Making cents of love & money: 64% of coupled consumers admit to financial incompatibility with their partners
55% of singles find it attractive when prospective partners are financially responsible, pay their bills on time, according to a new study by Bread Financial
COLUMBUS, OH – February 1, 2023 – Bread Financial (NYSE: BFH), a tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions, today released findings from a national study¹ that explores financial compatibility in couples and what financial attributes singles are seeking in a mate.
Forty-four percent (44%) of coupled respondents wish they had more similar financial mindsets as their partners, while 20% value having different financial approaches. Baby Boomers (54%) claim to be the most financially compatible with their partners, while Millennials (23%) are the least.
For singles, financial equality and responsibility is the language of love—especially with younger generations. More than a third (35%) of Gen Z’ers say they think it’s financially attractive when a prospective partner asks to split the check, while 27% of Millennials are into partners using spreadsheets or apps to track spending and bills. Their emphasis on financial responsibility comes from experience: nearly one-fifth of Gen Z (18%) and Millennial (17%) single respondents cite a lack of financial compatibility as the primary reason for a previous breakup. In fact, the top financial deal breaker in partner compatibility for Gen Z singles is making large impulse purchases, with 36% of respondents saying this was a red flag.
Additional noteworthy findings from the study include:
It’s more than just their personality; it’s their wallet, too! When asked what they find financially attractive in a partner, 55% of all single respondents say paying a credit card bill on time. Other high scorers include:
- Having a financial planner (27%)
- Tracking sales and using coupons (26%)
- A high credit limit (24%)
- Paying bills without checking their bank amount (24%)
When asked what they are looking for in a prospective partner, 30% of single respondents say someone who is prioritizing savings – a number that increases for younger generations (Millennials, 36% and Gen Z’ers, 32%). A quarter of all single respondents say they’re looking for someone who makes more money than them.
More money (talk), more problems? Boomers tend to discuss finances with their partners the least of any generation, with only 13% claiming they talk finances daily. By contrast, 39% of Millennials in relationships claim to discuss financials daily with their partners – but the findings indicate frequent financial discussions may lead to more arguments.
Fifty-eight (58%) of Millennials and 57% of Gen Z’ers report arguments with their partner over finances at least occasionally, whereas only 30% of Boomers do the same.
- The most common financial rift across the board for all generations is shopping and general purchasing habits, with 51% reporting related disagreements with their partner.
- The second most common contentious financial matter for Millennial (46%) and Gen Z (39%) couples is budgeting and monthly bills/expenses, while Boomers say it’s credit card debt (35%).
Who’s the boss? More coupled men than women claim to be the “CFO” of their relationship, with 56% claiming to be in charge of the finances compared to 37% of women. Gen Z tends to spread around the responsibility the most with 41% of coupled respondents saying they shared financial duties; on the flip side, Millennials shared the duties the least at 34%.
High financial infidelity: Forty-five percent (45%) of coupled respondents have committed “financial infidelity,” hiding purchases from their partners, with more than half of Gen Z coupled consumers (53%) admitting guilt. This makes sense given almost twice as many Gen Z coupled consumers (41%) have separate accounts compared to their Baby Boomer (22%) counterparts.
Putting it all out there: When it comes to being open about personal financial facts like credit scores, debit, income, and crypto ownership, Boomers are open books, with 83% claiming they have never withheld a financial fact about themselves from their partner. By contrast, 61% of Gen Z’ers and 60% of Millennials have withheld at least one piece of key personal financial information from their partners.
Women in relationships are more likely to fess up about their finances while the guys tend to withhold.
- 30% of men admit to hiding a credit card balance, compared to 19% of women.
- When it comes to income, 27% of men hide that number from their significant other compared to 15% of women.
- Crypto has the smallest amount of mystery, with 21% of men and 7% of women keeping that to themselves.
You can buy a man’s love: Almost one in ten singles (9%) admit they have dated someone specifically for their wealth—a number which increased to 13% for single men. Men are also twice as likely compared to women to go on a date for a free dinner, even if they’re not attracted to the prospective partner. Younger singles were more focused on finding wealthy partners: 16% of Gen Z’ers and 18% of Millennials are looking for partners that make over $500,000.
Risky business is not attractive:
- The most common financial deal breakers for singles include a gambling problem (67%) and investing too much in crypto (28%).
- Singles say among the biggest red flags in a prospective partner is large impulse purchases (31%).
- Other top red flags include paying the minimum amount on a credit card bill (35%) and asking to split a dinner/date night check (33%).
Striving for financial health is important in every aspect of our lives, including our relationships. It’s worth taking the time to understand how your financial perspective compares to your current or prospective significant other. Different financial mindsets aren’t necessarily a deal breaker – in fact, our study shows some see this as a positive – but our research indicates that transparency and sharing your personal approach openly seem to be the key.
Val Greer, EVP and chief commercial officer - Bread Financial
About Bread Financial™
Bread FinancialTM (NYSE: BFH) is a tech-forward financial services company providing simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions. The company creates opportunities for its customers and partners through digitally enabled choices that offer ease, empowerment, financial flexibility and exceptional customer experiences. Driven by a digital-first approach, data insights and white-label technology, Bread Financial delivers growth for its partners through a comprehensive product suite, including private label and co-brand credit cards, installment lending, and buy now, pay later (BNPL). Bread Financial also offers direct-to-consumer solutions that give customers more access, choice and freedom through its branded Bread CashbackTM American Express® Credit Card and Bread SavingsTM products. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Bread Financial is powered by its 6,000+ global associates and is committed to sustainable business practices.