Financial Stats Bomb!

Just got a note about TD Bank’s 4th annual “Love and Money” survey, and it reminded me we haven’t done a good Stats Bombing around here lately :)

Here’s a plethora of data I’ve collected over the past handful of months from press releases and surveys sent over… I’ve tried to pick out the more juicy parts for your enjoyment ;)

Quotes and sources are below, along with my own two cents, of course…


4th Annual “Love and Money” Survey

“We conducted an online survey with 1,749 respondents (1,522 married/in a committed relationship; 227 divorcees)… Qualifying respondents were over 18 years of age, live in the U.S, and are in a relationship (not single) or divorced.”

“Roughly 6-in-10 believe it is harder to find “true love” over “financial success””

Such an interesting question to pose!! I think I’d agree – finding true love isn’t always in your control, whereas most of your finances are. And the more in control of your finances you are, the better shot of attracting that *person* in your life too – BOOM! Budgeting = confidence = sexy.

“Almost 3-in-10 report talking about money (27%) before going out on their first date through a digital dating service.”

LOVE THIS!! That’s a lot of people talking about money before meeting up in real life! I met my wife the old fashioned way before I got a chance to dabble in the online dating world (met her at a bar where she asked me where the bathroom was – hah! I told her it was on the dance floor ;)), so never experienced what that was like, though I hear it’s either super awesome or super scary. Any of you guys meet your spouse online? Did you guys talk $$$ before meeting in real life?

“55% of couples combine their money, up 4% since last year.”

We’re combiners here too for a couple reasons: 1) it’s much easier to track and watch over when it’s all streamlined, and 2) it feels like we’re more of a “team” doing it this way, which marriage is all about! Of course, it might be different if I had trust issues or been in toxic relationships in the past so I totally get why you’d want to separate it out, but so far it’s been working out well for us.

Another idea is to combine, but keep *one* separate account opened where you can do as you please with no questions asked :) This lets you keep some of your autonomy and freedom more, while also letting you be a bit loose and not have to worry about it affecting your major goals/dreams.

“70% of couples share decisions around large-scale purchases”

Well I would hope so! If you’re not discussing the big things, what are you discussing??

3% of couples interviewed spent $55,000 or more on their wedding.

WOW. It would be interesting to see just how much “more”, if we could even fathom that! But I shouldn’t talk much, ‘cuz while we did spend around average for our wedding, it looks like I rank pretty high on the price paid for the engagement ring…

“The average engagement ring spend is $2,841, up from $2,016 last year.”

I spent $7,800 😱

“42% of divorcees report improved financial well being after divorce, split evenly among men and women (42% and 43%).”

Well that seems encouraging! It’s not the majority of divorcees, but you’re always hearing how divorce devastates on your finances and is hell, so this seems a bit more hopeful than I would have expected? Any divorcees out there want to chime in?

UPDATE: Check out what Jody and MK said in the comments below re: divorce – really insightful!

And then lastly from TD Bank, a screenshot off their Report I liked:

why talk about money

(Pay special attention to that “intimacy” part :) )


Millennial Retirement Spending Study

“Surveying 1,000 Americans within [the 22 and 37 age range], LendEDU sought out to discover monthly millennial spending habits on things like coffee, groceries, and online streaming services; we then stacked those expenditures up against their monthly retirement savings.”

“27% of the millennial respondents were spending more on coffee each month than they were saving for retirement.” 

Yes, but let’s be honest – coffee is a necessity ;) Plus, how much could you spend on coffee every month anyways?

“49% of millennials were spending more on restaurants and dining out each month than they were saving for retirement.”

That sounds a lot more right, haha… although still means 51% *are* saving more than not!

“Amongst millennial respondents that were saving for retirement, the average amount saved per month was $480″

NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!! Almost $500 every – single – month, how beautiful!! Do you know how much that’ll grow over the years??? [Hint: a lot]


LGBTQ Money Survey

“In conjunction with Pride Month 2018, Experian recently surveyed 500 individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer to learn more about their financial behaviors and attitudes. The Experian survey also included 500 non-LGBTQ Americans. ”

(This one’s out of my experience range so can’t comment on, but I throw them out there for further thinking/discussion if anyone wants to chime in!)

  • 62% of LGBTQ respondents reported having experienced financial challenges because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 44% of LGBTQ respondents said they struggle to maintain adequate savings vs. 38% of the general population.
  • 34% of said they have bad spending habits that they’d like to improve or change vs. 28% of the general population.
  • LGBTQ respondents estimated they devote 16% of monthly income to discretionary spending, but just 11% to saving or investment.


2018 Women in the Independent Workforce Report

“FreshBooks, in conjunction with Research Now, surveyed more than 2,700 people in the U.S. who work full time – either as traditional employees, independent professionals, or small business owners.”

(Same with this group – don’t know enough to share any insight, though I’m fascinated by that last line!)

  • Women who work for themselves earn 28% less than their male peers in America
  • Self-employed women in construction earn 38% less than men (compared to traditionally-employed women in construction earn 2% less than their male peers)
  • Women make up 80% of healthcare – but are paid 35% less
  • There are only 2 industries where women earn more than men. They’re paid 24% more in I.T. and 29% more in marketing and communications. In education, they break even.
  • Self-employed women struggle twice as much as men when it comes to setting rates
  • 96% of women want to stay self-employed


Survey of 1,007 Parents

“ surveyed 1,007 parents in the U.S. to determine how they deal with their children when it comes to smartphones.”

Now this one I will chime in on! :)

“20% of children between the ages of 1 to 6 own a smartphone in the United States”

NO!! What kid needs a phone at that age?? Or I should say – SMARTphone? Give ’em a walkie talkie or flip phone if you’re going the “emergency” route, but a smart phone?? I’m keeping my kids off the internet for as long as I’m legally allowed to, haha…

UPDATE: Check out mollyjade’s comment down below on this… medical stuff is always an exception :(

“Half of parents agree the most appropriate age for a child to own a phone is between 10 to 13 years old”

That sounds more right, though again they don’t necessarily need a *smart* phone – even though every single friend of theirs will have one by then, ugh… It’ll actually be interesting to see if those Relays that Republic Wireless just came out with will change up the industry at all. I hope so! I’ve been waiting for phones to get dumbed back down again for years now – so many good uses for them!! Particularly with kids or the elderly, etc… (On a side note, I’m trying to pick up a few of those Relays to test them on my kids – I’ll report back if I do!)

relays love

“29% of parents spent more than $100 on their 1 to 6-year-old’s smartphone”

Well yeah – smartphones are expensive! Unless you hand down your old one to them, which again – ain’t happening here.

“83% say their children spend up to 21 hours per week on their phones”

I feel like that’s a lot? 3 hours/day? Or am I just strict? Haha…  Our “screen time” at home is about an hour a day which lets each kid watch one of their favorite shows each, and then it’s back to play-time or they turn into zombies… Although one of the reasons they’re so happy to have a 3rd brother now is that they’ll get more time to watch TV when he gets to pick his favorite show every day too – hah!

“68% of parents have not placed limitations on their children’s smartphones”

Not sure if that’s limitations on the phones themselves (like no internet, games, etc), or the actual time spent on them, but either way without any limits there’s no telling what they’d get into. Not happening with this old man!


Clips from other surveys and press releases:

Here’s some clips I picked off from other random surveys and press releases I’ve been sent over the past handful of months…

“Three-quarters of Americans check their bank balance weekly, but only 27% create an annual budget for their household.” – USAA (press release)

Haha yeah, I used to check my bank accounts EVERY SINGLE DAY when I first got hooked here :) Eventually realized I could scale back a bit and now only check maybe 2-3 days total a month (mainly to pay bills and update the ol’ net worth), but I say better to over check your balances than under check!

As for budgeting, I’ve stopped doing that after I finally got a good grasp on my finances, and now stick to just updating our net worth every month which motivates me a lot more. (And is 10x easier to do :))

“Nearly two-thirds (159 million) said having as little as $60 extra cash a year would make a difference in their lives.” – USAA (press release)

I wish I could find this original press release as I don’t know how you poll 150+ million people?!, but it is interesting (and scary) that $60 a year could make such a difference in people’s lives. But the beauty is that most of us waste $60 probably every month on stuff that could easily be recouped! It’s not as easy as someone just handing you a $60.00 check, but by paying closer attention to your habits every day I’m willing to bet you could find it… (and not talking about those in poverty in our country, of course, but those of us in the middle class who are mainly reading this blog).

“74% of people say they’ve gone into debt to pay for a vacation, to the tune of $1,108, on average.” – LearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey

Old me: Oh yeah! Fun times > debt!
New me: Oh, HELL NO! Freedom > debt!

“100% of those who read will become millionaires over their lifetime.”
– Warren Buffett

The most factual stat of all! :)

van damme dancing gif


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Share below and we shall discuss!

For further statistical enjoyment:

// TD Bank compensated me to be included in this round of stats bombing…

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  1. Accidental FIRE August 15, 2018 at 5:51 AM

    3% of couples interviewed spent $55,000 or more on their wedding.

    In the Washington DC area the average wedding cost is $44,000. Average…


    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:54 AM

      That is insane…

      You can get like 3 tiny homes for that ;)

  2. Lily | The Frugal Gene August 15, 2018 at 6:12 AM

    That was my exact reaction to almost $500 saved among saving millennials. That’s a great start for a generation that is still pretty young. I think the wealth divide is going to get worst among millennials though. 49% spends more money on eating out then retirement saving?! Gawd, we’re pigs.

  3. Marc August 15, 2018 at 6:52 AM

    The stats on kids and smartphones are kind of surprising. My daughter is almost 6 and she likes to watch videos on YouTube. She would watch YouTube all day if we let her. She doesn’t have her own phone so thankfully she’s dependent on us allowing her to watch on our phones.

    I didn’t even spend $100 on my own smart phone, so I can’t imagine spending more than that for a kid. I have a cheap one and it does everything I need.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:49 PM

      Ours love YouTube too.. I have to keep our phones out of view for them not to remember it’s on there, haha.. Works pretty well!

      1. Marc August 15, 2018 at 8:38 PM

        There is a whole world of videos on YouTube that I had no idea even existed until I had kids. Videos of people playing with Playdough (or just opening the box), playing with Barbie dolls, and all kinds of other stuff. And they have an insane number of views.

        1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 7:17 AM

          Oh yeah, haha… kids love watching other kids like them play with toys they drool over :)

  4. LeeAnne August 15, 2018 at 7:03 AM

    I agree with Lily it’s great to see Millennials are saving on average almost $500 a month. I’ve seen other reports that paint a worst picture. I wonder what the median amount is – I wonder if there are some high savers skewing the average value. I hope not – wish I knew more of what I know now when I was that age and therefore would have been a better saver. Can only imagine how much more I would have saved by now. (Ah, hindsight.).

  5. Zach August 15, 2018 at 7:13 AM

    “20% of children between the ages of 1 to 6 own a smartphone in the United States”

    I am imagining millions of filtered pictures of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets on Instagram.

    Young kids are definitely on the internet. Some of the most popular Youtube channels are toy reviews. Heck, one of the most viewed Youtube channels (over 16 BILLION views) is a 6 year old that reviews toys.

    1. Paul August 15, 2018 at 8:26 AM

      That 6 year old makes something like $11 million dollars a year

      1. Renea August 15, 2018 at 10:31 AM

        $11 million per year? Someone pass me a toy and a camera!

    2. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:52 PM


      If you’re hustling on them, then yeah – I can change my stance! Haha… I’m all for young entrepreneurship! Though you and I both know ain’t hardly any 6 year olds using it for that ;)

  6. COD August 15, 2018 at 7:42 AM

    The wedding stat reminded of this from a couple of years ago.

    If you have 200+ people at your wedding you are 92% less likely to get divorced.
    You are 53% less likely to be divorced if you spent less than $1000 on your wedding.

    So your marriage is bombproof if you have over 200 guests with a budget of less than $1000.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:53 PM

      And you’re a genius!!

  7. Dave August 15, 2018 at 8:31 AM

    Those are some interesting stats. I thought the engagement ring sounded low. I spent over $3k 12 years ago. I tried to sell her on one for about $1000 and she was not into it. It is cool to read about how people manage and view money.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:54 PM

      I would have enjoyed watching that convo, haha…

  8. Freedom 40 Plan August 15, 2018 at 8:43 AM

    “20% of children between the ages of 1 to 6 own a smartphone in the United States”

    Seriously? Who are these parents and what the hell are they thinking?

  9. Jody August 15, 2018 at 8:48 AM

    On kids and smartphones: there is a commercial out there by Nature Valley Canada that shows the tech addiction in kids through some interviews and it’s really difficult to watch. I’ll see if I can find a link.

    On divorce: I left my marriage 2 years ago and my divorce was final 12/2016. It was the #1 thing that led me to personal finance and socking more away for retirement – and your site was the doorway, J$! I was searching for a review of Acorns and found BudgetsAreSexy, and I was hooked. So thank you for that.

    But in a nutshell, I was spending money to make myself feel better during the divorce. I got serious about cutting my spending and instead started socking away money. Most months now, I put 50-60% of my take home in the bank toward retirement or savings goals. My net worth has almost doubled. It would have been more, but I had to put $ away for furniture and stuff.

    I educated myself on retirement planning, moved my $ from Edward Jones to Vanguard and now I do it all myself. I help friends and family with this stuff now, too. Knowing it’s just you now forces you to reevaluate what is important and adjust to a new paradigm.

    Also, my divorce cost us a grand total of $1400 – which is pretty much unheard of. Granted, there were no children involved so no custody issues. I wrote up the settlement myself and we tweaked it until we were both ok with it, so we didn’t have to pay the court to do it, and we didn’t have any battles over anything. In fact, I secured a lawyer but he only did some consults with a different lawyer and never had one on retainer.

    Am I better off now? You bet. In almost every way. And wow, those three lines << made my day.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:56 PM

      I’m so SO glad to hear that, Jody!! Really interesting to read – thank you for sharing :) And here’s to an even brighter future with each passing day!

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:22 PM

      Ahhhhhh turn it off!!

  10. Mr AE August 15, 2018 at 9:05 AM

    Whoa. A Smart phone under 6! With how fast tech changes I feel like a cranky old man at the age of 31 (back in my day……)

    More on coffee than retirement (I’m all for coffee but that is impressive)

    We combined our income when we bought a house together (before we were married) and I agree on it feeling more like a Team game.

  11. MK August 15, 2018 at 9:24 AM

    I’ve been married & divorced twice, not something I’m proud of but it happened. In both cases, I have been better off financially after the divorce since I’m much more of a saver/frugalista than either of my husbands. Financial independence is one of the biggest factors in my choice to remain single. Having control of my finances, myself, my future are priceless to me.

    As for the 1 to 6 yr. olds having their own phones, that’s just crazy! And people wonder why today’s kids lack social skills???

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 4:59 PM

      Good for you!! Thanks for chiming in!

  12. Mr PoP @ Planting Our Pennies August 15, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    “Almost 3-in-10 report talking about money (27%) before going out on their first date through a digital dating service.”

    Pretty amazing stat-wonder what they talk about before even the first date?

  13. Lisa August 15, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Two questions: 1. How do people talk about money BEFORE the first date? Is it just, hey, let’s go somewhere not too expensive because I’m on a budget? Or is it, should we combine finances when we get married??

    2. How was this technique successful?? “(met her at a bar where she asked me where the bathroom was – hah! I told her it was on the dance floor ;))”

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:02 PM

      I bet they talk about future goals and dreams and slip in the $$$ stuff then. At least that’s what I’d do :)

      My bar prowess: at first it didn’t work, all she wanted was the bathroom, haha… but then a half an hour later there she was dancing by my side, and the rest was history! Crazy to wonder if she asked someone else!

  14. B.C. Kowalski August 15, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    So I wanted to dig in and add a little context for those Millennial stats – how do they compared with Gen X (my own generation) or Baby Boomers?

    Turns out, according to this NerdWallet study, they’re doing much better. On average Millennials contribute 10 percent toward retirement, compared to 8 percent for Gen X and 5 percent for the boomers. There also we’re a higher percent of “super savers” – 38 percent of them are saving more than 15 percent, compared with 24 percent of Gen X and 23 percent of boomers. Here’s the study (found it in a link from 2017 but the study itself isn’t dated):

    Anecdotally, since I work in news, most of my colleagues are from the Millennial gen (I’m like the last holdout of career journalists) and I hear about a lot of wasteful spending and lack of skills to curb that spending (like basic cooking skills). So the data surprised me, but that’s why data is important – it can either mitigate or reinforce ideas we gain through anecdote. I also worked with someone who was 22 and already investing pretty heavily – I could only envy her being so smart and forward thinking at such a young age. Took me another 10-years plus to figure things out…

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:05 PM

      It really is true that every past generation looks down/makes fun of the next ones as if theirs is all perfect ;) I never know which stat is accurate or not, but I do love thinking about ’em all!

  15. mollyjade August 15, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    I’m one of the parents whose under six has a smart phone. It connects to a medical device he wears (continuous glucose monitor) and uploads the data into the cloud. We can keep an eye on his blood sugar while he’s asleep or at preschool. It’s locked so he can’t open it, and we’ve deleted almost everything he would be interested in (you can’t delete the clock app!) It was a really weird experience buying a phone for my 3 year old. And a nice one, too, since only some of them work with the app. He doesn’t yet have a phone line on it, though we’re considering it after an incident where his preschool wasn’t answering the phone.

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:08 PM

      Now THIS I completely understand, and of course is an excellent exception. Sucks you guys have to deal with all that, but glad technology is helping out!! We once helped a family get iPads for their two autistic boys and it made a world of a difference for their communication. I’ve got mad respect for all parents having to deal with medical stuff – it’s hard enough parenting without them!

  16. Patrice | Financial Peacock August 15, 2018 at 2:42 PM

    The amount spent on weddings still amazes me when $60 will make a difference to so many people (both are scary). I was surprised by the low cost of engagement rings though. I eloped to Australia and spent $2,000 on my wedding (including the dress, pictures, a cake and everything except guests), excluding the travel expenses. I do know my ring cost way more than the average so I guess I shouldn’t judge what is important to people (but I am).

  17. Torrie August 15, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Wow, I knew I probably would never be considered “normal” by most of these studies, but apparently we’re WAY out of the box here! Neither my husband nor myself owns a smartphone because we just don’t care that much, and the one smart device we do own (an old tablet), my daughter isn’t even that interested in (probably because she just thinks it’s mainly for reading, ha ha.)

    And I’m soooo not much of a jewelry person and especially not a ring person, so when I went with my husband (before he proposed to me, obviously) to look at a ring, I told the guy to only show us stuff that didn’t stick up hardly at all and that did NOT have a large diamond on it (because I didn’t want it to snag on stuff). All in all, thanks to a sale going on the weekend we went, we actually spent LESS on my ring than on my husband’s—something like $220 or something for mine, and like $270 on my husband’s. Now that I can’t even wear my ring anymore thanks to a skin reaction to it (after I developed an autoimmune skin condition), I’m REALLY glad we didn’t go overboard!

    1. J. Money August 15, 2018 at 5:13 PM

      Oh wow – good job!! Yeah my wife never wears her ring either because it scratches the kids, womp womp… Hopefully companies keep making “dumb” phones so you don’t get sucked in! They get addictive pretty easily! :)

  18. Tonya August 15, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    Who are these 1-6 year olds with smartphones!?! The emergency route doesn’t even make sense because they can’t be left alone. They should be with an adult who most likely has a phone for emergencies. I have a continuous glucose monitor that I use with my phone but the FDA requires that it also be sold with a transponder which does the same thing without a phone so I’m not sure you NEED a phone for this. That’s the whole point. The company has to provide it so a phone is not required. The child could carry the transponder receiver and it can be connected to the parents’ phones who can then also see their child’s numbers. I use this for myself. I would give my child the non-phone device and have him share it to my phone.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 7:18 AM

      Man, learning so much today!!! And very true that kids are never left alone at that age anyways, haha… (at least they better not be!)

    2. mollyjade August 18, 2018 at 12:10 AM

      The transponder doesn’t upload to the cloud. Dexcom Share, the app that lets other people look at your Dexcom data, requires a smartphone. So if a caretaker wants to see real time data and get push notifications, the patient has to have a smartphone with Internet access.

  19. Karl. B August 15, 2018 at 9:33 PM

    I’m a divorcee (about 7 years ago). I’m more than likely in a better financial situation now than what I would have been had I stayed married. The reason is actually pretty simple – I was left with a bad debt after the divorce (mostly due to having to pay for an apartment and lawyer bills) so I really had to ramp down my lifestyle for a year or so and also purchase a smaller house. I never really increased my lifestyle since then and I guess it also taught me that you can lose it all in an instant. My registered accounts (TFSA and RRSP in Canada) are maxed out every year and I’m aggressively paying off my mortgage now.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 7:20 AM

      Oh wowww good for you! You’re right that sometimes it takes major events to change your habits… And amazing how happy you can still be even while spending less, right?

  20. Jen August 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM

    I wonder if the reason the engagement ring number seems low is because there are more 2nd generation rings. My engagement ring repurposed a stone from my husband’s grandma. He also inherited his grandpa’s wedding band. It makes for a cool story and saves money. We spent less than 2k for my ring, my wedding band, and getting his ring cleaned up and sized.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      That is so beautiful!!!! And would take that in a heart beat if we had any old family heirlooms passed down! Which we didn’t, but maybe we need to start the tradition ourselves with this ring! Would make me feel much better about spending the $7k on it, haha…

  21. Karl B. August 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    For sure! I still spend money on the things I love but fortunately, I have simple interests. I love barbecuing (lunches for the week :), good craft beers (cheaper than good wine) and sports (road trip for a hockey/football game is cheaper than a trip to Europe). I travel internationally for work so I’ve been able to visit Bali, Cape Town, Rio, Santiago (Chile), Fiji, Tokyo and other small wonderful places for really cheap since my divorce.

    1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 10:13 AM

      Sounds like Karl 2.0 is on a roll :)

  22. Flyover State August 16, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    I’m happy to see 55% (and growing!) of couples are combining their money. Combining money after marriage is one piece of advice I will always give to newly weds, if asked. It forces communication about finances, which can often be an area of disagreement or misunderstanding. I’m indifferent on each person having one separate account for discretionary spending. If you choose to have side accounts, I’d recommend (and as J$ says above) making sure all of your “combined” financial goals are being met first. I’m pretty passionate about this, I wonder if there’s a need/desire for financial literacy training for couples…who’s with me?

    1. J. Money August 16, 2018 at 11:19 AM

      100% there’s a need for it! And we’re starting to see a lot of *apps* come out to tackle just that as so many usually are focused on *individual* use.

      Here are three on the scene that seem promising after poking around and personally talking with them:

      There’s also blogs and podcasts that focus on couples too!

      So stuff does already exist, but certainly not enough to connect ALL couples yet…

  23. Debbie August 17, 2018 at 4:45 AM

    My husband’s divorce cost $100,000. His ex got 1/2 his 401k & 1/2 the equity in the house plus big lawyer bills. It took years to recover. To young people: one of the most important decisions you can ever make is finding the right partner. Divorce can be extremely costly. PS we skipped a wedding/engagement ring. I’m not a jewelry person & a private ceremony in our living room was just fine (and cheap) since we’ve both been married previously.