early, couples can open a tax-advantaged or other college fund for their newborn by setting aside a specific amount each month. This can help alleviate stress when it's time to send kids off to school.

  • Research the cost of childcare and discuss which options are right for your family.

  • Do your best to be sure your financial house is in order before baby arrives. You can get started on this by working together to reduce debts and making sure both of you have credit that's in good standing.

  • Create a "baby budget" in advance of having the baby. Consider putting away money now for daycare, diapers, food and clothes. Remember, childcare services can cost a few hundred dollars per week or more and just one container of formula can run as much as $25-30 (and it goes fast). Be smart -- plan ahead.

  • Having a baby is an exciting time, but don't let spending on gifts and clothes for your unborn child get out of control (leave that to grandma and grandpa!). Kids grow out of their newborn clothes and move on from one toy to the next very quickly.

zendough.com helps couples manage their financial situation by providing resources such as:

  • An easy way for couples to manage their finances with a separate, secure snapshot of each person's personal credit information, ID theft risk score and debt standing accessible right online at a glance.

  • Regular access to online credit scores, including a letter grade and details that can help couples identify and address any specific issues that are contributing to their current credit standing.

  • A personalized debt analysis and expert tips for managing debt. Knowing how much debt you both have can help you create a game plan to prepare and start saving for a family.

  • White glove service with direct access to a personal case manager who will work with you to minimize the harm and help you regain control of your personal information in the event your personal information is compromised.

About the Zogby Survey

Zogby International was commissioned by zendough.com by TransUnion to conduct an online survey of 2,068 adults. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate from 2/17/10 to 2/19/10. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

About zendough.com

Through a suite of easy-to-use tools, tips and resources, zendough.com by TransUnion helps consumers gain better control of their finances and guides them to making peace with their money. zendough.com offers credit scores and grades, identity theft protection and a summary of debt accounts, all designed to awaken members to their financial situation and provide them with the wisdom to achieve their financial goals. zendough.com is a direct-to-consumer product of Chicago-based TransUnion Interactive, a subsidiary of TransUnion, a global leader in credit and information management which maintains credit histories on an estimated 500 million consumers across the globe.

Editor's Note: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact John Branham at jbranham@tuinteractive.com or 312.985.3299.