CHERRY HILL, N.J., February 8, 2022 – TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, announced today the results of its seventh annual Love and Money survey, revealing that Americans are contradicting themselves when it comes to how they feel about their partners’ financial well-being and behaviors.
This year’s survey, which polled more than 1,700 U.S. individuals, who are either married, in a committed relationship or divorced, to better understand how they approach finances in their relationships, uncovered that financial secrets are at an all-time high.
In fact, nearly one-third of Americans (32%) are keeping a financial secret from their partner, an 11% increase from 2021. Despite this increase, 75% of Americans are happy in their relationships, up 7% from 2021, revealing that many could be hiding their financial behaviors to maintain their relationship bliss.
Loose Lips Sink 'Ships
Among those who keep financial secrets from their partner, 50% have no intention of ever disclosing this information with their significant other, and 76% of Americans have no plans to share their secrets with anyone.
The most common financial secret people keep is regarding a big purchase (40% of those who have a secret), followed by significant credit card debt (18%) and a secret bank account (13%). Notably, 50% of partners in unhappy relationships are keeping a secret, while 32% in a happy relationship are keeping one.
“The contrast between how many individuals are keeping secrets and how happy they are in their relationships presents an interesting dynamic. People are talking the talk, but not always walking the walk,” said Alissa Van Volkom, Head of Consumer Deposits, Products and Payments at TD Bank. “This highlights how important it is for couples to not only remain honest and open about their money fears, but also to align on financial expectations and set boundaries early on before they steer too far from a happy and financially healthy relationship. The earlier concerns are addressed, the better couples are set to achieve their long-term goals.”
Despite a growing number of individuals keeping financial secrets, an overwhelming majority (80%) of Americans said they're comfortable talking about money with their partner. Sixty one percent of respondents claim to discuss money within the first six months of a relationship.
Among American couples who continue to engage in money conversations, 57% discuss weekly, and 86% do so monthly. However these conversations are not always without conflict. Eighty percent of couples have financial disagreements with their significant other on a monthly basis and 71% of couples argue about money at least occasionally.
Even though a vast majority of couples have disagreements, 69% of Americans are usually able to resolve them by having a conversation. More than one quarter of unhappy couples "let things slide" when it comes to financial disagreements, indicating that relationships most in need of healthy financial discussions are likely not having them.
“Couples should discuss three things on a regular basis: how they're managing their budget, unforeseen or upcoming expenses, and increasing debt,” said Van Volkom. “By setting aside specific time for these conversations instead of tackling them during a date night or while running out the door in the morning, couples can ensure financial conversations are a part of their regular routine and give their finances the time and thoughtful attention they deserve.”
Getting Serious About Financial Stability
The survey also uncovered Americans' attitude towards their partners’ job and income stability, and whether a lack of such would make or break a relationship. Seventy-nine percent of Americans surveyed claim that a high income does not make a partner more attractive – unless you're a millennial or a woman, of whom 69% and 74%, respectively, find their higher-earning partners more attractive.
On the other hand, just 11% of Americans consider unemployment to be grounds for breakup.This is especially true among unhappy couples (34%) and women (48%) who are more likely to see unemployment longer than a few months as a reason for ending the relationship.
In general, Americans remain confident about their financial status. In fact, nearly three quarters (74%) say they have a fairly strong or excellent grasp on their finances.
“The ongoing uncertainty stemming from the pandemic underpinned the value of financial stability in relationships,” said Van Volkom. “However, when debt, financial secrets or unemployment enter a relationship, both partners need to stand firm on what matters to them, their financial and personal futures, and whether or not they will ultimately be happier and more stable by moving on from the relationship. The pandemic has shown you can't put a price on many things – financial health, stability and happiness included."
To learn more about the survey data and managing money with a partner, please visit www.TDLoveandMoney.com.
The study was conducted among a representative group of 1,751 consumers across the United States from November 10-18, 2021. The survey was hosted by global research company MARU/Matchbox.
About Maru Group
Maru Group is a world-leading customer experience and insights software and advisory services company. The company, which helps clients make informed decisions in near real-time by combining proprietary software, deep industry experience, and access to the best minds in research is found at Maru Group. Maru Public Opinion polling services and its gateway to these findings, and other survey releases, with the accompanying data tables can be found at Maru Group Polling.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9.5 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,220 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US and www.twitter.com/TDNews_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.