Looking for love? Fix your credit score

With Valentine’s Day coming up, there will be seductive gifts and intimate dinners. But you know what is really sexy? Being financially responsible.

Especially now.

“Over half of people would break up with their significant other if he or she spent irresponsibly. And almost 40% more Americans say they wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit compared to last year, so the pandemic seems to have put this at the forefront of relationships,” said Jill Gonzalez, at WalletHub, referring to a recent online survey of U.S. consumers.

That survey found almost a third of people say money matters more to them in a relationship now that it did before COVID-19. Money problems rank behind only cheating and politics as reasons to break up with someone in 2022.

Perhaps as a result, the WalletHub survey found many will spend less on a Valentine’s Day gift this year. Excluding a nice dinner, 33% of respondents said they planned to spent less than $50 on a gift, and 31% said they would spend nothing. Only 7% said they plan to spend more than $100 on a Valentine’s Day gift.

“The further we get from the peak of the pandemic, the more we are spending on other things, essentially playing catch-up on our spending. So I think now, more than even the height of the pandemic, people are really feeling that their wallets are strapped,” Gonzalez said.

Roughly eight in 10 surveyed said a Valentine’s Day gift is not worth adding to credit card debt, 17% fewer than those willing to add to debt to buy a gift last year.

WalletHub’s full survey results and methodology are posted online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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