• Family Life

Money Is A Major Stressor In a Relationship; Here’s How You and Your Partner Can Get Set for Success

April 9, 2018 | Michelle Brownstein, CFP®

Love trumps money, according to a new survey in which we explored Americans’ attitudes about love and money. But money is also the biggest stressor when it comes to love.

The Personal Capital Love and Money Survey found that close to four out of five Americans (78%) think finding true love is more important to them than being wealthy, and that when choosing a significant other, honesty is by far the most important quality to the majority (57%) of Americans.

But perhaps somewhat paradoxically, money was found to be the biggest stressor in a romantic relationship, according to more than half (54%) of Americans. Men and women feel they have different financial strengths, with budgeting identified as a key strength of women by 64% of respondents, and negotiating identified as a key strength of men.

So what are some of the conversations you should be having with your significant other? Here are some ideas:

  • Debt numbers – Does your partner have any debt, and if so, how much and what kind is it? Keep in mind that $50,000 in high interest credit card debt different from a $50,000 mortgage.
  • Income picture and job stability – What does your partner look like in terms of income now and in the future? Will they be able to contribute to a long-term financial picture, or will you fly solo on that?
  • Savings patterns – What does it mean to save? Does your partner plan for the long-term and save accordingly?
  • Spending patterns – Spending drastically impacts what you can save. No matter how much you or your partner makes, if you spend the majority of it, then you’re unable to save toward any future plans.
  • Long-term financial goals – What are you long-term goals separately, and together? Being in sync and on track to reach your goals means first identifying them, and then working out a plan together to reach them.

Love and money go hand in hand, despite numbers showing that on the surface, many people prioritize them differently. Love should be about the heart, not the wallet, but even the strongest romantic bond will sometimes be tested by financial realities. When it comes to money, men and women often have vastly different attitudes, so couples should have those conversations early in a relationship to build a foundation of trust and honesty.

Learn more about Americans’ attitudes about the intersection of love and money, as well as how the sexes think they stack up when it comes to finances.

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