NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--There is more than one side to many things, including couples relationships with each other, and their approach to spending and saving. A new survey sponsored by the Citi Double Cash card, the card that lets you earn cash back when you buy and pay for purchases, reveals insights from American couples on the two sides to how they manage money. The research results underscore the importance of financial savvy – as more than three in four of Americans in a committed relationship (78%) prefer a partner who is good with money over one who is physically attractive.
Love Changes Thing$
Since becoming a couple, the majority of Americans (82%) who responded to the survey have changed their financial habits. Many of these changes were positive: 60% are more careful with their discretionary spending, and 50% are more focused on long-term financial planning. More than half (67%) of couples overall have implemented strategies like maintaining an emergency fund (39%), establishing a monthly saving goal (24%), and setting gift-giving budgets (24%).
Survey respondents said that they share 82% (on average) of their financial life with their significant other, including salary, debts, credit score and personal spending. Another 88% of couples have complete access to at least one of their partner’s accounts. However, one in four (25%) said there are some things they would never share with their significant other – like their monthly spending, bank account PIN, and their account balance.
Survey respondents were more likely to give themselves financial credit. The majority (67%) claim that they handle most or all of the couple’s finances and 66% have labeled themselves the saver in the relationship.
Some Couples Aren’t Talking Cents Often Enough
Over one in four survey respondents (29%) said they would actually prefer that their significant other discuss finances more often. And, nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) have avoided bringing up the topic of money to prevent an argument. More than one in three (38%) haven’t set aside time to talk about money at all in the past year. However, a more diligent 62% of couples have conducted a financial “check-in” to talk about their finances 8 times (on average) in the past year.
Talking to your partner before making a large purchase can prevent different spending styles from causing a relationship rift. 77% of couples generally consult each other before spending more than a certain amount (on average: $653). However, more than half (56%) admit to making a significant purchase solo without consulting their significant other.
Kiss and Tell: Talk Money More and You May Argue Less
Nearly one in four Americans (24%) in a committed relationship admit they have a private account their significant other doesn’t know about, but according to survey results this secret stash can lead to problems. In fact, people who keep accounts private are more likely to have had a financial disagreement with their partner in the past year, compared to those without a private account (73% and 54%, respectively).
“Our research found that while many couples are taking steps to build a stronger financial future together, there is an opportunity to talk more openly about money, and to recognize and reward the effort that your partner is making towards your shared goals,” said Chris Fred, Managing Director of Product Management at Citi. “Our goal is to deliver products that provide value and help you meet individual – and shared – goals, like Citi Double Cash which lets you earn 1% cash back with every purchase and recognizes when you pay off those purchases by giving you another 1% cash back.”
The good news: 83% of couples said they work together in some way to promote positive financial behavior. And the steps don’t need to be big to make a difference. For example, 59% collect coupons and discounts together, 40% set household budgets, and 26% “treat” themselves when they’ve saved a certain amount. When asked about their partner specifically, more than half (52%) most appreciated that the other was always looking out for their financial future.
“How couples deal with finances can make or break their relationship,” said licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman. “While sometimes the conversations can be difficult, in order to maintain a healthy financial relationship it is important that couples frequently discuss their finances, remain fiscally transparent and responsible, and continuously consult each other on big purchases.”
About Citi Double Cash
With the Citi Double Cash Card, couples can act on their desire to work together and wisely spend and save as a couple. Cardmembers earn 1% cash back when they make a purchase and another 1% as they pay for that purchase. Citi Double Cash features no limit on how much cash back can be earned and no category restrictions. Cardmembers can earn cash back on every purchase, with no annual fee. For more information, visit www.citi.com/doublecash.
About the Citi Double Cash “It Takes Two” Survey
The Citi Double Cash “It Takes Two” survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults in a committed relationship, plus 400 adults in committed relationships in the top 5 DMAs (New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas-Ft. Worth) between December 22nd, 2014, and January 7th, 2015, using an online survey.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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