Love and Money are just like Peas and Carrots. Money management is a major factor in sizing up a soul mate as four out of ten Americans, across the full age spectrum, say this trait ranks #3 after personal values and personality, respectively. Looks and physical fitness are only a big deal among two out of ten Americans looking for a relationship.
Among millennials, a possible mate’s money management skills is a bigger deal with nearly eight of ten saying money management and romance go hand-in-hand.
Typically a “spender” is attracted to a “saver” and vice versa. Most potential couples recognize living with their partner means cheaper rent; cooking for two is cheaper; and going on fewer dates saves them money. Additionally, they pay fewer taxes as a married couple and a partner makes them look good at business events.
Vetting Your Partner
SunTrust suggests peppering your partner with these four questions:
What are your most important goals? Talk to your significant other about aspirations and make a list of what you have in common. If aligning your goals is difficult, create a blend that represents your collective core values.
How does your past influence your spending and savings habits? Make an effort to understand your partner’s personal history. Financial habits are often handed down by parents, so it’s important to empathize with your partner and understand how he or she was raised.
Would you share your plans before making a big-ticket purchase? It’s important to know whether your partner wants to maintain a level of financial independence. Decide whether you need to talk with each other before making purchases above a certain price point, or whether you agree to keep finances separate.
What is your debt philosophy? Financial disagreements often arise from different views of debt, from how much to use a credit card to the term and amount of a new car loan. Ask your partner what he or she considers an acceptable level of debt and see how much it diverges from your answer.
Millennials & Money
Meanwhile, Varo found 66% of millennials say they are “hands-off” with their personal finances: they check their bank balances regularly and have a general idea of how much they can spend each month but don’t categorize their spending in Excel or Mint or follow a category-based budget.
Travel is also a top priority for millennials and they know their way around the credit card rewards game. About 16% make it a priority to apply for credit cards with big mileage bonuses; 7% use their status from premium credit cards for hotel upgrades; 7% use airline miles to fly business class; 7% hire local guides while traveling; and 6% use premium cards for free lounge access.