|Abstract or Summary
- This study was designed (1) to examine credit usages as they relate
to financial problems of young married couples, (2) to investigate the
similarities of financial practices of two populations, (3) to determine
the sources of educational financial assistance and guidance used by
young couples, and (4) to compare demographic characteristics of one
sample known to have had financial difficulties and one group whose
financial position was unknown at the time of the interview.
The sample consisted of 30 young married couples who were being
professionally counseled because of financial problems (group one) and
30 couples selected from a mailing list supplied by the Marion County
Extension Service (group two). The total sample was drawn from the
Salem, Oregon area.
The couples were married at least one year and not more than five
years, 11 months and the husbands were no more than 30 years of age. Data for the study were obtained through personal interviews.
Hollingshead's Two Factor Index of Social Position, based on
education and occupation of the head of household was used to classify
the subjects into five social positions, by groups. The distributions
for both groups were skewed heavily toward the lower social levels on
The four null hypotheses that were set forth to assist in the
organization of data were rejected.
H₁ Young married couples in group one wit; show no differences
in financial practices from those in group two.
H₂ Married couples in group one will possess records with
detail no greater than that in records possessed by
H₃ Formal educational training will not vary between group
one and group two.
H₄ Financial counseling sought by young couples will not
differ between group one and group two.
Analysis of the data indicated that couples in the uncounseled
group kept records in a more readily accessable manner; they kept them
in ledger or check stub form; and a larger percentage of group two
kept track of how they spent their money.
A higher number of husbands in group one took complete charge of
financial management than the husbands in group two. There were inconsistencies
in the responses of the wives in group one. Eighty-seven
per cent of the respondents stated that they and their husbands combined
their money. However, responses by 40 per cent of the wives in group one indicated that their husbands paid the bills and handled the
Couples in both groups used a variety of credit sources. Couples
in group one held more credit cards, had a larger number of open charge
accounts, more loans from banks and consumer finance companies, as well
as a larger number of hospital, doctor and dentists bills than did the
couples in group two.
Department store and oil company credit cards were the two categories
most frequently listed when respondents were asked about credit cards
Both banks and consumer finance companies loaned to couples in
group one, however, the consumer finance company had a higher incidence
of repeat loans issued to these young couples than did banks.
Ninety per cent of the young couples in the counseled group responded
that they were being counseled and looked to the professional counselor
for guidance in personal finance. The uncounseled group turned to
parents most frequently as sources of information and guidance.
Wives in group one perceived themselves as poorer users of credit
or just equal when comparing themselves to their peers.
It was apparent from this study that young couples feel inadquately
prepared for the responsibilities faced in money management during the
early years of marriage. With an affluent credit society predicted by
many for the future, young people will need to use their total resources of time, energy and income in order to maintain financial solvency.
Educators, both adult and secondary along with parents and all others
interested in the welfare of families will need to be innovative in
communicating sound personal finance principles.