Do you and your significant other share bank accounts?
Interestingly two-thirds of recently married Australians aren’t saying ‘I do’ to merging financial accounts, according to finder.com.au.
The study of 1,006 recently-married Aussies found almost half (43%) have separate daily transaction accounts, while nearly a third (32%) have standalone savings accounts.
Twenty one percent of Aussies have separate credit card accounts, while 7% of newlyweds don’t share the financial responsibility of a mortgage.
Interestingly, a separate survey of 1,035 Aussies in 2016 found 22% of couples have secret spending habits their partners don’t know about – predominantly for clothes, gambling and guilt food purchases.
Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au says the research shows couples may be more inclined to share ‘debt’ rather than savings.
“Newlyweds will join forces with savings or transaction accounts but not so much with finance accounts.
“This may be due to the perception that if things go sour, a joint savings account has less risk or administrative work required to release the account compared to a more complex finance account, like a mortgage,” she says.
Ms Hassan says getting married doesn’t mean you have to merge finances with your spouse, but it can make financial sense for couples with similar money goals in mind.
“Some couples may be concerned about enabling their partner to control their finances, while others may be worried about their partner’s spending habits.
“It’s fine to keep accounts separate as long as you’re being transparent and honest about your financial behaviour.
“There are situations where you can benefit from having two separate accounts.
For example, some savings accounts offer a higher interest rate but only up to a certain balance, so having individual savings accounts effectively doubles the amount you can save at a competitive rate.
“However, merging your accounts can make financial sense as it could mean fewer account-keeping fees and ease of tracking joint expenditure.
“If you trust your partner implicitly and you’re both working towards similar financial goals, such as saving for a holiday or a home deposit, a joint account can be effective.
“Lay down the ground rules early on. Decide who will be responsible for approving transactions and what level of security is required for the account,” she says.
Ms Hassan said money issues can put a huge strain on a relationship.
“Before tying the knot, have a frank conversation with your other half about any outstanding debts or future plans,” she says.
Men vs Women
- Women (44%) are more likely to claim to have separate transactions accounts than men (40%).
- Women (23%) are slightly more likely to keep spending secret from their partners (20%).
- Almost one quarter of men (24%) have a separate credit card, compared to only one fifth of women (20%).
- Younger couples are more likely to share their finances, 37% of Generation Y merge all their accounts compared to 33% of Generation X.
Generation X (45%) are more likely than Generation Y (41%) to have separate transactions accounts.