The following statistics cover financial attitudes and behaviors. This includes money and marriage statistics, spending habits, financial infidelity and financial planning statistics. This page is designed as a resource for reporters and other members of the media seeking financial behavior stats. It is also made available for those writing grants for marriage and money programs, asset building initiatives, etc.
- The Stress in America™ survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) between Aug. 4-29, 2014, among 3,068 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the U.S. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting also was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
- Eighteen percent of those surveyed say money is a taboo subject in their family, and 36 percent say talking about money makes them uncomfortable.
- Seventy-two percent of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time and 22 percent say that they experience extreme stress about money (a rating of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale about their stress about money during the past month).
- Twenty-six percent of adults report feeling stressed about money most or all of the time.
- Significant sources of money-related stress reported by Americans include paying for unexpected expenses, paying for essentials and saving for retirement.
- Thirty-two percent of adults say that their finances or lack of money prevent them from living a healthy lifestyle.
- Twelve percent of Americans have said they skipped going to the doctor in the past year when they needed health care because of financial concerns.
- The most commonly reported sources of stress include money (64 percent report that this is a very or somewhat significant source of stress), work (60 percent), the economy (49 percent), family responsibilities (47 percent) and personal health concerns (46 percent).
- The most commonly reported symptoms of stress in the past month include feeling irritable or angry (37 percent), feeling nervous or anxious (35 percent), having a lack of interest or motivation (34 percent), fatigue (32 percent), feeling overwhelmed (32 percent) and being depressed or sad (32 percent).
- Forty-one percent of adults who are married or living with a partner say that they lost patience or yelled at their spouse or partner due to stress in the past month and 18 percent of those who are employed said they snapped or were short with a coworker.
- There is a gap widening between the haves and the have-nots. In 2007, average reported stress levels were the same regardless of income, but now, those living in lower-income households (making less than $50,000 per year) report higher overall stress levels than those living in higher-income households.
- Those living in lower-income households are almost twice as likely (45 percent) as those in higher-income households (24 percent) to say that their financial situation or lack of money prevents them from living a healthy lifestyle.
- Money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress for the majority of Americans (64 percent) but even more so for parents (77 percent), millennials (75 percent) and Gen Xers (76 percent).
- Parents and younger generations are less likely than Americans overall to report being financially secure (parents: 5.0 on a 10-point scale, where 1 means “not at all financially secure” and 10 means “completely financially secure”; millennials: 4.8; Gen Xers: 4.8; all adults: 5.5).
- Women report higher levels of stress about money than men (5.0 vs. 4.3 on a 10-point scale) and are more likely than men to say they feel stress about money all or most of the time (30 percent vs. 21 percent).
- The 2013 Fidelity Investments Couples Retirement Study analyzes retirement expectations and preparedness among 808 couples (1,616 individuals). Respondents were required to be at least 25 years old, married or in a long-term committed relationship and living with their respective partner, and have a minimum household income of $75,000 or at least $100,000 in investable assets.
- Less than one-half (45%) of couples agree that day-to-day financial decisions are made jointly.
- Only 43% of couples report making investment decisions for retirement jointly.
- Only 28% of couples are completely confident that either partner is prepared to assume responsibility of their joint retirement finances, if necessary.
- Approximately four in ten couples (38%) who aren’t yet retired disagree as to the lifestyle they expect to live in retirement.
- One in three couples disagree as to their ideal vision for retirement. While men are significantly more likely to envision indulging in their favorite sports, women are more likely to envision spending time with family, enjoying hobbies and volunteering in their local community.
- Thirty-six percent of couples either don’t agree, or don’t know where they plan to live in retirement.
- One-third (32%) of couples approaching retirement don’t agree on whether they will continue to work in retirement.
- Although many couples have joint bank accounts, 30% disagree on whether their investments are held jointly or individually.
- While women are more likely than men to advise “make all financial decisions together” (55% vs. 48%), they are less likely to advise “make a budget and stick to it” (39% vs. 44%).
- The National Foundation of Credit Counseling Financial Literacy Opinion Index posted on its website, debadvice.org, throughout July 2014 was answered by 2,148 individuals. The index, however, is not a scientific survey.
- Nearly 80% of more than 2,100 people admitted that their personal finances keep them awake at night.
- When respondents were asked “What keeps you up at night?” 13% said, “Nothing, I sleep like a baby,” which was the second highest number of responses; 4% of respondents said job security kept them up at night; 2% said marital concerns and problems with children.
- 71% of consumers admitted to having personal finance worries with not enough savings, job issues, debt, and credit topping the list. That survey was conducted in March by Harris Poll among 2,016 Americans aged 18 and older.
Stressed Out survey – NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health (July 2014)
- Parents want to set a good example: Over two-thirds of parents (69%) are very/extremely concerned about setting a good financial example for their kids.
- But, they aren’t above bribery: 48% of parents admit to bribing their kids with money to encourage good behavior. Additionally, 30% of parents admit they sometimes “borrow” money from their kids’ piggy banks.
- They have apprehensions about discussing money: 74% of parents admit to having some reluctance to talk with their kids about financial topics, most often because parents don’t want their kids to worry about finances.
- 22% of parents who identified themselves as savers carry a credit card balance most of the time.
- 28% of parents agree with the statement “I am not good with money, so I should not be the one to teach my kids about money.”
- Parents are open to finances being taught in schools: 87% of parents agree with the statement “I think it’s appropriate for kids to learn about financial matters in school.”
- 58% of kids go to their mom first with financial questions versus 39% to dad. Managing day-to-day household finances is evenly split between both mom and dad, with 66% of moms claiming primary responsibility and 70% of dads. But both moms and dads said that dad was primarily responsible for investing, with 77% of dads claiming responsibility versus 43% of moms.
- Parents whose own parents were good money teachers felt more knowledgeable about managing their personal finances and investing matters than those whose parents did not prepare them well. Among the former group, 73% and 44% said they were knowledgeable about personal finances and investing, respectively, compared with 59% and 21% for the latter group.
- Kids can learn with games: 83% of parents say games are a good way to teach kids about money and 68% of kids say they have played a game involving saving and spending money.
Money Trumps Children and In-Laws as Source of Relationship Stress According to American Express Spending & Saving Tracker (2010)
- The research sample of 2,008 adults included the general U.S. population, as well as two subgroups – the affluent and young professionals.
- 91 Percent of Couples Find Reasons to Avoid Talking About Finances; only 43 Percent Discussed Money Before Marriage
- nearly one-in-three (30%) couples say finances cause the most stress in their relationship, followed distantly by intimacy (11%), their children (9%) and their in-laws (4%).
- While only 43 percent of the general population talked money before marriage, the number rises to 57 percent for affluent couples and jumps to 81 percent for young professionals.
- 12% of the general population say they’ve never talked about money with their spouse.
- Most couples pay their monthly bills jointly and maintain joint ownership of various household accounts. Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed share all monthly expenses, while the remaining 34 percent divide their bills each month, with methods ranging from paying certain bills individually to splitting household expenses based on income ratio.
- Among those surveyed, $275 is the average threshold at which couples need to consult with their partner before making a purchase ($395 among affluents and $249 among young professionals).
- Forty percent believe their partner spends more money than they do on things outside of household expenditures. The same number (40%) consider themselves more diligent than their partner when it comes to saving money and budgeting.
- Discussions on household finances lead to arguments among 45 percent of the general population, 44 percent of affluents, and 72 percent of young professionals.
- Forty-six percent of the general population say they’ve bought something their partner didn’t agree with. More than a quarter (27%) of respondents have misrepresented the amount of a purchase and 30 percent report they have hidden purchases from their partner.
- The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 1,001 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between January 24th and January 28th, 2014.
- Men in a relationship are twice as likely to consider themselves the key decision maker compared to their partner (41 per cent think they are the boss, 15 per cent think their partner is the boss).
- Women are also more likely to consider themselves the key decision maker compared to their partner (32 per cent think they are the boss, 19 per cent think their partner is the boss).
- Men in a relationship are twice as likely to consider themselves more focused on saving compared to their partner (42 per cent think they are more focused, 19 per cent think their partner is more focused).
- Women are also twice as likely to consider themselves to be more focused on saving compared to their partner (44 per cent think they are more focused, 21 per cent think their partner is more focused).
- Men in a relationship are twice as likely to point a finger at their partner for spending too much money instead of saving for retirement (37 per cent blame their partner, 23 per cent take ownership of the issue).
- Men are also twice as likely to blame their partner for not taking saving for retirement seriously (35 per cent blame their partner, 18 per cent take ownership).
- Women in a relationship are also more likely to accuse their partner for spending too much money instead of saving for retirement (36 per cent blame their partner, 25 per cent take ownership).
- Women are also twice as likely to blame their partner for not taking saving for retirement seriously (39 per cent blame their partner, 21 per cent take ownership).
- What Canadians think are the top reasons which could cause a couple to divorce: 68 per cent identified conflict over finances, ahead of infidelity (60 per cent) and disagreements about family (36 per cent).
Region % of couples who have discussed retirement % of couples who have had a detailed discussion about retirement % of couples who have discussed how they will achieve their retirement goals % of couples who have discussed what their ideal retirement lifestyle will look like % who think finances contribute to divorce National 87 25 45 48 68
Methodology: A sample of HR professionals was randomly selected from SHRM’s membership database, which included approximately 250,000 individual members at the time the survey was conducted. Overall, 458 responses were received, yielding a response rate of 15%. The margin of error is +/-5%. Data were collected from December 2011 through January 2012.
- What are the top personal financial challenges for employees? HR professionals reported that personal financial challenges that affected employees at their organizations the most were an overall lack of monetary funds to cover personal expenses (49%), medical expenses (35%) and saving for retirement (26%).
- Do personal financial challenges affect overall employee work performance? 83% of HR professionals indicated that personal financial challenges have a large or some impact on employee work performance in their organizations. Ability to focus on work (47%) and overall stress (46%) were reported to be the employee work performance aspects most negatively affected.
- Do organizations offer financial education initiatives for their employees? In 2011, fewer organizations (52%) provided any kind of financial education to their employees compared with 2009 (64%).
- A study by scientist Jay Zagorsky suggests that money is consistently cited as one of the biggest areas of concern for married couples born between 1957 and 1963. Zagorsky says that many couples don’t want to admit there’s trouble.
- Going into 2008, among those adults who make New Year’s resolutions, more than half (58 percent) of these resolutions will be finance-related, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of TD AMERITRADE.
- More than one in four adults who make New Year’s resolutions say they are more likely to make resolutions having to do with personal finance than they were two years ago.
- Saving more money is cited as the most popular finance-related New Year’s resolution (69 percent) made among adults, followed by paying off debt (57 percent) and reducing spending (46 percent).
- About half (51 percent) of all finance-related resolutions fall by the wayside within a month. Among adults who make such resolutions, women are more likely than men to break their resolutions before the year is out (85 percent vs. 76 percent, respectively).
- Women are more likely than men to say investing scares them (53 percent vs. 34 percent, respectively).
- Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
- Of all these common things couples fight about [chores, in-laws, spending time together, sex and money], money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce. For wives, disagreements over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, but finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, financial disagreements were the only type of common disagreement that predicted whether they would get a divorce. [Responses from about 2,800 couples surveyed in 1987 by the National Survey of Families and Households]
- Most (55%) of those surveyed have not yet discussed a budget with their partner or spouse for holiday shopping
- Just over half (51%) report that they have not set aside money to spend on holiday gifts.
- The majority (78%) of people surveyed say that they generally agree with their partner on how much to spend on holiday gifts. Of those who do not agree on holiday spending, a larger number of women admit they would like to spend more on gifts than their spouse.
- The vast majority (93%) of those surveyed believe that their partner or spouse is open to discussing money issues.
- One quarter (25%) of people surveyed say they disagree with their partner about money monthly or more.
- Nearly one-third (29%) of respondents also report that they have argued with their partner about money in the last year.
- Younger people (18-34) are more prone to conflicts with their partner about money: 36 percent disagree with their partner about money monthly or more often, while 65 percent of those between 18-24 and 41 percent of those between 25-34 report that they have argued about money during the last 12 months.
- Three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed believe they share the same philosophy as their partner when it comes to managing money, such as saving versus spending. Younger couples are less likely to believe this is true, with only two-thirds (63%) of those between 25-34 and less than half (47%) of those between the ages of 18-24 feeling like they are on the same page as their partner financially.
Recession Ignites Financial Discord Among U.S. Couples – Jan 27, 2009
- About the Survey: The PayPal “Can’t Buy Me Love” Survey was conducted by Ipsos from December 9th, 2008 to December 19, 2008 via email invitation to online panelists. The total sample size was 7,000 adults, evenly divided between Australia, Canada, Mexico, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- 43 percent of U.S. couples, and almost a third of all couples surveyed, say the recession has caused them to argue more often, primarily about finances and household chores.
- This may be the result of a shift in the power dynamic between partners, since, about one in 10 couples report the role of primary breadwinner has changed over the past six months due to job losses or salary decreases.
- Couples in the Netherlands tend to avoid discussions about money, likewise reporting the least amount of finance-related arguments. On the contrary, couples in the U.S. and Mexico are the most likely to openly discuss their finances and report the highest instances of household arguments related to money.
- In addition to arguing, at least 10 percent of couples surveyed say they have ended a relationship due at least in part to financial issues. The United States and Mexico ranked the highest at 14 percent, the Netherlands the lowest at 5 percent.
- In Mexico, only 15 percent of respondents claimed no debt, versus 51 percent in Italy and roughly a quarter of U.S. and Australian respondents.
- In the 2008 online population survey, 71 percent of UK respondents and about half (46 percent) of Americans reported having separate accounts from their partners. In 2009, those numbers are even higher: 80 percent of UK couples and 57 percent of Americans have separate accounts.
- More couples in the U.S. are hiding purchases from their partners this year: about 23 percent reported doing so, versus 18 percent in 2008. For the second year in a row, clothing is by far the most likely purchase that women will hide from their partners, according to the survey.
- American couples typically bring the largest levels of debt into relationships (51 percent) while most couples in Italy and the Netherlands say they have no debt.
- Money is the number one cause of arguments among U.S. couples (31 percent) followed by household chores (28 percent), in-laws (22 percent) and sex (15 percent).
- Finances are least troublesome among couples in the Netherlands and the UK, where less than 20 percent of couples argue about money. Financial issues are the most troublesome in Australia, Mexico and the U.S. where more than 30 percent of couples have money issues.
PAIRS Study Shows What Couples Are Fighting About, Offers Hope for Marriages – April 2, 2010
- PAIRS Foundation surveyed 750 men and women from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties who are in committed relationships. At the time of the survey, 83 percent of respondents were married.
- Nearly two-thirds of couples in committed relationships regularly argue with each other and more than a quarter quarrel more often than not.
- The major issues couples disagree about include family finance (83 percent), career decisions (76 percent), and dealing with in-laws (70 percent).
- While most adults stick it out at home after a fight, four in ten at least sometimes leave the house following an argument.
Why Planners Don’t Hire A Planner
|I can do this myself.||
|I won’t receive value for my money; the fee is too high.||
|I might lose credibility in the eyes of a peer and/or my spouse.||
|There might be philosophical differences.||
|I can’t find a competent planner.||
|I don’t want to give up control of investments or implementation.||
|Engaging a financial planner never occurred to me.||
|My spouse feels threatened or doesn’t support engaging a planner.||
|I can’t afford a financial planner.||
|I can’t find a local planner.||
Reasons Affluent Households Don’t Have Financial Planners
|I can do the job just as well.||
|I enjoy being in control of my financial investments.||
|The fees are too high.||
|I am not sure I can find someone I can trust.||
|Unsatisfactory experience with an advisor in the past.||
Source: FPA/Wall Street Journal
- A recent survey by credit website myFICO.com showed just 12 percent of people said they have the same spending habits as their partner.
- The survey by Harris Interactive found that thrifty couples are happiest and too much debt can ruin a marriage. Utah State University researcher Jeffrey Dew says, “Couples with consumer debt tend to fight more. They are more stressed about their money and some recent research that I have done even shows that consumer debt is associated with divorce.”
- 31% of Americans who have combined their finances say they’ve lied to their spouse about money.
- 67% of those say it caused arguments.
- 16% broke up as a result.
- Another survey found that 80% of couples spent secret money; nearly 20% had a secret credit card.
- Stabilizing confidence: The percentage of workers very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement remains steady at 16 percent, which is statistically equivalent to the 20-year low of 13 percent measured in 2009. Retiree confidence about having a financially secure retirement has also stabilized, with 19 percent saying now they are very confident (statistically equivalent to the 20 percent measured in 2009).
- The percentage of retirees indicating they are very confident about paying for basic expenses has stayed level at 33 percent (statistically equivalent to the 34 percent observed in 2009).
- Fewer workers report that they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement (69 percent, down from 75 percent in 2009 but statistically equivalent to 72 percent in 2008). Moreover, fewer workers say that they and/or their spouse are currently saving for retirement (60 percent, down from 65 percent in 2009 but statistically equivalent to percentages measured in other years).
- An increased percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. Among RCS workers providing this type of information, 27 percent say they have less than $1,000 in savings (up from 20 percent in 2009). In total, more than half of workers (54 percent) report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.
- The savings goals cited by workers who have done a retirement needs calculation have increased over time. In the 2000 RCS, 31 percent said they needed to accumulate at least $500,000 for retirement. This percentage gradually increased to 43 percent in 2005 and 54 percent in 2010.
- A recent survey revealed that there are 4.5 million secret savers in Britain, with women more likely to keep money hidden from their partner.
- The research by financial services company Prudential found that nearly a fifth of women had hidden savings averaging just over £1,000.
- A poll in the U.S. found that 31 per cent of couples had committed what is dubbed ‘financial infidelity’ and were dishonest with each other about hiding cash, the level of their debts, or even how much they earn.
- A third of American couples with combined finances say they have committed financial infidelity, with both sexes lying to their partners in equal numbers, according to a Harris Interactive poll released in January.
- 67% of those couples had arguments as a result.
- 42% said it caused less trust in the relationship.
- In 16% of cases, the lying led to divorce; in 11 percent it caused a separation.
- Most oft-cited sources of stress for Americans: money (76 percent), work (70 percent) and the economy (65 percent).
- Causes of stress in America attributed to money: 2007 (73 percent), 2008 (72 percent), 2009 (71 percent), 2010 (76 percent)
|What is the most valuable step couples can take to improve their financial lives?|
|Establish financial goals||
|Create, stick to a budget||
|Pay down credit card debt||
|With traditional couples, top areas in which women tend to overspend:|
|Meals outside the home||
|With traditional couples, top areas in which men tend to overspend:|
|Sports events, equipment||
|Meals outside the home||
|Source: Financial Planning Association survey of 189 financial planners, conducted between March 9 and April 2|
- 3 in 10 Americans commit “financial infidelity” by lying to their spouses about money. The Harris Interactive online poll of 2,019 adults released Thursday showed 31 percent of American couples who have combined finances were not truthful about issues such as hiding cash or a bank account or about debt or earnings.
- Sixteen percent of couples affected by financial infidelity said the deception led to a divorce.
- 11 percent said it caused a separation.
- Sixty-seven percent said it led to an argument.
- 42 percent it lessened trust in the relationship.
- The most common lie, at 58 percent, was hiding cash.
- Fifty-four percent of respondents admitted hiding a minor purchase, 30 percent hid a bill, 16 percent did not disclose a major purchase and 15 percent hid a bank account.
- Eleven percent lied about debt and an equal number were untruthful about earnings.
- Before getting married, few couples ever really disclose their financial realities – or their skeletons. A recent online survey found only 24 percent of couples created a budget before walking down the aisle.
- Nineteen percent avoided or didn’t think of talking finances.
- 33 percent didn’t know their spouse’s credit score.
- 31% of adults who have combined assets with a spouse or partner say they’ve been deceptive about money
- 58% of these adults say they hid cash
- 15% of them say they hid a bank account
- 34% of them say they lied about finances, debt or money earned
- 11% of men say they’ve withheld information from their partner about their salary (vs. 6% of women)
- 48% of young professional couples say they hid purchases from their partner
- 12% of them say they hid purchases in a closet
- 53% of them say they misrepresented the amount of a purchase
- 34% of them say they didn’t disclose debt to a partner
Sources: National Endowment for Financial Education, Lawyers.com, American Academy of Matrimonial lawyers, American Express
- T. Rowe Price’s study “Parents, Kids & Money Survey” results from interviewing more than 800 children ages 8 to 14, in addition to 1,008 parents (split evenly between moms and dads).
- Found that parents have just as tough a time talking money with their kids as they do teaching them about sex.
- One-third of parents reported that they avoid conversations with their children about money.
- One of those big avoidance topics is mother-father disagreements on money matters. While 46 percent of parents report this as an issue, 42 percent of kids said they were aware of such conflicts.
- 77 percent of parents said they aren’t always honest with their kids about money, with 15 percent not telling the truth at least weekly.
- 43 percent of parents report being dishonest about how worried they are about money, while 32 percent tell kids they can’t afford something when they really can.
- Earlier this month, Junior Achievement and the Allstate Foundation released their Teens and Personal Finance survey, in which 56 percent of teenagers predicted they will be as financially well-off or better than their parents – a 37 percent drop from 2011’s 89 percent.
- Kids look up to their parents enough to give them higher grades as financial guides than parents give themselves. Forty-four percent of kids give parents an A (and an overall grade of B+), whereas 17 percent of parents give themselves an A (and an overall grade of B-).
- A 2011 study from Eversave.com found that 67% of women have felt guilt about a purchase.
- A survey out of the University of Hertfordshire found that the primary motivation for 79% of respondents to shop was to “cheer themselves up.”
- Research suggests that men tend to overestimate their wealth, while women underestimate it, says Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University. According to a study on this, “half of all couples provide family income values that differ by more than 10% and net worth values that differ by more than 30%.”
- Nearly half of all people have lied to their significant other about money, according to a new “Financial Infidelity” survey of 23,000 online users by TODAY.com and SELF magazine.
- Women were the worse offenders, out-lying the men 56 percent to 37 percent, according to TODAY.com.
- The most common thing women were untruthful about was shopping, such as saying something was bought on sale when it was actually full price.
- Less than 10 percent of women said they kept any serious secrets from their partner though, such as hiding a credit card or a bank account.
- Both sexes agreed on the significance of lying about money: 60 percent of those surveyed felt that being dishonest about finances is a form of cheating and two-thirds felt that honesty about money is just as important as being monogamous.
- Earlier this year, another survey of by Yahoo! and Fitness magazine found that couples fight about money more than about chores, kids, sex or in-laws. A 2009 study took things a step further and found that arguing about money is the best predictor of divorce.
2011 State of Our Unions – National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values
- The Survey of Marital Generosity indicates that income is not related to marital happiness. However, income is related to the likelihood that married mothers will consider or seek divorce.
- Wives whose household income is in the top quartile are significantly less likely to report that they are prone to separation or divorce compared to wives whose income is in the first quartile.
- Married parents who report above-average levels of financial stress—that is, worrying frequently that their income will “not be enough to meet your family’s expenses and bills”—are consistently more likely to rate their chances of separation or divorce as high, and less likely to describe themselves as “very happy” in their marriages.
- Financially stressed spouses, especially wives, are at least 7 percentage points less likely to consider themselves very happy.
- Consumer debt has a negative impact on the quality and stability of marriage for wives, but not husbands.
- Women in marriages with more than $10,000 in consumer debt are less likely to be happy in their marriages, and more likely to be entertaining thoughts of separation or divorce.
- Harris Interactive conducted the telephone survey on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs within the United States between March 8 and March 11, reaching a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults aged 18 and older by landline and mobile phone.
- 27 percent of those who are married or living with a partner said disagreements over money are most likely to prompt a spat. That made it the most volatile topic, ahead of arguments about children, chores, work or friends.
- Financial arguments most often are over differing opinions of “needs” versus “wants,” with 58 percent of those who argue about money identifying this issue as the most common cause.
- About half, 49 percent, most often argue about unexpected expenses and a third, 32 percent, argue about insufficient savings.
- Much of the relationship conflict can be traced to a failure to communicate about finances, according to the survey. More than half of adults, 55 percent, who are married or living with a partner said they do not set aside time on a regular basis to talk about financial issues.
- Three in 10 adults who are married or living with a partner have engaged in at least one potentially deceitful behavior related to their finances. The most common such behaviors include hiding purchases and making major purchases without consulting their significant other.
- Among married adults, 36 percent of those aged 55 to 64 say financial matters cause arguments, which is notably higher than the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds, 15 percent, or seniors, 20 percent, who say the same.
- The average number of arguments prompted by financial matters rises with age. While among all married adults the average number of disagreement is three per month, among those aged 45 to 54, the average number of arguments rises to four per month.
- More than half of those whose financial status has declined in the past year, 53 percent, report that financial matters are most likely to prompt arguments with their spouse.
- “Couples & Money” survey from TD Ameritrade. Conducted by Research Now on behalf of TD Ameritrade, the online survey drew 1,014 participants in early April of this 2012.
- Even in the case of bankruptcy, which was the biggest deal breaker for engaged couples, only 32% of respondents would call off the wedding. Another 27% would hesitate or postpone while 41% predicted they would do neither.
- In all cases, women were more likely than men to call off or postpone the wedding. For example, 42% of women considered bankruptcy a deal breaker compared to 24% of men.
- Foreclosure was a big issue in the minds of Midwesterners who were most likely to hold off on or postpone tying the knot. About three quarters, or 73 percent, considered it a deal breaker. The West was next in line with 66 percent of respondents reporting that credit card debt was enough to reconsider.
Courtesy of: CreditDonkey
Influence: How Women’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World for the Better by Christine Larson and Maddy Dychtwald
- Men were fully twice as likely to describe themselves as optimistic [about money].
- About 56 percent of men scored high on confidence (rating themselves as “confident,” “responsible,” and “not passive regarding money”), compared with 49 percent of women.
- One in five women in our study said she had a secret stash of money her partner didn’t know about — that’s twice the number of men with a secret stash.
- Some 70 percent of the women with a stash said it was a hedge against some economic disaster — specifically, against financial emergency (52 percent) or desertion by her partner (18 percent).
- Surveyed 50,000 young people [in the UK] between 2007 and 2011. Over 12,000 of them in the winter of 2011. The main 2011 findings refer to data from Great Britain only (i.e. young people in England, Scotland and Wales). Data for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is explored separately.
- Almost all young people (97%) had received money in the previous month. This was most commonly as pocket money or from an adult at home (82%), with girls more likely than boys to receive money in this way.
- Nearly half (45%) of all young people said they earned their own money; a quarter (25%) were paid for doing chores around the house, and a fifth (20%) said they had a part-time job.
- Around one quarter (27%) did not feel that they always had enough money
- Just over a quarter (29%) of pupils said that money worried them.
- When asked why money worried them, young people’s concerns were mainly in relation to future aspirations. Three fifths (60%) answered that they did not want to get into debt, and the same proportion said that they wanted to have a nice lifestyle.
- Nine out of ten young people reported using one or more methods of keeping track of their money, with the most common methods being informal, such as keeping track in their heads (52%). Young people also appeared to be relatively sensible with their spending, with nearly seven in ten (69%) agreeing that they would not spend money on items if they thought they might need the money for something else.
- Nearly seven in ten (68%) young people worried about getting into a lot of debt in the future, with credit card debt seen as most concerning.
- Most young people wanted to have either more (39%) or the same amount (48%) of lessons on money management at school.
- 90% of young people say that it is important to learn about managing money.
- With regard to who young people think should be delivering this information, over seven in ten (71%) thought it should be their parents and 50% thought it should be financial experts.
- Nearly three quarters (71%) of all young people discuss at least one aspect of household money with the adults at home. [But] over a quarter of young people said they never discussed anything to do with household money with the adults at home.
- Just under a quarter of young people (24%) discussed how much adults in their home saved and fewer still (22%) discussed any changes to the amount of money available in the household.
- The most common aspects discussed were the cost of food and utilities (28%), what they spend money on (25%), the amount they earn (27%), the amount they spend and save (both 19%) and changes to the household finances (17%). Just 13% talked to their parents about the types of bank accounts or savings accounts their parents have.
- There was a considerable difference in discussions between parents and children about money dependent on their social background. Those in social group DE were less likely than those in social groups AB or C to talk to their parents about what they spend money on (11% of DEs, compared with 33% of ABs and 30% of Cs), or how much they spend (10% of DEs, compared with 29% of ABs and 21% of Cs).
Nearly Half of Divorced or Separated U.S. Adults Wish They Had Spent More Time Discussing Finances Before Marriage – May 23, 2012
- A new CouponCabin.com survey reveals the importance of pre-marriage financial discussions. Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from May 1st – 3rd, 2012 among 2,210 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
- Nearly half of currently divorced or separated U.S. adults (48 percent) said they wish they had spent more time discussing finances before getting married.
- More than one-quarter (29 percent) of currently married U.S. adults said the same.
- 55 percent of divorced/separated U.S. adults said they would definitely or probably consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their finances.
- When asked what they thought were the most important topics for soon-to-be married couples to discuss regarding their finances, married, separated or divorced adults said the following:
- Spending habits – 79 percent
- Existing credit card debt – 78 percent
- Monthly budgets (e.g. household expenses) – 74 percent
- Long-term financial goals – 74 percent
- Other existing debt – 71 percent
- Division of monthly household expenses (e.g. who will pay for what) – 56 percent
- Other – 8 percent
- 41 percent of married U.S. adults said they have hidden purchases from their spouse.
- 45 percent of U.S. adults who are currently divorced or separated said they found financial “skeletons in the closet” of their spouse, significantly more than the 16 percent of those currently married.
- The financial skeletons discovered by divorced/separated U.S. adults after marriage include:
- My former spouse had a low credit score – 19 percent
- My former spouse carried large amounts of debt – 13 percent
- My former spouse lied about the income he/she made – 10 percent
- My former spouse had declared bankruptcy in the past – 3 percent
- Other – 18 percent
- Just 9% of the population (4 million) would feel comfortable discussing their money situation with anyone.
- 7% of us would be happy to tell someone we didn’t know how much we earn.
- Many of us just don’t feel comfortable (36%) or confident (27%) talking about money.
- If someone we didn’t know asked us how much we earn, 83% of us would be shocked, would try to avoid answering or would tell them it’s none of their business.
- A quarter of us (25%) feel it is most inappropriate to discuss money at the hairdressers, for others it’s at a party or down the pub with friends (28%).
- Men are twice as happy as women to reveal their earnings to someone they don’t know: 10% of men would reveal how much they earn if asked vs 5% of women.
- Half of us (50%) would seek advice from friends and family if we were struggling to make ends meet, compared to 30% of us would seek advice if our income increased.
- 1 in 4 (27%) of us will discuss our money situation with people close to us, but only when we are worried about it.
- Interactive Money Map (UK): Money and Gender, Talking About Money
- New survey reveals 36m of us admit we are happy when we feel good about our money, yet only 9m of us have a money mate – someone to confide in about money matters
- 76% of us (36million people) admit to feeling generally happy about life when we feel good about our money, yet only 19% of us (9 million people) say we have someone who we trust to confide in about our money situation.
- 44% of us feel more in control of our lives overall when we feel in control of our money situation;
- 33% of us feel more confident when our money situation is in order;
- 37% of us can get on better with other aspects of our lives when our money situation is in order
- Survey Methodology: The national phone survey was conducted within the United States by TNS on behalf of ING DIRECT USA September 7 through 11, 2011 among 1,000 adults age 18+, 670 of whom were married or in a relationship. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
- A survey from ING DIRECT and Capital One finds 87 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds have never kept a spending secret from a partner.
- 78 percent of those ages 55 to 64 saying they never kept a secret. Of all couples surveyed, 82 percent haven’t kept a secret.
- 84 percent of those 18-34 saying it is dishonest to hide financial activities from your significant other; 44 percent saying they have never had any debt to hide from their partner.
- Regardless of age, 78 percent of respondents feel it is dishonest to hide financial activities from their significant other; 60 percent said they would be upset if spending was hid from them; 59 percent have never hidden the amount of debt they have from their partner.
- One in 4 women are most likely to hide clothing/accessory purchases, while 1 in 5 men are most likely to hide gift purchases
- Women want to be in the spending loop with 66 percent admitting they would be upset if their significant other hid spending from them vs. 53 percent of men
- Women’s tempers could flare more than their male counterparts, with 27 percent saying hiding spending habits or a lunch with an ex could ignite an argument, compared to 18 percent of men.
- In a poll on Northwestern Mutual’s Facebook page, 1,003 respondents selected the point at which they discussed personal finances with their significant other. (2012)
- 78% of couples say they discussed personal finances before marriage
- 53% of American couples say they talked about their personal financial situations prior to getting engaged
- 25% percent had the money conversation after their engagement, but before the wedding.
- 12 percent of respondents waited until after marriage
- 11 percent never had a formal conversation about financial planning, even after marriage.
- SmartMoney partnered with Redbook magazine to survey 1,016 married or cohabiting adults on money and marriage.
- 73% of men and 69% of women felt they were on track to meet their financial goals.
- More than 85% of both women and men agreed they wouldn’t love their spouse any more if he or she made more money.
- The majority of both male and female respondents (64%) maintained joint bank accounts, with just 14% keeping everything in separate accounts and another 18% using both.
- More than 70% of both sexes reported talking about money with their spouse on at least a weekly basis.
- 36% of men and 40% of women admitted that they had lied to their spouse about what something they bought had cost.
- When our respondents actually did fess up to fighting, the biggest cause was spending and more spending; respondents admitted to fighting most about debt (37%), followed by spousal spending and then their own purchases.
- 67% of men and 58% of women said money was rarely or never a source of fights in their relationship.
- 39% of women are uncomfortable discussing money, compared to just 33% of men
- Women are more concerned about their money, with nearly a third (31%) saying they feel stressed about it, compared to just over a fifth (22%) of men.
- Nearly two-thirds of women (65% or 15.8m) are concerned about making ends-meet, compared to just over half of men (53% or 12.4m).
- Nearly a third (30%) of women say they don’t feel confident talking about money, compared to just under a quarter (24%) of men.
- A third (33%) of women say they find it stressful talking about money, compared to just under a quarter (24%) of men.
- Men are also more willing to seek help when needed, with nearly half (45%) (10.5m) saying that they would tell their partner or family straight away if they were struggling with debt, compared to just under two-fifths (38%) (9.2m) of women.
- Outside of the home, nearly three-fifths (57%) of men, compared to just over half (52%) of women say that they are comfortable telling a professional or expert money adviser how much they earn for a living.
- Terri Orbuch, a psychologist, research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and author of the new book “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.”
- Dr. Orbuch has been conducting a longitudinal study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, collecting data periodically from 373 same-race couples who were between the ages of 25 and 37 and in their first year of marriage in 1986, the year the study began. Over the continuing study’s 25 years so far, 46% of the couples divorced—a rate in line with the Census and other national data. Dr. Orbuch followed many of the divorced individuals into new relationships and asked 210 of them what they had learned from their mistakes.
- Money was the No. 1 point of conflict in the majority of marriages, good or bad, that Dr. Orbuch studied.
- 49% of divorced people from her study said they fought so much over money with their spouse—whether it was different spending styles, lies about spending, one person making more money and trying to control the other—that they anticipate money will be a problem in their next relationship.
- The Parents & Money survey was conducted by Kelton Research, a research consulting firm, on behalf of Schwab. The nationally-representative online survey polled 1,000 American parents with teens between the ages of 13-18 to better understand their views, behavior and knowledge of spending, saving, borrowing, and earning money. The survey findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
- Asked to identify the topics they wish they had learned more about when they were teenagers, the greatest percentage (57%) choose “money management.”
- Two-thirds (67%) of parents believe that learning about money management (including budgeting, saving and investing) is not one of their teen’s top priorities. (The Schwab 2007 Teens & Money Survey showed otherwise: Almost two thirds (60%) of teens stated that learning about money management was one of their top priorities.)
- Two-thirds (67%) of parents think their teen is knowledgeable about money management (57% say “somewhat knowledgeable,” and 10% say “extremely knowledgeable”). However, one-third (33%) of parents believe their teen is not knowledgeable about money management.
- More parents describe their teen as a “Quick Spender” (60%) as opposed to a “Stellar Saver” (40%).
- Only one in five parents (20%) involve their teen in family budgeting and spending decisions “to a great extent, so they can learn by doing.”
- More than half (55%) involve their teen only “occasionally, when it makes sense,” and a quarter (25%) of parents don’t involve their teen at all. Of those who don’t involve their teen at all, 14% say “it’s not appropriate” or “it never occurred to me” (11%).
- Only one-third (33%) of parents say their teen has a paying job. Teens with jobs are more likely to be savers than teens who don’t work (49% vs. 35%).
- While the majority (61%) of teens have savings accounts, only 24% have checking accounts. Nearly one in three (30%) teens have no financial account whatsoever.
- One in five parents (20%) admit they are “not very savvy,” and a handful (5%) say they are “not at all savvy.”More than two-thirds (69%) of parents feel less prepared to give their teen advice and guidance about investing than they do the “birds and bees.”
- Almost one-third (32%) of parents don’t have an investment portfolio or retirement account; and more than one in four (28%) say they are not saving either for their own retirement or for their teen’s college education.
- 80% to 90% of women are solely responsible for their own finances at some point in their life.
- 70% of widows fire their financial advisors within one year of their spouse’s death.
- Women make 80% of the household buying decisions and are often the primary purchaser of goods in the home.
- Behavioral research studies have found women investors tend to outperform men in the long term.
- Women are the Chief Financial Officers of their households in 66 out of 100 homes, according to the 2010 Women and Affluence Study by Women & Co. This trend is on the rise—in 2008, the percentage was 63%
- Approximately 80% of financial advisors, 90% of brokers and 84% of financial corporate officers are men.
- The average female client refers 26 potential clients to her financial advisor in a lifetime.
- When it comes to choosing the perfect partner, personality (20%), character (18%) and looks (17%) topped the list. Things like money (5%) and potential earnings (3%) were less important.
- However, the survey found that certain poor financial habits are undesirable in a potential partner. Lack of motivation to get ahead (66%), relying on parents for financial support (65%), having significant credit card debt (65%) and poor money management skills (64%) were the most common financial deal-breakers when it comes to selecting a potential mate.
- The survey also revealed some financial trust and transparency issues among couples:
- 40%) of respondents said they do not completely trust their partner to manage their combined finances.
- More than one in three (38%) said they were only somewhat, slightly or not at all aware of their significant other’s debts.
- And one-fifth (21%) said they sometimes hide their spending from their significant other.
- The survey found that 43 percent of couples admittedly don’t follow a budget.
- Half of couples jointly share household financial responsibilities.
- Female respondents said they were more likely to tackle groceries (48% vs. 25% of men), day-to-day expenses (28% vs. 26% of men) and the household budget (40% vs. 28% of men).
- Male respondents are more often solely responsible for investing decisions (45% vs. 27% of women), retirement savings (39% vs. 25% of women) and tax returns (44% vs. 32% of women).
The recent poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiancé, with five percent indicating the discussion would cause them to call off the wedding. The actual poll question and answer choices are below:
If I were getting married, I think that discussing money with my fiancé would…
- Be a necessary, but awkward, conversation = 45%
- Likely to lead to a fight, so I would avoid this topic = 7%
- Reveal financial issues I wasn’t aware of = 11%
- Cause us to call off the wedding = 5%
- Be a productive and easy conversation to have = 32%
According to a Money Management International (MMI) survey, 56 percent of couples who are married but unhappy report financial problems are to blame.
- What are your goals and objectives with your finances?
- What is your most pressing need right now?
- Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years?
- Where are all of your assets invested now?
- What is important about money to you?
From research conducted by Five Star Professional, April 2011
Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and program director of personal financial planning, conducted a study using longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples as part of the National Survey of Families and Households. The study, “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,” is published in Family Relations, an interdisciplinary journal of applied family studies.
- “Arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce.” “It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money — for both men and women.”
- “In the study, we controlled for income, debt and net worth,” Britt said. “Results revealed it didn’t matter how much you made or how much you were worth. Arguments about money are the top predictor for divorce because it happens at all levels.”
- It takes longer to recover from money arguments than any other kind of argument, according to Britt, and such arguments are more intense. Couples often use harsher language with each other, and the argument lasts longer.
- “You can measure people’s money arguments when they are very first married,” Britt said. “It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, but when they were first together and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction.”