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Posted on February 11, 2008

Men who want to make an impression on that special someone this Valentine’s Day may want to consider offering their credit report instead of roses. According to Money Management International’s (MMI) 2008 Love and Money Survey, 73 percent of women say that they would choose financial security over attractiveness when making a decision about committing to a relationship. In addition, a whopping 82 percent of women believe that financial know-how is important in a potential partner.

Unfortunately, many consumers continue to live on the brink of financial disaster. According to the Federal Reserve, consumer debt continues to grow at staggering levels, hitting $2.51 trillion in November 2007. Further, the nation’s personal savings rate continues to be in the negatives.

Because money matters, the experts at MMI recommend that consumers devote more time to improving their financial standing. It is a well-known fact that financial problems are a leading cause of divorce. Whether you’re celebrating a 5-month or 50-year anniversary, communication and financial responsibility are important pieces of the relationship puzzle.

For those looking for love, MMI’s survey results are a clear call to action: Getting your finances in order now will not only make you a more attractive prospect, but will help build a healthy relationship.

For those already in relationships, there are additional steps to take: Start by having a frank and open dialogue to discuss where you stand today. Next, make a joint commitment to better your overall financial position by paying down debt and establishing a savings cushion. Finally, set up a time to meet each month to discuss your financial goals and expectations.

“Being honest with yourself and loved ones about your financial past and future is an early key to success,” said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy with Money Management International. “Remember that everyone has their own money style, which has been shaped by their past experiences. Approaching the issues honestly and openly gives you a much better chance at a strong, healthy financial relationship.”