Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have Avoided a Person or Situation Because They Knew it Would be An Awkward Money Moment, Reveals New Survey

-- Having a Credit Card Declined Named the Most Awkward Money Moment --

May 01, 2013, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- There's something funny about money that can make us squeamish. A new survey reveals that nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. adults have avoided a person or a situation because they knew it would be an awkward money moment. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from April 15th – 17th, 2013, among 2,114 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

While awkward money moments can be dodged sometimes, they can also catch you off-guard. Having a credit card declined, the most awkward money moment for 41 percent of U.S. adults, can be an unpleasant surprise. A variety of other uncomfortable money moments, some surprises and some not, also made the list, including:

  • Feeling pressured to donate to a charity on behalf of a co-worker, family member or friend – 34 percent
  • Saying no to giving money to a panhandler or beggar – 29 percent
  • Feeling pressured to chip in on a group gift at work, like for a baby shower or wedding shower – 25 percent
  • Sharing salary/wage amounts with co-workers – 25 percent
  • Splitting a dinner bill or check with a large group of people – 17 percent
  • Figuring out a gift to get a partner for special occasions, like a first anniversary or a first birthday together – 14 percent

"It can be difficult to navigate delicate money situations, but staying open and honest can help, " said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at "Be upfront with others when it comes to your finances, and respect others who do the same. When all else fails, laugh it off and make a resolution to handle it better the next time."    

Humor can definitely help alleviate the tension of many awkward money moments. When U.S. adults were asked to describe their specific most awkward money moments, responses included the following:

  • Being asked by a boss to contribute to his political party.
  • I caught a co-worker digging in my purse to find cash.
  • I thought I gave an usher a tip, but then realized it was a subway token.
  • Being on a date and being asked it was on one or two checks.
  • When a co-worker learned my bonus was much more than hers.
  • When I am treating someone to a meal and they order the most expensive thing on the menu.
  • Paying for something in all coins.
  • When a friend wanted me to do her taxes. I declined because I didn't want to know about her salary.
  • When the bank announced through the loud speaker in the drive up window that I didn't have enough in my account to cash a check.
  • I knew they were collecting money for someone at work and I could hear them going around, so I ducked out of the office.
  • Forgot my wallet to a client lunch and had to ask them to pay for me.

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from April 15th – 17th, 2013, among 2,114 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Allison Kaplan,

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