Most Adults Don’t Feel Comfortable Talking About Money In a Relationship

A new survey reveals couples would rather avoid conversations about personal finances.
A couple holds hands.

Should you really tell your partner everything? “Reveal, don’t conceal,” is an oft-quoted phrase when it comes to relationships, but a new survey tells a different story when it comes to what partners share about money matters.

The survey, conducted by Quicken, found most adults don’t feel comfortable revealing their personal finances to a romantic partner. In fact, just 43% of the 1,000 respondents tell their partners how much they earn and 31% said that talking about money made them feel anxious.

The survey also revealed 31% of respondents said they wished people talked about money less and 26% said that they “sometimes avoid checking my bank account status because ignorance is bliss.”

While the general sentiment for many couples is that money is verboten, there were differences among the generations when it comes to talking about money on a first date: 51% of millennials said they’ve discussed personal finances on a first date versus 27% of Gen Xers and just 8% of Boomers.

One group that bucked the trend were those who feel confident about their path to retirement. In fact, 25% of the confident respondents said talking with their partner about their finances actually boosted their confidence even more.

Studies indicate money issues are a leading stressor in relationships, so having a candid conversation with your partner about finances is key. Some places to start:

  • Don’t avoid the money talk. Schedule a time when you and your partner are likely to be relaxed and open. Finances will change over time, so talking about them regularly should be an ongoing goal.
  • Share your financial information. Have an open and honest discussion about sensitive information, such as income, investments, retirement plans, debt and savings, to ensure your financial goals are aligned.
  • Set a budget and track your financial goals together. Quantify your monthly household expenditures and plan for big purchases, like buying a car or a house, together so you and your partner are working toward the same goals.

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