Money & Love: A Pre-Valentine's Poll

How Does Money Affect Relationships and Does It Impact Who We’re Attracted To?

NFEC Conducts a Pre-Valentine’s Day Poll to Find Out

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — So what impact does money have on your romantic relationships? The National Financial Educators Council was curious, so they asked 2,644 people across the US survey questions related to money and relationships.

The goals of the surveys were to get a better understanding around these 3 areas: how people felt money affected their romantic relationships, whether we are attracted to financially similar people, and the general tone of financial conversations with our significant others. See the full results of the surveys conducted between February 6th – 8th 2018 by visiting here.

To better understand whether respondents were attracted to partners with similar financial mindsets, the NFEC received feedback from 857 respondents on the question, “In my most recent romantic relationship, we shared money attitudes and habits that were…”

  • 39.4% answered ‘very similar’
  • 26.7% answered ‘somewhat similar’
  • 9.8% answered ‘neither similar nor different’
  • 11.6% answered ‘somewhat different’
  • 12.5% answered ‘very different’

Opposites may attract… but not always financially

Do opposites attract or are we attracted to those like us? Well, according to the initial results, the conclusion is people are attracted to those with very similar financial behaviors with over 66% answering ‘similar’ and ‘very similar’.

To assess the overall impact of money on relationships, the NFEC asked 893 people, “Money has affected my past and current romantic relationships mostly in a…” The results:

  • 24.7% selected these choices: ‘very positive way’ (10.3%) and ‘positive way’ (14.4%)
  • 19.1% selected these choices: ‘negative way’ (12.2%) and ‘very negative’ way’ (6.9%)

“I’m not shocked with the results of this question,” states Scott Bown, CFEI, CFP(R). “While many of my clients state the top goal is to improve their finances, deeper into the interview process true motivations become apparent – the root motivation is often to improve relationships with their significant other.”

people are attracted to those with very similar financial behaviors with over 66% answering 'similar' and 'very similar'

See the full survey results here:

Discussion about money…

To get a general sense of the tone of our personal finance conversations with significant others, the NFEC received 894 responses to the question, “In my past and current romantic relationships, discussions about money generally have had a…”

The results:

  • 39.6% responded discussions had a ‘very positive tone’ (24.7%) and a ‘somewhat positive tone’ (14.9%)
  • 20.3% responded discussions had a ‘somewhat negative tone’ (14.5%) and a ‘very negative tone’ (5.8%)

This question was designed to assess the overall tone of such conversations to better understand the intensity of money discussions between romantic partners. The NFEC is currently conducting supply-side research on this topic with financial coaches – the data will be released over Financial Literacy Month (April 2018).

“The impact of money is greater than just dollars and cents – it impacts many areas of our lives. These studies demonstrate that money is having a direct impact on people’s romantic relationships; unfortunately, for many respondents it is a negative impact. We encourage people to work toward a more secure financial future together and keep the lines of communication open when it comes to money,” states Vince Shorb, NFEC’s CEO.

This Valentine’s Day survey is the first conducted by the NFEC that is centered around relationships and money. The NFEC and collaborators are conducting an ongoing series of research exploring financial education, attitudes, behaviors, and wellness on a person’s romantic relationships.


The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is a financial education resource provider, industry advocate, and thought leader. The NFEC conducts financial literacy survey research and sponsors think tanks around financial education topics, with an overarching goal of obtaining empirical data that illuminate best practices to share with colleagues in the financial education space.