Overspending is so last year. Instead of dropping $100 on dinner, whisper sweet nothings about your retirement plans.

2 minute read

The sexiest thing you can do this Valentine’s Day is save your money.

Research from Life Happens, a non-profit insurance group, shows that people prioritize financial security when looking for a partner, listing it as one of the most attractive traits next to a sense of humor and intelligence.

Couples are more likely to openly discuss finances in the first eight months of their relationship than they are to say “I love you.”

Overspending is one of the most popular turn-offs in a relationship and a GOBankingRates survey found that almost no one thinks “too cheap” is a dating deal-breaker. Your partner might be more open-minded about money than you think.

Most people said that instead of making frivolous purchases, their spouse can demonstrate their love financially by saving up to buy a home, paying off debts, and planning for retirement.

And with more people paying attention to the economy, it’s no surprise that couples are gaining the confidence to talk about money.

“Over the past two decades, we’ve seen a shift with a growing number of Americans, particularly younger generations, being more comfortable discussing finances,” said Faisa Stafford, president and CEO of Life Happens. “These conversations are often the first step for people to feel secure both in their relationship and financially.”

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What’s the big deal?

Talking about money has always been taboo.

In 2017, the majority of divorced couples realized they didn’t have an accurate understanding of their ex-spouse’s salary, student loan debt, bill payment history, retirement savings, and credit score. Sixty percent also said that money played a role in their divorce. At that time, most people said they avoided talking about money with their spouses.

“There are many reasons why we fall in love,” Debt.com founder and CPA, Howard Dvorkin, says. “But there’s one big reason we fall out of it: money.”

Financial infidelity, being secretive about money, can severely damage trust within a relationship – if not end it entirely.

Financial infidelity can mean:

  • Keeping your income a secret
  • Opening a credit card that your partner doesn’t know about
  • Secretly saving money in another account
  • Using your partner’s credit card or credit identity without telling them

Find out: 8 Warning Signs of Financial Infidelity in a Relationship

Talking about money early on in the relationship and as it develops can prevent future misunderstandings and mistrust. Without clear and regular communication, couples might not be on the same page about saving, career, or retirement goals.

While couples are becoming more comfortable talking about joint bank accounts and end-of-life planning, topics like prenups and shared debt are still seen as taboo.

“You need to know that your partner’s goals are aligned with your own or it will eventually create friction in your relationship,” Dvorkin says. “If one person is a saver and the other is a spender, it doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. However, you need to be open and honest so you can figure out how to move forward together as a couple.”

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About the Author

Gillian Manning

Gillian Manning

Gillian Manning graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2021 with her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At FAU she served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, the University Press. During her time there, the paper saw an increase in content production, readership, and engagement. Before she even graduated, Gillian was published in various outlets such as South Florida Gay News and the Boca Raton Tribune.

Published by Debt.com, LLC