Money & Couples

People in Relationships Say The Pandemic Hasn't Changed How They Manage Money

Also finds hiding money is a relationship deal breaker for most

A new study from Policygenius breaks down how the pandemic has affected how couples manage their finances. View full study here.

NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A majority of people in relationships (66%) say the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed how they and their partner manage money, according to a new survey from financial services leader Policygenius.

Only around one in three individuals in relationships (34%) say the pandemic has changed how they manage money, with 16% saying they’ve had to tighten their belts due to lower income. The survey found that around 40% of couples manage money together, whereas one in five (22%) manage finances separately — findings consistent with previous Policygenius Couples & Money surveys run in 2019 and 2018.

“It was surprising to see how few people in relationships said they changed their money management style during the pandemic,” Hanna Horvath, data analyst and personal finance expert at Policygenius, said. “One consistency we’ve seen through the three surveys is the continued importance of financial communication to avoid conflict in relationships.”

The 2021 survey found that lying or hiding money is a relationship deal breaker for 64% of respondents. However, one in ten people say they have a secret savings account, and 16% of people say they consider their partner to be financially irresponsible.

That may be due to another finding: Almost 30% of people say they have paid off their partner’s debt. Of those, 44% paid off more than $10,000 of their partner’s debt.

The third Policygenius Couples & Money survey also found:

  • Nearly one in five people in a relationship (17%) never discuss money with their partner.
  • Many people don’t know financial information about their partners, including salaries (41%), debts (41%) or monthly spending habits (53%).
  • Respondents also didn’t know about their partners’ investments (48%), retirement savings (49%) or credit scores (54%). Of all respondents, 20% said they knew none of these six financial facts about their partners.
Whether it's daily spending habits or long-term financial protection tools, like wills and insurance, talking openly with your partner about finances is crucial...

“Whether it’s daily spending habits or long-term financial protection tools, like wills and insurance, talking openly with your partner about finances is crucial,” Patrick Hanzel, a CFP® and advanced planning specialist at Policygenius, said. “Especially during a time of economic uncertainty, it’s important for anyone — in a relationship or not — to understand their finances and be open with those they impact.”

Policygenius is a financial services leader helping people on their financial journeys, no matter where they are in life. Subscribe to the Easy Money by Policygenius weekly newsletter to get financial tips sent to your inbox each week. Policygenius’ survey is based on responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,501 U.S. adults in a relationship. It was conducted through Google Consumer Surveys from Jan. 12 through Jan. 15, 2021. These numbers were rounded to the nearest whole number. You can find more results from the survey here.




About Policygenius: Policygenius is the nation’s leading online insurance marketplace, with headquarters in New York City and Durham, North Carolina. We’ve helped more than 30 million people shop for all types of insurance like they shop for everything else — online — and have placed over $75 billion in coverage. Policygenius launched in 2014 and is one of the early insurtech pioneers. Policygenius launched wills and trusts through a new mobile app in 2020. Policygenius was named to Forbes’ list of Best Startup Employers (2020), Crain’s Fast 50 (2019) and Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces (2018, 2019, 2020).