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What Are Financial Deal Breakers?

Like many, my partner and I have had to face some difficult conversations in “lockdown life” these past two years. And I’ll admit that when it comes to money, I’m usually the one to shy away from conversation.

But as we close in on the third year of the ongoing global pandemic, it’s clear that finances are becoming an increasingly important part of our personal romantic relationships.

Our newly released 2022 Love & Money Report* finds that:

  • Half of U.S. adult respondents (50%) say the pandemic made financial stability in a partner more important to them.
  • Over a third (36%) say that COVID-19 has made them realize they can’t be happy in a relationship where there is ongoing financial stress.

The survey, conducted by Morning Consult of 2,210 U.S. adults, dug into what couples value in their romantic partnerships and what traits are considered “deal breakers,” particularly during these uncertain times.

Financial Deal Breakers

Financial deal breakers are money-related reasons why an individual would choose to end a romantic relationship.

There are a handful of financial drivers for calling it quits. The top response? Being dishonest about how you spend or use your cash.

It was also surprising to see some of the financial variables that were not top deal breakers:

  • Feel free to give freely: just 13% of respondents would call it quits if their partner was “constantly buying gifts.”
  • Survey respondents don’t mind a thrifty partner; just 10% of people would end a relationship because their partner is “really frugal.”
  • Despite debt being a top deal-breaker, only 9% said a low credit score would cause them to end a relationship.
  • Discrepancies in net worth don’t seem to be top of mind; only 2% said that having a partner with a net worth far more than theirs would be a deal breaker, and only 5% said a partner with a net worth far less than theirs would be a deal breaker.
  • Discount devotees rejoice: a mere 1% of people would end a relationship over their partner using coupons or reward points.

Tip: You and your partner can get aligned on your finances with Personal Capital’s free money-management tools

The Bottom Line

What’s considered a “deal breaker” is highly personal. Because of that, it’s best to have open conversations about what bugs you, what drives you, and what you don’t give two cents about.

Learn more from Krista Aliga, CFP®, on how to have effective, goal-inspired money talks with your partner in our 2022 Love & Money Report.

For press inquiries and interviews, please contact Jacqueline Quasney, Personal Capital Director of PR, at [email protected].

*Survey Methodology: This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Personal Capital, between January 15-January 16, 2022 among a sample of 2,210 U.S. adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Jacqueline Quasney is Director of Brand and Communications for Personal Capital. She recently moved to the Bay Area after working for various news media outlets including ABC News, BBC and POLITICO in Washington, D.C. She thinks Personal Capital's tools have been life-changing for managing her finances and is excited to be part of a movement to help people lead better financial lives.
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This year, my top financial priority is:

Building my emergency fund
Paying off high-interest debt
Budgeting better
Saving for a short-term goal, like a vacation or new car
Increasing my investment contributions
Maintaining status quo - I’ve got this under control

Make moves toward your money goals with Personal Capital’s free financial tools.