News & Views - Savantor

Emotional finance

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Hidden credit card purchases are causing rifts between couples, with one in ten cardholders separating or divorcing their partner as a result, according to research from MoneySuperMarket. They surveyed consumers about their credit card spending habits, and the results reveal that one in ten people have either separated from their partner or even gone as far as divorcing as a result of being found out for secret spending. A further 9% also admitted that secret credit card spending caused arguments with their partner. Of the 15% who confessed to lying to their other half about their credit card spend, a third said this was because they knew they would be angry, and a further one in three said they knew their partner wouldn't approve of their spending.

The research also found that women have a much guiltier conscience when it comes to credit card bills and are 60% more likely to hide a statement from their other half. This is despite the fact that men actually splash out almost £100 more per month on average, spending £360 in comparison to their female counterparts who spend £274 each month.

Another piece of research, conducted by neuroscience research agency Mindlab found that presenting information about retirement in a positive tone, highlighting practical steps for finding out more information or taking action could help people to feel more motivated and positive about the future. Conversely, adopting a negative tone - or fear factor - was least likely to help people, particularly where guidance on what to do next was not included. Findings also suggest that positively toned and helpful communications about long term savings stimulate the hormone dopamine, reducing anxiety, and encourage production of oxytocin leading to feelings of happiness.

Just last month, Bank of New Zealand added a new tool to its Website called EmotionScan, which uses advanced facial recognition software to help customers explore their emotional attachment to their personal finances. It's the first time the software has been used to gauge people's emotional response to their financial situation. It was initially developed to help with researching consumer reactions to advertisements and new product development ideas.

So if you know someone who is frugal with their money it's not because they're tight they're just very emotionally attached to their personal finances.


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