New Survey Finds Money Issues Cause Frequent Tension in Majority of Millennials’ Romantic Relationships

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift May be the “Money Talk”

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many millennials are
likely shopping for cards, candy or jewelry for their significant other.
While romance is a large part of Valentine’s Day, setting aside some
time to have the ‘money talk’ with your sweetheart may prevent future

This topic is critically important to couples, with the vast majority
(88 percent) of adults 25 to 34 who are married or living with a partner
saying that financial decisions are a source of tension in their
relationship. That’s according to a new survey from the American
Institute of CPAs
(AICPA) and the Ad Council. The survey found that
financial decisions caused tension in one-in-five relationships (20
percent) on a daily basis, with an additional 31 percent reporting these
money issues as a source of weekly stress.

The Feed the Pig campaign from AICPA and the Ad
aims to help young adults adopt positive saving habits at a
time when they are making major decisions – starting a career, buying a
house, getting married, starting a family – all of which will greatly
impact their finances. The national public service advertising (PSA)
campaign encourages young adults ages 25-34 to visit
for simple tools to help them save for their goals, and plan for the

“Financial planning, budgeting and investing are serious issues that
become increasingly complicated and stressful when approached as a
couple,” said Greg Anton, CPA, CGMA, chairman of the AICPA’s National
CPA Financial Literacy Commission. “We encourage couples to have a
serious conversation about their financial hopes and dreams and the
steps they need to take to get there. The tools and resources on the
Feed the Pig website help couples plan for retirement, combine their
finances and even plan a wedding.”

Other findings of the survey among adults ages 25-34 who are married or
living with a partner:

  • Only 42 percent have discussed their long-term financial goals as a
  • Just one-in-three (33 percent) have developed a joint retirement
  • 50 percent say that combining finances with a partner who saves
    differently than them gets in the way of saving more;
  • Only 56 percent have discussed their individual savings and spending
    habits with one another;
  • Just 51 percent have established a household monthly budget;
  • Almost half (47 percent) of those who are married or living with a
    partner say all of their expenses are shared equally.

Members of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission
provided the following tips on how to handle financial decisions when in
a committed relationship.

  1. Get a good sense of each other’s financial values and beliefs.
  2. Come up with a time every month or quarter to discuss financial
    matters so it becomes part of a routine.
  3. Visit the ‘Couples’
    page on the Feed the Pig website
    for tips and tools.
  4. Try to discuss important financial decisions on neutral ground,
    perhaps even in a restaurant where emotions can remain under control.
  5. Know how much each partner earns so that realistic financial goals can
    be developed together.
  6. Determine how much debt each partner has so you can work together to
    pay it off.
  7. Get your credit score (for free) since your partner’s credit score
    could affect your ability to buy a home or car, or maybe even get a
    new job.


The survey was administered by the Ad Council and conducted by
LightSpeed Research in December 2015. The nationwide, online survey was
completed by 500 employed adults, ages 25-34.

About the AICPA

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member
association representing the accounting profession, with more than
412,000 members in 144 countries, and a history of serving the public
interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice,
including business and industry, public practice, government, education
and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing
standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state
and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA
Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate
on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation;
and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint
venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),
it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
designation which sets a new standard for global recognition of
management accounting.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and
Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at


Marc Eiger, 212-596-6042
Schiavone, 212-596-6119