Our life, my money
Many couples like to keep finances separate, writes
FAILURE to trust a partner’s spending habits and lack of privacy are the key drivers behind those in committed relationships choosing to fly solo with their finances.
Financial heartache can rip couples apart but new findings show seven out 10 Australians who are loved-up, do share bank accounts.
But despite this plenty of couples choose to keep their finances off limits from one another.
New research by financial institution ME, which quizzed 2000 customers on their attitudes towards sharing their hard-earned cash, found:
■ Of those in relationships, 71 per cent have a joint transaction account.
■ Of those with separate finances, 36 per cent want financial independence, 13 per cent want privacy and 11 per cent don’t trust their partner’s spending habits.
Tribeca Financial’s chief executive officer Ryan Watson said to help relationships flourish it’s “really important” couples are on the same “financial page”.
“We advise our clients to set up a cashflow structure which pools money for household bills and general expenditure while maintaining separate bank accounts for each partner for their own discretionary spending,’’ he said. “It provides for the best of both worlds.”
Watson said from his experiences, clients who share common monetary attitudes have an improved financial wellbeing.
The key events in a couple’s relationship that trigger the need to combine finances and open a joint account include tying the knot (52 per cent), moving in together (19 per cent) and purchasing a home
(17 per cent).
ME Bank’s spokesman Matthew Read said joining finances is more practical for many couples rather than keeping cash separate.
“It’s easier to track spending and manage budgets but the downside of that is one person tends to take control and the other person ends up having nothing to do with it,’’ he said. “The other person suffers; they don’t know what goes on and they don’t learn anything about money.”
Mr Read said a good alternative is for couples to share their main bank accounts but to also maintain a separate transaction account.
“You can hive off each month with what you are allowed to spend and then that gives you the independence that people sometimes want,’’ he said.
But it appears many do get the guilts when spending – 38 per cent of those who join their finances feel bad when they spend money from their accounts for their own purposes.