Millennial Couples Value Financial Responsibility | American Funds

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FEBRUARY 13, 2017

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift May Be Financial Responsibility

Millennials are often seen as financially foolhardy, but the vast majority prize financial responsibility in their partners.

88% — Percentage of millennials who value financial responsibility in a spouse

What do married couples appreciate most about each other? When it comes to millennials, it may not be what you think.

Nearly nine out of 10 millennials (88%) value financial responsibility in their partner, according to a survey conducted by Money magazine. In fact, money smarts are more valued than other traits (including looks and intellectual compatibility).

It may also surprise people to learn that nearly half of the millennials who participated in the study said that having a partner who spends extravagantly is a deal-breaker. Four in 10 indicated that having a significant amount of debt was a drawback, and 32% cited high earning potential as an important consideration.

While millennials are often characterized as financially irresponsible with little concern for saving, it appears that young adult couples are more focused on finances than previously assumed.

Likewise, American Funds’ Wisdom of Experience survey found that 59% of millennials began saving for retirement before the age of 25 — earlier than both their parents and grandparents.

Even so, millennial couples still have some work to do. Just four in 10 have discussed their long-term financial goals, according to a 2016 survey of adults ages 25 to 34 by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). About half have discussed their individual savings and spending habits with one another, while some 51% have established a monthly household budget.

The bottom line: Millennials who are still thinking about what to get their significant others for Valentine’s Day might want to skip the traditional gifts this year. Becoming more fiscally responsible might just be the best present of all.


“Poll: How Boomer and Millennial Couples Feel About Love and Money.” Money magazine. May 20, 2015.

“Wisdom of Experience: Lessons Learned From Three Generations of Investors.” American Funds Distributors, Inc. January 2016.

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