What’s mine is mine – 1 in 3 couples prefer to keep finances separate

We’ve all heard of his and hers bathrooms, but it would seem couples have taken personal space to a whole new level with their bank accounts.   love_or_money

When it comes to money, one in three (36 percent) couples insist on keeping separate bank accounts, according to new research by finder.com.au, one of Australia’s leading comparison websites.

The national survey of 1,043 people also found that women are more likely to keep finances private, with 40 percent of women in relationships refusing to merge money compared to 32 percent of men in relationships.

One in four (26 percent) Australian couples were found to have both personal and shared bank accounts.

According to Bessie Hassan, Consumer Advocate at finder.com.au, the research shows a generational shift when it comes to joining finances.

“Baby boomers (aged 55-74) were the most likely to have shared accounts, with just over half (51 per cent) having a shared bank account,” says Ms Hassan.

“Generation Y (aged 18-34) were the least likely age group, with under a third (29 percent) having a shared account”

Generation X were most likely to hedge their bets by having joint and separate accounts (30 percent).

Joint credit cards were the more popular option for those couples merging finances; 25 percent of people in a relationship have a joint credit card, compared to just 21 percent who have a joint savings account.

Ms Hassan says keeping some money separate is a good way to stash cash for individual purchases or expenses you want to keep private.

“There are advantages to joint accounts, such as minimising fees and ease of budgeting.

But first, it’s important to consider if you both have similar views on money management as it can be a huge cause of tension between couples,” she says.

“When you have a shared bank account, the most important criteria is that you have a honest and transparent use of the money.

That means no nasty surprises and less conflict.

“Love can not conquer all when it comes to finances – If you have any doubts about your partner’s level of debt or spending habits then it would be wise to keep things separate.”

State by state:

  • Loved up Queenslanders were the most likely to have joint bank accounts, with over half (52 percent) sharing their bank account.
  • ACT and WA residents were equal top spot for shared credit cards (28 percent)
  • ACT couples were also most likely to have a shared savings account (28 percent)

Tips when opening a joint account:

  • Communication is key. Constantly and openly discuss your financial goals and progress to ensure you both remain on the same savings route.
  • Create a budget. Monitor your spending; separate requirement costs from luxury costs. While it’s important to consider areas you can save in, it’s also important to allow yourselves some ‘play’ money. Being too strict can result in arguments that have the ability to prevent your joint savings from succeeding.
  • Establish a deposit habit. Decide on a set amount you’ll both deposit per week, fortnight or month. Determining a set amount can increase motivation to reach savings goals.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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