Survey: 30 percent of Americans expect financial discussion at beginning of relationship

Michelle Callahan

Michelle Callahan

A recent survey by Chase revealed that while 30 percent of American consumers think finances should be discussed with a partner from day one, men were 13 percent more likely to expect finance discussions early on.

Sixty-five percent of consumers, however, think the discussion of finances with a significant other should occur within the first three months of the relationship.

“Finances are one of the biggest reasons relationships fail,” Michelle Callahan, a psychologist and relationship expert who partnered with Chase on the survey, said. “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?”

When asked how they would respond if they were told on Valentine’s Day that their partner had $10,000 or more in debt, 74 percent of respondents indicated that they would sit down and talk to their partner about the debt instead of break up with them or help them pay the debt down. Twenty-one percent of married American respondents indicated that they would help pay down their partner’s debt, while only six percent of Americans said they would break up or think about breaking up with their partner.

Women are, at 78 percent, eight percent more likely than men to sit down and talk about finances, though men are, at 18 percent, eight percent more likely than women to help their partner pay down debt.

Additionally, 94 percent of Americans indicated that compatible spending habits were important in a relationship, though 62 percent indicated that they will be unable to reach financial compatibility or unable to change the financial habits of their partner.

“Regardless of when couples decide to discuss finances, having the money talk with a significant other is a necessary path towards achieving financial compatibility,” Callahan said.

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