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Quarter of couples don’t feel comfortable discussing money, poll claims

Some will say ‘I love you’ before broaching the topic of finances

Astrid Hall
Wednesday 05 February 2020 17:44 GMT

A quarter of couples don’t feel comfortable talking about money together, a poll has found.

Research polling of 2,000 adults in a relationship found just 17 per cent regularly talk about finances with their partner.

More than one in 10 are apprehensive about discussing debts with their other half, while 18 per cent have never discussed money which they owe one another.

It also emerged 10 per cent haven’t shared how much they earn with their significant other, and an equal percentage don’t know what their partner earns.

Commissioned by M&S Bank, the poll also revealed never finding a good time, feeling a little embarrassed and wondering how their other half might respond are among the reasons people avoid the subject of money in their relationships.

In fact, people will typically utter the words “I love you” four months before broaching the topic of money – which they won’t talk about until nine months into their relationship.

Psychologist Emma Kenny said: “At this time of year, a lot of people are looking for love or taking relationships to the next level, perhaps even with a romantic Valentine’s proposal.

“It’s interesting to see that people would say "I love you" five months into a relationship, but wouldn’t talk about money until nine months – and many are simply uncomfortable talking about money with their other half.”

The research also found 18 per cent are more likely to move in together before they talk about money.

As many as one in 10 even expect to get married before they bring up the topic of finances with their significant other.

However, a handful those polled - five per cent – will choose to discuss finances within less than two weeks of knowing each other.

The research revealed being good with your finances is a more attractive attribute than being a good cook and is also more appealing than being outgoing or sociable, or successful in their career.

As many as four-fifths also said it is important for their partner to have the same financial goals as they do.

And nine in 10 choose to discuss the aspirational side of finances with one another.

Although more than half of those who don’t currently have a joint bank account together said they would rather not open one with their significant other.

A fifth of these said they’d prefer not to because they enjoy managing their own finances independently, and 24 per cent value their financial independence, while a quarter don’t feel they need one.

If they did choose to open a joint bank account with one another, this is most likely to occur one year and two months into a relationship.

Of the couples that do have a joint bank account, they find it most useful to pay for bills, the rent or mortgage and saving money together.

Emma Kenny added: “The findings show that money can be a taboo subject in some relationships.

“However, it’s healthy for couples to discuss their finances and it’s important that they engage in open and honest conversations about financial goals and ambitions from the start.

“In fact, this is often the key to a successful relationship. While how much a person feels comfortable disclosing is down to the individual, we would encourage people to talk more about money with their loved ones and make finance the language of love this Valentine’s Day.”


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