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Love and money: She said...

She said

By Jessica Horton, Copywriter

As Feb. 14 draws closer, I’ve done a lot of research regarding the qualities women look for in a mate. I’ve read a variety of studies, articles and lists – admittedly some of these sources were legitimate research articles, while some were simply opinion pieces – but ultimately they all led me to the same conclusion: One of the key traits women look for in a significant other is financial stability.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the person has to be rich. Don’t get me wrong, there are some women out there who would love to find a wealthy man who could cater to their every need. But ultimately, the majority of women desire a partner who is financially stable, meaning:

  • He hasn’t amassed an uncontrollable amount of debt.
  • He budgets and spends wisely.
  • He has put some funds aside for the future.

Women find this kind of financial stability attractive for many reasons. There are the surface reasons: “He will be able to take me on nice dates,” or “He won’t have to rely on me to pay his bills,” but then there are the deeper reasons.

Women tend to be analytical creatures by nature, so when a woman discovers that a man has put a lot into savings and investments, she’s noting the fact that he took the initiative to do something responsible for his future.

So it’s important to remember that your financial habits say a lot more about you than you may realize.

And women are noticing. 

Visit the Love and Money page on our website to check out more financial resources for couples.

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Flirting with finances

You're guaranteed to fall in love our free eBook

Noticing the polarizing effects finances can have on the most committed of couples, the educators at MMI have addressed both. Part one is a fun, flirty take on love and money, while part two addresses the more pressing concerns of couples by offering advice on making finances a delight, rather than a drain, on your relationship. As a bonus, part three features ideas to spark conversation and candid talk from couples on love and money.

Love and Money eBook 


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Getting candid with your partner about finances

Start talking about money — and use your indoor voice

With Valentine’s Day right around corner, love is in the air, leading couples to talk about romantic getaways, special gifts and fun outings to express their love and affection. In addition to the candy hearts and fragrant roses, this season of love is also the perfect time to have candid conversations about financial matters with the one you love.

Nothing breaks Cupid’s bow faster than an argument about money. According to a study conducted by Money Management International (MMI), fifty-six percent of people who are unhappily married report financial problems are to blame. Numerous studies also indicate money problems as the leading cause for divorce.

“The key to a loving and financially stable relationship is communication,” said Jo Kerstetter, vice president of financial education at MMI. “Taking the time to talk about money concerns and financial goals can be a great investment for a couple’s joint financial future.”

In order to learn more, the financial experts at MMI went straight to the source – couples who have gleaned from time spent handling money with their honey. From newlyweds to pairs whose relationships aged like a fine wine, we found a variety of couples willing to speak candidly about love and money:

“To manage money effectively, it helps most to share common values. These values drive our spending decisions and help us to have positive feelings about our shared financial plans.” -Tommye W., married 39 years.

“Try as hard and best you can to be DEBT FREE!!!! There is nothing harder than having debt looming over you! I know we spent way too much money on my engagement ring and it was a huge bill the first nine months of our marriage. Although I love my ring, it’s a constant reminder debt can creep into your marriage and make what should be the most enjoyable time of your life, the hardest and most stressful time. - Holly J., married two years.

“Combining finances with someone else is one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship – especially if you have been doing it on your own for years. The key in our relationship is communication. - Andrea S., married six years.

“It’s best to have a household budget set aside to pay the bills, but it’s okay for each spouse to have their own separate accounts for personal and other needs.” - Tina S. married 18 years.

“Managing a relationship and money can be like a roller coaster ride. There are ups, downs and fast curves, but the key is to hold on tightly to the love that you have for one another and prepare as best you can.” -David S. married 30 years.

“We have regular ’money talks’ to discuss our goals and where we sit financially. Don’t blame each other or point fingers. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And ALWAYS save. Even if it’s $10 a month, something is better than nothing!” - Courtney V., married five and a half years.

For more helpful tips for financial partners and to read more candid advice from couples,  download the free eBook, Love and Money.

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
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