Published Study: New Harris Poll Reveals American Opinions on Money and Finance in Relationships

The following information provides insights into Americans’ views and personal experience on truthfulness in finances, dating and sharing financial information and other financial related items with regard to romantic partners. You will find overall key findings followed by the detailed findings per question afterwards.

Key Findings 

Survey results show that 29% of Americans say they have ever lied to a romantic partner about their financial situation/would consider lying about it. 71% have never done so/would never consider doing this. Of those who have done so, or would consider doing so, results varied and include saying it wasn’t serious enough of a financial problem to tell (32%) or because the relationship wasn’t that serious (24%).

When it comes to handling financial situations, 70% of Americans say they believe you should always talk to your partner openly about financial issues. However, men are likely to choose money over love as men are more likely than women to believe it’s okay for an individual to date someone for their money (12% vs. 7%, respectively) and actually date someone for their money (13% vs. 8%, respectively).

Roughly a third (36%) of Americans say people should share information about their finances within the first 5 months of dating, while the majority (56%) thinks someone can have debt of up to $5,000 before they should tell their partner.

Detailed Findings

1. Would you lie or have you lied to a romantic partner (e.g., someone you are dating/engaged/married to) about your financial situation/state of your finances? (U.S. adults, n=2,045)

  • Among all Americans, 29% say they have ever lied to a romantic partner about their financial situation/would consider lying with 14% admitting actually having done this and 15% who say they have not done this but would consider it. 71% have never done so/would never consider doing this.
  • Those 18-34 (16%) , 35-44 (19%), and 45-54 (17%) are more likely than those 55-64 (10%) and age 65 and older (7%) to have lied to a romantic partner about their financial situation.
  • Those who are not married (16%) are more likely than those who are married (11%) to have lied to a romantic partner about their financial situation.

 

2. Which of the following are reasons why you have lied or would lie to a romantic partner about your financial situation? Please select all that apply.(Ever lied/would lie about financial situation, N=564)

  • Of those who have lied or considered lying to a romantic partner about their finances, half (49%) say because they didn’t think it was their partner’s business to know. Three in ten (32%) say it wasn’t serious enough of a financial problem to tell, while 31% were ashamed and 28% say they were afraid of what they might do (i.e., get angry, upset. 24% say because the relationship wasn’t that serious, while 13% cite some other reason.
  • Those 18-34 (53%) who have lied/would consider lying are more than twice as likely as those ages 35 and older (21%) who have done so/consider this to say they lied or would lie to a romantic partner about their financial situation because they were ashamed.

 

3. Which of the following statements apply to you? Please select all that apply. (U.S. adults, n=2,045)

When asked which statements apply to them, 70% of Americans say they believe you should always talk to your partner openly about financial issues. 11% or less say the following financial situations apply to them:

  • 11% say they would continue to date someone who lied about their financial situation to them.
    • Men are almost twice as likely as women to say this (15% vs. 8%, respectively).
    • Those age 18-44 are almost twice as likely as those age 45 or older to say this (16% vs. 7%, respectively).
  • 10% would date someone for their money.
    • Men are more likely than women to say this (13% vs. 8%, respectively).
    • Those age 18-64 are three times as likely as those age 65 or older to say this (12% vs. 4%, respectively).
  • 9% believe it’s okay for an individual to date someone for their money.
    • Men are more likely than women to say this (12% vs. 7%, respectively).
    • Those age 18-64 are twice as likely as those age 65 or older to say this (10% vs. 5%, respectively).
  • 8% say they would end a relationship if their partner had financial troubles.
  • 3% have dated someone for their money.

 

4. How important to you is it that a partner can pay for you/treat you on occasion (e.g., special occasion)? (U.S. adults, n=2,045)

  • Nearly seven in ten (68%) Americans say it is at least somewhat important that a partner can pay for them/treat them on occasion, with 26% of these saying it’s extremely/very important. A third (32%) say it is not at all important.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to say it is extremely/very important that a partner can pay for them/treat them on occasion (35% vs. 17%, respectively).
  • Those age 18-34 are more likely than those age 65 or older to say it is extremely/very important (29% vs. 22%, respectively).

5. How far into debt do you think someone can go before they should tell their partner? Please provide your best estimate. (U.S. adults, n=2,045)

  • Nine in ten (90%) Americans think people should tell their partner when they go into any amount of debt. A majority (56%) think someone can have debt of up to $5,000 before they should tell their partner, while 34% say when someone has at least $5,000 of debt. The average amount someone can go into debt before they should tell their partner is $7,600.

6. How long do you think people should be dating before they share information about their finances? (U.S. adults, n=2,045)

  • Roughly a third (36%) of Americans say people should share information about their finances within the first 5 months of dating, with 7% saying 1-4 weeks and 28% saying 2-5 months. Three in five (60%) Americans say people should be dating at least 6 months before they share information about their finances, with 36% saying 6-12 months. One in five (23%) Americans say people should be dating over a year before they share this kind of information.
  • Men are nearly three times as likely as women to say people should share financial information after only dating 1-4 weeks (11% vs. 4%, respectively).
  • On the other hand, men are also more likely than women to say people should never share financial information (6% vs. 3%).
  • Women are more likely than men to say people should be dating at least 6 months before sharing financial information (66% vs. 52%, respectively). 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *