24 April 2024

Cutting down on gifts or going into debt for Valentine’s Day – Europeans’ attitudes differ

Daily News
| The European |

Millennials are more likely to take on debt to buy presents to their partner than their Boomer parents, but how does it differ between countries? Ahead of Valentine’s Day, European credit management company Intrum asked more than 24,000 people across Europe about their finances and how it interacts with their love lives. While many cut back on costly romantic gestures to make ends meet, others are prepared to go into debt in order to secure affection.

“In a few countries, as many as 1 in 4 say they would choose debt before coming home empty handed to their spouse. It’s unfortunate that pressure to spend money on romance is so high for some, as we see first-hand the effects problem debt can have on relationships and mental health,” says Anna Fall, Chief Brand & Communications Officer at Intrum. “We believe talking openly about debt and financial stress with your partner is the best way to tackle the problem and reduce worry.”

Estonians least likely to cut back on spending for the sake of love
Almost a third of all questioned (31 per cent) said romantic surprises or date nights are one of the first things to go when they need to cut back on spending. However, the attitudes alter when deep diving into the countries.

  • In Portugal, almost half (48 per cent) agreed that romantic surprises or date nights are one of the first things to go when they need to save money. Consumers in Greece, Romania, Spain, and Ireland are also among those who are quick to limit their romantic spending.
  • In Estonia, only 13 per cent agreed, making them the least likely to cut back on gifts and surprises for their spouses, followed by consumers in Denmark, Norway and Austria.

1 in 4 British consumers are ready to go into debt for romance
When asked if buying presents or treats for their partner is the most common reason why they go into credit card debt, 15 per cent of all respondents agreed.

  • Consumers in the UK and Ireland are most likely to take on debts for buying presents, where 1 in 4 (24 per cent) said that presents are the most common reason why they go into credit card debt.
  • In fact, 1 in 5 British and Irish consumers even said they believed their partner would leave them within a year if they didn’t spend as much money on treats and presents.
  • Estonians are least likely to go into debt for romantic treats, only five per cent agreed, followed by consumers in Austria, Hungary, and Latvia (9 per cent).​​​​​​​

Big difference between generations and genders
Differences are not only found between different countries, but also among the different generations and genders.

  • 1 in 5 among millennials (21 per cent) said their spending on gifts pushes them into credit card debt, compared with six per cent of Boomers. Millennials also felt their partner was more likely to leave them if they didn’t keep up the spending – 19 per cent said this; only four per cent of Boomers felt the same.
  • Men feel more pressure than women to spend money on treats and gifts – 18 per cent said this is the main reason they go into credit card debt, compared with 12 per cent of women. Likewise, 16 per cent of men said if they didn’t spend as much, their partner would leave them, compared with 10 per cent of women.

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