The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift? That Financial Conversation You’ve Been Putting Off.

Studies show that finances are one of the top stressors in a relationship. With the quintessential relationship-centric holiday—Valentine’s Day—on the horizon, Quicken, maker of the best-selling personal finance software in the US, surveyed over 1,000 adults to gather insights into the ever-elusive personal finance conversation.

Whether you embrace the spirit of Valentine’s Day or staunchly believe it is a corporate sham, read on to find out why your table for two this February 14th should be paired with an open conversation about finances.

 

Talking about money is hard.

People report anxiety and friction about the topic -- it’s no wonder that we may not want to pair it with chocolate and champagne.

  • Nearly a third of people (31%) said that talking about money made them feel anxious.
  • Over a quarter of people (26%) said that they “sometimes avoid checking my bank account status because ignorance is bliss.”
  • Nearly a third of people (31%) said they wished people talked about money less

In fact, our survey revealed that only 43% of people tell their partners how much they make.

 

But talking pays off.

People in our survey who are most confident in their path to retirement talk about money with their spouse/partner more than anyone else in their lives. They even favor chats with their significant other over sitting down with their financial planners by 20%. People who identify as less confident in their path to retirement are 15% less likely to talk to their spouse/partner about money matters.

  • 25% of these financially secure folks report that talking about finances leads to a spike in their overall confidence, while 32% of the people who lack confidence in their plans for the golden years say that money talk is a blow to their spirits.

 

Money Talk Can Even Be Romantic.

Over half of Millennials (51%) say they’ve talked about personal finance on a first date. The Gen X’er number drops by nearly half (27%) and boomers stick to more traditional topics—only 8% have talked about money on the first date.

 

Conversations Are Key.

The long and the short of it: open conversations about your finances—especially with your spouse/partner— are a cornerstone of confidence in your financial future. This Valentine’s Day, consider giving your partner the greatest gift of all, an open conversation about your combined assets. Here are some money talk tips that pair nicely with chocolate and wine:

  • Don’t avoid the conversation. We all know communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Discussing and agreeing on spending limits, coming together to make decisions about big purchases, and being equally informed about where your finances stand are vital.
  • Choose the right time to talk. Try to find a time when you and your partner are more likely to be at your best, rather than when you’re running out the door to work, or have just gotten home and may need time to decompress. Many Quicken members tell us they have standing (meeting/date) monthly to review their financial picture together.
  • Leverage a tool to track your goals together. Saving receipts for your partner or reviewing credit card statements can create an unpleasant dynamic in your relationship. Using software or apps like Quicken make setting your goals and tracking your spending seamless and more collaborative.
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