Nearly 3 In 5 Americans Say Money Is The Leading Cause Of Stress In Their Relationship According To American Consumer Credit Counseling Survey


December 3, 2013

No other topic is most likely to prompt a spat in a relationship than money, according to a recent online survey by national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling, with an overwhelming 54 percent of survey respondents stating that financial issues are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, while only 5 percent of respondents indicated fidelity and trust were an issue and only 9 percent cited in-laws as the biggest stress trigger.

“Arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce and the number one topic likely to spark a disagreement between couples,” stated Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Tensions can be exceptionally high during the holiday season, which is why increased honest communication about finances will help you limit the unnecessary stress in your relationship.”

According to the online survey 67 percent of respondents admitted to arguing with their significant other about money. Furthermore, as their income levels increased, respondents were more likely to report that financial issues put a strain on their relationship. Of the 208 consumers polled by ACCC, 90 percent with an income of $100,000 or more reported that money was a hot-button issue in their relationships.

“Clearly, financial disputes among couples is not income biased,” said Trumble. “Couples need to keep in mind that no matter the income, money issues affect everyone. My best advice for couples, new and old, is to remember that managing house-hold finances is a two-person job.”

Additionally, ACCC’s survey found that, as the length of the relationship increased, the chances of arguing over money increased as well. For example, 54 percent of those in relationships for less than five years said they argue over financial matters compared to 79 percent of those in relationships for 10 to 20 years. However, a study by TD Ameritrade showed that only 5 percent of respondents stated money was an important factor when choosing a partner.

“Sitting down together and creating a financial plan that both spouses can stick to will do wonders to maintain the honeymoon phase in any relationship,” added Trumble. “However, frequent communication and regular adjustments to your joint budget will ensure a healthy financial future together. If you are overwhelmed take a step back and set realistic goals that you both agree on. The most important take-away is to ensure that you both are on the same page.”

The affects of money on relationships poll was the latest in a series of ACCC web surveys for 2013 that focus on a variety of financial education, budgeting and planning topics. American Consumer Credit Counseling’s certified and experienced counselors offer a variety of financial education, counseling and debt management services to help consumers achieve long-term financial health and stability.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management.

For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • For more information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x1980
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to or visit