Study Finds that Budgeting Improves Your Sex Life

Plus hacks for talking about money - whether you’re single, in a relationship, or anything in between

An illustration of two phone screens. One has the Cleo logo on it. The other has a graph showing the correlation between increased Love and Money.

It’s no joke: turns out a 2022 study by the Institute for Family Studies found “consistent practice of financial management behaviors was strongly linked to their own reports of less financial stress,” which in turn improved married couples’ sex lives.

We’ve been saying budgeting is sexy for years. Now we’ve got the science to back it. Move aside dating apps, you may bring people together, but it’s budgeting apps that keep couples together.

And obviously, it’s not just straight, married couples who make lurve (sorry Grandma).  Unsurprisingly, this study’s findings about the implications of financial stress are supported by other studies, such as one which found a connection between the presence of cortisol - the juice your brain releases when you’re stressed - and decreased libido in women.

So we did our own study about money and relationships

From Valentine’s day and beyond, money has a huge impact on relationships. We’re all about money transparency. Whether you’re dating, in a relationship, or a secret third thing (happily single) it’s always good to have open, honest conversations about finances.

So we decided to dig a little deeper into how y’all feel about money.

We sent a survey out to 770 US adults who are either married, in a relationship, or single, with the intention of finding out how couples approach their finances, and how money impacts singles’ dating lives. You can check out the whole report here. Today, we’re gonna look at what it means for budgeting in particular.

Let’s get into it.

How money impacts single people’s dating lives…

  • Money comes into the decisions people make about relationships straight away. Over half (56%) of single respondents said they wouldn’t cancel a first date because of finances. Makes sense, given that being poor doesn’t mean you automatically stop needing enjoyment in your life.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

  • 75.6% of respondents said good money management is important in a partner
  • BUT, the majority of respondents (69%) said they would wait until they’d been together for 6 months or longer to talk about money.

For established couples…

  • Out of all the tools available, the majority (41%) of couples use a money management app.
  • Over half of the respondents said they talk about money at least once a week.
  • Still, out of everything they'd like to talk about more, the majority (30%) would like to have more conversations about daily spending habits.

So what does this tell us?

Money has a bigger impact on relationships than we’d like to admit, but we still wait for a long time to talk about it. This is understandable - talking about money is tough! But it’s 2023 baby, we want salary transparency, open convos about money, and no shame around our finances.

And because we’re not taught about this sh*t in school, sometimes we need a little help getting started.

How to start talking about money

A lot of this taboo is connected to maintaining capitalist structures - if we don't talk about how much we're paid, we can't compare how sh*ttily we're being treated by our boss, and demand a pay rise. Like any dumb taboo, it turns out talking about money is actually not as hard as our forbearers would have liked us to believe.

There are plenty of money management apps out there that can help get conversations started. (Nice - let the robots do the awkward work.)

We’re gonna suggest Cleo, because you’re literally on the Cleo blog right now, but because we are unbiased angels, we’ll also suggest checking out our top budgeting apps article.

Here’s how to get started:

💙 Whatever your relationship status, set your boundaries

First off. Before you have any conversations, you need to figure out your own boundaries. Whatever your relationship status, you’re going to want to know how much money you have to play with. With Cleo’s free budgeting feature, she can help you can categorize your spending into essential and non-essential. This way, spending feels less like riding a waterslide in the dark, and you can set your budget for dates guilt-free.

If you are in a relationship, understanding your own finances allows you to build a budget together. This leads us to our next point…

💙 Give a money date a try

Set aside some time to talk about money in a comfortable environment.

Here are some bases you’ll want to cover:

  • Review your spending. Cleo can help you identify your top merchants, so you can find where all your money is disappearing off to. If you need the ice breaking, Cleo will kindly roast you for your late-night Amazon binges to get the ball rolling.
  • Set goals together, so you’re working towards the same thing, or supporting each other in your respective goals. If it’s savings you’re trying to build, Cleo can automate them for you, so that you can save without even thinking.
  • Finally, hype each other for all the good you’re going. Cleo can get you started here if you type ‘Hype me’ into the chat 👼

And if you’re motivated by rage/chaos to get on top of your finances, try roasting your ex with Cleo for a chance to win $500.

All you've got to do is this:

  1. Open the Cleo app and type “roast my ex” in chat
  2. Check your spends and watch your ex get read to filth 
  3. Hit “share” and tag us on Instagram or Twitter @meetcleo between February 6 and February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's day. Big love. Cleo 💙

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