By  Fri Feb 14, 2014

Survey: Money Worries Hurting Americans’ Sex Drives

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Are money issues killing your sex drive? You’re not alone.

Roughly 145.5 million Americans think about money more often than sex, a new survey conducted by Harris on behalf of the financial data company Yodlee has found. And more than a quarter of Americans in a romantic relationship say that worries over money have affected how often they want to be intimate with their partner.

“This survey shows just how severely financial stress is affecting Americans’ relationships,” said Caroline McNally, vice president of marketing at Yodlee.

Results from the survey show that money-related sexual stress affects people across all income levels — 26 percent of people in relationships with a household income of $100,000 or more per year suffer from altered libidos, the same percentage as households earning $50,000-74,900 annually. And 19 percent of households earning between $75,000-99,900 report suffering sexually due to money concerns.

“We were surprised at the degree to which money stress affects people’s sex drives across all different demographics,” said McNally. “Many might expect this stress to be worse for people who have family finances to worry about, or people with low salaries, but that’s not the case.”

The survey revealed that money issues affect younger people more severely than their older counterparts — 36 percent of people in relationships between the ages of 18-34 said financial issues affected their desire for sex, compared to just 26 percent for people between 45-54. Weighed down by a large amount of student debt and facing a tough job market, younger generations are less equipped to handle tough money problems.

Money issues also affect the sexes differently. Women think about money the most, the survey revealed. More than three-fourths of women, about 77 percent, think about money more often than sex, compared to just 46 percent of men.

McNally said Yodlee conducted the survey to make the point that personal relationships are just as important to maintaining a healthy financial life as making budgets or investing wisely.

“We hope this survey will help people reflect on how they talk about and manage money with their partners,” said McNally, “And that it will lead to more productive collaboration around finances.”

McNally said that couples experiencing financial problems need to communicate openly about their issues to keep money-related stress from hurting their relationships. To communicate productively, both partners need to be fully informed about all aspects of their financial situation.

“Resources like financial advisors and financial management tools can help people get [more of a] perspective — especially when they are already stressed and confused,” said McNally.

The survey was conducted online from Dec. 6-10 among 2,039 adults over the age of 18. Figures were weighted to reflect actual proportions in the U.S. population.

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