Australian couples need to work together on their finances to reduce stress, reveals MyState Bank research

From

Heather McGovern

Money is driving conflict, secrets and stress among Australian couples, according to new research from MyState Bank, which is urging all Australian couples to devote more time to working together on their finances this Valentine’s day.

The Love and Money Survey was commissioned by MyState Bank and surveyed over 1000 people in a relationship. While 62% of respondents say they discuss their finances with their partner at least monthly, 8% of respondents have never discussed their finances with their partner.

Commenting on the findings, Heather McGovern, MyState General Manager of Digital and Marketing said: “If you and your partner find yourselves fighting about money, you’re certainly not alone. The MyState Bank Love and Money survey reveals that most couples (55%) experience conflict and stress at least once a year and 19% of couples experience conflict and stress with their partner on a monthly basis.

“MyState Bank would love all Aussie couples to take positive steps this Valentine’s Day when it comes to their finances. Reducing stress and conflict caused by money worries can be as easy as sitting down with your partner and being open and honest about your financial situation and goals for the future.”

Spenders, savers and secrets

The MyState Bank research also revealed that in many relationships one person is a saver and the other a spender, which can also lead to conflict. The survey found that 71% of respondents classified themselves as a ‘saver’ while also classifying their partners as savers in 52% of cases.

Almost one in three Australians in a relationship (29%) admit that they have kept a financial secret from their partner and 32% have lied to their partner about the price of a purchase.

The MyState Bank Love and Money survey also found:

  • 13% of people have a secret savings account
  • 25% of people have separate accounts and don’t share expenses
  • 26% of partners make all the financial decisions in the household

MyState Bank offers five tips to ease the money worries this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Set up a regular ‘money date’: Put some time in your schedule to talk about your financial situation and future goals. Three quarters (75%) of respondents in the MyState Bank Love and Money survey reported that they have joint accounts and share expenses, while 68% of respondents also shared the financial decision making.
  2. Keep a budget together: Keeping track of your spending with a budget is one of the most positive steps couples can take together to lift the burden of money worries. A good tip here is to be completely transparent about where your money is going and to work together to cut back on spending if you need to.
  3. Plan for tomorrow:  In addition to a budget make sure you both clearly understand your financial goals and agree on any big purchases. This includes setting savings goals, plans for buying your first home (and how quickly you want to pay down your mortgage), how you might fund your childrens’ education and what your plans are for retirement.

It is important to write your goals down together, set a timeframe to reach those goals and regularly review them together every 3 months – as your goals may change as your personal circumstances change.

  1. Avoid the blame game: It is important that you don’t blame each other. You should both take ownership of the situation and work on it together.
  2. Seek help: Don’t wait for your financial fears to escalate. If your finances are causing stress and conflict in your relationship, it is important that you reach out and talk to your bank about your financial situation before things get too bad. MyState Bank offers a hardship assistance program for those in need. Remember, your finances can have a profound effect on many aspects of your life.

You must be logged in to post or view comments.