Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, or any other special day that often means for many of us, finding the perfect gift to show our partner just how much we love them. And let’s face it: deep down inside, we can’t help but think that the more expensive the gift, the more meaning it has; the more it shows we love and care.
But is that true? Does the amount of money you spend show how much you care? And what about people who have a ton of money…do they have happier, healthier relationships? Can money really buy you love? We asked the experts to find out.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems?
Professional matchmaker Susan Trombetti says she doesn’t need a study to show her that “rich people are less reasonable in relationships.” She sees it all the time. “Rich people reason that they can have the world at their fingertips and whatever they want, but relationships are intangible and not easily measured,” says Trombetti. “Moreover, the richer you are, the more you are surrounded by ‘yes’ people dependent on you financially and less likely to tell you no, or that you have irrational behavior.” 1
Though couples with less money may have plenty of friends and family offering advice, that’s quite different from having people cheering you on because they want a piece of your financial pie. It’s easy to imagine how the latter could cloud your judgment and cause communication problems at home.
Does this mean rich people divorce at a higher rate than poor people? It’s difficult to say which socioeconomic class divorces more often, but the data points to the idea that married couples are more financially stable and that divorce (in general) leads to wealth reduction. The amount of wealth may be irrelevant, but the most financially secure are people who get married and stay married. 2
Less money, mo’ problems?
According to a major international survey by insurance company ING, couples who share their finances are happier than those who don’t. In fact, 75% of respondents said scheduling regular financial meetings with their partner was not only helpful to their relationship, but to their bank balance. 3
It only makes sense. Money trouble is commonly cited as one of the major reasons for a failed relationship. According to one financial study, nearly one in four Americans have split with a partner because of financial issues. Most participants cited the weight of debt and lack of a safety net are particularly problematic, with the study noting that the top financial goals people had for their significant others were to pay down debt (51 percent) and build up savings (44 percent). 4
The Feminism Factor
There’s a cultural phenomenon that may also be relevant to our question. Over the last 50 years, women have been joining the workforce in droves. As a result, women have seen their incomes go up. Interestingly, in homes where the woman earns more than her husband, the couple seems to be at higher risk of divorce. As cultural norms and expectations change, perhaps this phenomenon will change as well, but in the meantime, it’s critical that couples with a female primary breadwinner explore any gender stereotypes they might bring to the table. 5
Getting Rich Together
Just like any other activity you enjoy doing with your partner, building wealth is something best done with the one you love, according to Certified Financial Planner Neale Frankle. “I’m not saying that money should be the objective of your relationship. Quite the opposite. Financial success results from a partnership that works. That’s why it’s so important for couples to learn how to talk about money with each other.” 6
Frankle doesn’t believe that the goal of a relationship should be wealth, but rather that you stand a better chance of achieving your financial goals if both partners are on the same page. “I’m talking about the agreements you have with your partner about finance – how money works and what it’s for,” Frankle says. “Without agreement on your goals, values, and financial behaviors, your relationship is doomed. One of you will dump the other or you’ll live a miserable life together. This may take weeks, months, years or decades to manifest but it absolutely will happen sooner or later. I know this sounds harsh but only because it’s true.”
A fresh start to your finances…and your relationship
It’s apparent that money can’t buy love, but if you do have love, money can ruin it if you’re not careful. This is true for families who have wealth and families that don’t. The key is to have mutual financial goals and stay in constant communication with your partner about those goals. If money problems are creating stress in your relationship, now is the time to contact Credit Direct. We have a variety of personal loan options and services that can reduce your financial burden, giving you – and the one you love – the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: peace of mind. Find out which option is best for you by clicking below!
3. ING International Savings Survey 2018
5. Psychology Today, July 25th, 2018