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BBC六分钟英语 - How much is your spouse worth? 你知道你的爱人有多少私房钱吗?

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Almost two million married couples in the UK keep their finances secret from their partner, new research suggests. And around 44% of married people don't know what their spouse earns. Tune in to Neil and Alice to find out what they think about relationships and money and learn some related vocabulary.

This week's question

What percentage of married couples in the UK don't know exactly what their spouse earns?

a) 4%?

b) 14%?

c) 44%

You can hear the right answer at the end of the programme.

Vocabulary

go dutch

share the cost of something, for example a meal

spouse

husband or wife

to be in debt

to owe money to someone

mortgage

where a bank lends you money to buy a house

hard cash

physical money - the coins and banknotes

cheapskate

someone who doesn't like spending money,

budget

the money you have available for something and a plan for how to use it

agree to differ

accept that we have different opinions on something

Transcript

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Alice

Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Alice...

Neil

... and I'm Neil. Hello.

Alice

Hello, Neil. Now tell me, do you usually go dutch when you take someone out to dinner?

Neil

Now go dutch means to share the cost of something, for example a meal in a restaurant. Well Alice, no, I usually expect my date to pay actually.

Alice

I hope you're joking, Neil. But I wouldn't be surprised! Personally, I think it's a nice gesture to offer to pay for the meal when you're on a date.

Neil

Yeah. But it can depend on the situation - some people might be very offended if you offered to pay for everything!

Alice

Well yes, true. Clearly you're not going to offend those people, Neil, though are you? And I won't be going to dinner with you any time soon.

Neil

Well, I didn't ask so calm down, Alice! Actually, money matters can cause relationship problems in couples - and that's the subject of the show. Here's today's quiz question based on a UK survey. Ready, Alice?

Alice

I am indeed.

Neil

What percentage of married couples don't know exactly what their spouse earns? Is it:

a) 4%?

b) 14%?

Or c) 44%

Alice

Well, gosh! I think b) 14%. Yes, that sounds about right to me.

Neil

Well, we'll find out if you're right or wrong later on. Now, it seems important that couples are honest about their finances because it can have an impact on their future financial options together.

Alice

Yes, that's right. If you're buying a house together and then find out later that your spouse - your husband or wife - is thousands of pounds in debt, then the chances are you won't be able to get a mortgage. To be in debt, by the way, means to owe money to someone.

Neil

Good point. A mortgage is where a bank lends you money to buy a house. Let's listen now to what Arabella Russell, a relationship therapist, has to say about this.

INSERT

Arabella Russell, relationship therapist

The fact of the matter is it's very difficult - it can be very difficult - to talk about money. Often when we talk about money, it's emotions very close to us - there's guilt, there's shame. What have we done in the past? To start those conversations is complicated. Money can be about how we value ourselves, how we feel valued. It's not just a simple case of talking about hard cash.

Neil

Arabella talks about 'hard cash'. Now what does that mean?

Alice

Well, we say hard cash when we talk about physical money - the coins and banknotes - as opposed to other types of payment.

Neil

And why do we find it so difficult to talk about cash, Alice?

Alice

Well, because we get emotional about it! Arabella talks about feelings of guilt and shame. And for many of us, money isn't simply money - it can be about how we value ourselves or feel valued.

Neil

Right - so if I were to buy you a cheap engagement ring you would feel undervalued.

Alice

Nice example, Neil! You can't be a cheapskate when it comes to engagement rings! So how much would you spend on our engagement ring, Neil?

Neil

Well... um... I didn't know we were getting married! But if I was buying an engagement ring for you Alice, I think definitely I would spend about... you know around... in the region of ... mmm pounds...

Alice

Sorry, Neil, I didn't quite catch that. Alright!

Neil

Are you calling me a cheapskate?

Alice

I certainly am, Neil. Cheapskate means someone who doesn't like spending money, by the way. Moving on - let's hear more from Arabella about how people have different attitudes towards money.

INSERT

Arabella Russell, relationship therapist

Accept the fact that in your relationship you might do money differently - there might be a spender there might be a saver. It's very tempting if your partner does things differently to say they're wrong. They might do it differently because they see money differently. Do it differently but have a budget. Of course be honest about each other but recognise that you might just have a different view of money.

Neil

Now that sounds like excellent advice to me! I'm a saver, and I'm not ashamed to say it. Why waste money on an expensive engagement ring? Engagements don't always last. You might drop the ring down the kitchen sink or...

Alice

How romantic, Neil!

Neil

... it could be stolen or you might meet someone else.

Alice

Indeed. Now I know I shouldn't say you're wrong... but you're wrong! You have to invest in a relationship if you want it to work.

Neil

Calm down. I see money differently to you. I'm a saver and you're a spender, and that's all there is to it. And a budget means the money you have available for something and a plan for how to use it.

Alice

Well, we'll have to agree to differ. And that means accept that we have different opinions on this one! Can we have the answer to today's quiz question then, please?

Neil

Yes, we can. I asked: What percentage of married couples don't know exactly what their spouse earns? Is it:

a) 4%?

b) 14%?

Or c) 44%

Alice

And I said b) 14%.

Neil

And you are absolutely and completely... wrong! The correct answer is 44%. Now that's according to new research conducted by the UK credit report service, Noddle, who also found that an astonishing 1.9 million married couples actively try to keep their finances secret from their partners!

Alice

Gosh, what a lot of people! Can we have today's words again then, Neil, please?

Neil

Yes, we can. Here they are:

go dutch spouse to be in debt mortgage hard cash cheapskate budget agree to differ

Alice

Well, that brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English. We hope you thought today's programme was good value. Please join us again soon. See you then.

Both

Bye.

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