Love may be a many-splendored thing. But even it is no match for
Just in time for Valentine's Day, two new surveys highlight the
ways money woes can affect couples. Both surveys focus on how poor
communication on financial matters can lead to relationship tension
-- or worse.
Discussing finance from day one
Dr. Michelle Callahan, a psychologist and relationship expert,
partnered with Chase Card Services for its
Chase Blueprint Valentine's Day Survey
, which was released last month. That survey finds that most
consumers believe couples shouldn't avoid discussing finances, even
in the early phases of the relationship.
Among survey respondents, 65 percent believe a money talk should
happen within the first three months of a relationship. However,
almost a third said even that may be too late. Thirty percent of
those surveyed believe discussions regarding finances should begin
on day one.
Callahan echoed the
importance of financial communication
in the press release, urging consumers to use Valentine's Day as a
reminder to improve this part of their relationship.
"Finances are one of the biggest reasons relationships fail,"
said Callahan. "Being able to speak openly and honestly about
finances will only make a relationship stronger, and what better
day to take that next step than on Valentine's Day?"
If you are worried your sweetheart may be tempted to leave you
because of your excess debt, take heart. Only 6 percent of those
surveyed said they would break up or think about breaking up if
their partner had a significant amount of debt.
Money problems lead to nights on the couch
Spending your Valentine's Day delving into the world of budgets,
credit card debt and spending habits may not sound pleasant. But
the alternative to communcating regularly about money may be even
survey released last week by Quicken
reveals a range of money issues that plague couples:
- One in five survey respondents monitor their partner's
- One in three has argued with their partner about
- One in 10 has
lied to their partner about money
- One in 10 has spent the night on the couch after an
In addition, 3 percent have an account they hide from their
significant other. And if you think your honey is hiding purchases
from you, check the car trunk. It's a preferred hiding spot for 5
percent of the survey's respondents.
Finding a financial match
"Regardless of when couples decide to discuss their finances,
having the money talk with a significant other is a necessary path
toward achieving financial compatibility," said Dr. Callahan.
Depending on the stage of the relationship, that money talk may
include a discussion of consumer debt, spending philosophies and
budget priorities. In addition, if you have been concealing secrets
such as excess credit card bills or a hidden bank account, this
conversation offers an opportunity to come clean.
While discussing finances with your partner may not be the most
romantic way to spend this Valentine's, setting aside at least some
time to talk money may help ensure that you're still a couple when
the next one arrives.