The Credit Downgrade: Fewer Splurges, More Stress For Couples

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Experts tell us how to protect our love lives from the financial effects of the credit downgrade.

The United States has faced its fair share of economic turmoil in recent years, but we often rely on our nation's reputation of world leadership and long-term stability to get us through the rough patches. Unfortunately, our nation's debt and conflict in Washington resulted in a historic blow to our country's financial status this week.

Though Congress eventually agreed to raise the debt ceiling, it was too little too late for Standard & Poor's. The credit rating company was unimpressed with how the U.S. government was handling its funds. As a result, just this past weekend the S&P downgraded the country's credit rating from an elite AAA to a lesser AA+. Economists can only predict the ripple effects from this historic measure—though wild swings on Wall Street and higher interest rates are likely. How The Recession Forever Changed Relationships

Since finances are a consistent form of tension among couples, we asked experts what the credit downgrade might mean for our love lives as we move through the rest of the year, and even further into the future.

"According to the financial experts, with the credit rating lowered, it has the very real possibility of making our government-backed bonds less expensive which causes interest rates to rise," YourTango Expert Dr. Paul Inselman says. "Bonds and interest rates are inversely proportional so as the value of the bonds decrease, the interest rate increases."

What does a higher interest rate mean for the average consumer's daily life? "This can cause mortgages, credit cards and car loans to all have higher rates of interest," Dr. Inselman says. "These higher rates of interest can preclude young or old lovers from buying their dream house, car or 10-carat engagement ring. When we can't have what we want, it automatically causes unwanted stress and strain that can spill over into the relationship." A Quick History Of Engagement Rings

YourTango Expert Nancy Rae Evans agrees that the credit downgrade might create tough decisions for couples looking to build their futures, and as a result, add more relationship stress into the mix.

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