For a generation that felt the brunt of the recession, it's been a lot easier to find financial stability than love.
Of 1,400 people surveyed by TD Bank, 58% stated it's harder to find true love than financial success. despite currently being in a relationship. In the places where may people are finding that financial success, 79% of New Yorkers, 64% of Bostonians and 56% of Philadelphians said true love is more difficult to achieve than financial security.
"Generally, people can envision what steps they should take to achieve financial success and what milestones to target," says Jason Thacker, head of U.S. consumer deposits and payments at TDBank. "But true love can be a bit more elusive. Financial success also feels more within one's personal control than finding true love which can be heavily dependent on a variety of unique factors."
While 72% of couples believe they have the personal finance skills needed to achieve financial success in life, many are still living paycheck-to-paycheck (37%), repaying debt (26%) and struggling with payments (16%). Millennials came out of college with roughly $35,000 in student loan debt on average, according to Cappex, and were slow getting into the work force thanks to a recession and a dearth of decent jobs during the recovery.
Millennials already hold off on major milestones until they feel financially ready. They'll wait to buy a house (45%), have a baby (24%) or start a business (20%) until the financial support is there. However, they're also taking advice of Baby Boomer parents who tell them not to wait to start saving or investing (61%), but to slow down before they get married (26%)
It isn't just their own finances that have Millennials despondent about finding someone. In a recent poll of 2,000 people conducted by finance site NerdWallet last year, 40% said their partner's financial situation is more important than how they look. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed say they flat-out wouldn't date someone with bad credit. As for those with bad credit, they prefer digging themselves out of debt instead of bringing someone else down with them. A survey by MassMutual conducted found that 47% of singles would rather experience an unexpected financial challenge over a romantic breakup. That percentage jumps for those who are married or living with a partner (68%) and for Millennials who bore the worst of the financial crisis (61%).
As it turns out, 60% of women and 43% of men consider potential partner's financial situation is important to them. In fact, 48% of Americans and 61% of those who make $100,000 or more say they wouldn't date someone with bad credit. Those with more education (and more student loan debt) have especially strong feelings about this point, with 63% of college graduates saying they wouldn't date someone with bad credit. Meanwhile, just 40% of people with a high school degree or less would say the same.
If you're cute enough, you might be able to smile your way out of it -- but even that window is closing. Though 60% of women say a partner's finances are important to them in their dating life (compared to just 35%) of men, 44% of the women and 35% of men think a partner's financial situation outweighs their attractiveness. That's half of women and two-thirds of men who'll either pick up a tab or cosign on a shady loan just to look at someone who's attractive. Millennials aren't nearly as desperate, with 54% of younger men considering a potential partner's financial situation is more important than physical attractiveness and 43% of millennial women feeling the same.
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It might seem harsh, but it's a realistic approach that prevents a lot of heartbreak later on. Roughly 17 million U.S. credit cardholders to snoop on the spending habits of someone they share a credit card account with, according to a report by CreditCards.com. One in five cardholders in total admit to peeking at another person's online (16%) or paper (12%) credit card statements.
Those percentages are down from June 2008, when 20% were eyeballing printed account statements to see what someone else was spending, while 15% went online to play auditor. However, with 17% now saying they feel closer to the other person because of the shared account -- almost double the 9% who said so eight years ago -- tthese violations of trust are much worse. Especially since 48% of shared accounts are with a partner or spouse and 10% are with an adult child. Just 5% are with children under 18, which suggests that there's far snooping adults than there likely should be
All that prying resulted in 19% of joint accountholders getting into arguments over those accounts during the recession and 12% still doing so today. Those problems led 13 million Americans to keep a hidden bank or credit card account from their live-in spouse, partner or significant other, according to a CreditCards.ccom survey from earlier this year. On top of that, 41% have spent over $100 without their spouse or partner's knowledge, including 19% who have spent more than $500.
Some consider that "cheating," but it somehow fosters more trust than transparently sharing an account with someone. While 19% of Americans have secretly spent $500 or more, 24% believe that their spouse or partner should be able to spend more than $500 without letting them know. Also, while 41% of Americans say they've spent more than $100 without telling, 47% said they'd be OK with their spouse or significant other spending more than $100 without being told about it.
"When you share an account with someone, it's important to know what the other person is doing," says Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. "Ideally, you'd talk frequently and openly with the other person, but if that doesn't happen, checking in on your fellow accountholder's spending can help you sniff out problems before they get out of control."
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