The ‘Couples and Money Survey’ by US-based Orion Advisor Solutions revealed that half (50 per cent) of respondents – including 61 per cent of millennials – consider dishonesty about money a form of infidelity.

The survey results also show that more than a quarter (27 per cent) say their relationship would be better if their partner would change something about how they handle money.

Roughly one in five (21 per cent) wish they had known more about their partner’s financial attitudes before committing to the relationship. A quarter (25 per cent) of respondents have kept a purchase secret from their partner, while nearly one in 10 (nine per cent) have debts they’re keeping secret from their partner.

Just under 30 per cent of respondents have money-related disagreements with their partner at least monthly, with 58 per cent claiming they never have disagreements about money.

The data shows that the disagreements are related to fears about market risk and the economy (35 per cent of disagreements) more often than personal spending philosophies. Nearly three in 10 respondents (29 per cent) disagree about whether to spend or save.

Orion’s survey also revealed key generational differences on topics, including money conversations/disagreements, financial stressors, and hidden debts:

  • Millennials (90 per cent) and Gen X (90 per cent) are more likely to have had conversations about money before committing to their relationship than baby boomers (68 per cent);
  • More than half of millennials (53 per cent) and Gen X (55 per cent) say they have weekly conversations about finances with their partner, compared to 38 per cent of baby boomers;
  • Disagreements about money are much more frequent among millennials (21 per cent weekly, 27 per cent monthly) than among Gen X (10 per cent weekly, 26 per cent monthly) and baby boomers (2 per cent weekly, 10 per cent monthly);
  • Millennials are also most likely to say money is a stressor in their relationship (54 per cent), followed by Gen X (41 per cent), while only 14 per cent of baby boomers identify money as a relationship stressor; and
  • Hidden debts and secret purchases are most common among millennials, 24 per cent of whom have debts of which their partner is unaware and 43 per cent of whom have kept a purchase secret from their partner.